Church Leaders FAQ About Immigration

Two Resources:

1)    4-Part Video Series (below)
2)    72 Page “Church Leaders’ Guide to Immigration”

Each Training is 30 minutes and is followed by a 30 minute Church Leaders Panel Discussion Si su comunidad o su iglesia necesita estos videos traducidos al español, por favor contáctanos.

Part 1: I think immigration is an important issue, but many people in my church are unconvinced or don’t want to engage. What can I do?

Training Part I: How to talk about the issue of immigration in your church from World Relief on Vimeo.

Panel Part I: How to talk about the issue of immigration in your church from World Relief on Vimeo.

Part 2: We’re planning to start involvement in immigrant ministry, but where do we start and how do we do it in a healthy way?

Training Part II: How to serve immigrants in a healthy way from World Relief.

Panel Part II: How to serve imigrants in a healthy way from World Relief.

Part 3: We want to help with responding to legal services but we aren’t ready to do provide legal services ourselves, how do we help?

Training Part III: How to help immigrants with legal issues from World Relief

Panel Part III: Assisting Immigrants with Legal Issues from World Relief.

Part 4: We are ready to start a legal services ministry site. What do we do now?

Training Part IV: Starting an Immigration Legal Services Program from World Relief

Panel Part IV: Starting an Immigration Legal Services Program from World Relief

 World Relief staff members are writing a Church Leaders’ Guide to Immigration to be published in early 2014. The purpose of this guide is to provide church leaders with guidance on immigration that will lead every local church to learn and discern why and how to love immigrants in their church and community. This is for church leaders on every stage of a continuum including those on one side who are leading congregations entirely composed of 1st generation immigrants as well as church leaders on the other of the continuum whose members are unsure or even unreceptive towards immigrants and discussing issues of immigration. To sign up to receive a copy of this Church Leaders’ Guide to Immigration once it becomes available online, please contact the Immigration Coalition here

Frequently Asked Questions

1. My church isn’t primarily an immigrant congregation—why should immigration matter to me?

2. What does the Bible actually say that might inform how I and the people of my church think about immigrants and immigration issues?

3. How do we respond specifically to immigrants who are here illegally, who have overstayed a visa or entered without inspection?

4. The people in my church seem more focused on economic, social, and political concerns than on what the Bible says—I’m a pastor, not a policy expert or an academic: how do I respond to these questions?

5. How do I be a good steward of my influence in addressing public policy issues without inappropriately becoming partisan or politicized?

6. How do I respond to pushback from people in my church who don’t think we should be showing any sort of compassion to immigrants?

7. I know this is an issue that we need to address, but I’m not sure how to do it without driving people out of my church. How do I best go about this?

8. Our church wants to serve and build relationships with immigrants. Where do we start? 9. How do I help my people to minister effectively across racial and cultural barriers?

10. How do we serve those poorer than ourselves without creating dependency? 11. How do we minister among immigrants from different religious backgrounds? 12. How do I assess who to partner with in our community as we seek to serve immigrants? 13. My church has been asked to host an immigrant congregation in our building. What do I need to know before saying yes (or no)?

14. We are an immigrant church that needs a place to meet. How can we best approach and build a relationship with a host church?

15. We have another congregation meeting in our building. How do we build relationships that move beyond tenant-landlord to true Kingdom partners?

16. How do we address the differences in needs and challenges for our 1st and 2nd generation members?

17. Can we legally serve undocumented immigrants as a church?

18. For our undocumented church members, are there limits for their leadership and service in our congregation?

19. How can someone get legal status in the United States? 20. How can a church hire a non-citizen?

21. What are the risks to a church or denomination of sharing space or ministry with undocumented immigrants?

22. What to do if a church member is detained by the police or immigration?

23. Can a church help with immigration applications? 24. How to set up a church based immigration legal program?