Black and white churches called to speak with one voice

|PIC1|An Assemblies of God minister has appealed to black majority and white majority churches in the UK to start speaking with one voice.

Speaking at the Mission21 Conference in Bath on Wednesday night, the Nigerian-born Emmanuel Ironguru said there was a “great need” for black and white churches to come together in dialogue and “find common ground”.

“There is a need for us to understand what we are fighting for and why we should stand with each other. Not many Christians are racist. We just don’t understand each other,” he said.

Ironguru has planted churches in Nigeria, Kenya and England and is looking next to plant a church in Canada.

“I am training literally everyone to be a missionary,” he said.

Members of his church in Wolverhampton come together every Tuesday not only to study the Bible but to study other faiths.

Ironguru said Christians in the UK were unable to defend the Gospel to Muslims because they did not understand the strategy of other faiths. He added that the failure of the black and white churches to embrace each other was allowing Islam to gain ground in the UK “faster than the church is gaining converts”.

“Islam is not just a religion. Islam is a religion with a political agenda … Islam is in this nation and its one critical goal is to take over this nation, to islamise this nation. You may think it is impossible. If you think it is impossible it is because you underestimate Islam,” he warned.

Ironguru called on the Church to have a political agenda and the Anglican Church in particular to use its political sway to speak up for Christians.

“The political influence is there but why are they not using it for the good of everyone who is a Christian,” he said.

He went on to say that there was no need for black Christians to keep planting black-led churches, which are among the fastest growing churches in the UK.

“If God sent me to England then I should be evangelising and reaching out to the English because there are less than four million blacks in the UK and we have over 50 million whites who need the Gospel,” he said.

“We have no need to plant black-led churches in this land. We have enough churches in this land to house everyone.”

Ironguru appealed to the white church to speak up for injustices against black people, namely the high number of black people involved in the criminal justice system. Its silence on this issue, he said, was “turning black people away from the church”.

Turning his attention to the revival of churches in the UK, he invited large churches to consider sending some of their members to serve struggling churches elsewhere.

“If we are not empire minded and thinking of the kingdom why should you have 800 people and so many of them very good and fully anointed sitting down in the pews when other churches are dying by your side,” he said.

“Why can’t you say ‘you go and revive that church’, ‘you go and assist that church’? That’s how we should be operating in the UK.”

Church planters and evangelists have been meeting in Bath since Tuesday to share their experiences in establishing new churches and fresh expressions across the UK.

Earlier in the conference, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church, Martyn Atkins called for greater variety in church planting, while Bishop Graham Cray of the Fresh Expressions team said church planters needed to discern the will of God and guidance of the Holy Spirit.