Reaching The African-American Community
By Wilbert Blandon Jr.
When we speak of reaching into the African-American community, we often think of it in terms of race rather than grace. We often see it as a man issue rather than a God issue. We see it from a social context rather than a spiritual context.
If we’re going to have revival in the African-American Community, then we’re going to have to go into the African-American Community. Reaching into the African-American Community is not merely a social or cultural priority, but it is a spiritual and Biblical priority. It is not a convenient idea for the 21st century but it is a mandate from God throughout all ages.
When we’re talking about reaching the African-American community, we’re not talking about reaching the African-American community only; we’re talking about reaching the African-American community also. Jesus said we must go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. If we’re going to reach effectively into the African-American community, we’re going have to first recognize the need to reach into the African- American community. We must become aware of:
THE GROWING NEED — Matthew 9:35-38
* The harvest in America is currently between 35-40 million souls.
* It is expected to grow by another 5 million by the year 2010.
* As the African-American community grows, so will our need to reach it with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
THE OVERWHELMING HUNGER— Acts 8:26-40; Exodus 2:23-25
* There’s an overwhelming hunger in the African-American community for the gospel.
* Most growing churches, regardless of ethnicity or denomination, are seeing a large portion of their harvest come from the African-American community.
* A George Barna poll dated August 10, 2004 reveals religious activities among blacks to be the highest compared to Whites, Hispanics and Asians.
* As Apostolics we need to get a foot in the door and pass on the truth to the African-American Community.
KEYS TO REACHING THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY
1. One of the keys to evangelizing the African-American community in the 21st century is to eliminate the stereotypes, perceptions and assumptions that is associated with it.
* The way we overcome these barriers is through the power of communication and dialogue.
* Dialogue is important because every one of us was socialized with a particular belief system that can sometimes be a hindrance to evangelism.
* The church must overcome every measure of fear, concerns, disillusionments and barriers that would create hesitancy that’s associated with reaching this community.
* For instance, when African-Americans come into our churches they are not looking for preferential treatment.
* We must treat everyone with respect, love, acceptance and a sense of unity.
* If they feel loved, accepted, respected and a part of a unified effort then you will be successful in reaching this part of the harvest.
* Most of our churches are going to be multicultural in nature therefore for African-Americans to be accepted from their own perspective is a very important element for them.
2. Another key is to focus on building churches and saving souls on purpose.
* Our strategies must be both intentional and effective.
* Districts, sections and churches can develop strategies to reach communities with a high concentration of African-Americans.
* These communities can be targeted for: Home Bible Studies, Home Friendship Groups, Preaching points, Street services, Life Skills Programs, Mentoring and Tutoring Programs or Bus Ministry
* We must put an emphasis on reaching children and youth because there is a shortage of young people going into the ministry.
* We must nurture those who have taken an interest in the ministry.
* We can do this by targeting the children and youth by raising up another generation that’s focused on ministry.
* Most of the time our children are encouraged to get an education and pursue careers rather than the ministry.
* Don’t underestimate the power of African-Americans that we already have.
3. Other Key Considerations
* Even though there’s not a language barrier, many times there’s a cultural barrier.
* Many times you have to win their trust before they’ll commit.
* In many respects the African-American is a matriarchal community, therefore when men come into our churches they are looking for a father.
* By the time an African-American child reaches age 17 almost 94% of the time they will be raised in a single parent home.
* We must not give in to mental historical conditioning
As you can see reaching the African-American community in the 21st century is a tremendous challenge and opportunity. God has called us to reach this community in the last days. As we create dialogue, develop strategies, equip our churches and develop a
God-ordained burden for the African-American community, we will experience revival on unprecedented levels like never before.
This article “Reaching the African-American Community” by Wilbert Blandon Jr. is excerpted from the “Black Evangelism Conference Notebook. 2007
District Jail Ministry
By Mel Luckman
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
Praise the Lord! There are twenty-two 1 new names written down in Glory!
It was 6:30 PM on November 3rd at the Oak Hill Correctional Center (just outside of Fitchburg and Madison) when men rose from the dead to walk in the newness of life; as stated in Romans 6:4. There was much jubilation and celebration at the church service which followed!
The institution did not allow pictures of this amazing harvest, but there were many witnesses. The security was in full force, if you can imagine; this being a prison and all. Our Nigerian brother Okoye, who is the fulltime Apostolic Chaplain at this facility, along with the writer of this report, brought them up out of those watery graves. The Creator of the vast Heavens of Heavens loosed them from the chains that had them bound for so many years, Glory to His Name! Oh the Blood of Jesus. How precious is the flow that made them white as snow!
A few months prior to this, an equal number of men experienced the same new birth. Some of those men are teaching the new babes that came forth on this great night.
The sisters involved in the ACTS AODA group at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility in Union Grove (just outside of Racine, Wisconsin are experiencing large classes of nearly one hundred women. They recently graduated thirty from their class.
The Bible Study that meets prior to this class is seeing thirty in attendance on any given Saturday. The ladies from Elim Tabernacle and Cornerstone Christian Life Tabernacle Church (Home Missions Church from West Allis) have been very faithful in overseeing this Harvest. They now are going to have prayer meetings on Mondays or Tuesday at this same Facility.
Sister Robin, from Apostolic Faith Church in Kenosha, is going over the border into the State of Illinois and combining her efforts with Brother and Sister Farley in the correctional facility there. They are conducting an ACTS AODA class and Bible Studies. Pastor Barnette is teaching Bible Studies at the Kenosha jail during the week.
I could go on and on about the great works that the called out ones are doing and the great harvest in this hour. Wisconsin is experiencing great deliverance in the prisons of Wisconsin!
It is time to keep the pressure on the neck of the enemy and stand firm in the power of our God. Let’s Go Apostolics! His Truth is marching on!!!!
This article “District Jail Ministry” is excerpted from Wisconsin Witness magazine. May 2008