Jump directly to the content
Mar 9, 2017
evangelism, welcome, neighbor

Making Connections with Scattered People

How can we reach the immigrants in our community? |
Making Connections with Scattered People
Image: pixabay

I regularly frequent the coffee shop in my neighbourhood. True, I can have a cup of coffee at home. Why then do I head out to the coffee shop on a near daily basis?

The neighbourhood cafe is a place of connection. It is a communal place where people pause from their busy days to share a space. Oftentimes, at the coffee shop strangers will strike up conversations. Sometimes, strangers will become friends.

As I write this post, I have already said “good morning” to some other morning regulars of our neighbourhood café—a couple of middle-aged South Asians and a table of South Americans. “Good to see you again. How is life?”

It may seem easy to connect with the “scattered people,” but I have often heard the question, “How can we reach the immigrants in our community?”

To clarify, migrants are ‘scattered people’; some are voluntarily, while many are involuntarily. For this post, I refer to international or global migrants or ‘externally-displaced’ people; however, every community has internally-displaced people who must also be reached. Immigrants are specifically people who have arrived in a country from another country.

So what do we have to do to reach people in our community? Allow me to propose three initial steps:

  1. Ask God for open eyes, an open heart, and open arms. Obvious? It is unfortunate that this step is often overlooked, but it is the most important. How can we propose to reach others with the love of Jesus Christ if we have not been inspired to do so? We will need to seek the heart of Jesus before moving on to the next steps.
  2. Throw out the stereotypes, particularly in this time with the news highlighting the plight of millions of asylum seekers (refugees). Appreciate the lives beyond the stereotypes. We may meet visible minorities in our community who look different, come to the conclusion that they are immigrants, and proceed to communicate with faulty preconceived notions of their backgrounds. A couple of years ago, my surgeon was a recent immigrant from Armenia. His assistant was a PhD student from Iran. They were educated and influential. In my city, I have met many immigrants from all parts of the globe—India, China, and Somalia, Ireland, Serbia, and Poland. Many immigrants are needy and some come from developing regions. Others are highly educated and may be quite sophisticated and wealthy. Immigrants come from varied backgrounds with a myriad of experiences that cannot be condensed into easy generalizations.
  3. Put yourself out there. When I suggest that the world has come to our doorsteps and to our backyards, I do not mean for us to sit at home waiting and watching through our windows. We need to go to our community centres—local libraries, parks, or neighbourhood cafes. We must be available to make connections and friendships.

May we Christians be known for our love of our neighbours, and may we welcome scattered peoples in Jesus’ name.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Related Topics:None
Posted:March 9, 2017 at 7:00 am


Please read our comment policy before you weigh in, and then feel free to comment on Facebook.

More From This Blog

Without Action, We Are Hypocrites

Without Action, We Are Hypocrites

Jesus isn’t impressed by our feelings of moral outrage at injustice.
Evangelism: A Traveler’s Perspective

Evangelism: A Traveler’s Perspective

Evangelism is inviting, encouraging, and inspiring travelers to journey with us to the City of God.
One-on-One with Scholar and Researcher Mark Silk on the Future of Religion, Especially Evangelicalism, in America

One-on-One with Scholar and Researcher Mark Silk on the Future of Religion, Especially Evangelicalism, in America

Evangelicalism is now the normative form of non-Catholic Christianity in America.
Love2020: Q&A with Paul Cedar & Kathy Branzell

Love2020: Q&A with Paul Cedar & Kathy Branzell

Love the Lord your God ... Love your neighbor ...

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

Dr. John Sorensen, President of Evangelism Explosion International, a ministry that has trained millions of Christians around the world to share Christ, discusses the state of evangelism, research on evangelism trends, as well as myths and methods of evangelism.

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
Making Connections with Scattered People