7 Ideas on How to Become a Multi-Cultural Church
Jesus commands us to make disciples.“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
- Jerusalem is our local community.
- Judea is our surrounding area, your county.
- The “ends of the earth” are international places beyond our borders.
- Samaria is to people of a different ethnicity that live within our communities.
7 Ways to Reach Different People Groups:
- Be bold, go knock on doors and let them know they are welcome.
“There were a lot of new Somali students coming to Pelican who had never been to an American school before, we put our money together and bought some backpacks and filled them with school supplies. We knocked on every new students’ door and introduced ourselves as “Followers of Allah, in the Way of Isa al-Masih.” (Arabic for: We are followers of God, in the way of Jesus the Messiah) We are glad you are here, we want to welcome you. Here’s a gift for your children as they start school. It was received very gratefully,” said Pastor Bob Satterlie, Calvary Evangelical Free Church, Pelican Rapids. “For the first time hard ground is being broken up, seeds are being planted and we believe it’s just the beginning of something that could build relationships that we pray would end up redemptive,” said Pastor Bob Satterlie, Calvary Evangelical Free Church.
- Offer 2 church services (one in English and one in another language) at the same time in different parts of the church building. Then for the sake of the kids, offer Sunday school classes in English at the same time.
“Many of the children’s preferred language is to speak English, since they learn it is school. If many of the kids only attend church in their parent’s native language, it goes over their heads and they stop coming to church. English Sunday school classese offered at the same time as the native church service will better integrate multi-ethnic youth into your church,” said Jeff Garland, Pastor of Care/Hispanic Ministries, Cornerstone Church.
- Connect with families through the schools and through ESL programs.
“An ESL teacher who works with Somalis, is a member of our church in Pelican Rapids, he started doing prayer walks around a soccer field. The school district started a soccer team, and this young man became the coach. He is building relationships with these kids as their coach and considers it pre-evangelism discipleship,” said Pastor Bob Satterlie, Calvary Evangelical Free Church.
- Have a benevolent ministry. Go to your community agencies or local hospitals and offer to help with physical needs and translation services.
“At Cornerstone Church we have furniture, gas and food vouchers to offer people in need, and that opens up a whole other level of getting to know our community,” said Jeff Garland, Pastor of Care/Hispanic Ministries, Cornerstone Church.
“Go to the schools and the clinics and see if there is a need of interpretation and translation services. That’s a way for the Church to connect with the people that are in need of translation services,” said Diana Larios, Spanish Ministries Assistant, Cornerstone Church.
“There is a site that previously had a clothing drop-off box that is being converted into an Islamic Center, and people kept dumping clothing and garbage. We contacted the Imam of the future Mosque site, and offered to clean up the trash and clothing that was piled up. We removed two trailers full of trash and clothing, and mowed the lawn outside of that future Mosque site. The question of why did you do this? The answer is because we care,” said Pastor Bob Satterlie, Calvary Evangelical Free Church, Pelican Rapids.
- Don’t allow immigration status to be a hindrance to welcoming them to church.
“We don’t worry about people’s immigration status. We don’t need to know it. They are here. They are people who need to know Jesus Christ. That’s our emphasis. Some will go back home, some don’t, but they go knowing Jesus Christ and as a follower of his,” said Jeff Garland, Pastor of Care/Hispanic Ministries, Cornerstone Church.
“Over 20% of our community in Melrose, MN is Hispanic. We have many people in our community who are wary of being known because of their immigration status. We as the Church, as followers of Christ, can still minister to them. We don’t need to know their immigration status, we don’t have to make that public. We don’t have an obligation to the government, we have an obligation to Jesus Christ to minster to them and to make the Gospel known. We want to offer as many resources as possible and be able to minister in a way that God wants us to,” said Pastor Paul, Birch Hills Church.
- Connect with DACA children.
“There are DACA-type people in your community, they came young, but are now in their 20s and 30s and this is now their home, and they speak English well. Befriend them, get to know them, introduce them to Christ, and later they can act as translators to others in their community,” said Jeff Garland, Pastor of Care/Hispanic Ministries, Cornerstone Church.
- Bring in attorneys or translators into your church to help with filling out immigration documents, finding medical care, or social services.
“We found that bringing in an attorney to your church brings people into your church building who are not connected to your church,” said Diana Larios, Spanish Ministries Assistant, Cornerstone Church.