Around the world today, the number of people becoming Christ-followers is growing, having the largest growth rate among major religions. Although these are exciting times, the rate of growth in North America has become stagnant. One Challenge seeks to change this along with our Global Alliance partners working within North American communities, immigrant and non-immigrant alike.
Sixteen One Challenge Global Alliance (OCGA) leaders representing seven North American OCGA ministries gathered last month to discuss how they can work together to better ministry in North America.
Supporting Each Other in Ministry
The purpose of this gathering was to encourage one another and also provide support and resources in areas where ministry overlaps. “Through extended times of prayer and discussion, we identified seven spheres of ministry in which we have significant overlap and can support one another,” says Dick, One Challenge vice president of Global Ministries.
Seven spheres of ministry overlap
The seven areas of ministry overlap in the One Challenge Global Alliance are:
- Church multiplication through disciple making
- Future planning
- Healthy leaders
Leading the discussion on diaspora was Bob, director of Near Frontiers, a One Challenge subsidiary focusing on refugees, immigrants, international students, and under-served people in the U.S.
“The greatest potential for welcoming un-evangelized people from the nations is the North American church. And the greatest obstacle to welcoming un-evangelized people from the nations is the North American church,” Bob says. “Most believers today are either asleep to the opportunity, or resistant to the responsibility to make disciples of all nations.”
The Nations Coming to Northern America
In today’s world, in particular in the U.S. and Canada, we as believers aren’t going out into the world, but the world is coming to us. The opportunity to love, serve, and disciple the nations is in North America’s backyard.
“We want to recognize the opportunities facing the church in the diaspora both already here and still coming, refugees, and immigrants who are business people, students,” says Outreach Canada worker Carol. “Many are committed followers of Jesus. Can we help resource the church to both reach out to refugees, and give those who are committed Christians and experienced leaders in their context a platform for ministry here?”
How to Pray
We live in exciting times, and the church in North American is positioned to make disciples of nations. Prayer is the first step.
“The most important way to pray is that God would open the hearts of internationals who are seeing Christian love and hearing about Jesus for the first time in their lives,” Bob says. “Ask the Father to draw many to Himself, as only He can.”
In the world today, God is bringing those from every nation of the world to our neighborhoods, many from limited access countries.
“I believe praying for the mobilization of the Body of Christ in North America to engage in the heart and purposes of God to reach the remaining unreached or least reached people groups in the world is a critical key to completing the Great Commission,” Carol says. “Unless the people of God realize each one of us is called by God to this purpose, and each one has a part to play, we will miss an unprecedented opportunity.”