This past month we had an encouraging visit from one of our mission partners in the Middle East.
What does local church ministry look like in the Middle East? I was anticipating the answer to this question as I walked into our Worship Center last Wednesday night. Pastor Anand stepped into the pulpit and encouraged our congregation with Hebrews 3:12-14—challenging us with the vision he has for his church. (You can listen to his message here) As he explained the Scriptures it struck me that church ministry in the Middle East is not different than church ministry here—his vision echoed Pastor Randy’s because both Pastor Randy and Pastor Anand seek to lead their churches according to the Bible. They sought to be intentional in their relationships with each other, we do as well—for the Bible calls us to. They sought to seek and save the lost through welcoming people into their homes for the purpose of loving them and proclaiming the good news to them, we do as well—for the Bible calls us to. They sought to help each other live free from the deceitfulness of sin, we do as well—for the Bible calls us to. The Bible gives us our identity. The Bible gives us our mission. The Bible directs our practices.
At the end, a question was asked: “In what ways would you encourage us in our ministry toward the many international students and residents in our area?” His answer was simple.
“Trust the power of the gospel.”
“Practice Christian hospitality.”
Someone from a different cultural or religious background is not further from Christ than a lost American in the South. We all desperately need the gospel, for the gospel is the power of God for salvation—to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. Through proclamation of the gospel, the Spirit opens the eyes of people to its truth so they may respond in repentance and faith in order to be born again. One of the best locations for this to take place is in your home, over dinner.
Anand shared the story of one of his church members who left the Middle East as a young muslim going to study in America. He went to Texas. There this young man was welcomed by a 77 year-old woman, who built a relationship with him over dinners in her home, and she shared the gospel with him. She trusted the power of the gospel. She practiced Christian hospitality. And this man returned home a born-again Christian.
During October let MeadowBrook Life Groups advance the Kingdom of Christ to the nations through our ministry.
Ways you can engage this month…
- October 13th: International Student Dinner (in homes)
- Decide as a Life Group someone to host, some others to provide food, and welcome these students into your home. They are longing to get to know you. To experience some semblance of the family life the desperately miss. To hear from you the good news of salvation. News they may not even know they need.
- November 8th – 10th: Clarkston Engage Weekend (Deadline to register October 8th)
- Over the course of the weekend you will learn about what it means to be a refugee, get an opportunity to be face to face with refugees in ministry opportunities, eat with refugees in their home, and worship with refugees in church!
Call to action
Talk with your Life Group This Sunday and email and if interested in either of the above opportunities. With the Spirit’s help, your Life Group can make a major impact in the kingdom of God and in the lives of others.