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Are Multi-ethnic Churches the Only Way? - National Association of Evangelicals
Sign in or create an account. Search by title, catalog stock , author, isbn, etc. Closeout Sale. By: Alan McIntosh. Wishlist Wishlist. Write a Review. Advanced Search Links. Add To Cart. Add To Cart 0. Carolyn leads the Returnee Team, a global think-tank of returnee ministry. Never has the need for intentional partnerships been more important than now. The challenge that confronts the local church, ethnic churches, and parachurch organizations in a host country with a view to discipling diaspora communities is immense.
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Whether they know it or not they need each other more than ever. Even so, there are very few good examples at the grassroots level. We need complementary, not conflicting, models of partnership that express cooperation and trust. Migration and diaspora have become missional buzzwords. This is not surprising when. More than million people, or 3. Although the number of international migrants rose from million in to more than million in and will surpass million in , the share of migrants has remained just above three percent of world population for the last fifteen years.
According to a report by the Chinese Ministry of Education, , Chinese students went abroad to study in and about 70 to 80 percent of the students abroad have returned to China in recent years. This presents a unique and God-given opportunity as people who live overseas express a greater openness to exploring issues of faith. Being away from their home culture removes social constraints and peer pressure so that they have greater freedom to seek God, trust Christ, and learn to live with the leading of the Spirit. When we think of the opportunity presented to us through diaspora ministry, this statistic is frankly appalling.
Aircraft would be grounded until Boeing got to the bottom of the problem and corrected it. Similarly, until we address the issues surrounding this fall-out rate we will lose one of the most profound mission opportunities of modern times. One key factor is a lack of contextualized discipleship designed to prepare returnees to stand firm as Christians back home. That preparation must start in the host culture and for that to take place a multidimensional relational discipleship model needs to be adopted which includes input from the host church, the ethnic church, and parachurch organizations.
This paper seeks to present such a model. However, since many of them live in and travel to different places—for example, two years in the UK then on to the USA for another few years—before returning home, we are talking of the need for a global mobile movement to equip them to become not only disciples of Christ but also cross-cultural ministers of the gospel who share Christ wherever they go.
Before we continue, I will clarify some of the key terms used in this paper.
They may be students, migrant workers, or people involved in business. The key factor is that they will at some point return to their own culture and country, whether this takes a few months or a number of years. It is important, therefore, when we come alongside someone who will return that we intentionally nurture and disciple them from the first meeting with this in mind. While contextualized evangelism is just as important as contextualized discipleship, this paper will concentrate on contextualized discipleship.
This can only be modelled as we live our lives before men, openly and with transparency. Discipleship is a life-long journey.
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Each of us is engaged in many relationships that impact us. I talk to some of my friends about family, to others about my ministry, and to yet others about church. There is a smaller group with whom I walk through issues of a more personal nature. There are very few people that I talk to about all areas of life.
Being the Church in a Mulit-Ethnic Community: why it matters and how it works - eBook
Every day I am influenced and shaped by many different people who help me enter their experiences and understandings of a wide variety of issues. A healthy disciple needs to be exposed to various kinds of people who bring a richness to the discipleship process and journey that should be embraced. The interaction between the host church, ethnic church, and parachurch coming together to disciple returnees puts the emphasis on the individual being discipled, and displays a kingdom perspective in which the global church has a role to play. This multi-dimensional discipleship allows each entity—host church, ethnic church, and parachurch—to work to their strengths to impact the life of an individual so that the disciple can be stronger than he or she would be otherwise.
As we will see below, when we bring all those definitions together and think about multi-dimensional discipleship for a student or migrant worker, we are talking about the focus being on the breadth of relationships impacting the life of the disciple so that the discipleship itself can be more effective. The Indonesian migrant worker in Taiwan who is being reached and nurtured by an OMF worker a member of a parachurch organization providing contextual discipleship , and is working for a Taiwanese Christian employer who attends a host church , and meets members of a local Indonesian ethnic church has a multi-dimensional discipleship experience.
Everyone involved—the OMF worker, the employer, and the ethnic church members—will bring a unique while biblical perspective and breadth to the discipleship of this worker. Each one provides input and plays a critical role in nurturing this student in the faith—the primary focus being equipping the student for future ministry wherever he may go with the aim that he will be able to effectively live as a Christian when he returns to his home country.
The Chinese businessman in Kenya who joins a Bible study group with other Chinese run by the parachurch organization OMF , and attends an international service run by the local Kenyan church with the help of an OMF member bringing a host church and parachurch organization together , while also attending the local Chinese ethnic church learns through these multi-dimensional discipleship encounters. Each of these relationships help enrich the faith journey of these new Christians from different perspectives. Each may emphasise different aspects of what it means to follow Jesus in situations relevant to their own cultural backgrounds.
But when put together there is a depth in the discipleship in which the new Christian learns about unity in diversity, allowing him or her to grow and develop a broader kingdom perspective and worldview. In the following section we will consider some of the issues which must inform how we disciple returnees while they are still in a host context. By way of example we will look at the challenges faced by two groups of returnees—Japanese and Mainland Chinese—although returnees of many other nationalities also face the same issues.
Japanese returnees who come to Christ overseas face numerous challenges. Though there are more, we will identify and explore two key areas: culture and church. Culture: Anyone who leaves his or her own culture for any length of time adapts in many ways to the new culture. They take on new mannerisms, changing to blend in and achieve a degree of integration. Deeper levels of culture may change more slowly but will cause greater disruption when the person returns home. For instance, since Japanese society is hierarchical—based on Confucian teaching—older people should always be treated with respect.
And though most societies show respect for the elderly, how this is expressed varies. Similarly, Japan is a group-oriented society that places a high value on preserving the harmony of the group.
pierreducalvet.ca/57278.php Though these things may appear small and, due to the subtleties of culture, go unnoticed, they can also reveal a bigger problem of what is known as reverse culture shock. Church: The church in any society is a sub-culture of the whole. At the very least there is a cautiousness to what is unknown. Concentrate on what you have in front of you. Yet at home in the local church they seem almost invisible. Pastors find it hard to accept the seemingly poor level of preparation the returnees had while abroad. Embracing urban and ethnic subcultures such as hip-hop, this book provides a rich mix of multi-ethnic church development, reconciliation theology, missional church thinking, and Christian community.
Yet today our churches remain segregated. Can we reflect the beauty of the last day this day? United will inspire, challenge and en-courage readers to pursue the joys of of diversity through stories of the author's own journey and a theology of diversity lived out. This post is one part of a three week series exploring race and reconciliation within the church. To read the entire series, click here. Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free. Make the Church more beautiful.
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