David MacFarlane, from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, addressed the FCA Canada Convention in Winnipeg on Opening Night, stating that immigration is a unique opportunity to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations. He said we have a responsibility to position the ministry and the church for the future and build the bridges for others to cross after us. We cannot expect them to change to understand us. We must change to understand them.
MacFarlane outlined six steps toward embracing the challenge ahead to effectively reach across cultures for Christ.
1. Realize how your community has changed and is changing. Be aware of who is coming into your community and make the necessary adjustments to understand them.
2. Reach out to different cultures in practical and relevant ways to share the love of Christ.
3. Respect other cultures. Take interest in them and ask questions about their country and culture.
4. Respond by taking practical steps. Intercultural churches can provide interpreters, help immigrants get settled into their communities with welcome programs and even display flags from different countries in the church, giving them a connection to their homeland. It’s called evangelism!
5. Reflect. Make sure you give people from other cultures ample opportunity to serve in your church. People coming into your church need to see people like themselves ministering in your church.
6. Rejoice. Celebrate other cultures in your church.
If we will take this challenge to heart, we will see our churches change and grow. It will enrich your church. The Holy Spirit wants to lift us beyond our prejudices, beyond our comfort zones and beyond all the fences that separate us to become a move of God that will embrace the world together. He wants to give us a new love for immigrants that we’ve never had before.
He ended the evening with a time of ministry for those who desire to reach across cultures for Jesus and to be used in new ways to transform their churches and communities with the love of God.