A couple of days ago I was dropping some shirts off to be dry-cleaned.Â I had a shirt stained by drops from a water-based maker and I brought it to the owner’s attention for cleaning.Â He began to tell me that the spots were from bleach and there was no way to clean the shirt.Â I explained to him that it was not bleach but it was a water-based marker and he would be able to clean if he gave it the proper attention.Â We went back and forth a couple of times before I realized that we absolutely and completely spoke different languages and were not communicating at all.Â
I was faced with a reality!Â If I wanted to see my shirt become clean, I must overcome a language barrier!
The success of overcoming the language for the cleaning of my shirt is yet to be determined.
My heart’s desire is to communicate the message of love, hope and redemption that Jesus offers to people in our community.Â I have come to realize that I often faceÂ a language barrier in communicating this beautiful message.Â The culture we live in today is not the same culture that previous generations have known.Â Language and understanding changes.Â
The church and those communicating the gospel must realize and learn the language of the culture to effectively communicate the message of Jesus.Â Our challenge is the same as any missionary sent to another culture that faces a language barrier.
What do we do?Â We learn the language of the culture and translate the message into the language of the culture.Â In some ways, translating the message into the language of our culture here in America is more difficult than someone traveling overseas.
I have become a student of culture and I am in the process of learning how to translate the gospel message of Jesus into the language of the culture we live in.Â We are experiencing some incredible success while learning!Â I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!