Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time to Get a Big Piece

I just read this in the news this morning. The news article reports on a trend we are addressing in our ministry: the increasing stream of immigration and it's expanding influence in America.

U.S. Childlessness Up Amid Demographic Shift

Government Projects that U.S. Minorities Will Become Majority by Mid-Century (CBS )‎ Saturday, ‎June ‎26, ‎2010

After reaching a high of 3.7 children per woman during the baby boom, the U.S. fertility rate dropped to a historic low of 1.7 during the mid-1970s and stands at about 2. The findings also come amid a historic demographic shift in which blacks, Hispanics, Asians and multiracial people are growing rapidly in the U.S. population and wielding more influence in politics and society. Minority babies now make up nearly half of all U.S. births.
© MMX, The Associated Press.

I once worked with church in California in the LA area that was the center of an increasing urban minority growth. But their ministry focus stayed fixed on reaching suburban whites. That church died.

I presented a parable to one of the church members:
I asked: "If your church had two cakes at a potluck dinner, one angel-food and the other chocolate, and 100 people got in line trying to get a piece of the angel-food cake, how would that work out?"

Answer: "Well, most people would lose out, or they would only get a tiny bit each."

I said, "So, how could anyone get a big enough piece of cake then?"

Answer: "Learn to like chocolate and get in the line that has the most cake at the end !"

I asked: "Your city is like those cakes, and all the churches are competing for ever decreasing portions of the white population, but the minority part of the city is growing. Why not get in line for a slice of that?"

He smiled sadly and said, "Well, there are problems."

Yeah, I guess. But it is a problem also when your church dies! Are there reasons or problems that hinder us from ministering to minorities? Well, let's solve those problems and get on with the work. We will have bigger problems if we don't.

People, the population "cake" or composition of America is changing. We as pastors, missionaries and church planters need to learn to like the new mix and line up our ministries accordingly. If not, we will have smaller and smaller portions of a declining group, until there is not enough left to sustain the ministry, and then it will fail.

Let us reach the minorities among us. It is good for them, it will keep our ministries alive and besides that, soon we will be a minority ourselves.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Time for a (Work) Break

My missionary life has a lot of variety to it: studying, preaching, counseling, weddings, evangelism, teaching, baptisms, funerals, summer camps, etc. But most of this involves reading or talking to people.

Things are about to change.

This Summer, I have about eight weeks until our teaching begins again. Our new home is providing the agenda for our summertime. We will be fixing the leaking roof, scraping and painting the interior of the house, doing hurricane preparation and the 101 other things a house needs when you move in.

Part of me welcomes the change, but another part longs for some quiet hours in a nice cool study. But that is what they say vacations are all about: making you happy to return to your other work.

Projects like this require time, but all of this costs money as well, money that we don't have right now. We have some time now to work on our house. But we could use some help getting the materials we need to do the work. Please consider giving us a hand.

If you are vacationing in the Caribbean this year, let us know and we will meet you and show you around a bit. We want to get in on the fun stuff too you know!