In the last of my five part series, I want to share how my recent trip to visit simple church leaders and house church leaders in Kazakhstan and Italy highlighted the opportunities we have here for cross-cultural relational ministry.
Cross Cultural Partnership for House Churches
I previously mentioned the wedding we hosted in Italy. At this wedding, one Muslim man approached John wondering why they had done this. John explained that they are Christians, that the mother of the bride was a part of their community, and they were trying to help. The inquirer replied that he wanted to meet and learn more.
Christian freedom and hospitality are especially appealing to Muslim immigrants. I learned that many immigrants, contrary to what we may think, are not coming to import their religion. Many are disenchanted with Islam and are happy to be out from under the thumb of Islam. One man I met expressed that he thought Islam was basically a sham.
Even though Muslim immigrants are disillusioned with Islam, when they arrive in a “Christian” country like Italy or the US, they find Christians inhospitable and governments promoting ideas that they detest which turn them off to Christianity and our “Christian” countries as well. I wondered on my way home how I could be more hospitable to immigrants here. What steps could I or we take to begin relationships and perhaps even simple church communities with immigrants longing for friendship and community?
Here are two possibilities:
1) Find out where migrants are moving and begin praying about opportunities to meet people to begin friendship with them. 2) Consider partnering with a house church in another part of the world.
If you are a part of leading a simple church and are interested in forming a partnership with a house church in another part of the world, please let me know. The sky’s the limit on what this partnership would look like, but we know it will begin with building friendships with other leaders. In reflecting on our trip, David and I feel led to connect folks here with other simple church-like communities globally.