Can A Multi-Ethnic Church Reach the Majority Population?

"For the sake of Mission, it can and it must" says Canadian pastor, Bob Winsor

News February 7, 2024

7 February 2024| St. Albans, UK [David Neal]

 

As we consider the direction of travel of the Trans-European Division (TED) membership growth over the next decade, there are clear signals that we will see an ever-increasing number of multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-cultural churches appearing in areas of the TED, which in times past we could never have imagined likely or possible. In many ways, the TED strategic value of ‘Multiply Communities in People Groups and Places’ sometimes happens even before the plans are made.  

This was certainly the experience of the Irish Mission from 2000 onwards and continues to be a reality in the life of the mission today.  Take, as an example, the remote and rural unentered West of Ireland county of Roscommon. Over the last year, 40 Adventists who have migrated into Ireland now meet together in that area for worship. While the British Union Conference and Netherlands Union, in particular, have experienced a similar membership growth pattern over many decades, in recent times, a greater number of TED Unions are experiencing this trend. 

So here’s the question. Can a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-cultural congregation connect with the majority population of the country where the members now reside? ‘For the sake of Mission, it can and it must,’ says Canadian pastor, Bob Winsor.

 

Winsor is pastor of the Nepean church, located in an outer-suburban area of the Canadian capital city of Ottawa. His congregation is made up of members from almost every continent on planet earth – with members from 43 nations – and together they enjoy inspiring worship and fellowship. Describing his church family as ‘many parts coming together to make a single unit’, Winsor knows the work required to keep the church family together.  

But Winsor has a plan. He is intentional in providing the necessary leadership to ensure that the outcome of ‘inspiring worship’ is ‘effective mission’ to the community in which Nepean church resides. In particular – to reach the new mission field of which 0ver 70% are home-grown Canadians. 

Are there lessons we can learn from the Nepean strategy? During a family visit to Canada at the very end of 2023, I had opportunity to visit and worship with the Nepean church family. As I watched Winsor share his vision for his church in 2024, I wanted to know more, with the result that we had good conversation together.

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Thank you to Bob Winsor and the Nepean AV support with father and son team, Kirby and Calen Joseph.

Read more about the Nepean, Ontario church.

Featured image: Shutterstock

 

 

 

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