Cultural Language Ministries
The Nation of Canada is currently encountering greater growth through immigration than childbirth. The most recent statistics show that in 2010, over 200,000 people from various parts of the word were welcomed into Canada and in Alberta, almost 31,000 arrived in 2011.
Canada’s cultural diversity is visible evident in our urban and even rural communities. In the last census, visible minorities comprised 11.2% (3.2 million people) of the population. The cities of Vancouver and Toronto claim that over 30% of their residents are visible minorities. It is not unusual to hear other languages being spoken as you walk on the street or to be served by those not born in Canada at a place of business.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to “go into all the world and make disciples” but the fact is the nations of the world are here and our communities have become a crucial mission field. We need to open our hearts and minds to what the Church can do to not only welcome New Canadians but to also share with them the love of Christ.
Many District PAOC Churches, both in urban and smaller settings, are providing a clear welcome to those of other cultures and languages. Ministries are being developed specifically to welcome them into a place a fellowship with believers. Some Churches are specifically designed to engage newcomers to Canada through language and culture.
In the ABNWT District, Rev. David Hall serves as the District Director of Cultural Language Ministries. He is assisted by two Coordinators who are located in the largest urban centres:
A Missions Canada Priority
In 2010 Canada welcomed over two hundred thousand people from various parts of the world. Canada is and is becoming a widely diverse mission field.
With Canada’s population growing faster through immigration than childbirth, we must proactively prepare and engage with those who are newcomers to Canada.
What will it take in our diverse society to effectively communicate to newcomers that God cares about them personally? Through meaningful outreach and intentional relationships the message of the truth of Jesus Christ can bridge the gap that exists between cultures. For those who are coming to our nation to begin a new life, the church can play a transformational role in each one finding a truly new life.
We must engage in this crucial mission. As Jesus said, “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” The nations are here. Your community is a mission field. What must you do differently to reach those who may be different from you?
Canada’s cultural diversity grows ever apparent. Visible minorities in the last census comprised 11.2% of the population (3.2 million people). The visible minorities of Toronto and Vancouver comprised over 31% of their populations. Over 145 languages are translated through the Toronto City office.
THE PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLIES OF CANADA IS RESPONDING TO THIS OPPORTUNITY PRIMARILY IN TWO WAYS:
- Our districts and churches have supported the rapid development of uni-lingual, uni-cultural (ethnic) churches. Close to 20% of our 1,100 churches are of cultural language groups other than English, French or Aboriginal. This has been a practical response to a missiological reality; these church leaders have aggressively led their people to reach out to others of similar language or culture, and many newcomers to Canada have found a place of worship and belonging in these churches. The Cultural Ministries Committee assists the PAOC to serve this constituency.
- As many (if not more) members of cultural language groups are being reached and discipled in the PAOC through the ministries of “blended” multicultural churches. The vast majority of these churches are English speaking churches, which are attempting to include the diverse people groups God is bringing to Canada in their leadership groups and ministries.
In order to strengthen and multiply these initiatives, a national team of cultural language leaders is forming to help articulate what we can do better – together.
For more information please email Dave Hall (email@example.com)