What is the diaspora?
Diaspora originally referred to the exiled Jews in the Old Testament when they were driven out of the Promised Land by conquering empires, scattering across the known world, and adjusting to the new places and cultures they settled in. This scattering was used by God to make His name known in other cultures around the world.
Nowadays the diaspora refers to millions of people who have scattered outward from the lands they have called home for many reasons (Political, Religious, Economic, Academic, etc.), and have come to live in other countries. Many of them come from people groups who have been unreached so far by the gospel, and their new locations have often led to new interest and exploration of the Christian faith.
Missions is borderless.
Now, more than ever, the world we live in is becoming “borderless.” Rather than being restricted to one location, travelling across the globe is easier than ever, thanks to the progression of technology to keep us all connected and accelerated global migration. Urbanization, pluralism, and diverse communities have also sparked strategy adjustments among churches and agencies because individual geographic locations no longer have just one culture or primary belief system, so the approach to reach people has had to adapt as well.
Missions is changing from “linear” to “everywhere.”
For many years mission strategies were very linear. The focus was getting from point A (current residence) to point B (the mission field), and the “mission field” was nearly always defined as a faraway place on the other side of the globe. Now, however, the focus is shifting from seeing the mission field as individually defined places to anywhere. We don’t necessarily need to go to the other side of the world to evangelize to people from faraway countries. They could be our neighbors just down the street.
This makes it increasingly important that believers continue adapting to the opportunities and challenges the diaspora brings as well as continuing to develop and build authentic relationships across the “borderless”” world. Missions is no longer dependent on willingness to travel. Now, more than ever, it is a willingness to make disciples as we go to the people and places we interact with on a daily basis, recognizing each and every encounter as an opportunity to get the gospel to the nations.
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples for great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.” (Psalm 96:3-4)
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