by Jon Konnerup
With the influx of immigrants flooding into the United States comes a God-given opportunity to nations within the boundaries of our own country. They are coming into our cities, communities, and perhaps even next door.
Our Fellowship should seize the opportunity to reach these multitudes. All of our churches should take up this challenge to not only reach their community but also the surrounding communities that are taking on a new cultural dynamic. Research shows that most churches are not prepared to reach other ethnic groups. It may be because of the language barrier or a lack of cultural understanding. More than likely, it is due to the uneasiness we have in reaching out to a culture different from our own. We must begin to find ways to connect with these other cultures. This is a time for our churches to experience cross-cultural evangelization up close and personal.
Many of our churches could become multicultural or even multilingual. As we see some of these immigrants come to know Christ, we should anticipate sending people back to their home countries with the gospel.
In light of the explosive Latino growth in our country, we now face another mission challenge. We already have Spanish-speaking pastors working alongside some of our churches while others have started their own ministry works. We must join with them in evangelizing and discipling Latinos across our country. Millions of Latinos need churches to teach them the truth of the gospel in their own language right here in America. We are commanded in scripture to sow the gospel and make disciples of all nations.
Terrorist attacks made us more aware of Islam. Many were surprised to discover that Islam is the second-largest religion in the world with over one billion adherents. Christians in the U.S. have begun to discover they have Muslim neighbors. They work with Muslims, and their children play with Muslims. As Islam continues to grow (the United Nations estimates that after 2055, over half of the world’s population will be Muslim), we will have increasing opportunities to share the gospel.
I am sure many Muslims have specific reasons for coming to our country from the Middle East, but I believe God has a greater purpose — He is bringing them to America so they can hear about Jesus the Savior. They have heard about Him as a prophet, but we know He is far more than that. He is God and He loves us so much that He was willing to come to earth to rescue us from our sins and draw us into a relationship with the Father. Actually, many are hungry to hear this incredibly good news.
What will you do to reach the people God has brought to our country from the regions beyond? We must be poised to reach out to them. Let’s join hands as a Fellowship to have a life-changing effect upon the multitudes coming to America.