Three of us from church went out on Saturday to invite people, door to door, to “Back to Church Sunday”. This was the first time since our “Pure Joy” week at Easter 2007 that we’d done this sort of thing. During “Pure Joy” we visited 1600 homes in 3 days with a team of around 16 people. Our aim then, as it was this Saturday, was to raise the profile of the church and to invite people to the events we had laid on that week.
Our team of three this year comprised of me, a Scotsman, our new Ghanaian ministry trainee and a Zimbabwean brother. On the principle of like reaches like we thought we had covered the issue of cultural diversity. In some cases this was true. We met a Zimbabwean family who welcomed us and spoke Shona with our Zim brother. But what surprised our Ghanaian visitor was the extent of the diversity. Most homes were Indian, many first generation who did not speak English (and we have not yet learned Punjabi, though we intend to). We met Jamaicans, Slovaks, Czechoslovakians, southern Irish and Poles. In the case of the Eastern Europeans the language and the cultural barriers were as high as with the first generation Punjabis.
What are we to do? Mission in this sort of demographic is more complex by degrees than any overseas mission. When going overseas, the missioner learns the language and culture of the host nation and shares the good news of Christ. Becoming all things to all people in multi-cultural inner-city Britain cannot be done by a single person. We need to assemble teams of people from all sorts of cultures for the like reaches like principle to work. Yet this is catch-22.
Yesterday afternoon our Ghanaian MT and I went to the Asian Christian fellowship which meets in our small mission hut on Sundays. We discovered that they do door to door in the same area as on Tuesday evenings. So, we’re going to join up and see what happens. Watch this space.