Today, we're sharing the link to the Sovereign Grace Churches Blog: Growth Series where they're doing a number of posts on how we want to grow as a family of local churches. On Tuesday, we linked to the post on becoming a people who pray.
Now, we want to share about being a racially and ethnically diverse local body.
When Tami and I first moved to Pasadena, we served two terms at the U.S. Center for World Missions. Spending 4 years working with Dr. Ralph Winter imparted a passion to see the gospel spread to "all nations, tribes and tongues." We were on a path to becoming church planters overseas when God changed our plans and we caught a vision for staying here and pastoring with Sovereign Grace Churches and planting here in Southern California.
As we've lived in the greater Los Angeles area for many years, we've seen that there's more than one way to reach the nations... Sometimes we go to them - and sometimes, they come to us.
Over the years, God has brought many people to our church from other countries - or who work in other countries. I think of the Weardens who are now in Turkey, the Clancys in Ireland, the Walkers in Germany working with Syrian refugees. We have been privileged to minister to, bless, pray for and support these families who have gone to foreign countries. We have sent Lynn Baird to the Philippines for many years to help support and train local pastors there. We have done several missions trips to Mexico reaching out to orphans and field workers there. And, we have a member of our church who has gone on several mission trips to the Ukraine.
While we want to remain faithful to the call to reach the nations - we also want to grow in becoming more racially and ethnically diverse here in our local body - and reaching "the nations" here in our own neighborhoods. We have always enjoyed the racial diversity in Los Angeles. We regularly see and interact with people from all over the globe and hear a variety of languages as we go about our daily lives. By placing us in a large, urban, metropolitan area, God is bringing the nations to us!
It is our prayer that we, as a local body, would reflect the rich, cultural and racial diversity of the city in which we live.
Pray with us that God would help us to be faithful and fruitful in the mission to which He's called us... to neighborhoods AND nations.