If we go into a group to convert them, for example- Muslims or Hindus, then in order to convert we should do as Paul suggests in 1 COR 9:20, live like them; but as a sociologist, I can tell you we cannot become like them in any true sense because we have come with the intention to change them, we carry this information with us. So, all of our action could be interpreted as false. In order that we live like them, we would have to suffer like them which means live like them every day and in every way; while, at the same time exhibiting little by little our Christian faith which is that the Lord God Jesus Christ is our Savior.
This takes a great deal of experience in terms of humility and recognizing moments of opportunity. It is incredibly difficult as we ‘all people’ carry with us our own culturally embedded data and that is in us and cannot be easily camouflaged.
So, is it possible to be like others and convert them at the same time? I don’t think so if we go into a group to convert, we face being corrupted and we face bringing false hope to those we try to convert. I gave my explanation above. That is why in my educated opinion, many missionaries were unsuccessful or killed when attempting to convert groups. We can only live our life in the way we know, by example of what we believe and practice. When we face troubles, or fear or even when we face death, what we can do is to show how we deal with it and hope then that it makes an impact on others and changes them. It must be non invasive.
How to do that? Well, Paul said we should convert for the sake of the gospel 1 COR 9:23. We should run the race alongside men, running it our way but with/among others, showing that you intend to win and by doing so this demonstrates your strategy in getting you to the finish line 1 COR 9: 24-27. It means to live among all people and pray that they will take notice of how you run the race so that as in ACTS 17:24 they will reach out to God the Creator of heaven and earth our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.