“Oftentimes multiethnicity based on secularized notions of diversity lead to little spiritual impact because their foundation is humanitarianism, not Scripture, and our number one asset is the Bible. Social analysis is needed for understanding, but our efforts must have the foundation of being Spirit led and Word based.”
“Christian leaders often struggle personally with how to take their good intentions of racial reconciliation and translate it to the realm of their faith and leadership. Here are 6 principles to follow.”
In this series of seven articles (~30 pages total) Chad Brennan, the Director of ReNew Partnerships, presents foundational principles for Christians who want to handle ethnic relations in a biblical and effective way.
“The increasing diversity of communities and the declining demographic of established churches offers them the opportunity to transition from a mono-ethnic to a multi-ethnic congregation. Here are nine basic steps to take your church through the process.
Study your community. Familiarize yourself with the demographics of your community and their needs. Ministering to one’s felt needs allows you to minister to the real need the forgiveness of sins. Community service type ministries not only meet the needs of the community but they can build a bridge to share the Gospel.”
“It is my responsibility to fight the economic conditions, which we introduce to thousands of Christians every year, so that they may create life-change for their students and then maybe those communities too.”
This resource is located at: http://theresurgence.com/tim_keller_2002_a_biblical_theology_of_the_city
“This material provides an introduction to a vision of “Social Healing” as a way to transform ourselves, our churches and our society to address injustice and bring the Gospel to our communities and the world. The goal of this material will help us to better understand our own church cultures and how to foster minority cultures within our church communities to develop communities that can more effectively address injustice.”
This resource is located at: http://www.religionlink.org/tip_070108.php
This resource is located at: http://www.religionlink.org/tip_061204.php
Many 20-somethings I know are deeply confident in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, and also deeply humbled about their place in the world. Neither zealotry nor triumphalism holds any appeal. They see the world in overwhelming need on every level and feel compelled to respond.
Click here to view this resource: A More Excellent Way by Brenda Salter McNeil An update on Dr. McNeil’s biographical information at the end of this article… This article was published in 2005 while she was serving on staff with InterVarsity. She is currently serving as President and Founder of Salter McNeil & Assoc. She […]
A Multi-Ethnic Ministry Framework for Campus Ministry: Holding Tightly to the Lord and Loosely to Our Own Agenda by Paul SorrentinoAdded: 06/04/10
“Majority people have many of their social and cultural core issues addressed by the broader society and may not even need to think about them. Because of this, majority people are much more likely to focus on personal core issues. Because personal core issues are common to all people, there is some attraction to these areas for people of color as well. However, like Eric Erikson’s basic needs pyramid, it is far more difficult for students of color to focus on personal core issues alone when so many other needs are pressing.”
“The multiethnic, multicongregational church is a church that has adopted the challenge of biblical justice and mission in the context of cultural diversity, racial tensions, increased pluralism, and multiple linguistic and cultural complexities to build symbiotic relationships and harmony between diverse groups, intent on bringing biblical reconciliation between them. The foundation for this display of the Kingdom of God is the reconciling power of the cross of Christ that brings people to obedience to the vision of God for all humanity. The multiethnic and multicongregational church provides for both autonomy and interdependency.”
“In Jesus and Justice he does precisely that, circling back to Friday’s injustices, only to return again to Sunday in declaring his confidence in a resurrection of authentic social justice. Switching metaphors, Heltzel concludes that American evangelicalism has matured into a prophetic movement “in a shade of blue-green—blue representing the tragedy of black suffering and green symbolizing the hope of a new social engagement with poverty, AIDS, and the environment.”
This resource is located at: http://www.christianvisionproject.com/2006/06/a_new_kind_of_urban_christian.html
“It is not just tough urban neighborhoods that need shalom. What would bring comprehensive flourishing to those who commute in and out of the city every day? What would bring it to neighborhoods where high housing prices create a monoculture of affluence?”
“There are four sins we must deal with. (And I described instances of Arrogance, Hydroplaning, Gossip, and Gracelessness.) All have been observed in Pulpit, and Pew, and Parking Lot, and Public. These four venues describe our sins’ scope as we have seen these sins emanate from leaders and subgroups within the congregation; individually in the parking lot, and often displayed in front of the community—among non-believers as well as Christians from other churches.”
“Here is the main challenge: Conventional Spanish-speaking ministry models are unintentionally designed to preserve the language and cultural preferences of foreign-born Latinos. My research during the past five years has convinced me that as the church’s attention and resources have been drawn to the rapid growth of the Hispanic evangelical church during the past three decades, they have unintentionally overlooked U.S.-born English-dominant Latinos. “
“Racial/ ethnic prejudice was a definite factor in ancient life and thought. Relations among the ethnic groups in an ever expanding Roman empire was a problem to be constantly addressed. And for Christianity with its gospel for all peoples, the barriers of prejudice spawned by pride, fear, and the desire to dominate had to be broken through if the church was to be a faithful expression of the truths on which it was founded.”
This resource is located at: http://www.thebanner.org/magazine/article.cfm?article_id=122 Excerpt from the article: "When it comes to racial and ethnic diversity in the Christian Reformed Church, these are the best of times—and the worst of times. Churches either succeed at becoming multiethnic or they fail miserably. Granted, it’s not an easy task, but in many senses, it’s not […]
“So, just as Dr. Martin Luther King articulated his dream for a nation over thirty years ago, I sought to articulate my dream for cultural and ethnic diversity in Christian Higher Education. What would a campus committed to diversity look like?”
“My dear Woodworm,
When human creatures first come into the world, they are notorious for their single-minded focus on their basic needs, and their effectiveness in making those needs known. They make it very clear to everyone around them that they want what they want, and they want it NOW, and they won’t rest until they get it. — Delightfully, many of them never seem to advance beyond this stage!”
In 2003, Hill left a suburban megachurch to plant River City Community Church in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Founded by an intentionally diverse team of leaders, the congregation of 250 is now 60 percent white and 40 percent African, Latino, and Asian-American. Leadership spoke with Hill and River City’s multi-ethnic leadership team about their unexpected challenges.
“‘It will definitely affect the Hispanic church,’ said Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “They will be fearful of even using vans to pick up [church] members—many of whom can’t afford their own cars and depend on the church for transportation.
As an industrial psychologist, Jonathan Golden helped companies grow stronger through team building and management training. But he wanted to do something more. When a Rwandan bishop encouraged him to help coffee farmers in Rwanda, Golden was sold. As an industrial psychologist, Jonathan Golden helped companies grow stronger through team building and management training. But he wanted to do something more. When a Rwandan bishop encouraged him to help coffee farmers in Rwanda, Golden was sold.
“Most Americans believe that the Christian faith has made positive contributions to American society during the past few years. A new nationwide survey from The Barna Group reveals that most of those contributions fall into one of three categories. Surprisingly, the survey also discovered that Americans are even more likely to identify negative contributions to society by Christianity in recent years.”
Excerpt: But it is not just the straightforward testimony to life with Christ that stirred me. Ironically, in the week since first reading Home to Holly Springs, I have found that it is Karon’s limited reckoning with racism that has most deeply convicted me. It is one thing, an easy thing, for me to sit […]
Just as Evangelicals in times past have stood together on the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and global struggles against poverty, religious persecution, and AIDS/HIV, we must once again demonstrate a mosaic of solidarity around comprehensive immigration reform–a reform that reflects God’s mandate to remember the stranger for we were once strangers.
Asian American views on Ethnic Specific Ministry and Multi-ethnic Ministry by Collin Tomikawa & Sandy SchauppAdded: 06/04/10
“For many in the majority culture, ethnicity is a non-category. It is not something many think about and perhaps can create a blind spot in how we see the Scriptures. Ironically, in many Asian American specific settings ethnic identity is never explored. Race and ethnicity are not things the Scriptures are silent about. Perhaps as the Asian American community gains more perspective on race and culture in the Scriptures we can bring a more accurate picture of our God to the Church.”
“Sadly, there was a time in our not-so-distant past when many Christian churches and organizations were clearly not open to ethnic diversity. So, having doors that are open to all is a step in the right direction–but, it is only the beginning of the journey. If we are really serious about building and sustaining multi-ethnic Christian churches and organizations we must be committed (with the Lord’s help and direction) to making the multitude of changes that are necessary to see that happen.”
“You can change the form of how we do church in America but you can’t change the reality of the problems of pastoral leadership. What Pastor Shaun, my colleague, and many others who want Matt. 22:37-40 churches need is to develop the lost art of lament.”
“Many of our religious organizations have focused on competing for bodies, dollars and talent rather than upholding core values such as service, obedience, simplicity, purpose, responsibility, accountability, humility, compassion and community. Without our faith tribes playing their historic role as the moral and spiritual leaders of the nation, we have taken our values cues from the political and business sectors. That has lowered the bar on character and vision. That, in turn, has led the nation to deteriorate from a place on unity amidst diversity to a place of individualism amidst competition for personal comfort and supremacy.”
This resource is located at: http://news.christiansunite.com/Religion_News/religion01377.shtml Excerpt… “Nationwide Barna surveys of more than 2,600 American adults revealed marked differences between the African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and white populations of the U.S. in the areas of their religious beliefs, religious practices, and faith-influenced attitudes. The researchers interviewed randomly selected adults, asking about eight specific religious behaviors and […]
“So with great ignorance, we began to move forward with our plans to become a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural church. Part of what drove our vision was the concept that every culture and ethnicity, every socio-economic and even political group sees both more and less of God and His will because of the spectacles with which they approach the Scripture and life.”
“We’ve discovered that this kind of conversation is an active way of life—essential to the abundant life into which we have been called in Christ Jesus. Finding God moving in our midst and transforming our neighborhoods, continuing the work of reconciling a broken world and drawing it deeper into the communion for which it was created—it all started, at least for us, with stopping long enough to listen.”
“At the heart of the gospel is the message of reconciliation. The American Heritage Dictionary associates reconciliation more closely with penance – an act of devotion performed voluntarily to show sorrow for a sin or other wrongdoing. Our need to demonstrate reconciliation culturally and ethnically within our churches is not about pursuing uniformity or cultural and ethnic dismantlement. Reconciliation is a message of togetherness and oneness. Intentional or unintentional exclusivity is not simply a matter of personal preference…it is sin that needs to be set right.”
This resource is located at: http://hopeinthecities.org/node/23240 Please Note: This is not a Christian article but we have included it in our resource section because it contains material that you may find helpful for discussion.
“Our small Northwoods community isn’t on the way to anywhere. It’s a destination point. Locals say it’s not the end of the earth, but if it weren’t for the trees, you could see it from here! Soon after arriving from southern California 20 years ago, I discovered that small town ministry includes some unique challenges”
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/aprilweb-only/114-12.0.html CT received a great deal of criticism for this article. Read their response in Blessed is the Law–Up to a Point article. Excerpt:
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/aprilweb-only/114-53.0.html This article is CT’s response to the criticism they received due to the Blessed Are the Courageous article. Excerpt: “Since nearly every critic expressed this exact sentiment, we thought some clarifications were in order, as well as a challenge for our law-and-order brothers and sisters. While legislation has been […]
Calvin College’s New President Talks Budget Pressures, Diversity, and the Biggest Theological Issue Today by Katelyn BeatyAdded: 10/02/13
“Like every Christian college I have been a part of, there is a dominant culture that is well meaning and well intended and wants to be diverse, but is not always aware of the way being the majority culture leads to blind spots. A big part of the work that lies ahead for Calvin is going farther up and farther in, to understand what it means to be a diverse community of faith that welcomes students from a broad background in ways that say, “We need you because we need to learn from each other.”
But in some churches, the racial divide is beginning to erode, and it is fading fastest in one of American religion’s most conservative precincts: Evangelical Christianity. According to Michael Emerson, a specialist on race and faith at Rice University, the proportion of American churches with 20% or more minority participation has languished at about 7.5% for the past nine years. But among Evangelical churches with attendance of 1,000 people or more, the slice has more than quadrupled, from 6% in 1998 to 25% in 2007.
“The growing immigrant community in America is a literal cross-cultural mission field at our doorstep. Over the years efforts made to reach these precious souls with the Gospel by an existing English-speaking congregation has proven difficult it not disastrous. Below are the observations of two men regarding the challenges facing immigrant churches and pastors when meeting in English speaking churches.”
“Racial reconciliation among evangelicals is one of those slippery topics that come and go based on which national leader is currently jazzed about it. Back in the mid-1990s, when the Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, and Promise Keepers were riding high on the reconciliation bandwagon, it was all the rage. But Christians who are engaged in race and justice issues on a daily basis know that these periods of heightened interest typically fade after people lose that initial ‘we are one’ buzz.”
“Our faith expresses itself through reconciliation with God, ourselves, and others. Given this understanding, the image of an artisan of reconciliation is a compelling one. An artisan is an individual who becomes exceptionally accomplished at a skill by committing his or her life to developing a craft. Artisans of reconciliation devote their lives to becoming more skilled at the art of relational bridge building. We delight at the opportunity to sharpen our diplomatic skills in the drama of human social intercourse. We are faithful in developing our God-given reconciling gifts within the context of separation and alienation.
This resource is located at: http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/04/choosing_multie.html
Acton is deeply impressed by Roma Christians’ ability to find joy in their faith while living on a continent that has rejected their people for centuries. “I think the Romani witness that is emerging—as it gets written down [and] people understand what is going on—[will be seen as] a moment in world religion,” he said.
We call for an end to the unproductive, divisive, and fear-driven anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media, which has often castigated all immigrants, regardless of citizenship status, and derailed attempts at true reform. As Christian leaders who share the biblical values named below, we commit to fostering civil dialogue on immigration in our churches and in our communities. We call on President Barack Obama to provide the leadership necessary to move from the hateful rhetoric that has often characterized this national debate to action that will fix our broken immigration system. We look forward to working alongside the president to lead a new national conversation on immigration policy that reflects the best of our moral and civic values.
“When Pastor Joe Wittwer visited Iglesia Elim in Armenia, El Salvador, he saw the massive needs and wanted to help. He had already formed a close bond with Elim’s husband and wife pastoral team, Frank and Paty Ardon. Despite gang warfare in the neighborhood, they were partnering with Compassion International to provide weekly care for more than 300 children and their families.”
“It’s said that 11 a.m. on Sunday is the most segregated hour in America,” said Anderson, 44, who has been preaching in some capacity for 24 years. “As a multicultural church, representing people from 42 nations, we seek to put a stop to that.”
“Our country is grappling with many high-stakes, emotionally charged issues: government spending, war, medical care, collective bargaining rights, abortion, gay marriage. Our democracy cannot prosper if people vilify, slander, and even shout down those with whom they disagree.”
Color Blindness, Political Correctness, or Racial Reconciliation: Christian Ethics and Race by George YanceyAdded: 03/02/10
“Reconciliation theology offers a third way to examine the problems of race within our society. It is an ideology that evangelicals may be able to use to attract non-believers who are dissatisfied with the answers that they have received from the two secular models. It is also a model by which Christians can gain a better understanding of racial issues. Therefore, we must find ways to communicate our vision of reconciliation to the larger American society. We need our churches to go beyond superficial racial platitudes to make the Body of Christ an instrument that develops healthy, close, egalitarian, and reconciled racial relationships.”
This resource is located at: http://www.urbanministry.org/confessions-and-traps
“If one cannot find a church community where deep friendships and social connections can be built, that person will often leave to find another community because this is their primary place to find community. This is one of the main reasons that multiethnic/multiracial congregations are so difficult to establish and sustain.”
“The question that drives our research on cultural intelligence is this: Why do some individuals and ministries easily and effectively adapt their views and behaviors cross-culturally and others don’t? What factors explain the difference?”
“The SBC’s efforts are bold, especially in light of its complicated history with race relations. But it’s far from the first predominantly white evangelical denomination to get serious about racial and ethnic diversity. The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) and the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) have been at it for a long time, too. And, despite inevitable challenges, both are making headway.”
“Our mission statement as a worship arts ministry is ‘To celebrate Jesus’ life transforming power through creative arts, to create an atmosphere that invites people of all ethnicities to worship the living God and to cultivate spiritual growth and character development in all of our members.’”
This resource is located at: http://consumingjesus.org/2008/06/05/diverse-living-shapes-my-racial-beliefs/
“A qualitative case study methodology was used to determine what drives four Christian colleges attempting to become more diverse communities and what role their mission plays in seeking the change they desire. “
“Although public skepticism of religion has become increasingly commonplace, a new Barna Group study shows that most Americans remain relatively upbeat about the role that local churches play in their communities.
“The world is a pretty global, cross cultural place. The degree to which the school can reflect that cross-cultural nature, it’s going to be much easier for our students then to go into the world and feel comfortable and be effective,” – President Randolph Lowry, Lipscomb University
“The HUP is seen less favorably these days, but it remains common for church planters to target culturally similar people. Categories such as cultural elites, the creative class, or young professionals may sound exotic but are often used to describe people most like the church planter.”
Drivers that Motivate Faith-Based Institutions to Seek Change in the Area of Diversity by Joel PerezAdded: 04/18/12
“Even if an institution starts with mission and diversifies its employees and trustees, efforts cannot be sustained unless it is monitoring progress and coordinating efforts. All four institutions were not doing these things effectively. At best, each institution was just using enrollment data to monitor progress. No other data was being gathered and evaluated to determine where the gaps existed and potential strategies to decrease the gaps.”
“The future of missions will be shaped by mutuality between East and West, North and South, sending and receiving nations. Because there are now vibrant believers and thriving churches in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eurasia, and even the Middle East, we in the West shouldn’t think of ourselves as the saving force in world missions. Churches worldwide are learning to come together.”
“We have developed a program called the Voorhees Ave. Leadership House. This is a joint program with Seattle Pacific University. At the house we are taking young black men and adding young white men, primarily from Seattle, who come down and go to school at Jackson State. Jackson State is an all-black school and so the white students become a minority. What we have at the Voorhees Ave. House is a sort of a reconciling community. We are supporting those young blacks and also helping them to overcome their own inferiority, and of course we are helping the whites to overcome their superiority. That’s what that house is for. It is an experiment; it takes time.”
Excerpt: “There is a pressing need for a new way for diverse people to come together in worship. North America is becoming increasingly multicultural. Universities and colleges are unique shelters of hundreds for people groups. If we are to be people who are sent out to love God’s children throughout the world, we must start […]
“In one church I know, over 100 people were hired, over the course of eight years, to fill positions of leadership. But only two minorities were hired in ministry positions, and one in an administrative role. Yet this was a town that was nearly 40 percent black! Each time a new pastor was hired, the leaders would say, ‘We are pleased to announce that we have found the best man for the job.’ He was always white and in many other ways reflective of core leadership.”
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2008/002/11.49.html
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/february/4.104.html
This resource is located at: http://www.rmni.org/1/missions/5-steps-for-intercultural-teaching.html
“Rick was a changed man, and the principles behind what happened to him—and what must happen for any individual or organization to change—are the subject of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.”
“Someone who has been offended or deeply hurt will usually feel they have a right to be angry, hurt and bitter. They may even plan to take revenge. In contrast, God asks us to trust him with our pain, trust him for justice, and forgive those who hurt us (Romans 12:17-20). “
This resource is located at: http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=7108
This resource is located at: http://www.urbana.org/_articles.cfm?RecordId=217
“Furthermore, our understanding and appreciation of who we are as a community of believers will inevitably determine how we live in community with other believers who are different from us. Where there is a crisis of identity, there is a dearth of authenticity, genuine community, and ethnic reconciliation.”
Excerpt: "On an evening walk in August 1990, Muzikowski met an African-American man named Al Carter, who was conducting batting practice with some kids. Carter, a product of the neighborhood, carried with him its history and hope. Carter’s local knowledge and involvement provided Muzikowski something, despite his many business contacts downtown, he couldn’t purchase. The […]
“As “iron sharpens iron,” students from different backgrounds educate one another through their critical dialogues. Back and forth they go on their computers, sharing inquires and glimpses into the vigorous process taking place inside them. Their response to one another sheds light and opens new worlds of thought and perspectives.”
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/april/23.36.html Excerpt from the article: "Hybels: Willow Creek started in the era when, as the book noted, the church-growth people were saying, "Don’t dissipate any of your energies fighting race issues. Focus everything on evangelism." It was the homogeneous unit principle of church growth. And I remember as a young […]
I was privileged to serve on my church’s New Beginnings leadership team and had long been interested in finding ways to help Black Enola G. Airdpeople work to overcome the myth of Black inferiority — the myth created centuries ago to justify the enslavement and subjugation of Black people. It says that Black people are not as smart, not as beautiful, not as lovable, and not as valuable, as other people. It is still undermining us.
“A good way to support someone’s healing process is to be an active listener. Many people rarely experience this sort of listening and it can be a great source of healing. You do not need to be a professional counsellor to listen effectively. The following are some key skills for active listening. “
“Hispanics are the largest minority group on the nation’s college campuses, a milestone first achieved last year (Fry, 2011). But as their growth among all college-age students continues to outpace other groups, Hispanics are now, for the first time, the largest minority group among the nation’s four-year college and university students. And for the first time, Hispanics made up one-quarter (25.2%) of 18- to 24-year-old students enrolled in two-year colleges.”
Something that I feel the Korean culture does very well is honoring their elders. There is an expectation, as a younger person, where your job is to be their servant and value who they are. And that means having them sit down first during meals, bringing their meals to them, listening to their advice, etc.
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/july/19.64.html
“To be sure, race remains a flashpoint and a divide. Blacks are much more likely than whites to say that racism against blacks persists — 72% of blacks say it is widespread, compared with 49% of whites — but they are also more optimistic that Obama’s election will improve that.”
“There are too many kinds of ‘never-churched-non-Christians.’ There are Arabs in Detroit, Hmongs in Chicago, Chinese and Jews in New York City, Anglos in the Northwest and Northeast that were raised by secular parents—some are artists and creative types, some work in business. All of these are growing groups of never-churched, but they are very different from one another. No model can connect to them all—every model can connect to some. “
“Compared to the other three ethnic groups, blacks emerged as the most likely to engage in each of five church-related activities in a typical week (attending church services, participating in a small group, attending a Sunday school class, praying, and reading the Bible). They were also the most likely to have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life and to have an “active faith” (i.e., attend church services, pray to God and read from the Bible during the week). They also had the lowest proportion of unchurched adults and were the ethnic group least likely to be Catholic.”
“There also seems to be a fair amount of mission confusion. Some are saying you are a Jewish religion, others a religion for all takers. We advise against the latter until you are well established in Judea first. So we encourage you to curtail the activities of that fellow Paul and his friend Barnabas. If they are successful in their outreach, it will prematurely muddy the movement and confuse people. If you insist on reaching out to Gentiles (frankly, we’d advise against it, since it will only work against your outreach to your target audience), you can do so once your reputation is firmly established.
“When we are choosing someone to lead us, we do best to look for a ‘good human being.’ Such a person is not likely to be moralistic or pious or politically correct. But he or she needs to be virtuous. Because, over time, nations flourish only to the degree that their collective virtue sustains.”
How To Prepare To Launch An Immigrant Ministry Through an Established Congregation by Jose FernandezAdded: 11/15/11
“Spanish-speaking church planters experience conflicts as they attempt to establish an ethnic ministry within an Anglo church.. The issues are fairly common and can be minimized, if not eliminated, by the implementation of an integration strategy that can serve both groups. Here are seven points of consideration for such a strategy.”
“During my last four years as Senior Pastor (August 2005 to December 2009) KCC became about 15% ethnic minority, and then I had the privilege of passing the leadership baton to Kyle Ray, an African American who was KCC’s Outreach Pastor since 2006 and is now Lead Pastor.”
This resource is located at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_7_118/ai_71949662 Excerpt from the article: " The Congregations Project, based at Rice, is believed to be the first large study focused on racial and ethnic diversity within Christian houses of worship. Emerson and colleagues say the data show that mixed churches are a rare breed in America–counting for only 8 […]
This resource is located at: http://www.urbanministry.org/ive-been-thinking
“The church’s Great Commission is to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19), and immigrants—regardless of their legal status—present a mission field at our doorstep. Churches should welcome immigrants, recognizing a divinely appointed mission opportunity.”
“Culture is one of those weird words. Anyone who has studied anthropology may know how slippery this word is. Some definitions then… Culture: variously defined–all culture participates in both the dignity of humanity created in God’s image AND in the brokenness of humanity. Multiculture: either pluralistic, where each culture contributes to the whole, or particularistic, where concern is to preserve the particular characteristics of each. Multiethnic: consisting of people from various “people groups” (cultural, tribal, national identities = “the ethnos”)”
“There were virtually no mentions of volunteering or serving others; only a handful of comments about marriage or parenting; almost no responses focusing on being a better friend; and only a small fraction of people mentioned improving their connection with God.”
“Now, back home, I realize it is a travesty to try to erase what lies between us, which is not simply distance but skin color, language, education, worldview, lifestyle, life span, and myriad other real distinctions. Surely these matter.
The basis for loving our neighbors, and for unity in Christ, is not proximity, understanding, or commonality. We are one in Christ not because we are one and the same, but because Christ is the same. It is an impoverished theology that mistakes unity in Christ for sameness in Christ.”
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/februaryweb-only/32.0c.html
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/novemberweb-only/11-11-23.0.html
“Well, I did notice just how ethnocentric congregations were. I had grown up in a pretty homogeneous white church and went to megachurches that were all white. That always bothered me. Why was this going on?
Then I went to a Korean Church and quickly realized they had the same issues. If the truth were known, they’d hate it if their children married an African America guy—or, for many of them, even a white guy.”
Excerpt: "We want to join hands with students and faculty and create an environment where people from every ethnic group can come and experience the love of God and meet people who are followers of Jesus. How do we help make that happen? Recently, I attended a diversity training workshop and learned that any time […]
This resource is located at: http://www.theotherjournal.com/article.php?id=65
Excerpt: In what ways does God prod Christians today to "get out of Jerusalem"? Brenda: The dominant culture of the United States is experiencing some major wake-up calls. I don’t think you have to be one political party or another to say that right now we’re having some very difficult times economically, politically, socially, militarily. […]
“When we stay isolated like the disciples initially did, in our Jerusalem, wherever that might be—our Presbyterianism, my Pentecostalism, my suburb or my city, my Black church or your Latino church or your Chinese Christian church—when we stay too long in Jerusalem, we start to think that reconciliation begins and ends there.”
“Most of our new people are white. But there’s a revolving door with the white community here. They have a romantic notion of being part of a multi-ethnic church, so many of them get frustrated and leave when they realize how difficult it is to release their assumptions about the way church is supposed to be.”
This resource is located at: http://www.ethnicharvest.org/links/articles/sutherland1.html
“Fifteen years ago, some Christians volunteered to help serve and prepare food for a New York City AIDS hospice with a clientele primarily of homosexual men. Since the hospice was involved in the gay rights movement, its administrators were nervous about letting church volunteers inside their doors. They made the expectations clear: you can come and serve, but don’t proselytize.”
Is the Preservation of Cultural Expression in Worship A Legitimate Basis for Homogenous Church Ministry? by Art LuceroAdded: 01/31/12
“I am not against homogenous congregations in homogenous communities. I take issue with local congregations in an ethnically diverse community who profess to exist for the glory of God by fulfilling the mandates of Christ with the caveat, ‘to our own kind’.”
This resource is located at: http://www.urbanministry.org/wakeup-call-church
For decades, it was assumed that children see race only when society points it out to them. However, child-development researchers have increasingly begun to question that presumption.
“I got tired of everyone telling me that multicultural ministry was nice. It ain’t nice! It’s necessary! Having engaged in diverse ministry for a while now, I’ve come to realize that one must first have a conversion experience with racial reconciliation before multicultural ministry graduates from nice to necessary.”
Excerpt: As the only African-American female faculty member on the campus, clearly I represented what the college meant by “diversity.” But when I asked questions designed to prompt thinking about the relationship between the college’s history and mission and the relatively homogeneous state of its faculty and student population, I was met with blank stares. […]
Carter’s bold vision stands as a challenge to black and white theological projects alike. He calls black theologians to drop essentialist notions of blackness in order to center their racial critique in what is distinctively Christian about their Christian identity. Carter calls white theologians to confession and repentance; by identifying the idol of whiteness in Christian modernity, white theologians can begin to relinquish their power and privilege through a deep engagement with a prophetic stream of black Christianity that has been rendered invisible in traditional theology.
Why should we care about how Jews and Samaritans related to one another 2000 years ago? Because their relationship provides extremely helpful context to understanding how Jesus and the early Christian church dealt with ethnic divisions and animosity. Learning about the deep, historical hatred between the Jews and Samaritans adds extra significance to… Jesus approaching […]
“While the diversity within this collection of articles provides a range of perspectives and implications, it is hoped that these ideas would contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of both personal and social transformation and the implications for our ministry in the world today.”
“Imagine a church in which children and adults of all ages, races, and classes were bound together by their common love for the words of the gospel. If Christians can learn, week after week, to read the story of Jesus of Nazareth—to love what we read, to be loved by what we read—then surely the future of the church would look a bit more hopeful.”
” Imagine a church in which children and adults of all ages, races, and classes were bound together by their common love for the words of the gospel. If Christians can learn, week after week, to read the story of Jesus of Nazareth—to love what we read, to be loved by what we read—then surely the future of the church would look a bit more hopeful.”
“He had a dream, that people of all colors would worship together, under the power of the Holy Spirit, during a time period where racial hatred and strife was at peaking. He spent his life seeking this dream, and he would not relinquish this dream, even unto the end. Unfortunately, many of the inheritors of his legacy have steered the course of the Pentecostal movement away from his original dream, but Seymour himself should be remembered as the pioneer of this powerful movement.”
“May we not forget about the intentionality required to create safe and inviting atmospheres for those that may want to call our churches home. Learning to leverage language through worship music and creativity is just one of many powerful tools needed to build the bridge to people like Wanda.”
“ACC president Keith Hamilton says about half of its male students and roughly 90 percent of its female students have been sexually abused in the past. For many Alaska Native youth, the future, like the long winter nights that surround them, is dark. Only about 67 percent of them complete high school, and of those who enroll in college, only 12 percent survive their first semester.
ACC, located in Soldotna, Alaska, is changing that—one life at a time.”
“Thus, the Cape Town Commitment asks what I have risked for the gospel lately, what I have done for love of neighbor, where my passion for what touches the heart of God has transformed my life. The Commitment also moves beyond the Covenant by showing that evangelical theology has matured since 1974. It is missional, narrative, and more conscious of the early church’s theology. “
Christians are commanded to love their neighbor as themselves. There is no man that I may pre-judge as superior to or worse than myself based on clothing, vehicle, home, ethnicity, criminal record, # of children out of wedlock, bad hygiene, bad attitude, religion or social group, etc. Prejudice is not the character of Christ that I am called to imitate. It is the characteristic of the world.
“The Barna report indicates that the segment that possesses beliefs most likely to align with those taught in the Bible are blacks. On five of the eight belief factors, blacks were more likely than either whites or Hispanics to reflect a scriptural view.”
“We’ll look at a biblically based theology through the lens of the classic creeds, ethics through the Ten Commandments, and spirituality through the Lord’s Prayer, as well as the nature of teaching (beginning in this section of the issue).”
“The series intended to address aspects of the work that is needed to make a comprehensive link between diversity and quality of learning. Each paper offered fresh perspectives and evidence-based approaches, written by deeply committed scholars of diversity and learning. “
What is like a family, a bride, branches on a vine, an olive tree, a field of crops, a harvest, a temple, a group of priests, God’s house, a pillar, and a body? – US! The Bible is filled with a wide variety of powerful metaphors for the followers of Christ, their interaction with God, […]
“I want people to see that the beauty of the human race is found in the diversity of the human race. We are God’s bouquet. We could have all white flowers or red, but man, wouldn’t it be pretty to see a bouquet of different flowers, different styles? That to me is the beauty of it.”
When we’re trying to build the multicultural church, we need the help of other people. The days of working in our office alone are over. I used to spend two hours or so getting songs ready for Sunday. Now it takes me anywhere from 2-4 weeks because I need to lean on those relationships with people from other ethnicities.
“Minorities make up nearly half the children born in the U.S., part of a historic trend in which minorities are expected to become the U.S. majority over the next 40 years. In fact, demographers say this year could be the “tipping point” when the number of babies born to minorities outnumbers that of babies born to whites.”
“There are more than 500 counties which have a majority of minority children,” says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute. “The population is changing to minority from the bottom up.”
This resource is located at: http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/2007/november/26.68.html
This resource is located at: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj9909&article=990961
“’Our research indicates that churches don’t like to identify themselves by ethnicity, so it’s difficult to determine an accurate number of ethnic or multi-ethnic churches on both Outreach 100 lists. However, we do know that many megachurches are intentionally focused on reaching more cultures and ethnicities. And according to Leadership Network’s 2005 Megachurches Today study, slightly more than half of the megachurches surveyed said they were making efforts to become intentionally multi-ethnic.’”
“The gospel of reconciliation calls us out from affinity groupings based on cliques that intentionally or unintentionally exclude those who are different from us according to race, class, gender, generation, etc. Unfortunately, people don’t just shop in bookstores. Many people inside and outside the church in North America view the church as “a vendor of religious services and goods” (Hunsberger, in Missional Church, p. 84); they look for churches that will “sell” them the religious goods and services that they as individuals and as individual nuclear families want, not what they ultimately need relationally as citizens of God’s communal (and not commodity-) kingdom. We need to be expanded relationally, moved beyond hanging out simply with our “own kind of people,” moving toward being enriched by Jesus’ people from diverse backgrounds, and moving into the realization of God’s kingdom.”
“Many times as we approach the subject of worship, we are asking the wrong questions. What kind of music do they like? What are the felt needs of the congregation? Who is our target audience? In what ways can we best worship God? But, what if, instead, we were to ask the question: What does GOD desire?”
“How will the world ever see a tangible, meaningful expression of the unity of believers from different ethnicities and cultures if it is not expressed in local churches? The “supracongregational relationship of believers in the total Christian body” means little to my next door neighbor or colleague at work. Apart from real-life expressions in the local church, it is little more than a Platonic ideal.”
This resource is located at: http://www.religionlink.org/tip_070514.php From this article… “Despite a lot of rhetoric about diversity, racially segregated worship is still a reality in most congregations. One study found that only 8 percent of Christian congregations in the U.S. are considered racially or ethnically “mixed,” meaning no one group makes up more than 80 percent […]
“By surveying the Biblical record in both the Old and New Testaments, we find that God has acted redemptively to choose for Himself one people comprised of many peoples. This holds several implications for the Universal Church, and for the Indian Christian Community in particular. “
This resource is located at: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/cong/articles_multiracialcongs.html Excerpt from the article: “Multiracial congregations in the U.S. are rare. In a recent national study, Michael Emerson and his colleagues found that mixed race congregations, those having no more than 80 percent of any one racial group in their membership, represent 8 percent of American congregations. One important […]
“Mixed-race people reflect that part of God’s heart which is all about “breaking down the wall of hostility and making the two one.” In our very creation, we represent God’s commitment to reconciliation.”
“Multiracial Americans have become the fastest growing demographic group, wielding an impact on minority growth that challenges traditional notions of race.”
Music of the Heart, The Key ingredient to engaging a multi-cultural community in multi-cultural worship By Linnea CarnesAdded: 08/16/10
“Immanuel Evangelical Covenant Church includes first generation immigrants from about fifteen nationalities. I am constantly trying to learn what is meaningful in worship to people from these diverse backgrounds. Meeting the worship needs of people from so many different countries seems impossible. Every culture has a slightly different style and focus in its worship.”
“Ultimately, as these and other questions confront us, the answers may be a matter of wisdom rather than obvious application of biblical teaching. They will also reflect the deployment of broader theological principles such as the sacramental nature (or lack thereof) of space and place.”
This resource is located at: http://consumingjesus.org/2008/04/18/removing-the-blinders-of-prejudice-in-the-church/
“From Omaha, the group traveled to Selma, Birmingham, and Atlanta and toured sites such as the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Institute, the Martin Luther King Center, Ebenezer Baptist Church, the grave site of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta, the Slavery and Civil War Museum, the National Voting Rights Museum, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ conflict that disrupted the Selma march.”
“It is too early to tell the impact in Omaha, but the outlook is positive. For example, one of the goals of the Justice Journey is to raise awareness of social justice issues and how they are rooted in the past. Many of the church leaders who participated in Omaha’s Justice Journey are now aiming to raise awareness within their congregations.”
“We had a vision of multi-ethnicity and ethnic reconciliation and reaching the next generation. The country was still reeling from the L.A. riots, and the need for a church like this was obvious. We were also influenced by the church growth principles that were so important in the 1990s. And our church experienced rapid growth.”
“At this moment in history God is giving a number of His small churches in North America great opportunities to make a big global impact without leaving their neighborhoods.”
“The demographics of the community around him were rapidly changing, and the city now looked nothing like his 98% white congregation–which had initially grown in remarkable ways, but then experienced years without growth as the neighborhood changed.”
Christ Together believes that God wants to change the definition of church success. “Instead of thinking about attendance in terms of our church’s attendance, we need to think about the Church’s attendance. Instead of celebrating our baptisms only, we need to celebrate the Church’s baptisms.”
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/january/4.52.html
“Mission Mississippi today, according to the publisher’s description, is the “largest interracial ecumenical church-based racial reconciliation group in the United States.” The organization pursues its goal through a series of church partnerships and biweekly prayer breakfasts held throughout Jackson, Mississippi.”
“City-center culture is very multiethnic and international, much more so than suburbs or even inner city areas. Therefore, it is crucial for urban-center churches to be as deliberately multiethnic as possible and to promote and celebrate unity in Christ as evidence of the gospel’s power. The more dominant cultural groups must humble themselves and stretch to make room for those not well represented. Great care must be taken not to allow the church to become too beholden to one political party or political agenda, or cultural diversity will be hard to maintain (and evangelism will be hard to do). At the same time, each multiethnic church will be un-avoidably di‘erent from each other, because the ethnic makeup of each church will differ.”
“Is it necessary to embrace the idea of multi-ethnic worship? Is there a greater sense of God’s presence in multi-ethnic gatherings? Is there a particular power that is present there too? The answer is No. The power is in the Word of God it forms and shapes our thinking and how we worship. Practicing various worship traditions, genres, styles, languages, preferences and fusing them together are formative to our character development in Christ. How we worship should never drive doctrine. Doctrine must drive how we worship. Sound doctrine is about God and the sounds of our worship should be too.”
“True peace is not simply about stopping violence. The peace the Bible speaks of is shalom. Shalom is the restoration and reconciling of our relationships with God, those around us, and with all of creation. It is about bringing people back into a state of harmony, well-being, and re-connection with the creation into which God has placed us. Working towards peace and reconciliation is a ministry to which all Christians are called. It is not only for the professionals. Jesus calls us all to be peacemakers, and to love one another, including our enemies (Matthew 5). “
“Historians will be able to look back and see that there was a Christian community that was largely disengaged from the struggle for justice in the world, but that over a generation it moved to engagement. It’s not a movement IJM has led or made happen so much as one we have been riding in the wake of what God is doing among his people. There is this wave of conviction that I believe his Spirit has generated. It has changed the picture of what mission means.”
“As a teen, Amena Brown listened to hip-hop and dreamed of being the next Lauryn Hill; she even had a stage name, “Teknique.” But she never could quite make her rhymes mesh with the beat and the bars of the music, so she turned to spoken word poetry instead. “
This resource is located at: http://www.epm.org/artman2/publish/racial_reconciliation/Race_and_Interracial_Marriage.shtml
“Kathryn Stockett’s novel of race, class, and friendship during the Jim Crow era has become a phenomenon on the best-seller lists, despite dealing with a potentially volatile subject matter. Here’s why everyone’s reading The Help.”
As Christians we are never called to sit on our hands and wait until everything “gets worked out” at Christ’s second coming. We are called to pray with Christ, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) and then roll up our sleeves and get to work helping to see it accomplished.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent […]
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard […]
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the […]
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as […]
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus Christ 1 Our trademark I am writing this article at the end of the 2008 Summer Olympics. […]
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day […]
“Years and years of social programming have taught us to respond and give sway to skin color, hair texture, nose width, lip thickness, and other racial characteristics. But the Bible stands in stark contrast to our belief system. Nowhere in the Bible do we find a word that we translate as ‘race,’ unless we consider the words translated ‘humanity’ or ‘humankind.’
“Global Christian music is defined as any music found in the Christian Church worldwide. Particularly, it specializes in cultural musics from the non-Western world where songs are often sung in vernacular languages and performance practices remain fairly loyal to their surrounding music traditions. In the evangelical church in North America, for example, there is a growing trend for hymnals to include global songs and indigenous songs that arise out of the burgeoning churches in the Southern Hemisphere. These songs are from church communities who have recently discovered their musical voices. Likewise, musical instruments, such as the West African djembe (hand drum), have become standard components of many contemporary worship bands. Siyahamba, the popular 1990s choral anthem from South Africa, launched many choirs into searching for additional anthems from the burgeoning church in the southern hemisphere.”
This resource is located at: http://www.religionlink.org/tip_070402a.php
“I live and work in an urban community undergoing gentrification. I see hallmarks of my culture being erased or pushed aside. I see black institutions, including the church, grasping for relevance in a community that is “safer and cleaner” but that has little affinity for African-American culture. Sure, there are new folks who love ethnic food or black theater productions, but in gentrifying communities nationwide, culturally specific programs, it seems, are becoming passé in the minds of “tolerant” and “open-minded” urbanites.”
Excerpt: When Anglos, Hispanics, African-Americans and Nigerians gather in the same place on Sunday morning, planning worship presents challenges. “Its a lot more than just a question of hymns or choruses,” said Charlie Brown, pastor of The Crossing Baptist Church in Mesquite. When people in the pews look at the front of the sanctuary, Brown […]
Excerpt: In the thinking of many Christians, the notion of racial reconciliation does not have a direct relationship to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We may agree that Christians of different ethnicities ought to get along, but many would also be hesitant to recognize a demand in the gospel along this line. After all, the […]
“The exchange of warm fuzzies won’t do, either. For instance, when the nearly 70,000 men present at the Chicago pk rally were asked by the emcee, “Gentlemen, why are we here?,” they shook the stadium with shouts of “To break down the walls!” But racial reconciliation involves more than a pep rally.”
“After sharing such powerful history and thought provoking words, students were silent except for one young man, who quietly expressed to the children in his close vicinity, “I wish we still had slaves. That would make my life a whole lot easier.””
“A few weeks ago, Elwin Wilson contacted representative Lewis to apologize for beating Lewis nearly 48 years ago. For the past several weeks, Wilson has been apologizing to members of the African-American community in Rock Hills for his numerous acts of racial hatred. He has had the guts to simply say "I’m sorry." And representative John Lewis responded to this former member of the KKK with mercy, grace, and forgiveness, and now refers to Wilson as a friend.”
“Our mission statement said that “Warner Pacific College is an urban Christian liberal arts college,” but the word urban reflected the street address rather than our educational philosophy. We missed the fact that to be educating future leaders in the city meant that our daily reality and institutional identity were inextricably linked to the life and environs of our location in Portland.”
This resource is located at: http://www.reconciliationnetwork.com/documents/paper.pdf
“The special role churches could play to bring healing to our racial rifts would require recollection, repentance, restitution, and reconciliation, in that order. Reconciliation requires more than beer-bottle diplomacy — there must be transparency and truth-telling with the intention of actually changing the way we relate to each other.”
This resource is located at: http://consumingjesus.org/2008/06/11/redeeming-race/
A new national survey by Public Religion Research Institute finds broad support across religious groups for a comprehensive approach to immigration reform and strong approval for clergy speaking out on the issue. It also shows that Americans in different religious traditions share to a remarkable extent strong support for a set of values that should guide approaches to immigration reform.
Excerpt: I grew up in a place called Birmingham, AL. Since moving to the Northeast for school and work in 2000, I’ve been forced into the role of the reluctant defender of the South. Yes, I would tell countless Yankees after they recovered from the shock of meeting an Asian person from the South, Birmingham […]
“Make no mistake; we firmly believe that illegal immigration is very problematic for our country and must be sternly addressed. However, we must address this issue in strict compliance with our Judeo-Christian values. “
“Satan desires that we focus only on the smaller story and conclude that “Life Is Bad, and So Is God.” God urges us to focus upon the larger story and realize that “Life Is Bad, but God Is Good.” One of the keys to our spiritual life, especially during times of personal suffering or national tragedy, is to move people from Satan’s view of life toward God’s perspective on this life and the next.”
“Forgiveness is not as easy to practise as it is to preach, but it is an essential step towards reconciliation and living in harmony. Forgiveness includes letting go of the hurts and resentments we keep within ourselves. Forgiveness is difficult. It requires energy and time, yet it is possible to achieve if people really put their heart and soul into it. “
Simmons agrees. “Race relations are getting better,” he says. “People used to say, ‘It won’t happen in Albany!’ But they don’t say that anymore. Now you hear, ‘It can work, because Mt. Zion and Sherwood are doing it.’”
“The restoration of economic justice became an ongoing sign of the kingdom’s presence. In Acts, when the apostles and early followers of Jesus had all things in common, it was a sign of the kingdom. When a division arose over the treatment of the Hellenistic widows, and the apostles made sure they were properly taken care of, that too was a sign of the kingdom.”
“The primary obstacle is not the substance of the principles on which Christianity is based, and therefore the solution is not solely providing an increase in preaching or public relations. The most influential aspect of Christianity in America is how believers do–or do not–implement their faith in public and private. “
Three out of ten young Christians (29%) said “churches are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths” and an identical proportion felt they are “forced to choose between my faith and my friends.” One-fifth of young adults with a Christian background said “church is like a country club, only for insiders” (22%).
“While many social media are used to bring people together around socially positive or neutral themes, sadly many pockets of the Internet thrive on hatred and bigotry. Racism does live in the digital world.”
“While the inner-healing process provides a framework primarily focused on personal growth issues related to the family, the ethnic identity process provides a framework focused primarily on healing the brokenness we inherit from culture and society. Obviously these two areas of family and culture are closely interrelated, so in addressing these interrelated issues, it is helpful to use tools that provide both an individual and group framework. Social healing is an attempt to combine the strengths from both individual and group frameworks of seeking God.”
“Today’s meltdown may actually force us to deal with the justice question: is it truly Christian for some to live so well while others—not just lazy people—live so unwell. Justice has not been well-taught subject for most of us … until now, possibly.”
“The question was, where were we who were called to share their pain, to give food and water to Christ’s thirsty and hungry representatives, and to comfort them during their ordeals? So, even though every now and then I wonder how I end up in random places and difficult situations, I know why I am there. I am there as a response to an ethical imperative to love my neighbor as myself.”
I doubted that King, a man of God, would want to be honored with a structure made of stone. Didn’t he say in his “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, two months before his assassination on April 4, 1968, not to idolize him?
“If we see the kingdom plan with the lens of the Great Commission, we are able to evaluate and strategize our ministries for the kingdom of God. The goal is to reach all ethnos through the local churches who will creatively and diversely apply this simple yet powerful strategy.”
“A local church can become a naturally and strategically diverse church if each believer becomes a loving person who reaches out to the people they encounter daily. Ethnic diversity has to be the result not the goal. By reaching out to the people around us without ethnic discretion the result will be a natural evolution of churches becoming multi-ethnic, especially in our diverse country. Churches must train each member to intentionally love people, which would lead to strategic and natural diversity.”
“While Obama’s win may have taken the edge off some of King’s inspirational rhetoric, it should not lead to complacency in the fight for social justice. There is still much work to be done. Obama’s election does not solve the many problems facing the African-American community. We will continue to face disparities in health care, including an infant mortality rate twice as high as whites, and 20 percent of blacks still lack basic health insurance, according to government statistics…”
“Yet, given the fact that only 7% of adults could think of any instances of change in their religious life, the larger conclusion that might be drawn is that religious leaders are not provoking people to think deeply and practically about the major issues of life and culture from a religious perspective.”
“The research points out several important realities about the faith of Hispanics in America. First, Hispanics are becoming a more mainstream population in various ways – politically, economically, relationally, culturally – and this data reveals that they are assimilating in their faith perspectives and practices, as well. The influence of a dominant culture and its traditions has a powerful affect on people’s lives. While Hispanics have indisputably influenced American culture, these figures remind us that such transformation is a two-way street.”
“Despite mixed reviews, George Lucas’ blockbuster story of the Tuskegee Airmen has stirred a tremendous response, especially in the Black community. But beyond the surface buzz, the film packs profound lessons for Christian audiences.”
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“The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, held October 17-25 in Cape Town, South Africa, was the first gathering of evangelical Christians to attempt to accurately represent the reality of today’s church leadership. Though the West had a strong voice, its numbers were much smaller than the enthusiastic, unintimidated participants from Latin America, Africa, and Asia.”
“One could argue, quite successfully, that the Bible explicitly demands a multi-ethnic ministry. Some have done this, and others, no doubt, will build upon their work.
Presently, we will briefly summarize the implicit biblical evidence for a multi-ethnic ministry.
1. Galatians 3:28: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’”
This resource is located at: http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=7950
This resource is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/31.82.html Excerpt: "Rodriguez should be happy with his new prominence, but he doesn’t look entirely happy. "Immigration puts us at odds with our white evangelical brothers," he says. He has spent years building alliances, and now he is unsure whether they will last. Rodriguez knows what happened with civil rights. […]
Key to Kinoshita’s 20-year tenure at Biola is a sense of divine calling. “You’ve just got to know and have a conviction deep in your soul that this is the Lord’s work, that we’re about our Father’s business. It’s a fight,” he said. “I know a lot of the people who have left, and they just pour their lives out and it’s just difficult work. It’s deeply personal, and something that I always try to be in prayer about, but obviously you have to know when to manage your stress too.”
This resource is located at: http://lessonplans.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/the-cross-cultural-classroom/ Excerpt: “I often think of culture in terms of the “iceberg concept” commonly used in educational studies, with its small visible tip and huge mass below the surface. Most people tend to view only the surface aspects of culture — observable behavior — sometimes known as the five F’s: […]
“If you only create a safe place, you can become too comfortable and feel no need to change and grow. If you only have the presence of discomfort, you generate too much stress to allow for growth. Both a safe place and discomfort must exist to move towards growth. My book is an attempt to introduce a bit of discomfort to the overly comfortable culture of American evangelicalism.”
” Whether talking with friends or campaigning for our favorite candidate or cause, we should engage our political opponents and their ideas with respect, welcome the opportunity to learn from other perspectives, and find ways to disagree charitably as a natural part of the political process.”
“The negative effects of racial segregation in America’s past are yet exerting force on the church. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not powerless in this struggle; I believe it has the ability to make right whatever is wrong with the church. However, I think the church is far from finished with the race problem.”
“In case you hadn’t heard, Zondervan made a major announcement yesterday regarding the Deadly Viper Character Assassins book that was the source of so much anger and controversy recently. Effective immediately, Zondervan undertook the courageous step of permanently removing all the books from stores and discontinuing all related curriculum and products. Quite a bold gesture, and a remarkable example of repentance. Hopefully, the pain and high emotion of the past few weeks can now give way to true healing and reconciliation.”
“There is a rich literature around ‘transcultural’ or ‘third culture kids’ who make up a kind of ‘new people’ who don’t fit into the homeland their parents left nor the culture they are living in. As a missionary kid who grew up in Korea, I identify profoundly with this.”
“Failure on the part of Christian leaders to recognize the changing demographic landscape or to adapt – both personally and corporately – in accordance with Scripture will soon render their work or, worse yet, their message irrelevant. For as I have previously written, there are already signs that increasing numbers of people are no longer finding credible the message that God loves all people as preached from segregated pulpits and pews. Indeed, those without Christ are no longer responding simply to the words of our lips; rather, they will respond only to the love of God they see in us; love that is daily displayed in a genuine, personal love for all people in His name.”
This time in my life really forced me to think about how barriers don’t seem to be an issue during a worship concert, especially when someone popular comes to town. But, then, why do we accept the fact that we have to return to our denominationally/racially divided congregations. Why can’t we continue to worship together?
Anyone who vividly sketches a community marked by justice, love, peace, and holiness has a message iGens want to hear. The self hidden behind the castle wall is now interested. And I have found that the self-in-a-castle feels shame about systemic sin, and their sensitivity to things like AIDS, poverty, and racism leads inevitably to recognizing the sin in each person.
“Now, the service begins. The worship team comes out and is a lovely group of people, all of whom are Asian. What message would this send to you? How would what you see on the stage line up with what you had experienced up until this point? The worship team being mono-cultural might communicate that you’ve just walked into an Asian church, or maybe that only the Asian people in the church can minister through music. Do we believe this to be true – that only one racial group has the corner market on good music? Of course not!”
This resource is located at: http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=437 A brief summary This is part 3 of a 6 part series on, “The Measure of a New Testament Church”. In this article, Dr. Gilliam provides an excellent explanation of the meaning of the Greek term koinonia as it was understood at the time of the Bible. He argues […]
But diverse flocks don’t always fly in the same direction. “Is there tension? Absolutely,” says Christensen. “What do you do when a subcommittee has a highly organized American, a very organized Kenyan woman, and a Hispanic woman from Colombia who says, ‘I want to make sure we just feel really loose and let this thing happen’?”
I will occasionally ask someone I meet what their experience has been with secular diversity training programs. Their response usually begins with a roll of their eyes and then follows with something along the lines of, "Yea, they made us go through some type of training but I really didn’t get much out of it." […]
“In this great endeavor Christ has granted believers the privilege to participate as workers with Him (Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 4:16). The church will be completed, even though at times the workers may walk off the job or fail to follow the blueprints. Saints are commanded to participate in the building project. Jesus says, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you and, lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Here we have both a command to build and directives as to what to build.”
“The Shirley Sherrod incident, the latest stumble in our nation’s clumsy dance with race, should be the one that finally breaks us out of our rut of racial dysfunction and shows us that we’ve got to change our moves if we’re ever going to advance to a more meaningful discourse on the subject race relations in America.”
“The problem in the early church, therefore, was not the temptation toward legalistic works righteousness. They faced the communal challenge of incorporating non-Jewish converts into the historically Jewish people of God. First-century Judaism didn’t have a legalism problem; it had an ethnocentrism problem. The first followers of Jesus were all Jewish, and had difficulty imagining that the God of Israel who sent Jesus Christ as their Savior could possibly save non-Jews without requiring them to convert to Judaism. This is the issue in Acts 15, when Christian Jews from Judea urged the Gentiles in Antioch, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1).
“Prayer helped Martin Luther King Jr. to discover the activity of God not only in his own daily life and activities but also in the needs of humanity and in the challenges of the world. He saw the many movements for freedom in his time as outpourings of God’s spirit on the nation and the world, and prayer went hand in hand with his spirited call to resist systemic, social evil in all forms. This view of prayer’s connection to God’s work in the world, perhaps more than anything else, reflected King’s vital and distinctive blend of spirituality and social vision as well as his keen sense of the tremendous value and creative potential of prayer. It also explains why King made prayer central to the struggle for civil and human rights.”
“This principle is further based on the command of Christ to love God and love others (Luke 10:27)
and on the agape ethic expressed by Paul in his epistles. As a result, integration based on the principle of stewardship requires students to move from simply knowing what is right to engaging in doing that which is right (James 1:22, 2:17).”
This resource is located at: http://www.understandingprejudice.org/apa/english/page7.htm Please Note: This is not a Christian article but we have included it in our resource section because it contains material that you may find helpful for discussion.
Over time, it became clear that part of the problem was that legitimate concerns about my particular assembly had caused me to forget the purposes of the church; they became hidden behind all the reasons I had to be unhappy where I was. So no one was more surprised than me when I re-discovered the wonder, joy, and utter messiness that is the local church.
“Perhaps if we took more of a stand for social justice, folks would understand that God really does care about His creation and His Kingdom, and therefore is invested in the individual, not just an institution. In scripture, we constantly see Jesus forming much of his ministry around the pairing of service and salvation. When addressing the earthly needs of those around us, we demonstrate God’s grace in a tangible way (Servant evangelism is largely based on this philosophy).”
“A close friend once told me a long time ago, that in order to do multi-cultural, multi-ethnic church ministry; you have to be called to it. I didn’t understand what he meant at the time. But now I understand. Being involved in ministry is rewarding and challenging at the same time. And once you accept the call to multi-cultural ministry, it gets even more ‘fun.’”
This resource is located at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/22/us/22church.html From this article, “When the Rev. Phil Kitchin steps into the pulpit of the Clarkston International Bible Church on Sunday mornings, he stands eye to eye with the changing face of America. In the pews before him, alongside white-haired Southern women in their Sunday best, sit immigrants from the […]
“We must never deny that illegal immigrants are breaking the law. Yet these immigrants’ law-breaking is no reason for the church to remain uninvolved in North America’s largest mission field today consisting of fifteen to eighteen million people, many of whom tremble in the shadows of our society. Civil law is written on soft paper and constantly evolves. God’s law was chiseled on stone tablets and has remained unchanged.”
This resource is located at: http://consumingjesus.org/2008/06/05/thoughts-from-your-yellow-sista/
“The second half of the book is the problem that I have. Dr. Piper presents Calvinism as the theological framework for living into racial reconciliation biblically. I must respectfully disagree with him. He states in the book that Jesus deals with ethnocentrism, but then presents a theology rooted in Eurocentric ethnocentrism as the solution. In Dr. Piper’s commitment to racial reconciliation he can’t just have great love for theologies developed by European men.”
“Immigration — so central to our American identity, history, and economy — is a political hot potato to be sure. It is messy, and the system is broken. Our current policies restrict the number of immigrants that can come to the United States per year per nation. That number is too small to meet (a) the economic demand for workers by U.S. employers and (b) the draw to leave poor nations to come to a rich nation in hopes of providing for families and making a life.”
“We like to avoid things that are hard to deal with, and most diversity issues, once you get past the surface-level platitudes, are hard to deal with. They involve ideas and paradigms that have been entrenched for decades, if not centuries, and most fundamentally, they involve clashes between cultural lenses that create worldviews, and make it difficult to communicate.”
This resource is located at: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1991/2462_Unreached_Peoples A brief summary In this paper, Dr. Piper argues that the Greek phrase pas ethnos (which can be found throughout the New Testament) was intended by the Biblical authors to mean “all people groups”. He then applies this finding to world missions. I think this resource is helpful because… […]
This resource is located at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/012496.html Excerpt… “The nation will be more racially and ethnically diverse, as well as much older, by midcentury, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be 54 […]
“Physical distances between people and cultures can now be crossed by aeroplanes, mobile phones and 24-hour television news coverage. But many communities around the world are still divided. Conflict may be open or unseen. Physical or emotional walls now separate people who used to live together in peace. People often talk about peace and reconciliation, but few actually walk the costly road of breaking down these walls of separation.”
In his new book, One But Not the Same, Chris Williamson uses the apostle Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:28 — “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” — to help Christians identify a biblical model for pursuing reconciliation. Williamson, the senior pastor of Strong Tower Bible Church, a multiethnic congregation in Franklin, Tennessee, recently spoke to UrbanFaith about America’s various divisions and the church’s opportunity to bridge them.
Justice flows from God’s heart and character. As true and good, God seeks to make the object of his holy love whole. This is what motivates God throughout the Old and New Testaments in his judgments on sin and injustice. These judgments are both individual and corporate in scope.
It is typically translated in English as “fellowship”. (see below for a more thorough definition)
Why is this term important for building biblical, multi-ethnic community? Koinonia is our “target” – is what the early Christians shared with one another and what we should work towards.
What language is this? Koine Greek – the language that most of the New Testament was written in. What does it mean? “all nations” or “all ethnic groups” Why is this term important for building biblical, multi-ethnic community? If we look up the places where this phrase is used in the Bible (see below) it […]
“A major concern today among church leaders wanting to stimulate diversity is the question of musical style. What styles work best in racially diverse churches? Is it classic hymns of the faith, including negro spirituals? Or is it contemporary praise music and recent gospel? What about incorporating different languages, especially Spanish, or maybe Zulu or Swahili? And what about incorporating ‘ethnic rhythms’ that represent ‘soul’ or a ‘Latin beat?’”
“People look at people who are different and see them as inferior and deserving of their problems. It’s a way of feeling better than others, because our hearts don’t want to rest in the gospel of grace. Power is another idol, because justice requires being involved with people of other races and sharing power with them.”
For Soerens, being a civic-minded follower of Christ connects him to the very first believers. “If Christians dare to accept the confession that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ as the early church did, that means we are called to live out an alternative story rooted in the holistic, reconciling, and restoring mission of God. If Jesus is Lord of our neighborhood, what then?” If more Christians asked this question, he says, the “embodied church of, with, and for the neighborhood could emerge. Then, of course, the task is to lean into the tension between how things are and how things are supposed to be.”
“In the United States, it’s white history that is the default, the assumed perspective. It’s what’s taught in the classrooms, portrayed in the media, and informs policy making. So we don’t need a special time to teach it. It is taught ALL the time.”
“Today, we continue to bear the consequences of this patronizing legacy. Throughout our popular culture we experience the narrative of a white hero character, breaking from her/his own people to become a ‘true friend’ of the marginalized and misunderstood. We have an abundant supply of these white-guilt-catharsis movies and books.”
“And if our society had truly reached an equilibrium, then further action and argument would truly be unwarranted. But the assumption that >500 years of bigotry and discrimination have been reversed in the last 40 years is simply false. Not nearly as much progress has been made as most white people think. A lot of lip service has been paid, without the necessary action behind it.”
“The multicultural/multiethnic community of believers allowed me to feel even more comfortable than if I were in a unicultural/monoethnic community of people. The love, support, and encouragement were incredible. “
“The rapid growth of multiracial large Protestant churches is a stunning change. At first I thought it must be a statistical error. But no matter where I checked, I found support for the story. How can we account for these changes?”
One pastor pointed out that merely because we had achieved diversity in the pews didn’t mean we had achieved integration. Segregation might still exist. It’s still easy to avoid people of another race. Many churches have a variety of races represented in the congregation, but they do not interact outside of church. Some have successfully mixed racially in a structured environment—small groups, ministry teams, outreach events. A few churches have held progressive dinners that have had families of various races meeting at each others’ homes to eat.
This resource is located at: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/04/segregated.sundays/index.html This is an excellent and thorough article on the state of multi-ethnic churches in America. An excerpt… “Americans may be poised to nominate a black man to run for president, but it’s segregation as usual in U.S. churches, according to the scholars. Only about 5 percent of the nation’s […]
“I cannot remember the last time I had an open discussion about race relations. Some might consider that a good thing—that maybe I have resolved my personal prejudices and do not feel the need to have conversations about issues that I have settled in my mind. And, after all, we have laws to guarantee civil rights and to protect against discrimination—why stir up controversy? But I am not so naïve as to believe that our laws have done away with racial tension in our country, and I also recognize my own need to repent for past ignorance’s. I know that my silence is not helpful or healthy.”
“Gaston Espinosa, associate professor of religious studies at Claremont McKenna College, said the changing demographics will pressure churches to gear more toward second- and third-generation Hispanics—who virtually all speak English as a primary language.”
“I find that the work I do is something like that I have never been down this road before and our church has never been down this road before. And there are not a lot of other people but a handful in our country that are doing what we are doing. So we are learning together and struggling. We have a made a number of mistakes and we have had a lot of wonderful victories.”
“The church’s way of multiculturalism requires more patience. Jesus has reconciled us to himself by coming to us, knowing us, eating meals with us, and submitting his life on our behalf. Jesus values our whole life and whole story. So, while picking a diverse assortment of worship songs is a good first step, it is only that. One way of honoring each other more deeply is to know not only one another’s individual stories but also the stories of the communities that have shaped us. That means knowing not just the songs but also the stories behind those songs.”
“Because I am African-American and a pastor at FCF, I am occasionally asked, “What does FCF do for Black History Month? Is it celebrated, or is it ignored?” Our church exists to develop grace-filled followers of Jesus among the diverse people of Baltimore so that both the vertical and horizontal implications of the cross are clearly understood.”
“A new study published Thursday in the journal Science suggests many people unconsciously harbor racist attitudes, even though they see themselves as tolerant and egalitarian.”