Following are suggested steps for research, personal outreach & church planting among the “diaspora peoples” God has brought to live, study & work in your city
1) PRAYER ~ Ask God for:
- Guidance in discovering the peoples of your city
- Insight into which people He would have you to reach out to
- Connections with others engaging this people somewhere else
- Awakened hearts, willingness to prepare for outreach and love for your particular people group (or international students & international visitors)
- A strong prayer covering from the rest of the congregation
- A godly outreach and church-planting team with a synergistic blend of giftings
- Open hearts among the people you are reaching, that they would be drawn to Christ, commit to follow Him as His disciples and become grafted into an on-fire local church.
- What If? (Global Gates) excellent 2.5 minute video.
- Here’s Life (CCC/Australia) provides a great web site with excellent step-by-step training and links to powerful tools for reaching out in love with the Gospel to multi-cultural communities.
- Crossing Cultures (Weekend Workshop), Cross-Cultural Servanthood (Book/Notes).
- Ethnic America Network holds a major national ethnic summit in a different city each year; has involved over sixty evangelical denominations and agencies; focuses on reaching diaspora communities in America with the gospel of Jesus Christ and promotes reconciliation and unity among diverse people groups.
- ACMI (the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals) conducts an annual national conference and provides a helpful web site of resources for those ministering among International Students. Click here to find their listing of international student ministers & volunteers at a school near you. Just put in the US State and a search will pull up the name of the worker and the university. Click here to find a list of National-level International Student Ministries.
- Reaching Internationals is jam packed with how-to articles and assistance on how to engage international students on your local campus.
- INTRODUCTION: Identifying and Reaching Ethnic Groups in the City by Anthony Casey
- RESEARCH TRAINING: Exploring the Land by Caleb Encounters equips you with the skills and background to do relationship-based sociological exploration, and can also provide a foundation for coordinating your own research projects and/or teams.
- RESEARCH: Peoplegroups.info is a database and helps center for discovering peoples in your city by zip code using data from the US Census. This site is also the beginning of a national database for reporting and networking with researchers and outreach/ church-planting ministries in your community.
- RESEARCH: Global Missiology’s Diaspora pages will link you to many resources and prominent immigrant people-group information links.
4) TOOL UP
- OUTREACH TOOLS: Cross-Cultural Outreach Tools
Bibles, Literature and other media in various languages
- OUTREACH TOOL: Alpha for ESOL
Alpha for ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) provides an easy way to discuss some of the most asked questions of life and faith. The course is in English but made more accessible in format and vocabulary. The course consists of a meal, a talk on a topic like prayer, or healing, and time to discuss your thoughts with your fellow guests every 10-15 minutes.
5) MOBILIZE THE CHURCH
- Scattered to Gather’s chapter on “Next Steps” (starting on page 32) contains a very well thought out list of ways to engage the peoples God has brought to your city.
- The Peoples Next Door Project provides excellent Strategy Guide for mobilizing local churches.
- See the Peoples Next Door North Carolina Manual for Discovery and Engagement.
- Connect your members with vision-casting and vision-building literature, training opportunities and outreach tools (Essentially, after studying yourself, use the best articles, books and outreach tools to pass on to others).
6) REPORT & NETWORK
Peoplegroups.info ideally is set up to report on your work in progress, allowing other churches to discover your work and vice versa, so that potential networking/partnerships and synergy can take place for the benefit of the people you are reaching.
7) ABOVE ALL …
Keep praying with vigilence and watchfulness for the enemy will never cease to look for ways to derail or halt your progress. By the grace of God, and combining persistent prayer, diligent training, team building and research, God will eventually bring together the key factors and connections you need to engage in fruitful outreach and church planting.
Click here for excellent articles, books and training on prayer.
ADDITIONAL DIASPORA RESEARCH & OUTREACH ASSISTANCE
- NextMove provides a great resources page for agencies and churches covering a wide range of topics regarding diaspora peoples and how to discover and reach them.
- Diaspora Mission Mobilization Facebook group page. Brian Considine is the primary facilitator for this initiative.
- Global Gates: Having researched the scores of neighborhoods and people groups of NYC, Global Gates is dedicated to helping God’s people discover and get equipped to pray for and disciple the many nations of NYC. They are also poised to assist other cities in implementing similar strategies. Global Gate’s landmark book, ethNYcity is also a web site highlighting ethNYcity, the book, containing 82 people group profiles from their research. Consider this a powerful tool to provoke the Church in your city to become acquainted with the peoples in your midst and create a similar compendium.