Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Recommended Reading: Westbury UMC's apartment ministry to refugees

While this article about the journey undertaken by Westbury UMC in Houston, TX, in launching an apartment ministry to refugees in the area is a long one, I highly recommend you add it to your summer reading list. The article is a good description of the long and at times difficult and ambiguous process by which Westbury has transformed itself from a large but declining and adrift church to one focused on a particular set of ministries to its community and therefore growing.

Part of what makes this article a good one, though, is that it is not a simple celebration of "five easy steps to turnaround" that this church applied and all others should, too. The article acknowledges the difficulties, complexities, time, effort, and money involved in cross-cultural missional engagement as well as the potential benefits. It is not a simple success story, and not all churches will be able to replicate what Westbury did, nor should they. This article can, however, help all churches to reflect on what it means to do ministry with others in their contexts.

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