Immigration Ministry & Advocacy
We believe that the Church is called to love and minister to all people in the hope that all might come to know Christ as Savior. We also believe that the Church is to reflect the diversity of the nations, tribes, peoples, and languages that we see worship Jesus in Heaven (Rev. 7) and that when we do so, we will be a witness of Christ-centered unity in a hopelessly divided world. The Nations are coming to America and Scripture says (Acts 17:24-28) that God determines the times and places where people live so they will reach out for Him and find Him. We believe that we are living in a time of unprecedented global migration and it is the calling of the Church around the world to welcome the stranger and minister to and advocate for him in the name of Jesus.
Primarily, we desire to see local churches pivot in love, ministry, and good deeds to immigrants and refugees who are in their midst and have come to them here in America from nations all over the world. We believe that God is sovereign and is in charge of the movements of people across the planet so they will encounter Him, reach out to Him, and find Him (Acts 17:24-28).
Immigration is an Intersection Issue. It is an issue that sits at the intersection of many complex subjects and factors that affect every aspect of our lives. Intersections can be confusing and dangerous. All kinds of vehicles and people come through intersections and roads will lead far in many directions. Intersections can be hard to navigate. Good signs and traffic signals are needed to help people know where to go and how to get through them successfully. If we can plant the gospel at the center of the immigration issue, we will affect not just that issue, but we will also be able to speak into other issues as well. The Cross, manifesting in sacrificial love, can be the traffic signal that helps us all navigate this intersection and also influence other roads to other destinations.
To aid pastors and church leaders in developing a biblical approach to immigrant and refugee ministry and advocacy, we developed a resource, Preaching God's Heart for Immigrants and Refugees, that gives a theological, missional, and church-based approach. Scholars and leaders such as Dr. Miguel Echevarria, Keelan Cook, and Jonathan Akin contributed to this resource.
We also believe that our immigration system is broken and that it is not conducive to human flourishing, family growth and stability, economic development, or public safety. Through consulting and mobilizing for these initiatives, we work to help churches pivot toward the immigrant communities in their midst so they can both minister to and advocate for our immigrant neighbors.
The Evangelical Statement of Principles that influences our work with immigrant communities and for immigration reform involves the following (from EIT):
Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America. Initiatives to remedy this crisis have led to polarization and name calling in which opponents have misrepresented each other’s positions as open borders and amnesty versus deportations of millions. This false choice has led to an unacceptable political stalemate at the federal level at a tragic human cost. We urge our nation’s leaders to work together with the American people to pass immigration reform that embodies these key principles and that will make our nation proud. As evangelical Christian leaders, we call for a bipartisan solution on immigration that:
- Respects the God-given dignity of every person
- Protects the unity of the immediate family
- Respects the rule of law
- Guarantees secure national borders
- Ensures fairness to taxpayers
- Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents
If you agree with the six principles listed above and you are a church pastor or ministry leader of any kind, join the thousands of other Evangelical pastors/leaders around the country who have added their voice to a growing movement calling for immigration reform.
Signing the principles only means that you agree with these six ideals. It does not obligate you further. You will receive periodic email and prayer updates about what is happening in regard to immigration ministry and reform.
As Evangelical Christians, we work from a Biblical perspective in loving our neighbor and ministering the gospel to the strangers and sojourners in our midst. God's instruction to Israel in Leviticus 19:33-34 says,
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Alan is available to meet with pastors and churches, business leaders, student organizations, community groups, law enforcement leaders, city and state government officials, and other interested groups at any time to educate and facilitate engagement with immigrant ministry and immigration reform initiatives. He hosts roundtable forums and seminars in large and small groups all over the Southeast on these issues regularly.
Also consider giving support to Dreamers legislatively.
Welcoming the Stranger: Discovering and Sharing God's Heart for Immigrants
Peoples Next Door NC
Peoples Next Door NC Manual
The Immigration Alliance: Providing Immigration Legal Services
Peoples Next Door: Look For These People When Trying To Engage A People Group