A Kingdom Approach for Reaching the Nations in DFW

From Reunion Tower and the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, TX to the Stockyards in Fort Worth, TX, this metroplex has a slew of attractions along with America’s team – the Dallas Cowboys – and Major League Baseball’s reigning World Series Champions – the Texas Rangers. But if one looks closer they can find some of the most strategic harvest fields for many of the world’s most significantly unreached people groups that are in desperate need of a gospel witness, and the sheer volume and diversity of these populations make this metroplex a global gateway for sending the gospel to the ends of the earth. 

*Margaret, a retired educator and administrator, started a nonprofit in Fort Worth to help bring awareness to the plight of Afghan refugees and a funding mechanism to assist in meeting their felt needs. *Matt, a Global Gates missionary, connected with Margaret, and they went out one day to share the gospel together with Muslims. 

Margaret realized she had much to learn, so she joined Global Gates’ Pathways Internship. She grew in her ability to tell Jesus stories, and give contextualized gospel presentations through this nine-month missionary training. God used the existing trust and relationships she had built with Afghans to open a door for a gospel witness to these unreached refugees. She also has mobilized several other believers to engage Afghans with the good news. 

Matt has embraced this Kingdom connection by sending teams of short-term volunteers to partner with Margaret. 

“It’s always a joy to work with her on short-term teams, because we can send them places, and say, ‘Hey, we’re friends of Margaret,’” Matt said. “They (Afghans) say, ‘A friend of Margaret’s is a friend of ours.’” 

The fruit of that activity in Fort Worth are some professions of faith in Jesus Christ among Afghans when there were no Afghan believers there a year and a half ago. An Afghan church does not yet exist in Fort Worth, but gatherings for Bible reading with Afghans have taken place.

Dallas is a different story, and was at a head start when it comes to Afghan work since some Afghan refugees were already followers of Jesus when they arrived in Dallas. *Rachel, another recent Pathways graduate, champions ministry and outreach to Afghans in Dallas. She is also connected to a church that is indigenous to Afghans, which was planted about a year ago. Afghan believers are also sharing the gospel with Afghan Muslims in Dallas.

“That’s what we’re after is local ownership, indigenous ownership of evangelism, disciple-making, and church-planting,” Matt said. “It’s encouraging to see that happening.”

Matt is engaged with a variety of other Kingdom endeavors throughout DFW, too, and is striving to help believers and churches in Dallas and Fort Worth catch a vision for the need and opportunity right in front of them. However, Matt says ministry in one of these neighboring Texas megacities does not affect lostness in the other. 

Local Christians in Fort Worth don’t have to drive an hour back and forth to Dallas to obey the Great Commission, and vice versa. There’s a strong possibility they can find a person from a UPG, who has never heard the gospel in their neighborhood, at the grocery store, in the workplace, at their children’s school, or at a nearby park.

Though the vast majority of engagement among UPG’s in Dallas-Fort Worth takes place among Afghans, the need and opportunity extends way beyond to other unreached diaspora populations from a variety of religions. 

Of those, the largest unreached concentrations on the priority list in the DFW Metroplex according to UPGNorthAmerica.com are Saudi Arabs (5,457 in Denton), Kurds (6,500 in South Arlington), Punjabi Sikhs (12,285 in Irving), Bangladeshis (6,355 in Irving), Indo-Pak Muslims (43,274 in Plano), Gujarati Hindus (19,822 in Plano), Iraqi Arabs (11,319 in Richardson), Palestinian Arabs (10,311 in Richardson), Indian Hindi-speaking Hindus (54,777 in Frisco), Lebanese Arabs (5,671 in Richardson), Persians (13,939 in Plano), and Thai Buddhists (5,467 in City Place). 

Matt and a few other Kingdom laborers have collaborated to establish an organization-neutral network called the DFW Diaspora Coalition in an effort to rally, equip, and empower the Body of Christ in DFW to live on mission where they live, work, and play. 

This network functions in three parts. The initial component features a forward-facing website that provides volunteer opportunities, while the next phase is a private Slack channel for workers to communicate and share needs and opportunities. The third piece is a people group tracker for monitoring the progress of UPG engagement in DFW.

The coalition also holds quarterly gatherings for workers to meet with one another for fellowship, training, networking, and resourcing. 

For Matt, it’s not about flying the Global Gates flag in DFW. More importantly, he wants to see Jesus glorified among Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs, and that is going to take the entire Body of Christ, which is made up of normal everyday people, living on mission in their neighborhoods and in the workplace regardless of agency or denominational banner. 

To join us in what God is doing among the nations in DFW, there are multiple levels of commitment one can consider. As for short-term, there are Sifting Week trips and other opportunities, while a midterm commitment might entail a semester-long internship or to join us for Pathways. A more significant level of commitment would be to join us long-term as a missionary. You can learn more online at https://globalgates.info

*Names changed for security reasons.