ETHNÉCITY Conference Insights
The International Mission Board hosted a conference for North American and Canadian leaders on reaching the unreached in the urban centers. We heard from IMB researchers and practitioners in the field. The meeting was full of insights. Here are a few:
- In 2008, the majority of the world’s population now lives in the major urban areas. It is projected that by 2050, 70% will live in the urban centers of the world.
- Refugees, immigrants, international students, high-powered executives with global corporations are coming to the major cities of the United States.
- There are 3,400 unengaged, unreached people groups around the world. The U.S. and Canada have 584!
- God’s method is multiplication which is the only way the major cities can be reached. “1 + 1 + 1 = Your city will never be reached.”
- The number of foreign born residents is growing dramatically in the major cities of the U.S.
- We heard a testimony of a church planter in a major U.S. city who is having significant results using a strategy of combining a multi-cultural and a mono-ethnic approach.
- Researching the people groups in your mission field is essential.
- Many in our cities learn best by oral means. Telling the stories of the Bible is an effective way to communicate God’s truth.
- We heard the testimony of a missionary in Africa who had to move back to the U.S. due to health issues. He is now in New York City reaching African immigrants and refugees from the same people group. God has opened doors for the gospel in Africa through these new converts in NYC.
- This missionary shared that our cities are connected to the world, are gateways to share the gospel, and we have been negligent to share the gospel to those God has sent to us.
- We can no longer think that the mission field is out there. The mission field is also here.
- “Our rapidly urbanizing world has presented us with unprecedented strategic opportunity to impact lostness. We must seize the moment!”