The cultural landscape has shifted dramatically over the last decade in the United States. Globalization is connecting the United States to the outside world in ways never experienced before. Technological advancements in communication and information sharing have broken long-standing barriers once separating countries and cultures. As a result, diversification is being experienced throughout our neighborhoods, schools and places of work. People of different religious backgrounds and beliefs are now living in closer proximity. Christians must acknowledge and understand this shift in community demographics so they can respond accordingly. They must evangelize in selfless ways ...view middle of the document...
Advancements in technology have accelerated globalization. Real-time information traveling across the globe eliminates historic cultural barriers. No longer are channels of information limited to select radio waves and television stations. Rather, ideas and perspectives can be shared immediately and instantly without censorship. Globalization, fueled by technology, is fundamentally changing the United States from within and not everyone embraces this reality.
The United States is becoming increasingly more diversified. People once isolated geographically and culturally are now living and interacting in the same communities. This is contentious for many Americans. One recent example played out before millions on the largest viewing stage in U.S. history during 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII. The Nielson Company, an audience measurement system for both radio and television, reported an average viewing audience of 111.5 million. During the game Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage company, aired a sixty second commercial featuring seven children from different nationalities singing America the Beautiful in their native language. The diversification represented in the commercial highlighted the current shift taking shape in the United States. This diversification within the American culture exposes Christianity to other religions.
Relational evangelism is critical in understanding and relating to diversified communities. In Fances Adeney’s book Graceful Evangelism, she points out that “because of increased travel, immigration, and sophisticated communication techniques, the religions of the world have come to our neighborhoods and into our schools and homes.” Increased diversification requires the attention of Christians. We find Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists in our neighborhoods and our schools, we need to consider what our response will be. Christians in the church must engage. In Carl Raschke’s book GloboChrist he addresses the unique challenges facing the Church. Raschke explains that,
Churches must be much more than simply self-standing and selfserving organizations attentive mainly to the needs and desires of their attendees. They must incessantly reach out to those who are beyond the fringes of established Christianity, and they must do so in a way that is integral rather than incidental to their mission and purpose. After all, is that not what the Great Commission ultimately comes down to? … Discipling shows God’s love in the person of Jesus.
The Great Commission
Relational evangelism is the means to fulfilling Jesus mandate commonly referred to as The Great Commission. Jesus commissioned his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Though daunting, his listening disciples knew the requirements because Jesus had modeled discipleship making for them. Jesus public ministry started with his baptism and lasted three years...