ethnéCITY gives strategic church new tools - (BP)
ethnéCITY gives strategic church new tools By Erich Bridges Oct 31, 2011 NEW YORK (BP) -- Ken McLemore's church participates in strategic partnerships aimed at reaching people groups in North Africa and other challenging regions with the Gospel. So why was he walking the streets of a mostly Arab part of Brooklyn, N.Y., in late October, trying to meet Muslims who live there? Ken McLemore, missions pastor
"We began to think, 'How can we do some of that here?'" explained McLemore, at Liberty Baptist Church in
Hampton, Va., waits for a subway train in Brooklyn, N.Y. McLemore and other in our community -- different kinds of service projects and feeding projects, participants in the first things like that. Those are wonderful things, but we want to be a church that is "ethnéCITY: Reaching the also seeking to reach those ethnic groups that are coming to America. We send Unreached in the Urban Center" many people out to different places -- North Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, event, held Oct. 20-22 in New York City, went out into the city South Asia. We can use the training that we've learned overseas and apply it to locate ethnic enclaves and right here to our cities to reach some of these people groups here in America." meet people who have come to the New York metro area from all over the world.
missions pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton, Va. "We're doing a lot
McLemore joined more than 150 pastors, lay leaders, Southern Baptist state convention and associational workers and North American and international missionaries at the first "ethnéCITY: Reaching the Unreached in the Urban Center" event, held Oct. 20-22 at Park Slope Community Church in Brooklyn. Participants heard from some of the world's top mission strategists focusing on cities in North America and the rest of the world, shared ideas and joined one of 15 team "excursions" into multiethnic neighborhoods within a subway ride of
Ken McLemore (left), missions pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton, Va., gets acquainted with Mohamed McLemore visited an area of Brooklyn where many Arabic speakers live. Soon (right), who directs an Islamic after stepping off the subway, he struck up a conversation with Mohamed, the society in a part of Brooklyn, N.Y., that is home to many Egyptian director of an Islamic society in the area. He had lunch at a gyro shop, Arabic-speaking Muslim groups. Derick Mehboob (center), where he traded observations about North Africa with the Moroccan cook. originally from Pakistan, is Later, he drank strong Turkish coffee with Isa and Ahmed, a Palestinian father pastor of Metropolitan New Revival Church in Brooklyn. and son who run a café in the area. McLemore and Mehboob attended the first "ethnéCITY: "This is the best country for human beings!" declared Isa, who started the café Reaching the Unreached in the nearly 40 years ago after moving to New York from the West Bank. "You have Urban Center" event, Oct. 2022 in New York City.
the church in metro New York.
freedom. If you work, you can make it. I come here at 23. I have nothing but my ticket. I marry here. I have kids. My children are educated. My daughter is a
ethnéCITY gives strategic church new tools - (BP)
lawyer." He grinned widely, as any proud father would. McLemore is in the information-gathering stage for now, as Liberty Baptist explores urban ministry possibilities along the East Coast. Participating in ethnéCITY gave him additional tools and potential partners for the search. "I met some amazing people here and got some great contacts for doing that,"
Ken McLemore (right), missions he said. "I want to follow up on those contacts, possibly to work in New York pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton, Va., and Derick City. We're also looking at Washington, D.C., since we're so close to it. When Mehboob, pastor of this conference came up, it was perfect for us. Let's say somebody in our church Metropolitan New Revival Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., visit can't go to North Africa. They can come to New York or D.C. or one of these Isa (left), a Palestinian, in his café in Brooklyn. Isa lives in an cities. They can come for a week and learn how to do it. Maybe they'll go area that is home to many overseas later, or maybe this will be their project. We're looking for projects thatArabic-speaking Muslim groups. can mirror what we're doing overseas. McLemore and Mehboob attended the first "ethnéCITY: Reaching the Unreached in the "There are tons of people for whom either the time or the money to go overseas Urban Center" event, held Oct. are big limiting factors. This is a way for them to engage the biblical mandate to 20-22 in New York City.
go to the nations." What would McLemore recommend for any church that hasn't yet tried reaching out to an ethnic people group -either in America or overseas? "I would say do it now and start," he urged. "Your church is not too small or too large to begin. What people groups are coming into your neighborhoods? Get started with those people. Meet them. Talk to them. Or take a trip overseas and identify a people and then come back and look for them here. Either way I would say start now, because the time is right for us in the church to begin working with people groups. We've got to do it. It's the Great Commission, and the time is right for every Southern Baptist church to begin that process. "We work with churches of 100 people that do amazing things. I've seen a church of 50 send three guys to Sudan. I've also seen churches of thousands that don't do anything. So, I just encourage any church to begin now, because people groups are what is on God's heart. "I have never seen church people come back as fired up as when they go to some of our people-group areas. It will breed excitement and momentum in churches. We've seen it in our church. People want to do something that God's doing. They want to be a part of that." ethneCITY, co-sponsored by IMB and the North American Mission Board, is the first venture in a new partnership between the two mission entities -- reflecting the reality that national borders no longer define the task of missions in a globalized world. Two more ethnéCITY conferences are set for Nov. 17-19 in Houston, a major U.S. immigration portal, and May 3-5 in Vancouver, one of Canada's major urban centers. To find out more or register, visit www.ethnecity.com. --30-Erich Bridges is a global correspondent for the International Mission Board. © Copyright 2011 Baptist Press
ethnĂŠCITY gives strategic church new tools - (BP) Original copy of this story can be found at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=36447