Crossing Cultures with Jesus: Sharing Good News with Sensitivity and Grace, By Katie J. Rawson
Crossing Cultures with Jesus
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: October 21, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4438
  • ISBN: 9780830844388

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You can be a missionary by crossing an ocean or by crossing the street.

We now have unprecedented opportunities to meet people from every culture and nation. International study and global migration allow us to build relationships with Buddhists and Muslims, students from Singapore and workers from the Middle East. But how do we share the gospel with people from different cultures and worldviews?

Crosscultural evangelism can be scary. But veteran crosscultural minister Katie Rawson shows how we can witness the way Jesus did, entering into people's worlds and drawing them into God-centered community. She equips readers to evangelize Jesus' way, depending on him as companion and guide and venturing out in joy to be and share good news.

Filled with compelling stories, practical resources and relational tools, this guide gives crosscultural training and shows how you can share the gospel through story and diagram, with clear communication and authentic community.

"Combining her extensive experience, great stories, disciplines of spiritual formation and thought-provoking reflection exercises, Katie Rawson has given us a go-to guide for training in crosscultural understanding, friendships and outreach. She helps the reader understand crosscultural conversion, worldviews and values, and spiritual warfare. This is a read-this-book-first resource for those who want to cross the street to befriend a Muslim neighbor, invite an Asian international student to their home or prepare for a short-term mission trip to India."

Paul Borthwick, senior consultant, Development Associates International, author of Great Commission, Great Compassion

"Grounded in years of missions experience and biblical teaching, Rawson provides a powerful primer on understanding culture, developing crosscultural relationships, and communicating across cultures. A must-read for anyone hoping to serve and to share the gospel in crosscultural contexts!"

Tom Lin, vice president, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, director of Urbana

"We live in a world of neighborhoods, businesses, schools and churches that are increasingly diverse. To communicate a contagious faith in Jesus requires that we engage with those who are of very different cultures and worldviews. Katie Rawson provides a clear path through the many complex issues that we inevitably face while doing so. The book is filled with concrete and helpful tips on what to do and say in a wide variety of situations, but best of all, it is written with a deep sense of expectation of and dependence on the guidance of the Holy Spirit—the master of crosscultural communication."

Charles Davis, former director of TEAM, author of Making Disciples Across Cultures

"Katie Rawson's book confronts every believer with a heart for crosscultural ministry and every current or prospective message bearer (missionary) with the question of what we are truly producing in those we minister among. Are we really producing disciples who have had their previous worldview transformed by the values of Jesus and the kingdom of God? How often in crosscultural ministry is this not the case. This problem can relate to the great strongholds and spiritual oppression that keep these precious people bound in darkness. Katie deals with these issues head-on and with lots of wisdom and personal experience. I encourage every believer with a heart to see Jesus' transforming power across every culture to read this book. I wholeheartedly recommend it."

Ryan Shaw, international lead facilitator, Student Volunteer Movement 2, author, Spiritual Equipping for Mission

"Crossing Cultures with Jesus fills a gap in the literature for international student ministry (ISM). Although numerous small publications address specific needs within ISM, Rawson gives us a much more comprehensive work that finds the heart of ISM in the heart of God. Sound biblical teaching undergirds each chapter, enhanced by appropriate principles from missions and cultural anthropology. Stories from ISM—many of which are from the author's own experience—provide examples of how the principles can be applied in multicultural contexts. Chapters include sections for both personal reflection and group discussion. Crossing Cultures with Jesus will be a valuable resource for ISM staff members and interns. In addition, this book can provide church missions personnel with a strong rationale for supporting ISM in their own communities."

Carmen J. Bryant, ISM specialist, Campus Ambassadors, adjunct professor, Multnomah University

"A thorough and engaging tool, useful for anyone wanting to understand the gospel and crossing cultures. This book dives deep into Scripture and illustrates sophisticated academic topics with real-life stories. Practical, insightful and very helpful. This book was written with transformation of the heart and transformation of ministry in mind."

Nikki Toyama-Szeto, IJM Institute, coauthor of More than Serving Tea and God of Justice: The IJM Institute Global Church Curriculum

"These are interesting times for we Christians who live in an increasingly multicultural country. On the one hand, it can be tempting to share the good news of Jesus with great zeal but little crosscultural savvy. On the other hand, it can be tempting to relate crossculturally with great sensitivity and grace but never get around to sharing the good news. In Crossing Cultures with Jesus Katie J. Rawson shows us that it is possible to share the good news of Jesus and still be gracious and sensitive as we relate crossculturally. This is such an important book for the times we live in. Crossing Cultures with Jesus is thoughtful, biblical and thoroughly practical."

Don Everts, author of Go and Do, coauthor of I Once Was Lost

"These are exciting days. God is allowing people from all cultures to travel around the world. Believers now have opportunities to share Jesus with people from places we will never travel to. This book equips us through multiple true stories so that we will be much more effective in sharing Jesus. Each chapter also has excellent discussion questions."

Christine Dillon, crosscultural evangelist and storyteller, author, Telling the Gospel Through Story

"Rawson helps us move across cultures in God's love. This book is very practical, with many real-life examples. Small groups will appreciate the helpful discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Rawson's ideas have been tested and refined through more than thirty years of real ministry experience. Please enjoy this thorough and practical guide to crosscultural ministry."

Doug Schaupp, associate national director of evangelism, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, coauthor of I Once Was Lost and Being White

"This is a one-of-a-kind and much-awaited book in the field of cross-cultural evangelism. With thoroughness and insights from Scripture, scholars and stories, Rawson gives us a strong case that in Jesus, we have the model of the ultimate culture-crosser. This book combines her love for Jesus, dependence on the Holy Spirit, evangelistic zeal, academic credentials, many years of experience in international student ministry, devotion to prayer and commitment to sound Bible study. It is a must-read guide for anyone desiring to share Jesus across cultures."

Lisa Espineli Chinn, former national director, International Student Ministry, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

"Katie Rawson has made a much-needed addition to the resources of those of us in cross-cultural ministry. Her insights and personal stories make it an easy read but at the same time offer depth and honesty to topics seldom ever addressed—the elephants in the cross-cultural room. She has called out some of our fallacies and misconceptions and done so with gentleness and truth. And she has not stopped there, but has given us real tools and insights that will assist us all to be better friends and followers of Jesus. This book is a real treasure."

Patty Lane, director of intercultural ministries, Baptist General Convention of Texas, author of A Beginner's Guide to Crossing Cultures

"This is the book I wish I'd had when I began international student ministry thirty years ago. A clear, thoughtful and biblical analysis of how to relate to students with very different cultural backgrounds from our own. Katie Rawson has provided us with a treasure trove of ideas and motivation for acquiring the necessary skills for sharing Christ with and discipling international students, helpfully illustrated with many examples from her own ministry. With lots of questions for reflection and Bible passages for meditation it can be read alone, but even more helpfully as a small team or group wanting to encourage one another to grow in their Christian maturity and effectiveness as disciples. A wonderful resource that I commend wholeheartedly—not just to the international student worker but to anyone wanting to share the gospel with someone from another culture."

Richard Weston, former national director, Friends International, UK

"This book is a goldmine of inspiration, education, and encouragement for anyone interested in sharing Christ with individuals of a differing culture or faith. You might call it a grace-filled look at cross-cultural evangelism, but it goes way beyond just evangelism, exploring topics like spiritual warfare, worldviews, trust, community, storytelling, and more. . . . Highly recommended."

Neil Bartlett, CBA Retailers+Resources, December 2015

"Crossing Cultures with Jesus is my new go-to book for preparing a short-term mission team."

Chris Woznicki, Think Out Loud, December 21, 2015


Introduction: The Challenge and Opportunity of Crosscultural Evangelism
1. Love at the Heart of the Universe: A Completely Good and Beautiful God

Part I: Entering
2. Keeping in Step with the Spirit
3. Praying and Exercising Spiritual Authority
4. Developing Trust Relationships
5. Examining Worldview Lenses: Log and Specks
6. Understanding Value Systems: Honor, Innocence, Joy and Power

Part II: Drawing In
7. Communities that Draw In: Living and Sharing Good News
8. Conversion in Community: Five Stages
9. Communication that Connects
10. Stories that Bring Change: Understanding and Sharing the Gospel
11. Making Disciples in Community
List of Figures, Tables and Sidebars


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Katie J. Rawson

Katie J. Rawson (DMiss, Fuller Theological Seminary; PhD, University of North Carolina) is senior resource developer with International Student Ministry (ISM) at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Raleigh, NC. She is a contributor to Passport to the Bible: An Explorer's Guide. Ever since her experience as an international student in France, Rawson has been fascinated by other cultures, studying French literature for her first doctorate and crosscultural communication for her second. She has ministered among international students with InterVarsity for over three decades, serving at North Carolina State University and UCLA and leading an ISM staff team in the Carolinas and Virginia. Rawson lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.