Why Not a Multiethnic Church?
Could your church be multiethnic? Check how many nationalities live in your community. Go to http://www.peoplegroups.info/; click on your state; then go to city, county, or zip code to find the list of nations that live in a radius near your church.
It would be a big step of faith and a challenge to intentionally learn how to welcome people of other cultures to Christ and to your church. The questions for you are, How big is your God? and What is God’s purpose in moving the nations to your community?
While browsing www.peoplegroups.info, notice the other resources available. People portraits provide bulletin-size or full-page snapshots of cultural groups and communities, filled with specific information to assist your ministry in reaching and connecting with various people groups. You can use these snapshots in prompting your church to pray for the people groups in your community. Also, check out the Ethnic to Ethnic Ministries website.
Eldon Brock, founder and developer
Ethnic to Ethnic Ministries
Skype Connection with Missionaries
Using Skype to communicate and pray with our missionaries has been an effective means of encouragement for our church. Having “face to face” contact on a regular basis helps our missionaries know that our church familyremembers and supports them.
Our pastor and church body use Skype in several ways. Corporately, we have set up a Skype session during a morning service with a camera facing our congregation and a screen showing the missionaries at their location. We converse together, then follow with a time of prayer—the church praying for our missionary, and our missionary in turn praying for us. Also, we used Skype as a church during a missions conference when a national pastor preached and our missionary translated for a service. On Friday afternoons, our pastor meets via chat or voice-over video with each of our church’s sent-out missionaries to connect and pray together.
We require our missionaries to report back twice a year, and Skype is an effective avenue to accomplish that, allowing some give and take in the conversation rather than just providing a list of facts and figures. Skype is a good way to be there for our missionaries and to have them be with us as well.
Jon Jenks, pastor
DeEtte Mann, secretary
Calvary Baptist Church
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
Reaching the Nations Among Us
How will the discipler in this modern era fulfill the Matthew 28:19 and 20 mandate to make disciples of all nations? Due to accessible travel, geographical location is no longer a barrier to cross-cultural missions. Nations have moved to our country, many from restricted-access countries.
In addition to the millions of people who come into our country for jobs and brighter opportunities, 600,000 students from 100 countries enter our schools. Over half of graduate students in America are from other countries. These students value finding friends who can help them cope with the challenges of their new environment. During this adjustment period, many students are seeking the meaning of life and are open to the gospel. According to an on-campus minister, approximately 10 percent of Chinese students become believers when a friend takes the time to share the gospel with them. But sadly, a large fraction of foreign students who have been in the U.S. for years have yet to walk through the doors of an American home.
God’s sovereign design of attracting people to the lifestyle and material blessings of North America has caused people from other nations to migrate to where God can draw them to the gospel. God is permitting mass migration to the West in order to bridge the distance between the bearers of His blessings and the hearers of the message, with the final objective that those reached for Him will share this same message and these same blessings with their own nations worldwide.
Consider that God taught the Old Testament Jews to love foreigners living in their land because they were once foreigners in a land not their own. In the New Testament we learn that the disciples at Jerusalem witnessed to visitors from foreign lands, and these foreign visitors took the gospel back home with them. In Acts 2, devout Jews from surrounding nations heard the gospel. The church in North Africa was started by these people. Also, they propagated the gospel to Antioch (Acts 11). The Ethiopian Eunuch, who was taught by Philip, took the gospel back home. That’s how God revealed His glory through the quickly spreading gospel to the then-known world.
Excitingly, some of our churches are beginning to intentionally welcome and disciple people from other nations. We all need to follow suit. Churches have offered help in times of need in areas of language, culture, and job-related paperwork. Believers have begun building relationships with other people groups, using their homes, schools, businesses, and leisure activities to grow deeper friendships and trust. This kind gesture enables churches to exhibit God’s love. In the process of these growing acquaintances, we get to understand the internationals’ unique worldview, a crucial component in effectively communicating our great God. Strategically, these internationals will go back to their home countries as leaders, and will take the gospel with them. They will be used of God to reach their own people, just as believers took the opportunity to minister to them while they were within our reach.
In Jerusalem during the Feast of Pentecost, disciples spoke the gospel in different languages to more than two million Jews. Many of the Jews, gathered from 15 regions of the Middle East, believed in Christ and went back changed and ready to spread the good news to people in their homelands. This raised Christ’s reputation among the nations.
How about you? Are you and your church involved in befriending and helping internationals who have moved into your community? Be part of God’s work through the ages of reaching and teaching people groups throughout the world.
Ariel invites you to participate in the North America Missions Congress, Sept. 27–29 in Indianapolis, Ind. Join round-table discussions and choose from 30 diverse breakout sessions. Come to Indy and gather with GARBC and other ministry leaders and pastors and wives. Increase your vision and develop partnering strategies for reaching the world “glocally.” See poster.