Walk out your front door and you’ll find our “new Samaria”—a land of immigrants, refugees, and people of countless cultures and backgrounds longing for us to welcome them and to share the good news.
Dr. Alejandro Mandes has dedicated his life to helping bridge cultural gaps in the church. He shares his vision for the church “to see, love, reach, and ultimately be the new Samaria in a way that brings true transformation to our churches and communities.” A Latino and a native of the US-Mexico borderland, he has traveled around the world to understand cultures, equip thousands of leaders, and befriend influencers within the emerging immigrant church.
With the ultimate goal of unity, Embracing the New Samaria will help you to consider new ways to do church that accommodates multiethnicity, community development, and theological diversity. You’ll see that Mandes is a teacher who admonishes out of love and trains from a huge, passionate heart. You’ll be challenged with thoughtful questions, hear memorable stories, learn key strategies, and make plans to equip those around you to impact your changing community in loving, tangible, and practical ways.
It’s time for all of us to catch the vision that Mandes presents, to make disciples and love our neighbors, so that we embrace a great community of every tribe, language, and tongue.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Part I See the New Samaria
1 Recalibrating Our Vision 17
2 The Demographic Tipping Point 37
3 Justice Revival 51
Part II Love the New Samaria
4 Extending Our Vision of God's Kingdom 73
5 Appreciating the Beauty of Other Cultures 89
6 Entering into the Pain of the Marginalized 101
Part III Reach the New Samaria
7 Strategy Transformation 113
8 Making Disciples 123
9 Equipping Leaders 139
Part IV Be the New Samaria
10 One Reconciled Community 157
11 Multiethnic Ministry and Transforming Communities 173
12 Pass the Church Forward 187
About the Author 209
What People are Saying About This
In his galvanizing book Embracing the New Samaria: Opening Our Eyes to Our Multiethnic Future, Dr. Alex Mandes enables us to see God’s current work in the harvest fields of what he calls Samerica, the new Samaria of multiethnic America. He powerfully weaves Scripture, statistics, and stories to flesh out how God consistently transforms people from fear and self-preservation into a diverse, unified, and missional community. Readers will be challenged and convicted—but also excited and equipped—to get in on what God is doing in our neighborhoods around the world. A must-read for any who wonder what God has been up to lately.
This is a book long overdue from one of evangelicalism’s most ardent, credible, and proven champions of equitable inclusion of the marginalized in the full life and expression of the local church. My good friend and colleague, Dr. Alejandro Mandes, herein provides a personal, pastoral, and practical guide for twenty-first-century ministry leaders determined to advance a credible witness by establishing churches that embody the good news of God’s love and hope for all people—not just some—in an increasingly diverse society. To get beyond rhetoric to results in this regard, I commend to you this work and encourage a passionate pursuit of its aim.
Alex Mandes is a visionary leader helping churches minister to immigrants. He has instilled the passion and provided the tools to do so in his own denomination, where he serves as executive director of ethnic, immigrant, and justice programs. And he’s built effective, replicable systems now used by many churches outside his denomination. In this book, Alex clearly explains why the Great Commission requires that we make disciples beyond those who are “just like us.” And—most importantly—he provides specifics on how to do so. It’s an easy, insightful read for church leaders and a great resource for small groups and individuals who want to reach their neighbors in the margins and fulfill the Great Commission.
In the Gospel of Luke, the disciple John eagerly suggests calling down fire on a village of the geographically proximate but ethnically and religiously different Samaritans, a suggestion Jesus firmly rebukes. Apparently John eventually learned to emulate Jesus’ love for those on the margins because in the book of Acts, John prays for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit. In Embracing the New Samaria, my friend Dr. Alejandro Mandes challenges and exhorts the church to follow Jesus’ call to love, seek justice for, disciple, and be discipled by those on the margins of our society. I pray that many will read this engaging, biblically rooted book and, like John, embrace the vision of Christ’s beautifully multiethnic Kingdom.
In Embracing the New Samaria, Dr. Mandes casts a vision for the body of Christ to hold the Great Commission and Great Commandment in a healthy tension by intentionally leaning into disciplemaking inclusive of justice and compassion, yielding a transformed community of believers. The prophetic instruction applies to a broad swarth of believers: those curious about engaging the “other” in their communities, those with firmly held convictions of God’s call into the uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and those currently engaged and seeking an alternative viewpoint. Embracing the New Samaria is a call for Christians to open their hearts to the humbling work of pursuing biblical justice, racial reconciliation, and the diversity of God’s Kingdom. And to open their eyes, see the opportunities around them, and offer strategic next steps toward living on earth as it is in heaven.
Amid the great demographic shifts happening before our eyes, Dr. Mandes gives us a nuanced take on what it means to make disciples among a diverse group of people to build what he calls the Great Community. This book will help both majority- and minority-culture leaders reimagine who is in their Samaria and how to make disciples more effectively among them.
I love this gift Alex is bringing to the body of Christ in the form of Embracing the New Samaria. Alex’s vision of a future that will more fully reflect God’s intended design (Revelation 7:9) and of the opportunity we have to live and see the Kingdom of God manifest through his people is compelling and challenging. I commit to Alex’s call for us to move forward as learners, with the humility of Christ, to ask the Lord to open our eyes as his people, so we can join him in seeing this beautiful, multicolored, multicultural tapestry come into being. The future and fate of the church depends on it.
In this penetrating and challenging book, Alex Mandes shows us how to appreciate what a special gift those who are different from us racially or culturally are. Alex’s book is the fruit of a lifetime of living and ministering as a “minority in a majority world.” This book has literally opened my eyes to the many ways I’ve looked past my dear neighbors like Alex and have therefore not only done them deep disservice but also missed out on the treasure that they would have been to me if I could’ve only seen them and allowed them to come alongside of me in my daily life and ministry. His book is not only about ministering to “Samerica,” as he calls it, but being blessed to minister with our brothers and sisters of different races and cultures. If you’re looking for a caustic and judgmental blast at most of us, you’ll not find it here. Instead, what Alex provides is a winsome, but provocative, challenge of our preferences and prejudices—and an invitation to the many possibilities of a far more beautiful, fruitful life and ministry through living and working alongside those we might have previously overlooked or even looked down on.
In Embracing the New Samaria, Alex Mandes gives a clarion call for us to see our communities through the eyes of missionaries. For the church to effectively live out the Lord’s mission, we must intentionally look for the unreached, the unengaged, and the unnoticed people around us and then consider how we can effectively share with them the good news of the gospel in both word and deed. As we do, the Lord will be glorified through the multiplication of transformational churches among all people!
Embracing the New Samaria is a Gospel-centered, transformational invitation to see differently. Alex calls us beyond myopic, homogeneous visions of the Kingdom of God to a glorious multiethnic revival rooted in the missio Christi which embraces the modern-day Samarias beyond preference, privilege, or prejudice. It is a journey the church in America should boldly embrace anew.
An excellent book from Dr. Alex Mandes! In this deeply personal, transparent book, he causes us (in a healthy way) to stop, think, examine, and see things differently, to gain a better glimpse of God’s perspective concerning the diverse communities that make up America. Mandes helps the reader understand how God wants to use us and his church to reach the people surrounding us. You will be far richer for having read this book!
Mandes calls majority-culture Christians and churches to engage the new Samaria that is this country. Passionate, practical, informed by personal experience, and grounded in biblical texts, this work exhorts its readers to embrace “orthodance,” the confluence of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The American church needs to revitalize its mission by doing compassionate justice, making disciples, planting multiethnic churches, and providing relevant leadership training. A timely word by an eminent practitioner!