Become a Welcome Mat Church
BECOME a “Welcome Mat Church” by
1. Praying for the refugees and immigrants in your community, as well as the workers who serve them. Here is a prayer guide from our friends at Jesus film to get you, your small group or your church started.
2. Read Welcoming the Stranger by World Vision and IVP. This is a powerful learning tool that will help you, your small group or your church have enriching and constructive conversations about what it means to welcome immigrants in your community and give you a robust biblical perspective.
4. Reach out to your local public school to volunteer and be connected. You are likely to meet children and families from all over the world by engaging the public school district in some capacity.
Refugees & Immigrants
Basic to our understanding of this area of focus is the difference between the terms “refugee” and “immigrant”. In the US from social and news media, almost everyday in the news we hear about “illegal” or “undocumented immigrants”. In order to gain a balanced understanding of these issues from different biblical perspectives, NCA-NW recommends the book Welcoming The Stranger produced by World Relief and Intervarsity Fellowship. We also recommend following the blog Strangers in Seattle, by World Relief Seattle.
True “refugees” are legal, foreign-born individuals who have been forced to leave their homeland because of extreme conditions there. The conditions might be war, famine, disease, political or economic oppression, natural disaster, etc. The United Nations works with refugees, interviewing them, providing them with proper identification documents so that they can have a defined status in the country to which they have fled. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees resettles refugees to other countries through a very strict process that usually takes several years. This means that when UN documented refugees get to the United States, they have been under the eye of the UN for years. Because their safety might be compromised by their identification, NCA-NW will black out refugee faces when we use pictures of them.
Talk Time or ESL Classes
"Talk Time" is an hour or two where you welcome English Language Learners (those who speak English as their 2nd or 3rd or 4th language) and practice having conversational English with them. You create a safe and fun environment for those who want to improve on their English speaking skills to practice speaking English.
Host an ESL (English as a Second Language) Class. Here is a great resource from Nazarene Publishing House on HOW to start an ESL ministry at your church.