I believe that the gospel is the same but how we say it might differ.
- Years ago one of the pastors back in Albania told me that he was not interested reaching the community of Jehovah Witnesses in his city. Why not?
- Another pastor said: “I’m not called to reach the dark skinned people” that’s why in his church you barely can find a dark-skinned Jesus seeker.
- Then one of my friends told me that he felt orienting his church reaching the newcomers who have come from North of Albania
All stories are different, some are to be taken as good example and the rest to be questioned why we avoid reaching certain groups.
We need to accept that we are not always well prepared to reach all kind of groups. Usually we reach the people we are close to, those from the same social level, those who might have similar other interests with us.
I believe that those who want really to make an impact on a particular group need to be prepared for that group. So we need to know what we believe and when others are believing. We need to know what is dear to them and what are some of the similarities we can use to share what they need to consider.
Paul said that he preached the Gospel to the Jews differently than the non-Jews. Even Jesus spoke differently to priensts and religious leaders, to women, to tax-collectors, to rich people, to children, to non-jews.
Reaching Albanians in Albania is different now to compare with the 1991-2000 period.
Reaching Albanians in diaspora is different that reaching those in Albania or in Kosovo.
To reach a group of people you need to know what is dear to them, what they need and when they are ready to lead to Jesus. The desire for quick number of converts will lead us to a situation where people can join a church but they are not yet connected with Christ. Or worse, to close doors in that community.
When we want to reach them led by the Spirit we would be able to represent Christ in a way that they can;t ignore. We can;t make that decision for them, but we can help them seeing clearer and understanding better.