Reaching out to immigrants is a very strategic part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Often times foreigners are only coming to America to work long enough to raise money to take back to their home countries and support their families. Many of these immigrants are coming from places theat are hard to go into as missionaries. We need to take advantage of the mission field that is coming to us by teaching English, building relationships, sharing the gospel, and making disciples. These Christians in turn can take the gospel back to their friends and family at home.
America receives immigrants from 202 countries in the world, yet Christians are not reaching out to around 25 percent of the groups, according to a recent study.
“Things are changing in the U.S. and Canada,” said Ed Stetzer. “By 2050, there will be no majority race or ethnicity in the United States. The nations of the world are living right here, yet many are not hearing the gospel in an intentional, organized way. We can do better.”
A study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board – the domestic missions arm of the Southern Baptist Convention – found that immigrants from Mexico, South Korea, Cuba and China are well ministered to and involved in churches and missionary organizations in the United States. People from Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia are becoming increasingly involved in Christian organizations also. One great resource is www.peoplegroups.info where you can search for people groups by city or area code.
Overall, however, the growth of immigrant participation in the 74 surveyed organizations – which have a total of 3,757 missionaries and church planters working among first-generation immigrants – is slow. Surveyed organizations currently minister to immigrants from 151 of a possible 202 countries considered in the analysis. While a quarter of the ethnic groups have no organizations ministering to them in North America, another 26 percent have only one or two national or regional organizations reaching out to them.
We are actively looking for volunteers for our ESL program in Houston. All necessary training is provided. This is a fantastic way to help with the physical and spiritual needs of refugee men and women!
“For us to be faithful in assisting our churches in the tasks of evangelism and church planting, we need an awareness of what work is underway so believers, churches, denominations and ministries can support and participate in these missions efforts here in North America. We will not make significant progress in fulfilling the Great Commission in North America until we take seriously the mandate to reach more of the millions of immigrants and hundreds of people groups in our communities with the gospel.”
“The fact that our churches (and thus our convention) do not reflect the culture should concern us,” the missiologist said. “A lack of outreach on our part should give us pause.” Believers in North America need to stop waiting for a ‘melting pot’ to impact immigrants and instead make personal efforts to engage the first-generation immigrants around them with the gospel. Without a doubt, asking the question ‘Who is not here?’ is difficult,” he noted. “It requires churches to look inwardly at who they are and outwardly at who they need to reach. But we must ask it if we are to take seriously the command of Christ to ‘make disciples of all nations.'”
Global Frontier Missions is actively reaching out to immigrants with the hope of seeing them reached with the gospel and equipped to return to their home countries to make disciples and plant churches. Refugees and international students are also a great demographic that we focus on.