About Us

Our history, beliefs and more

Our Story

Today, Immigrant Ministry Connections equips hundreds of everyday Christians and pastoral leaders to cultivate brighter futures for their churches through cross-cultural connections. 

Our well-received resources include blogs, online courses and networking opportunities. 

Our expanding team of volunteers enable us to share the real-world experiences of seasoned practitioners with a national audience. 

But how did we get here?

Changing Demographics

Immigrant Ministry Connections began as a vision of our Founder, John Yoder, upon returning to the Minneapolis metro area after 13 years in China. He discovered that first- and second-generation immigrants comprised 25% of the population of the metro. 

Immigrant believers had planted over 700 ethnic churches, most of which were small and decentralized. 

Moved by both curiosity and compassion, John worshipped in over 60 of these churches, meeting with their pastors and hearing their stories. 

At the same time, he met with dozens of American pastors, learning of their successes and struggles in serving alongside immigrant pastors.


The Vision to Launch


These conversations yielded encouraging discoveries. 

John found that first-generation immigrants are far more responsive to the gospel than native-born Americans, and that the fastest growth of both new believers and new churches in North America is among the foreign-born. 

He also discovered that American churches who form relational and ministry bonds with these churches cultivate fresh momentum. 

But it wasn’t all good news. 

The vast majority of first-generation churches fail to disciple their children in English, and to empower them as young adults for leadership. Thus a generation of spiritual gifts are lost to the Body of Christ. 


John realized that most Christians aren’t aware of these realities. 

Sensing a need to bring these realities to the attention of ministry leaders, he founded Immigrant Ministry Connections in December of 2019.

Minnesota Beginnings

The timing of the December 2019 launch date was providential. 

It took several weeks to create the necessary legal and business systems, and to aid donors in the onboarding process. 

In the spring of 2020 the pandemic hit with full force, and churches went into lockdown mode. 

Throughout 2020-21, our efforts were focused on training, consulting and “church matchmaking” in the local community. 

 Going National

Early feedback from ministry leaders indicated that few voices were addressing the relationships between American and immigrant pastors and churches. 

In February 2022 we began regular blogs on the subject. 

Since then, our ministry readership has increased five-fold. 

In September 2022, we added directories of local immigrant ministry nonprofits across the US and Canada. 

These directories have experienced hundreds of searches, resulting in the formation of new partnerships for many sister agencies.

Expanding Networks and Resources


In February 2023 we launched our first online course, Jumpstarting Church Momentum

Feedback was very positive, and enrollees expressed the desire for additional video resources. 

In June we added Cross-Cultural Friendships 101 to our offerings, and in August will add Empowering the Second Generation

In September we anticipate launching a membership titled The Merging Streams Coalition, featuring monthly practitioner interviews, video training, online Q&A sessions, and a nationwide peer networking forum. 

Our expanding teams of volunteers continue to enable us to provide more and better resources to first-, second- and multi-generation ministry leaders. 

We look to God and his people to continue to expand this ministry and to bring it into the next generation of leadership.

Contact Us

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