For many years, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as other Great Commission Christian groups, have encouraged local churches to “embrace” unreached and unengaged people groups through prayer, short-term missions, and church planting. While that remains an important and valuable strategy, today’s diaspora expands the possibilities of reaching the unreached in our own cities and communities. Helping churches “connect the dots” between global and local engagement is a critical part of this process. In this presentation, IMB strategist Terry Sharp and missiologist Jeff Walters will discuss the biblical and theological foundations of local church engagement, as well as brief case studies and examples of such engagement.
Key Questions include:
• Why must local churches, as the center of the missionary enterprise, engage diaspora peoples?
• How can local churches engaging such ministry deal with issues like the transitory nature of migration, the complicated nature of urban people groups, and “indigenous” church planting?
• How might local churches mobilize, train and prepare new believers to return to their own countries as missionaries?