Is That a Church?
If you compared an established church of a newly reached people group to that of the typical North American church, do you think they’d look the same? Probably not. They wouldn’t speak English, they wouldn’t dress according to the accepted “dress code” of a traditional American church, and musical instruments would possibly be non-existent. But that isn’t what makes it a church. The church is the believers from a people group gathering together in order to worship the God of all creation.
“In Remembrance of Me”
Kirk and Yolanda Rogers, who minister among the Landumas of West Africa, recently encountered a cultural difference in the church. Kirk has had to do more teaching on the Lord’s Supper. He told them, “It’s important that the Lord’s death and resurrection be remembered regularly.”
But the Landumas weren’t doing that. How could they? The “proper” elements, namely grape juice and bread, weren’t readily available. Could they still celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
Fulfilling the Mandate
Of course they can! “As important as the nature of the elements is, what is more important is that the Lord’s Supper be practiced, with a good understanding of its meaning,” said Kirk.
He explained to the Landuma believers that they can use their staple food and drink, just as the early Christians used theirs. Though the Landumas do not have bread and wine in their culture, they can still remember the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection together by using rice and water.
“Now the believers seem to have a renewed commitment to do this. Please pray that they do indeed follow through in the coming weeks, and that our Sunday worship experience is thus enhanced as we obey the Lord and remember His supreme sacrifice for us.”