America is one of the fastest-growing mission fields in the world, the most recent issue of Unfinished magazine says, but if Christians are not careful they will miss opportunities to reach their "least reached neighbors."
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The fall edition of the magazine, which is published by The Mission Society, focuses on the increasing diversity throughout the U.S. and how Christians can engage in cross-cultural ministry without leaving the city they live in. The diversity that can be found in cities and university campuses, in particular, provides both opportunities and challenges for ministries that hope to do mission work here at home.
"Acts 1:8 calls us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth while not neglecting 'Jerusalem,' our mission field at home," Dick McClain, president and CEO of The Mission Society, said in a statement. "Whether you live in Louisville, Kentucky, or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is incumbent on Christian disciples to identify and then reach out to those who have had the least exposure to the gospel. The least-reached people may very well be your neighbor."
Stan Self, senior director of church ministry for The Mission Society, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that one of the primary reasons the U.S. is becoming an increasingly important mission field is because of the numbers of immigrants entering the country every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau released earlier this year, there were nearly 40 million foreign-born people - or 13 percent of the total population - living in the United States as of July 2010.
These statistics suggest that understanding cross-cultural ministry is vitally important in contemporary America, but how does that affect the way churches reach out to these people?
"The first thing I think it ought to do is to just help us realize that we need to be a whole lot more observant of the people that live around us," said Self.
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SOURCE: Christian Post