Sharing the gospel with scattered people
By John Idoko
A kind of earthquake is going on all over the world. Nations are experiencing cataclysms that are making people move “from everywhere to everywhere”. This dispersion of people is bringing unreached people groups within the neighborhood of the Church. Consequently, the missions landscape is changing, and missiologists have come up with a new buzzword: diaspora ministry.
Migration is the movement of people from their place of origin into other places. Biblically, it is part of God’s plan to enable the Church to accomplish the Great Commission. As migrations occur globally, mission to the unreached is being impacted. Today unreached tribes from the ends of the earth are accessible within the orbits of the Church.
The presence of migrants everywhere we look makes diaspora ministry a reality for Christians. We have the opportunity to deliver the gospel of the kingdom to unreached peoples in the neighborhood in cross-cultural, cross-religious ministries … without necessarily crossing borders into other countries.
So what will our response be? Regardless of how they ended up there, the reality is that on our doorstep are standing the least, the last and the lost. The Church needs to seize this opportunity and reach out to the world that has come to us!
The presence of migrants everywhere we look makes diaspora ministry a reality for Christians.
In this issue of AfriGO we consider diaspora ministry and how to go about it. We take a look at diaspora work in southern Nigeria, the UK and the USA. Practitioners share their experience, their challenges and their joys.
Several of them have offered “best practice” guidelines for diaspora ministry. These include 1) Pray: Ask God daily to lead you to immigrants with whom He wants you to connect; 2) Develop a heart of compassion for the diaspora: See the diaspora as Jesus saw people – lost sheep without a shepherd; 3) Get into their world: Jesus left heaven and came to dwell in the slums with us. Begin a steady entrance into the world of the diaspora. Learn to say hello in the languages of the people you meet. Learn from them instead being eager to teach them; 4) Invite them to your home: This step must come after many other interactions with the immigrant in neutral places; 5) Let them know in a natural way that you are a follower of Jesus: Aspire to have a passion and love for Christ that is contagious. The news of his saving grace is the greatest and most precious message anyone can ever hear, and we should not be ashamed to talk about this truth.
John Idoko is the Coordinator of CAPRO Diaspora Ministries and a diaspora field leader in southern Nigeria. Previously he led a multi-national company in church planting in an Arab community for more than 15 years. He is married to Dr. Ope, a kingdom worker too, and they have three teenage children.