Ministry among Hindus (UK) Consultation
How is Hinduism impacting the UK? What can the Church do to enable Hindus to have encounters with Jesus? What resources are you using in your ministry? These were some of the questions that were asked at the Hindu Ministry Consultation (UK) in February.
The aim of this consultation was to bring together those from both the academic and the practitioner arenas in order to share best practice and, I believe, all went away encouraged and enriched by the event.
Matt Irvine from New Life Suwarta Sangat presented a paper based on his recent study. This looked at the issue of how we emphasise koinonia (fellowship) embodied in ekklesia (Christian community). We discussed how, to someone from a Hindu background, there is an importance and relevance for a deeper sense of koinonia and ekklesia which can often be lacking in the western model of Church. There is the need to make our koinonia porous, being not just about events, but about a lifestyle that impacts our ekklesia. We were also reminded that, in our desire to reflect a “New Testament” Church, we sometimes forget that this model must have looked different in different settings depending on the local culture and the circumstances of the believers eg slave or free. It was great to hear people sharing their thoughts and experiences as well as airing their questions around the subject.
We also took time to share some of the resources that different people are using. Again, the breadth of those resources highlighted the need for flexibility in approach depending who we are interacting with. The term ‘resource’ did not just include various written courses but also events, visits and trips which had enhanced delegates’ understanding of Hinduism and the background of those they are working amongst.
Throughout the day, there were opportunities to pray for each other and the work that people are involved in.
I am very much looking forward to the next Hindu Ministry Consultation; to hear how God has answered our prayers and continue to learn from one another as we share in this ministry.
Article by: Kevin Wren, Director, South Asian Concern