“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9 (ESV)
OUR MULTICULTURAL COMMITMENT
The US and Canada today are composed of a multitude of nations from every corner of the globe. Probably no other area of the world brings together as many different nationalities and such varied ethnicity. And while all people groups, when they immigrate, retain some measure of their own historic identity, they also create unique subcultures as they become part of the ever-changing culture of North America.
As a result, the PCA faces exceptional ministry opportunities that hold the promise of transforming countless lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet these opportunities require fresh, creative approaches. At Mission to North America, we have formulated a plan to meet that requirement. We are, indeed, fully committed to multicultural ministry.
COUNTING THE COST
We recognize that certain qualifications are essential to effective ministry:
- Hearts full of compassion and love for others
- A deep desire to see people come to Christ
- Fervent prayer for God’s guidance and power
- Spirit-anointed leadership
- Well-trained indigenous leaders
Acknowledging that maximizing multicultural opportunities requires collaboration, we assume that:
- Churches and presbyteries will take ownership as MNA works and serves with them to develop and coordinate local resources.
- Churches and presbyteries will develop comprehensive strategies for multicultural ministries.
- Church members will participate in ministry, including short-term stints of service.
Retirees and others who are financially able will volunteer for longer term commitments. Lay families will relocate in order to become involved in ministry.
- Racial reconciliation and the addressing of other issues that affect interaction between different cultures will be part of these efforts.
- God’s love will not only be proclaimed through His Word, but also demonstrated through deeds of mercy.
- A substantial increase in resources—in time, talent, and treasure—will be available for home missions in North America.
- Increased resources will be devoted to pastoral leadership training. (MNA currently works with presbyteries, seminaries, and key leaders to arrange for greater flexibility and additional options in leadership training, which is outside the traditional seminary setting, as a means of equipping more men for ministry within their unique cultural contexts.)
Mission to North America provides a number of services for churches and presbyteries:
- Prayer support, based on the firm belief that prayer is the essential foundation of all ministry. MNA urges churches and presbyteries to devote regular seasons of prayer for the advancement of the Gospel. We periodically provide prayer related materials and a central place for prayer requests on our Web site, and we encourage churches and presbyteries to submit requests often.
- Conferences and other training events to strengthen church planters and other key leaders, as well as periodic gatherings for PCA leaders involved in ministry among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Koreans, Brazilians, and Haitians.
- Counsel, support materials, and other assistance related to development of effective strategies for sharing Christ across cultural, socioeconomic and ethnic lines.
- Communication about multicultural ministry activity through our quarterly newsletter, Multiply, other printed materials, and our MNA Web site, in order to build awareness and networking.
- Reviews and recommendations of resources regarding parachurch organizations and other denominations, with the intent that such resources, when available in communities in proximity to PCA churches, can provide useful opportunities to join with others in ministry.
- Resource information about related ministries through publication of directories (such as the MNA Mercy Directory and Hispanic Directory), as well as consultation, in order to supply information about organizations with a similar focus.
- Assistance for presbyteries in devising strategies for multicultural ministry and in locating as well as developing qualified leaders for multicultural ministry.
- Coordination and assistance in establishing English as a Second Language (ESL) programs by providing training materials and periodic training events.
- Assistance in developing mercy ministries as a means of outreach; provision of training materials and conferences in partnership with Christian Education and Publications.
- MNA Movement Leaders to work with churches and presbyteries in defining vision, goals and strategy, as well as in equipping leaders and assisting with conferences and other mission activities for these people groups: African American, Hispanic American, Korean, Brazilian, and Haitian.
- Point of contact for non-PCA ethnic churches and leaders, allowing them to investigate and learn about the PCA and to connect with an appropriate presbytery.