“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 (NIV)
With these words the apostle Paul laid out a philosophy of missions that focuses on reaching people who are in many ways different than we are. He emphasized the necessity of adjusting the way in which we present the Gospel to different people groups in order to present an effective outreach to the entire community in which we serve. This often requires that we provide “a different way of doing church” that appeals to different cultural communities and groups within the greater community to which we have been called and live.
No one church is capable of reaching and meeting all of the needs of the people within its community without addressing the unique and differing sub-groups or sub-communities that live there.