How the church can reach out to the Sikh community
I recently reached out to the Sikh community in my neighborhood to discuss how Christians could serve and love them. Many of the current leaders do not speak English, but English-speaking Sikhs are beginning to outnumber the non-English speaking ones. Therefore, the guys I met with are training to be the next generation’s leaders.
When I arrived, Gurpreet and Subeg sat with me on the floor and served me traditional Indian food. We ate and small talked through the meal, getting to know each other.
After the meal, we went to another room to talk more about ministry. I discovered that Sikhs believe many of the same things about God as Christians. They believe that God is one, who is all powerful, he loves his people, and has a great plan for them. Sikhs have three core principles that Christians also hold: 1. Call out to God. 2. Earn an honest living. 3. Share what you have earned with the less fortunate.
It began to dawn on me – aside from needing English classes for the older generation, Sikhs do not need compassion ministry. They already have most of their physical needs. So how does the church build a relationship with people who don’t need our help? Then it came to me … by serving alongside them!
The church already provides clothing for the homeless, food for the poor, and takes care of the widows and orphans. By inviting Sikhs to serve alongside us establishes our common goals with their community. Working with the Sikh community tears down barriers of unfamiliarity. This allows the church to see them as valuable people in our country. It also provides Sikhs with the opportunity to feel more secure in the U.S. because they now have American friends.
Most importantly, partnering with the Sikh people can build friendships that may lead to opportunities to sow the Gospel. Our ministries will not only help the direct recipients of our compassion ministry, but also indirectly grow the kingdom through Gospel sowing. How exciting to perhaps double the impact of our ministry!
By Jason Ferkel, OMS U.S. Diaspora Ministry Coordinator
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