Ed Stetzer: I am thrilled to announce the launch of a new Institute as part of family of ministries at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. We have partnered with the Global Diaspora Network to launch a Global Diaspora Institute, headed up by Dr. Sam George. Below is the press release.
With migration becoming a megatrend of our times, the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College has entered into a partnership with the Global Diaspora Network to launch a Global Diaspora Institute which will serve two vital functions: (1) equip, connect, resource, and mobilize missional leaders in diaspora communities in North America and beyond and (2) help churches in North America to engage with the diaspora and the Global Church.
“We simply cannot deny the enormity of how God used the diaspora to spread the work and message of the gospel. It’s at the front and center of our Christian history,” said Dr. Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. “With hundreds of millions of people living and working outside their homeland today, many of them Christian, we have the opportunity to unveil creative ways to reach our world for Christ through those from many cultures and backgrounds.”
The Global Diaspora Institute is embarking on a significant journey to help churches and Christian leaders to engage the diaspora as a newfound opportunity for the Kingdom of God to grow and flourish. The multi-pronged effort will include research, training, convening, networking, and resource creation across multiple mediums. The Institute is being launched simultaneously with a Lausanne North America Diaspora Strategy Group comprised of top diaspora missiologists.
The Institute will be led by Dr. Sam George, who serves as a Catalyst of Diasporas for the Lausanne Movement. Sam is of Asian Indian origin, born in the Andaman Islands in India, and traces his roots to St. Thomas Christians of Kerala, India. He has lived, studied, and worked in several countries. Sam holds degrees in mechanical engineering, business management, theology, and missiology and completed his Ph.D. in Liverpool, UK under the tutelage of Professor Andrew Walls.
“We are in akairosmoment,” said George. “More people are on the move than any time in human history and are reshaping societies, economies, nations, and churches. If we continue to stay in our homogenous bubbles as the Body of Christ, we will miss out on what God wants to do in and through us today. Embracing diaspora communities are critical to a robust theology and practice of missions today.”
Dr. T.V. Thomas, Chairman of the Global Diaspora Network, affirmed, “I believe this is a significant partnership with strategic promise to engage missionally ‘the people on the move’. The Global Diaspora Network is a worldwide network of diaspora scholars and practitioners who seek to mobilize followers of Jesus to fulfill God’s missional purposes among the people on the move.”
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Source: Christianity Today