Q. Harun Myers asks, “Hey Justin. Quick question for you. I’ve begun trying to research worldview differences in regards to gospel presentation between first generation immigrants and their children who’ve been raised in the new nation. Have you heard any one talk about this and the difference between these two audiences that look a lot a like, but who think quite differently (that is my intuition anyway) Any leads would be great. Thanks.”
I posted this question on Facebook, which generated several responses. Outside of Facebook, reader Timothy Paul sent in this, which I share here with his permission:
|There: Family members who belong there not here. Unassimilated.||There+Here: Family members who belong there, but still live here. Beginning to choose assimilation.||Here+There: Family members who belong here, but still love there. Becoming comfortably assimilated.||Here: Family Members who belong here not there. Assimilated.|
This is a simple, fairly obvious, spectrum of cultural assimilation of people who emigrate from one country, like India or Morocco, with the intention of living somewhere else, like Australia or Canada. There are individuals around us in any American city for example, who are experiencing life according to the dynamics of one of these categories. They are very broad and sweeping, so there will be unique details of transition for everybody we may encounter.
Most important, this assimilation/culture spectrum represents many, probably most, immigrating families. There will be individuals from each category in many families, or if a family is fairly new, or fairly settled, one of the categories may accurately describe the family. Usually, there is a mix of individuals in the categories within a family.
As far as relationship/gospel sharing is concerned, I have found it best to go from left to right rather than right to left. Start with family members who are furthest to the left, especially if they are family elders. Win them over, and everybody to the right, who are more easily “reached” by us will be open to our ministry. Think family not individual. Bless the entire family so you can evangelize thos interested individuals more easily and for the long term.
If you have pointers to additional research you’d like to add in the comments, it would be welcomed.