by Tania Nelson

Did you know that cross-cultural ministry is alive and well in the Lutheran Church of Australia? Now that doesn’t mean that ministering cross-culturally is without its challenges. Nor does it mean that we can’t do more. Actually much, much more is required!

In March 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the following media statement:

‘The proportion of Australians who were born overseas has hit its highest point in over 120 years, with 28 per cent of Australia’s population born overseas, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).’

The media release goes on to say that the largest gains in net migration from overseas were in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland (in that order). This statistic – that more than a quarter of Australians were born overseas – is an amazing challenge for local mission in the LCA.

Are our congregations, schools, and aged-care facilities multi-cultural and inter-cultural communities? Are we welcoming, inclusive, loving? ‘Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:37–38 NRSV).

The following are some wonderful insights into lay worker and pastor labourers in cross-cultural ministry. May I challenge you to think of yourself as a labourer – a labourer who is welcoming, who includes others, and who brings love to life in your community?

Tania Nelson is the LCA’s Executive Officer – Local Mission.

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