Author: Meredith Cook

Five years ago, I was working full-time and heavily involved in a church plant in my hometown. I was also considering leaving that job and that church so I could move to North Carolina to attend seminary. As I worked through that decision, I can count on one hand the number of people I told about it, and none of them were in my church. In fact, I didn’t really seek counsel from anyone about that decision apart from the out-loud processing I did with my parents. I kept it a secret until I had already made the decision to…

Read More The Best Decision is the One You Make With Counsel

Peoples Next Door

The opening scene of the movie, The African Queen, depicts a white missionary couple leading a worship service for residents of an African village. If you’ve seen the movie, you may or may not have noticed the oddities about this scene. This worship service takes place in a building, the music is being led by a conductor and a woman playing an organ, they are singing in English, congregants are sitting in rows, and some are using hymnals. These details may not seem unusual but it’s likely because this is exactly how you worship every Sunday (perhaps without the hymnal,…

Read More Contextualization Can Be Risky Business

Peoples Next Door

If you have studied missions history, you know that Hudson Taylor was a successful missionary in China, one many modern-day missionaries seek to emulate. While Taylor certainly did not do everything right, what distinguished him from his contemporaries was his immersion in the Chinese culture to which he was sharing the gospel. He dressed in native Chinese clothing and insisted on affirming Chinese culture in order to more effectively reach them. Other missionaries lived in compounds separate from the people to whom they were ministering, dressed differently, and preserved their own culture. These missionaries disagreed with Taylor’s methods, but you’ll…

Read More One Thing You Can’t Stop Doing When You Share the Gospel

Peoples Next Door