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There are more than 600 different people groups in the United States and Canada. The mission of EveryEthne is to mobilize the church to reach every single one of them. We know we cannot do this alone, but through mobilized churches, we can.  

In Acts 1:8, Jesus commanded the disciples to reach people in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world. In general, churches have done a good job of reaching Jerusalem and Judea – the people with whom they have a cultural affinity. Many churches have excelled in sending missionaries to the uttermost parts of the globe.  However, churches have often failed to serve, minister to, connect with, and share the Gospel with Samaritans. These are the people who are not like us and live right next door.  

 In His sovereign plan, God is bringing the nations to North America. Many of these people have been displaced and disoriented. They need help. They need to be loved. And they need the Gospel. Some come from places with little or no gospel witness. They have never heard the name of Jesus. Missionaries don’t have access to them in their homeland. But now, they are our neighbors. Afghans, Punjabi Sikhs, Pakistani Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists are living in our communities. We couldn’t get to them, so God brought them to us. What will we do? 

How can churches start reaching different people groups in their community?
What steps could they take? 

It starts with identification. Find out who is living within the reach of your congregation. One simple way is to Google ethnic restaurants in your neighborhoods. For example, I just did a quick Google search and discovered several Indian restaurants near me. True confession – I knew there were large groups of Indians west of Portland, but I had no idea they were in Salem, Oregon. There’s also a Syrian and a few Mediterranean restaurants as well. 

 You can also Google religious sites such as mosques. I just discovered there is a Salem Islamic Center near me! I’ve visited mosques in other parts of the country, but I had no idea there was one in my backyard! Get searching!  

 If you want greater details, you can partner with EveryEthne to do a Ministry Area Profile.   

 Once churches identify some people groups near them, they can start praying for them. To pray effectively, you will need to do some research. Why are they here? Are they escaping some kind of difficult situation? What are their needs? This research will enable you to pray intelligently for them. You can also pray for the Spirit of God to provide opportunities to connect with them and to open their hearts and minds to the Gospel. Praying will impact your heart as well, and it will help you take the next step.

The next step is to engage them. Go to their restaurants. Eat their food – and tip well! Talk with the owner. They will be glad you took this initiative. Find out who is serving them. You can gain much valuable information about services for immigrants in your town through this link HERE. Join with groups who are working with these immigrant communities. They know the needs of the people you want to reach, and you can learn much from them.  

 As you do this, you must engage in ways that facilitate the development of relationships with the people you serve. You want to have repeated contact with specific people to build a trusting relationship with them. Invite them into your home. Listen to their stories. Open your heart to them, and they will open their heart to you! 

 Not sure how to build this type of relationship? EveryEthne can help. We offer Heart Mind Soul workshops that will equip your church to build grace and truth relationships with people who are not like them. You can access this resource HERE.

I pray God will bless you as you obey His command to reach the Samaritans in your midst. It’s not as hard as you think. All it takes is going to the “well” and asking someone for a drink. Who knows where the conversation will go from there?

 

Clare serves as the Executive Director for EveryEthne. He focuses on leading the North American team and mobilizing churches to reach every people group in the United States and Canada.

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