USA (MNN) — Today in the United States there are millions of people who speak English, but it’s not their first language. They’re college students, immigrants, refugees and business people. The common desire? Each of them want to learn or improve their English.
Teaching English is quickly becoming an amazing way to sharing Jesus with those who otherwise wouldn’t want to listen. What even more amazing is that this can become an incredible intercultural outreach experience for individuals and the local church.
Cornerstone University understands that and has not only established a program at the University level to teach this, but the university is also providing a conference to help average Christians start a ministry and help it thrive.
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michgian is hosting their 14th annual English as a second language ministry conference.
Cornerstone University’s Department chair of the humanities division, Michael Pasquale, “We really have a burden reach out to churches to be able to reach those neighbors who come from a variety of languages and cultures to be able to equip a church to say, ‘I want to reach them. How do I do that?’ That’s really the focus of this conference.”
But if every continent already uses English, is there really a need for this conference? The fact is, even in small towns in the Midwest, there are extremely diverse populations with people from various languages and cultures. Knowing how to teach and share English is a way to seem inviting, and it is one way to show hospitality.
According to Pasquale the conference will cover things like, “How to teach, and how to train your volunteer teachers.”
The main speaker is Dr. Joe Knight, who is the President of 4Ethne, “He’s had experience at the local church level of turning his suburban church to an open church to reflect scores of languages and cultures. He’s going speak from his experience and his desire to see the church reflect the diversity of Christ.”
4Ethne is a non-profit that equips Christians and churches to share the hope they have in Jesus Christ with some of the least-reached people groups living among us from our multi-religious world.
In a nutshell, this conference is for people or churches wanting to reach their international neighbors with the Gospel.
The conference is in West Michigan, but people from all over the Midwest are expected to attend this one-day conference. Many do every year. Early registration deadline is March 31, 2015. To find out more information you can visit https://www.cornerstone.edu/esl-conference.
Pasquale says the greatest gift you can give is the story of Christ and what better way to share that story than through the door of education and language. ESL programs are another avenue to sharing the Gospel with people who have never heard the story of Jesus Christ.