The world is becoming increasingly complex, while at the same time becoming increasingly interconnected. The reality is that with each revolution the planet Earth makes around the sun, our countries, cities and communities look less and less like they used to. The world is a very different place than it was 50 years ago. There is a great migration taking place in many parts of the world, and the beautiful thing about these changes is how much smaller the world has become in the process. Exponential urban and immigration growth has given us unprecedented exposure and access to diversity, varied ethnicities and cultures and with it all, opportunities to learn from one another.
Increasingly, the churches in our cities are becoming microcosms of the cities themselves. Along with the beautiful array of culture and diversity can also come challenges in terms of meeting the wide range of ministry needs for diverse people groups, understanding other cultures and serving those we may not completely understand.
In this month’s Group Talk, Carolyn Taketa welcomes Mark Nam, to talk about these challenges and opportunities. Does your ministry have a plan and system to welcome and minister to refugees, foreign domestic workers and diverse ethnicities? How can your church address issues of justice and reconciliation? Is your church even a place where those of different cultures would feel welcome to worship and experience community? These are all questions that must be addressed by the 21st century church that desires to grow and thrive in today’s culture. Because this isn’t the world that we used to know.”
Mark Nam is the Community-Life Pastor at The Vine Church, an international church in Hong Kong. He is originally from the UK where he graduated from the University of Wales with an honours in law. Mark began working at The Vine as a worship pastor in 2007, recording three albums with Integrity Music under The Vine Band and was instrumental in establishing Worship Central Asia, a school of worship originating from Holy Trinity Brompton in London.
Since 2013, Mark has been responsible for the spiritual-development and care of The Vine’s Small-Group communities, that meet across Hong Kong, Kowloon, New Territories and out-lying islands. He also spearheads Family-Life, a ministry of The Vine that aims to bring practical teaching and training focused on Christian values.