We all desire and long for Revelation 7:9-10: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
This passage fuels much mission work now. Soon, I’m excited to share new ways our convention will serve our churches to send more Hoosier missionaries to the nations, but in this short article, I simply want to ask, “how will you reach the nations in our state?
Do you know that we have African-American, Anglo, Hispanic, Burmese, Chinese, Congolese, Korean, and Haitian churches affiliated with our convention? Do you realize the opportunities that campus ministries have to reach international students?
Diversity is increasing. Is your church reaching all kinds of people around you?
I want to stoke your thinking about your church’s missional mindset. A church can die when it refuses to look like its neighborhood. The population around a church building might not be reflected inside the building on a Sunday, nor might the church be welcoming or even thinking about other groups than with whom it started.
Outside of ethnic groups, is your church being intentional about reaching other prevalent demographic groups, like single mothers, special needs, farmers, medical community workers, or assisted living villages? If you would pray that God would open the door for the Word (Col. 4:3) and open your eyes to see those opportunities, you might see your church revitalized and reinvigorated with evangelistic passion!
But it will require you to see your community as it is now, not as it was 20 years ago.
To help, let me share two ideas:
- Get a Percept demographic study from the SCBI office (free for you!). Contact John Horn of the Church Health team to get access to these robust demographic reports that can inform you of your community’s makeup and help you strategize outreach plans.
- Partner with an existing ethnic church to help you reach that group in your own community. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you know you have a growing Chinese population in your area, we can connect you to Chinese church leaders who can help you get started.
Let’s do it all for the sake of the gospel, that we may share in its blessings (1 Cor. 9:23).