6 TRAITS OF A THRIVING SOUTH ASIAN AMERICAN CHURCH!
I have said this many times, I LOVE the South Asian church!! I believe God has a plan and purpose for its existence in the United States. Though many South Asian churches have become unhealthy, I believe it is not the end.
You and I have the chance to use this platform to make a difference in the world! Your South Asian American church can thrive! It can transform your city and make a positive impact for people around the world.
Dream with me for a second. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the following statements were true about your church?
- Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, English, etc. blended together in an awesome worship setlist
- Preachers that disect the Word of God and provide practical next steps to reach South Asians
- Musicians fusing together sounds of the East and West during church services
- Visitors feeling welcomed by others in their own language and customs
- Hindus, Muslims, and nominal Christians finding a place to explore their growing faith in Jesus
- Church members intersecting faith and culture by launching contextualized outreaches
- At least 10% of our church attendance comprised of new believers!
Wow, wouldn’t that be awesome! It’s not just a dream. It can become a reality. However, you must pursue these 6 characteristics for your South Asian American church. These 6 traits are taken from 2 Cor. 5:14-21 and are as follows:
Your church must be compelled by love!
Christ’s love for us is unconditional and unfailing! I don’t deserve it. Your church should love, love, love!! A church that experiences the love of Jesus will be compelled by that love to reach their neighbors. Unfortunately, many of our churches are motivated by culture, duty, and obligation. Duty will not last long. However, love will motivate you to do more than you ever imagined.
Is your church motivated by love? Or do most people feel obligated?
Your church must be convinced of the Gospel!
I believe most churches must reassess its theology and understanding of the Gospel. Evangelism has been conveniently removed from the culture of most churches. The word “revival” has be degraded to mean frenzied, long-lasting worship sessions. This must stop! You must be convinced of a Gospel that is for ALL people. You must be convinced that revival means new believers, new missionaries, and wide-spread transformation!
Is your church convinced of the Gospel? Does it share this with others?
Your church must no longer live for themselves!
Sacrificial. It’s a difficult word. It’s the opposite of convenience! You must be willing to give your time, resources, talents, and energy for the sake of other people. The first generation knows a lot about sacrifice. Many lost their families, friends, and possessions because of following Jesus. What happened to that type of commitment and sacrifice? Sacrifice costs you something. Live for other people in a tangible way. Start a project to help people around your church.
Does your neighborhood or community feel the sacrifices that you make for them?
Your church must treat all people with dignity!
It is a slippery slope when we start seeing people from a worldly point of view. The church should see each person as a soul. People are not the sum total of their reputation, bank account, social power, and/or appearance. It would be a tragedy if this remains. The church should be different. Everyone that comes to our church should be treated with dignity. Every person that we meet should know they have eternal worth.
How are people treated at your church? Are visitors extended grace and dignity?
Your church must desire reconciliation!
God is in the business of reconciling the world back to Himself. He wants to reconcile all people together. He wants to reconcile families together. God has given your church the opportunity to partner with Him in this reconciliation process. Your church must demonstrate the ministry of reconciliation through actions. Your church must declare the message of reconciliation through words. You need both!
Does your church serve people around the city? Does your church share the message of Jesus?
Your church must create ambassadors!
Your church gets the awesome privilege of being Christ’s ambassadors to the city and the world. Ambassadors are aware that their actions, words, and lifestyle reflect the Kingdom — not themselves. Ambassadors embody the ideals of the Kingdom.
Consequently, ambassadors are at grave risk when the Kingdom they represent is in conflict with the Kingdom in which they reside. This is true for us! Furthermore, you don’t need a U.S. Ambassador to the U.S. — that is pointless. Your church must go out into the world and represent the Kingdom.
Does your church have regular access to the community? Do you represent the Kingdom well?
You can start this change!
I urge you to gather people at your church that have the same mindset. Begin to fast, pray, and believe that God will use your church as a beacon of hope in your city. There are countless people to be reached — especially other South Asians. I know it will be a tough road to shift the culture of your South Asian American church, but it can be done and it will be worth it. YOU are an Everyday World Changer. Start today!