I am always excited to pass on good resources, and the following video is just that. It is a short testimony of a couple realizing their responsibility to share the gospel with unreached people groups here in the States. The video briefly walks through that process for them, and it is really good.
I am commonly asked what good church ministry to people groups here looks like. This video is one answer to that question.
Watch the video and then note my comments below:
[vimeo 140435909 w=720 h=480]
People Group Discovery
For this family, it was almost by accident. The lady had been visiting her hairdresser for a while before realizing she was a Vietnamese Buddhist. This is very often the case. Church members here in the States stumble across someone from another country. Many well-intentioned believers in the US have simply never thought about the change taking place right now that is bringing the least-reached peoples into our neighborhoods. It is encouraging to see this couple’s response when they realized they had immediate access to an unreached people group. Instead of getting upset about the “immigration problem,” they saw the gospel opportunity that God has now granted local churches here in North America.
These kind of encounters do not have to happen by accident. If local churches get intentional about discovering the people groups around them, then they may find they have immediate access to all kinds of unreached peoples. People group discovery starts small, but it opens up a whole new way to be involved in missions.
“Go & Tell” vs. “Come & See”
I was so glad to see the counsel given this couple by Minh Ha: “Instead of taking your friends to church, take the church to them.” Those are good words. I write regularly about the benefit of a “go and tell” approach to ministry instead of using a more traditional “come and see” model. That is precisely what Minh Ha advises, and the results are significant. When we find these cross-cultural opportunities around us, go and tell ministry takes the gospel to them in their community and their social circles. It takes seriously the cultural barriers that exist and seeks to present the gospel in a setting where real understanding can take place. After all, culture is like an iceberg, and good ministry recognizes this.
Local Church-based Missions
I was also encouraged that this couple realized their personal responsibility to their unbelieving friends. I frequently encounter churches who see the growing numbers of people group communities around them but feel the best response is to find some missions specialist to come and engage them. These churches tend to push off this local ministry to missions agencies or, at best, think the solution is hiring some cross-cultural expert to come in and do the work.
We do not need more cultural experts; we need local churches who are willing to do cultural acquisition. That is precisely what happened in this video. The couple sought counsel from the International Mission Board, but their goal was a church-based ministry to these people. After being given wise counsel, the couple and the church together worked to engage this family.
Evangelistic Bible Studies
Notice the manner in which this church “took the church to them,” as Minh Ha suggested. The lady simply asked her friend if her family would be willing to do a Bible study. That is good missions, folks. It is simple, it is strategic, and it is often more effective than people would think. By using a group Bible study as the engagement strategy, the church was able to involve a group of people in this process. It became community-oriented. In addition, it allowed for a dialogue about the gospel, both in narrative and thematic ways.
Reaching Them Here Does Not Stop Here
The gospel flows along relational lines. This realization should give us chills. When we reach people group communities here in our cities and neighborhoods, we are tapping into relational connections that span the globe. Reaching them here helps us reach them there.
I love the journey of this ordinary family from an ordinary local church. It started with the lady getting her hair done and simply being sensitive to the Great Commission. By the end of this short video we see them across the world, staring out over a foreign country full of lostness. It is obvious they never considered themselves missionaries. Reaching the least-reached that are now in arms reach can take our churches to places they never imagined.
Please, share this video with your friends. There is a growing movement of churches who understand our gospel opportunity to the nations in North America, but we need more examples out there.