Our modern English words ethnic and ethnicity come from the Greek word “ethnos” which means people groups. When Jesus told His disciples to make disciples of “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), he wasn’t referring to political or geographic nations. He was referring to all the world’s peoples. It has never been easier to make disciples than it is today. In our neighbourhood and workplace, we are likely to have people representing a diversity of ethnicities from around the world.
Ralph Moore (founder of Hope Chapels International) takes this idea a step further when he says, ”I am going to add the word affinity group as part of the ethnos. Your affinity group could be the people who are the same race as you but your affinity group could be the parents of the children who are in the swim team that your children are in. Each small group that is part of your life is an ethnos.
Even though most people I talk to believe that our world will go back to normal once everyone has been vaccinated for Covid-19, I believe we will go back to a new normal and at this stage that new normal is not clear. One thing is clear, a large number of Christian leaders believe the Church will look different into the future. There will be a greater emphasis on small ethnos groups that meet in a coffee shop or a park because they are low cost, low risk and can fly under the radar.
As with others, I believe we are looking at a future that is going to dictate some of this. But I don’t believe we are being backed into it. I see it as an opportunity we should pursue because the major benefit of what Ralph Moore is suggesting is that we can reach into an affinity group (ethnos) we’re not touching at all right now. And that’s got to drive us.
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