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Episode 7 – Indigenous Jewish Ministry: Where, Why, How

How do you take the Gospel to other cultures and countries and then train indigenous leaders to tend their flocks without expecting them to look, think and worship like you do? In this episode of A Jew and A Gentile Discussco-hosts Carly Berna and Ezra Benjamin welcome special guest Troy Wallace for some experienced insight into the subject of indigenous Jewish ministry. Troy is Vice President of Congregation and Leadership Development at Jewish Voice Ministries International.  

And here’s an interesting fact: Troy’s not Jewish. Huh? He plants Messianic Jewish congregations and trains Messianic Jewish leaders, but he’s not Jewish himself? Yep, and when you hear his unique background, family and qualifications – especially as Carly puts him on the hot seat about that very question – you’ll see why Jewish people are willing to have him minister to them. 

Interview questions include: 

  • What is the Messianic Movement, and what is a Messianic Jewish community? 
  • What does a Messianic Jewish congregation in America look like? 
  • How would you find a Messianic Jewish congregation, and are Gentiles welcome to attend? 
  • What does a Messianic Jewish congregation in Africa look like? 
  • Can Jewish Believers just go to one of the great existing Christian churches like the rest of us? Why go to all the trouble of planting Messianic congregations and training leaders? 
  • How are we to think about a Messianic Jewish expression of faith in the context of cultures very different from the primarily European or Ashkenazi Jewish culture we know here in America? 
  • How did Jewish Voice find these African Jewish communities? How do you know they’re Jewish? 
  • What right does Troy, as a non-Jew, have to minister to and instruct Jewish people in Messianic Jewish practices? 
  • Why would non-Jewish Believers engage in Jewish ministry? 
  • How do you handle unbiblical practices when you encounter them? 
  • How do you discern when people you’re ministering to are just saying yes to get what you’re offering rather than from sincerity? 

And we can’t forget the quirky question of the week that we asked of Troy: In all your travels around the world, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to eat? 

You’ll also learn about the Lemba Jewish people of Zimbabwe, who have maintained their Jewish identity for millennia. You’ll hear about ethnicity vs. authenticity, the cultural sensitivity required in developing indigenous ministries, how Troy has addressed the matter of polygamist leaders and the three vital keys to ministering with cultural sensitivity. 

Words you might learn in this episode: 

Bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, the Shema, “le elam vaed,” Lemba, kohanim, Ashkenazi 

Scriptures referenced in this episode: 

Acts 15, Deuteronomy 6, Romans 1:16, Romans 11:15, 1 Timothy 3, Exodus 19 and 20, Acts 2