Today's Date: August 8, 2022
AARP Illinois Thanks Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth For Historic Vote Toward Real Relief on Prescr   •   LIBERTY Dental Plan of New York Awards 12 Scholarships in Partnership with PENCIL   •   Greenwood and Travis Hunter Sign NIL Deal and Partner to Launch the “Choose Black” Campaign   •   The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, will be traveling to the North through August 8 to 19, 2022   •   Government of Canada honours national historic significance of Second World War code breakers   •   GovX Raises Over $11,000 for FOLDS OF HONOR Veteran Nonprofit for Month of July   •   “What I Want to Know with Kevin P. Chavous” Podcast Launches Third Season in Search of Answers to Education’s   •   Los Angeles City Council Votes NO on SB 930 - the 4 a.m. Bar Bill, Sends Strong Message to Sacramento and Senator Wiener that Pu   •   Mogul Launches Nationwide Campaign Called “Build Better Boards” to Champion More Diverse Boards   •   AARP Pennsylvania Thanks Senator Casey For Historic Vote Toward Real Relief on Prescription Drug Pricing   •   Greenberg Traurig Vice Chair Lori G. Cohen Named to Benchmark Litigation's 2022 Top 10 Women in Litigation List   •   Greenwood and Travis Hunter Sign NIL Deal and Partner to Launch the “Choose Black” Campaign   •   Test Release special characters in the headline © ® ™ é ñ ü ç î ò   •   Test Release special characters in the headline © ® ™ é ñ ü ç î ò   •   LIBERTY Dental Plan of New York Awards 12 Scholarships in Partnership with PENCIL   •   Poll: Over Half of Voters of Color Oppose Government Negotiation of Drug Prices Once They Learn About Consequences for Patients   •   Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canada-Quebec Asymmetrical Agreement on the Canada-Wide Early Learnin   •   BYRON ALLEN'S ALLEN MEDIA GROUP SIGNS VETERAN NEWS & POLITICAL TELEVISION HOST MARC LAMONT HILL TO THE GRIO   •   Mogul Launches Nationwide Campaign Called “Build Better Boards” to Champion More Diverse Boards   •   Who's Next? Black Women's Health Imperative Urges Voters to Affirm Abortion Rights in Wake of Kansas Abortion-Referendum

Notice: Undefined index: currentSection in /home/blackradionetwork/public_html/page.php on line 176
Bookmark and Share

Outreach To First-Generation Immigrants Succeeding, Needs Improvement



NASHVILLE, Tenn., – A North American Mission Board (NAMB)/LifeWay Research study found that while ministries across North America are reaching out to a significant portion of first-generation immigrants, much work remains to be done. Still, while evangelistic growth among these groups has been slow, the potential is promising, with immigrants from most countries considered somewhat receptive to the gospel. 

NAMB contracted with LifeWay Research to conduct the study between July 21 and Sept. 2, 2009. The scope of the project included a qualitative phase and quantitative surveys available in 20 languages to missionaries, pastors and laity who work among first-generation immigrants in North America. National and regional organizations and professors who teach immigrant missions and evangelism also were surveyed. The statistics in this article focus only on responses from the 74 national and regional organizations, representing a variety of evangelical denominations and groups, that participated.

First-generation immigrants were defined in the study as residents of North America who were born in a foreign country. 

"For us to be faithful in assisting our churches in the tasks of evangelism and church planting, we need an awareness of what work is underway so believers, churches, denominations and ministries can support and participate in these missions efforts here in North America," explained Richard Harris, interim president of NAMB. "We will not make significant progress in fulfilling the Great Commission in North America until we take seriously the mandate to reach more of the millions of immigrants and hundreds of people groups in our communities with the gospel."

The 74 Christian organizations included in the study have 3,757 missionaries and church planters working among first-generation immigrants. While a few of the largest organizations have many missionaries, the median number of missionaries among these organizations is 12.

Participating organizations report having the highest number of first-generation immigrant believers from Mexico. The next highest numbers of believers involved in their churches or ministries, in descending order, are immigrants from Haiti (a distant second), South Korea, Cuba and China.

Survey respondents were asked to indicate, by country, changes in the number of immigrants involved in the organizations over the last year. On a scale of one to five, with five representing a "10 percent or more" increase in participation and one being a "10 percent or more" decrease in participation, the mean response was 3.4 or just more than "about the same." Only Myanmar's, Vietnam's and Cambodia's immigrants average at or above "more total participants than one year ago."

"The opportunity here is great," explained Ken Weathersby, vice president of church planting at NAMB. "Many immigrants come from places where preaching the gospel is illegal, but they can hear the gospel in their new home. In turn, those believers can impact their families here in North America and in their country of origin, more easily crossing language and cultural barriers [than non-native believers]."

Significantly, despite the slow growth of immigrants participating in these organizations, respondents said that overall, immigrants from most countries are considered somewhat receptive to the gospel. Receptivity was defined as the speed and ease with which someone who hears the gospel responds with belief and repentance. Again using the five-point scale, with five being "very receptive" and one being "not receptive at all," the mean response was 3.4.

Immigrants from Ecuador, Guatemala, Liberia, Honduras, El Salvador, Myanmar, Brazil, Costa Rica, Kenya and Mexico appear most receptive with an average response of 4.0 or higher.

Surveyed organizations currently minister to immigrants from 151 of a possible 202 countries considered in the analysis. This number includes countries such as the Vatican and Taiwan, which are not always counted among the world's official countries.

That means that 25 percent of possible countries of origin, including nations of Europe, Africa and the South Pacific, have no organizations ministering to their immigrants in North America. Another 26 percent have only one or two national or regional organizations ministering to them.

"Things are changing in the U.S. and Canada," said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. "By 2050, there will be no majority race or ethnicity in the United States. Already, in Toronto, the majority of residents were born outside of Canada. This is a wake-up call to the Church in North America. The nations of the world are living right here, yet many are not hearing the gospel in an intentional, organized way. We can do better."

Among countries with at least one organization ministering to immigrants in North America, many have "very few" missionaries or church planters. Countries with five or fewer missionaries include Germany, France, Italy and Poland as well as Middle Eastern, African and Eurasian countries, among others.

"Generations of believers around the world prayed that the former Soviet bloc nations would be free to hear the gospel," Stetzer notes. "Now, as they move into our neighborhoods, few are proactively welcoming them with the Good News. We can and must do better."

The survey found that first-generation immigrants from 24 countries have more than 50 missionaries or church planters in North America. Immigrant groups from Mexico, South Korea, Guatemala, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela each had more than 100 missionaries and/or church planters serving them, with Mexico leading all groups at 1,715.

Twenty-four "heart" (first) languages were tested in the survey. Spanish-speaking heart-language immigrants had the highest number of organizations serving them (55), followed by Chinese (30), Korean (25), Arabic (22) and Japanese (21).

"Believers in North America need to stop waiting for a 'melting pot' to impact immigrants and instead make personal efforts to engage the first-generation immigrants around them with the gospel," Stetzer said.

LifeWay Research called and e-mailed denominations and parachurch ministries, inviting them to participate in the online survey. The survey was conducted between July 21 and Sept. 2, 2009. Additional versions of the survey were also administered among missionaries, professors, pastors and laity.

-###-

Edited by Brooklyn Lowery

 MEDIA CONTACT:

Micah Carter
615.251.2307
micah.carter@lifeway.com

 

 


Lifeway Christian Resources of the SBC, MSN 192 One Lifeway Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234 United States

 


STORY TAGS: immigrant, first, generation, outreach, North American Mission Board, research, study, north american, us, canada, study, black radio network, immigrants, immigration, acceptance, achievement, prosperity, acceptance, quality, minority news, immigrant news

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News