When the World Comes to Wheaton

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Middle America has traditionally been a homogeneous region with a strong Evangelical community that was a powerhouse in global mission. Nowhere in the Midwest exemplifies that as much as Wheaton, IL. But this area is changing rapidly. Look at how DuPage County has changed and consider how this should impact your approach to global mission.


A World on the Move

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Personal Reflection
Do you know about the diversity around you? Sometimes you can get stuck in a bubble; interacting only with those you already know and trust. In this way, it is easy to miss whole communities of people who may live very close to you. It is also easy to have misperceptions of these groups. Think of very intentional ways to break out of your bubble. Here are some examples: a) Drive down a street you have never driven down before, b) Find a church in your neighborhood that ministers to a specific ethnic group and get to know the pastor c) Look up the various ethnic communities in your neighborhood and then begin to learn about their culture and traditions. Finally, consider using www.OperationWorld.org to pray for the nations that are among you.

Engaging the Church
As a church, ask yourself this question. If you knew all the information we have pulled together for DuPage County for your county, what would you do differently? If you don't know any of this kind of information, how could you find it out? Once you have the knowledge of who lives among you, what can you do to reach out? Consider joining efforts already underway in your community to serve these diaspora groups. Also, consider how your global missions efforts might be intertwined with your local service to immigrant communities. If you focus on a certain issue or country, is that issue or country represented in your own community?

Organizational Application
So many times as a ministry, you have a laser focus on those you are serving. However, it is easy to forget about where you are serving. If you are a national or global ministry, do you know the make-up of the community where your offices are located? Are you accomplishing your mission in that microcosm as well as in the nation or the world? If you are a very local ministry, have you considered the diaspora dynamic in your own work? How are you serving immigrant communities as you accomplish the work God has put in front of you? This is a growing area that every ministry must consider as you seek to have impact where you serve.

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