dom to worship should not be
taken for granted.
Besides our perspective, we also
bring resources to the ministry
table such as cultural knowledge,
language competency and social
capital. We are familiar with ministry among our people groups and
we know people who may be living
in the neighbourhoods around your
churches. We speak their language
and know their culture.
Who better to reach Farsi speakers from Iran than the growing
Iranian Church in Canada? Who
better to reach immigrants from
Pakistan or Afghanistan than local
churches made up of such ethnici-ties? We would love to partner with
established churches to reach out
to their neighbours in more effective ways.
TIM: Do you have any final words of encouragement?
DC: We can’t have mutual sharing
without knowing and trusting each
other. We really hope to build ongoing relationships between and
among churches and denominational groups. We hope to be Kingdom partners – we hope our ideas
would be listened to and the way
we do ministry would be valued.
When we are involved in meaningful partnerships with one another,
we will all experience fruitful
ministry where people come to
faith and God is glorified.
A WEEK LATERthe TIM staff got
together back at Tyndale to talk
about the experience. We were excited by the experience we had
shared with our friends from the
diaspora church and all we had
learned. We talked about what
confirmed our knowledge from our
other work, but also what surprised
us, and the very strong emotions
expressed as church planters talked
with passion about their ministries.
Immigrant church planters in
multicultural cities like Toronto are
crying out for partnership from es-
tablished churches, and their pleas
for help have sometimes been
overlooked. They long to be received
more fully as Kingdom partners in
Canada rather than only as space
renters in empty church buildings.
We learned diaspora churches
and established churches have
many concerns in common. We
learned context matters for effect-
ive ministry. Forming meaningful
relationships, respecting each
other as equals and learning from
each other can lead to different
understandings of how to do min-
istry that are contextually appropri-
ate to the concerns of specific
people groups and communities.
We also learned both established
and diaspora churches need to develop intercultural competency to
navigate the cultural and ministry
complexities of our urban centres.
All this begins with the desire to
hear the passion and vision of those
who might be described as “the
stranger among us.” Let’s put aside
our agenda and begin to see how
God has brought the global Church
to our cities for the upbuilding of
His Church and His Kingdom. /FT
Elsie Lo, Mark Chapman and Robert Cousins
are all staff at the Tyndale Intercultural
Ministries Centre ( www.Tyndale.ca/ TIM) in Toronto.
How established churches can begin
to reach out to diaspora churches
Initiate conversations with new immigrant church leaders in your
denomination or community, and seek to build trusting relationships.
Consider opening your church facility to a new immigrant church
with the goal of developing Kingdom partnerships.
Consider how your church might partner with the diaspora church to
reach unreached peoples in your city.
Plan a short-term mission trip overseas in partnership with a
diaspora church from your city.
Centre ( TIM Centre)
advocates for these
among its networks of
partners and churches.
We come alongside
pastors like Alex to
provide support as
they develop their
ministries. As we
have listened to these
planters, their stories of
struggle inspired us to
bring their challenges
and concerns to the
The TIM Centre is
part of the Open
Learning Centre of
College & Seminary.
Our core vision is
“the Church from
all nations bringing
Christ to all nations.”
We believe mission
is no longer one
directional, “the West
to the rest,” but is now
from everywhere to
every where beginning
on our doorstep to the
ends of the earth.
We have learned new
forms of training are
needed to respond to
the unique ministry
context we serve.
Over 85 per cent of the
our unique missional
Diploma) come from
the diaspora church.
We have also created
a unique web portal
com dedicated to
diversity of Toronto.
TIM Centre director Robert Cousins (right) discussing gospel outreach in Toronto.