PLANTING CHURCHES AMONG THE NATIONS IN VIRGINIA
It has been described as the reverse Great Commission. The Church’s marching orders are to “go and make disciples of all the nations” (NLT), but “to go” has come to mean we must go there—to the countries where people are unreached. Today the nations are in movement. “The world is experiencing the biggest displacement of people since the Second World War, with more than 22 million displaced from their home countries” (World Economic Forum). Many of the unreached people of the world now call Northern Virginia and Washington, DC their home. All but five of the nations of the world (190 of 195) have a presence in Northern Virginia.
With the movement of the nations, God is providing witnesses. The SBC of Virginia has a force of missionaries who are planting churches among many of the nations. These catalytic church planters are currently evangelizing among approximately 54 of the least-reached or unreached nations:
What Is Their Missionary Role?
A catalytic church planter (CCP) is regarded as a missionary to an affinity cluster of nationalities (ex., Spanish-speaking nations). A CCP will evangelize and make disciples among people from nations with a common or similar cultural background and language that results in churches being started that multiply.
Partner Churches Needed!
Partner churches are needed to pray with and for these missionaries, assist with outreach ministry projects, and give to support the needs of the new churches.
Testimony from Catalytic Church Planter Ben*
Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia surrounded by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, with 8.7 million people who belong to the Tajik ethnic group and speak Tajik, a dialect of Persian. The population of Tajikistan is 98% Sunni Muslim.
I was praying a lot for this country, and I was always asking God to show me one Tajik person here in the US until one month ago when I met one.
I have a brother in Christ in Fredericksburg. He invited me to share the Gospel with this Tajik man. We had a great Gospel meeting and prayer time. This man, Victor*, encountered Jesus four years ago in the street when he was tired of being a drug addict. Jesus was telling him, “Trust Me.”
I got a text message later that Victor accepted Jesus as his Savior!
*Name has been changed for security purposes
Learning a New Vocabulary
The profound changes our world is experiencing also bring new words to our missiological vocabulary. Here is your challenge: at Sunday School next week, ask your class to define these two terms (the winner should get a free lunch!).
Diaspora missiology takes into consideration the increased openness to the Gospel that often results when peoples are displaced from their homeland. It takes into account Acts 17:26–27 (NIV, 1984):
[God] determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him…
Diaspora missiology is understanding and participating in God’s redemptive mission among people living outside of their place of origin.
Glocal (in terms of missions) is a fusion of two words—global and local—and means the reaching of the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples of all nations locally and globally. One example of glocal missions is to reach Liberian immigrants in Richmond and go on mission with Richmond Liberian Christians to reach their home village(s) in Liberia.
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