Conference to Raise Cultural Sensitivities in Short-Term Missions

A missions conference hosted by a U.S.- based ministry will introduce average Christians to cultural-sensitivity issues associated with the worldwide missions field.
( [email protected] ) May 26, 2006 09:08 PM EDT

A missions conference hosted by a U.S. based ministry will introduce average Christians to cultural-sensitivity issues associated with the worldwide missions field.

“"here are a lot of dedicated people doing short-term mission, but they are doing it wrong," said the Rev. John Dupree, Advancing Church in Missions Commitment (ACMC) national conference coordinator.

"(But) there needs to be team building…and submitting to the authority of the local leaders while observing customs and not doing things may otherwise be deemed offensive," Dupree explained, adding that American missionaries must go to mission with the heart of servants.

The Cross Culture Celebration conference, lasting Jul 20-22 in Santa Ana, CA, will feature leading figures in world missions including: Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth with a Mission (YWAM); author Paul Borthwick, quoted in Rick Warren’s ‘Purpose-Driven Life’; John Warton Jr., board member in the National Association of Evangelical; Elizabeth Lowe, Overseas Missionary Fellowship mobilizer and China-consultant.

Besides keynote sessions, the three day conference will offer 17 workshops delivered by speakers with experience in overseas missions. There will also be foreign-language tracks available in Korea, as many Korean churches are participating in this gathering, said Dupree.

Dupree encouraged participants to attend a workshop delivered by Standard of Excellence for Short-Term Missions (SOE) chairman, Roger Peterson, that would set "down the perimeter of how to do…(short-term missions) right."

The conference will also include an Indigenous Worship Event featuring native-Hawaiian hula-dance and worship music along with Native American, Fijian and African American folk dance.

"This will be like a small slice of heaven," said Dupree, who hails from Hawaii where 82 percent of the population is Asian. "You can see a slice of what happens in heaven because all people are God’s children."

Dupree, who has often worked with Asian Americans while living in Hawaii, said that Christians should find ways to live in harmony with each other regardless of cultural-background.

"We are bringing together the body of Christ to be active participants in the great commission," he added. "If we are really a cross-cultural celebration, as citizen of heaven, we are by biblical definition a cross-cultural society."

For more information for the conference, visit Cross Culture Celebration .