NextMove seeks to assist the Evangelical mission agencies of the globe to first accurately see the opportunities and roadblocks to engagement with people on the move, and then to provide resources and consul for solving these conceptual, methodological, and organizational puzzles.
The over 400 million people living outside of the country of their cultural origin make up the global diaspora. Mission leaders recognize the great potential for missions to and then from these people on the move. Mission agencies desiring to work within the global diaspora must respond to both conceptual and organizational challenges at a deep level. NextMove will assist mission agencies to identify and address roadblocks to diaspora missions involvement.
People have been migrating to new lands throughout human history, and God has incorporated these migrations into his redemptive plans for mankind. The Old Testament includes the stories of people on the move, from the expulsion of the first couple from the Garden to the scattering of the believers from the city of Jerusalem in the book of Acts.
Two missiological factors arise from migration: openness and access. When people move the disruption of the normal patterns of life often creates a window of openness to new friendships and ideas. The experience of physical and psychological dislocation in migration can crack the walls of old belief systems and allow the entry of the gospel. Access to the gospel is increased as non-believers migrating from restricted access countries come into contact with the church in their new host societies, or when believers from lands with a growing church find work within closed countries. Iranian Muslims moving to Germany is an example of the first, and Christian Filipinos finding work in Kuwait is an example of the second.
The importance of diaspora missions grows with the rapidly expanding reality of global migration in the past fifty years. Developments in international business and communications have greatly increased the global flow of international workers. Combined with displaced persons resulting from natural calamity and war, and with international students over 215 million people or three per cent of the world population is living outside of the country of their birth. If we include the children born in the global diaspora and those who have migrated from their cultural homeland but remained internally within the political country of their birth, the number of people on the move is greater than a billion.
While the mission opportunities within the global diaspora are increasing in their importance few mission sending agencies are well prepared to engage effectively with people on the move. For example tens of thousands of Evangelicals from the Global South now live and work in the Middle East. They are in daily contact with most of the unreached peoples of the Muslim world. Yet few mission groups and churches have initiated plans to help these believers become effective witnesses. Most of the global mission resources are not properly aligned with this new demographic.
1. Mission agency workers join NextMove as Partners.
2. Once a year, Partners meet to identify roadblocks that keep mission agencies from engaging with the diaspora. A roadblock becomes a Research Topic.
3. We recruit researchers for the Research Topic.
4. Researchers connect virtually and work together across the globe until they remove the roadblock.
5. We disseminate our Research Findings to the larger missions community, including counsel to mission agency leaders
Mission agencies, denominations, and church networks desiring to work among people on the move comprise the core participants in this ministry.
NextMove ministry success is determined by increased involvement and fruitfulness of its participating mission agencies in missions to and from people on the move.
NextMove is led by its participating member agencies. The ministry is overseen by Frontier Ventures and Converge Worldwide, under the direction of John Baxter. John is the Director of Diaspora Ministries for Converge Worldwide with experience in diaspora missions in the Philippines and the Middle East. He is also an International Catalyst for the Global Diaspora Network of the Lausanne Committee.
NextMove Leadership Team
John is the International Catalyst for the Global Diaspora Network of the Lausanne Movement, helping mission schools and agencies engage with mission opportunities to people on the move.
Jeff has served in US-based missions mobilization for over 10 years. As Missions Pastor at a large interdenominational church, he helped create training materials for missions teams and facilitated the development of team-based partnerships with missions organizations in 8 countries.