He wrote: “I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” I have been in London doing student outreach for about a month now, and I never could have imagined before my arrival what that could mean.
London is quickly becoming one of the top cities for international reputation—right next to New York City. Because of the sheer number of people from across the world, it’s easy to run into an endless arrange of cultures and hobbies. Just walking down town center you can hear languages from all across the globe. And for the kingdom of God we are called to make relationship with all of them and share the gospel with them.
So, try to make friendships and have conversations with people. It can get very daunting walking up to someone who was raised in a completely different world than you and expect conversation to run smoothly. But we serve a God was likes to take a worried soul and use it to do wonders.
I started talking to these people and figuring out who they were, what they believed and what they liked. Then, just like Paul, I started to become “all things” to my new friends. To the British thespian I became a thespian, to the African soccer fanatic I became a fan, and to the artist I became an admirer. But what I was amazed by is the fact that I was not lying. God blessed me by changing my heart and mind to naturally connect with these people. Of course I still told them my favorite hobbies, but we would always talk about what they liked.
This experience has shown me that the excuse “I have nothing in common with that person” is not acceptable because it is not true. If we truly love the children that God has made and died for, then we can always appreciate what they love. It’s for the sake of the gospel that I put myself aside and become something new, someone who loves others and can show them by connecting with them.
My name is Colby, and I am becoming British.
Colby Cates, a student at Sam Houston State University, is serving as a semester missionary in England with Go Now Missions.