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  • Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard
  • Written by Rajendra Pillai
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  • Written by Rajendra Pillai
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A Guide to Building Relationships with People of Other Faiths and Cultures

Written by Rajendra PillaiAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Rajendra Pillai

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On Sale: May 19, 2010
Pages: 272 | ISBN: 978-0-307-55286-0
Published by : WaterBrook Press Religion/Business/Forum
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis

Synopsis

Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard is designed as a guidebook for Christians to better understand and engage people from other countries including immigrants, foreign exchange students, and tourists. By both region and religion, author Rajendra K. Pillai explains cultural considerations and common points of reference to readers eager to share the good news of Jesus Christ with foreign-born individuals.

Between 1990 and 2000, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism–along with many other religions–grew at a record pace, due heavily to immigration and conversion. During this same period of time the number of people who call themselves Christians dropped by 9 percent. Meanwhile, 98 percent of churches experienced non-growth or declines in attendance.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Rajendra Pillai

About Rajendra Pillai

Rajendra Pillai - Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard
Rajendra K. Pillai was born in Calcutta, India. Having grown up in a Hindu nation and in a Muslim neighborhood, he was acutely conscious of being in the minority as a Christian believer. Rajendra has a passion for relating to and reaching people of other cultures. He has an MBA in Global Economic Development from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, and conducts corporate training in cross-cultural and management issues for organizations including the USDA, National Institutes of Health, the FBI and several other public and private organizations. He also speaks at churches and conferences across the country.
Reader's Guide|Discussion Questions

About the Book

Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard

by Rajendra K. Pillai

Reader’s Guide

Copyright © 2003 by Rajendra Pillai
This Reader’s Guide may be photocopied for discussion group use only.
All other rights reserved. For more information: www.ReachingtheWorld.com

WaterBrook Press

Discussion Guides

1. Take the quiz on page 4. How did you do? Were you aware of these dramatic changes taking place in America today? Should Christians make an effort to be culturally aware of the society they live in?

2. It is unlikely that any Christian living in or near a metro area have not had any contact with people of other cultures and faiths. How do you react to the changing demographics? If a Hindu or a Muslim moved in next door to you, how comfortable would you be to befriend them?

3. Most Christians in America are not involved in their church outside of attending the weekend service. How would you rate your involvement? What is your reaction to the lady the author quotes on page 13: “You have to be very careful about getting involved in the church. Once you volunteer for something, you are stuck with it for life?” Should churches be doing things differently to attract more volunteers? How can you help in your church?

4. The author lists 7 signs of ineffective cross-cultural evangelism (page 15). How would you rate yourself against the seven signs?

5. Take a look at the following three statements made by the author. Do you agree? Why or why not?
a.Our God is a multicultural God
b.Jesus is a multicultural Savior
c.Heaven will be a multicultural society

6. Our many encounters with non-Christians could be divine appointments set by God. Pause and think over the last one week. Did God bring people your way that needed Him? What are some ways you can share the gospel? If you are having trouble coming up with names of people God brought your way, keep a log over the next one week. Be intentional about thinking in terms of who God wants to bless through you.

7. Read 1 Peter 3:15. Read the author’s explanation on page 21. What are some ways you can share Jesus with people of other faiths and cultures while making sure you don’t compromise your faith and at the same time by not disrespecting their faiths?

8. Read chapter 3. Do you think of any people groups or nationalities or people of a certain faith in a negative stereotypical fashion? For instance, are their any negative thoughts that come to your mind when you think of: Saudis, Arabs, Muslims, women, men, South Asians, Latinos, Mexicans, Hindus, Iraqis? What do you think of the statement: “individuals are just that–individuals?” Are people from within the same group always similar in their views and deeds? Think of how a typical American would have reacted to the Japanese during World War II or the Russians during the Cold War? Did these stereotypes apply to everyone from these two countries? Why or why not?

9. What do you think of the statement: “The great divide is not between people of different races, but between believers and non-believers?”

10. The author lists seven responses Americans typically give to internationals. Read chapter 4 and then ask yourself which category best describes your response to internationals:
a.Pretender
b.Dodger
c.Globalizer
d.Patronizer
e.Categorizer
f.Xenophobe
g.Empathizer

11. What are some things you can do to become an Empathizer?

12. Read chapter 5 and go through the twenty one keys to effective cross-cultural interaction. These twenty one keys can be distilled into three steps:
a.Get to know your international friend
b.Get to know a little about his or her culture and beliefs
c.Share the gospel
Can you come up with the name of at least one international friend, co-worker, or neighbor? Write that person’s name down in your notebook. Now write down everything you know about that person: his or her cultural, spiritual, and national background, his or her religious beliefs, etc. How well do you know this person? Perhaps it is time you build a bridge to this person to first get to know him or her better. Do more listening than talking at first.

13. Chapters 6 to 11 are more like a reference tool. Browse through the pertinent culture or country when God brings someone from that country into your life. Take a look at the list of countries in the Table of Contents on page ix. How many of these countries represent people you have interacted with - put a check make next to them. Start by studying them first. What are some new things you have learned that can help you grow in your relationship with someone from that particular country?

14. Read chapter 12 starting on page 172. Do you live close to a college or university? Is your church located close to a college or university? Can you or your church spearhead a ministry to foreign students? In today’s climate, foreign students feel very vulnerable. They are among the best and brightest their country has to offer and one estimate says about 90 per cent go back. What a tremendous impact they can have in their countries. There are several ways the author lists that you can build relationships with foreign students. What are some ways you and/or your church can get involved? If each church in America were to host just one foreign student coming in for the next academic session, there would be more host churches than foreign students available to be hosted!

15. How is Hinduism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Hindu?

16. How is Islam different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Muslim?

17. How is Judaism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Jew?

18. How is Buddhism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Buddhist?

19. How is Confucianism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Confucianist?

20. How is Jainism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Jain?

21. How is Shintoism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Shinto?

22. How is Sikhism different from Christianity and what are some principles to keep in mind when witnessing to a Sikh?


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