Last week I went to two memorial services. One was for John Kim, a warrior for God who started Pioneers for Christ here at InFaith. His Korean heritage was clear throughout the service; it was meaningful, it was honoring, and it was just a great service. I went to the Korean service because I wanted to see what it was like. It felt so honoring as it was done in John’s culture, in a way that he appreciated and that his family appreciates.
I went from there to Wheatland, Wyoming to the memorial service for Delbert Dick, a long-term missionary in a family who has given their lives to InFaith. And the culture was much different. There were string ties and cowboy hats; 4-wheel-drive pickup trucks and cowboy boots. We sang old hymns and told good stories about this man who served rural churches in Wyoming. The whole service was done in his culture.
And that can be the challenge when you're in charge of a mission like ours—it’s so diverse. It's diverse in its ethnicity, in its ministry philosophy, in programming format, and in theology. How do you lead such a diverse organization? The answer is very clear and very simple: You simply honor each other. That doesn't mean you have to agree, or pretend you're closer to someone else’s culture, you just need to be you and let Jesus shine through.
When I walked away from that absolutely packed service in Wyoming, I couldn't help thanking God that we're not all the same. Being different is what God has called us to be. The difference is not just because we live a Christian and a pure life, we’re different because our cultures are different. And we respect other cultures.