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.
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.
One reason for this is that most legacy mission organizations were built around a homeland-focused model. These organizations are discovering that engaging in effective diaspora missions require greater shifts in organizational identity than simply moving resources into the diaspora.
NextMove helps agencies and other missions groups to navigate the change process necessary for engaging effectively in diaspora missions. This includes:
NextMove originally began in 2014 as a partnership between Frontier Ventures (formally the U.S. Center for World Mission) and Converge Global. Representatives from these two agencies facilitated a gathering of “diaspora champions” from over two dozens missions organizations. At this gathering, agency partners identified seven areas of concern for which they wanted to pursue solutions:
NextMove partners then spent the next four years in work groups developing solutions to these shared organizational challenges. In 2018, NextMove integrated the work from these partners into a formal consulting process that helps agencies to evaluate their current situation and implement the changes necessary to engage more effectively in diaspora missions.
Director of Research and Consulting
John is the founder of NexMove and an international catalyst for the Global Diaspora Network (a Lausanne interest group). John also serves at the Director of Diaspora Initiatives for Converge International Ministries, Diaspora Advisor for Missio Nexus, and an Adjunct professor for missions at Sioux Falls Seminary.
Director of Network Collaboration
Jeff has helped to build the NextMove network from the ground up through his skills in project management and network facilitation. He also serves as the Design Program Director for Frontier Ventures’ Ralph D. Winter Launch Lab equipping missions leaders to launch new innovations in missions.
Director of Resource Development
Ahshuwah is Diaspora Missions Strategist for Frontier Ventures. He designed the NextMove Pathway Guidance Process and oversees the development of resources for NextMove. He is actively engaged in launching a collaborative diaspora church planting initiative in Portland, OR. where he lives.