Recently in my tenure here in Fowler, there has been some strongly spoken "dialogue" surrounding the issue of the nature of how God created the universe. This is mainly precipitated by our Community Vacation Bible School choosing a curriculum from Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist advocacy group supporting young earth creationism. The opinions from Answers in Genesis are sometimes controversial, leading to their recent dismissal from a conservative homeschooling convention for being overly disrespectful of their intelligent design collegues.
What I find interesting about this is that this current setting in ministry requires me to backtrack and review issues that I have previously resolved for myself. I tend to look ahead in my learning, and seek to understand things in my faith that challenge and intrigue me. In each case I do some study on the issue, coming to some sort of peace or resolution for myself, and find ways to clearly communicate my thoughts. I usually do not have the time, energy, and commitment to explore every issue, and then keep up with all the arguments and counterarguments on every issues. And some point I just become clear on some controversial issue, and know what I think and why I think it. I don't always stay prepared on every issue to defend my thoughts. And many times I am amazed about what people find difficult, controversial, or meriting debate.
I find, like a missionary, I have to learn to understand how to think like the people I am serving in order to converse with them and reach them. This requires me to not only think about different things, but to see things differently.