Pastor Jeff Jackson interviews missionary Ben Spector with a focus on the importance of language and culture acquisition for missionaries. They discuss the dilemma of feeling the need to speed the ministry along resulting in viewing culture and language as obstacles to get over instead of actual ministry. Ben makes the excellent analogy that culture and language are not a piece of the missionary pie, but they are the pie. Ben also said Jesus made Himself known to us in a foreign land in very relatable ways, including becoming flesh and learning the language to communicate the most important message ever given.
Ben and Jeff both mention Paul Hierbert’s classic mission book, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries.
When asked for three points to help new missionaries, Ben recommended:
- Establish a home church relationship.
- Go in learning language and culture —and do research on how to learn language.
- Be good steward by knowing why you are going to the mission field.