Colin Watson, a speaker at the Glocal Church Summit, works in men’s ministry at Madison Avenue Christian Reformed Church, a multicultural congregation in Paterson, New Jersey.
Among other things, his church offers an after-school program, a discipleship ministry, and help for people recovering from addictions.
Madison Avenue CRC, says Watson, is an example of the kinds of congregations highlighted at the summit, held in Los Angeles in November.
“Our church works to be a congregation that celebrates and embraces diversity,” said Watson, who spoke at the summit on the issue of diversity.
The event drew people from 17 different states, three regions in Canada, and Mexico and Korea.
The word glocal is a hybrid combining local and global; it refers to doing global ministry in one’s own neighborhood.
“The question we addressed was ‘How do we engage with people from around the world from a local perspective?’” said Rev. Moses Chung, director of Home Missions, which sponsored the summit along with other CRC agencies.
In the traditional model, Chung said, missions tend to be viewed as outreach done by a church for people in other places.
While it is important to do this, it is also crucial to realize that the world has come to us, said Chung.
“Many of the cultures from around the world are represented in our own neighborhoods,” he said.
About the Author
Chris Meehan is a freelance writer and commissioned pastor at Coit Community Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.