Your New Samaria: Hitting the Bullseye on the Wrong Target

by John B., Director of Converge Disapora Ministries
New Samaria

Many years ago, when I actually played a little golf, I was with a group of first-time golfers. While on the tee I noticed one of the gentlemen in the foursome ahead was lining up his next shot for the green. He hit a great shot. The only problem, it was to the wrong green.

I have no doubt the leaders and people of our Converge churches want every new arrival to our shores to hear the good news of the gospel, especially those from unreached areas such as the Middle East. The trouble is sometimes we are shooting at the wrong target.

If we put the task in missions terminology, the goal is to facilitate an indigenously led and culturally relevant movement of discipleship within the unreached people group so that this new indigenous church has the desire and ability to reach the entire people group. That is how we remove people groups from the unreached people groups list. The simple truth is that I, as an Anglo-American, cannot reach immigrant groups such as the Somalis. In the end, Somalis will reach Somalis, Malaysians will reach Malaysians and so on.

However, as cultural outsiders, we can do two important things:

1. We can create an attractive environment for the gospel through friendships and caring ministries of the church to immigrant peoples, and

2. We can release trained cross-cultural workers to live incarnationally among unreached groups in our cities, seeking to find and raise up indigenous leaders who are able to start movements of gospel multiplication.

Both of these objectives are essential to reach the growing diaspora around us. But only the second is the final missions’ target. The goal is to reach an entire people group--not just to have successful ministries in our churches. We must care for new arrivals, especially refugees, and provide them with necessary skills in language and education and help them settle and find work. These create the right setting to communicate the gospel. But sadly, very few of these church-focused ministries can keep up with the constant stream of new arrivals from overseas. Until we see God raise up movements of multiplication within these unreached people groups, we are not hitting the correct target.

Converge Diaspora Initiatives is our national ministry that helps districts and churches locate the right target for them. Churches are called to different ministries, but we can partner together in our urban centers to ensure every people group has an opportunity to hear a culturally relevant explanation of the gospel and become part of a movement of gospel multiplication. We can help create citywide partnerships of Converge churches for cross-cultural missions. Give me a call, 407.563.6070, or email me, johnb@converge.org

Read part one of John's diaspora series here.

    Point - September 2018

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