I’d like to recommend a book - One Body, One Spirit by George Yancey. It lists what he sees as the key principles of successful multi-racial churches. The USA has greater experience of this and therefore, more models to draw from. Yancey cites seven principles and I will comment on a few:
1. Inclusive Worship
2. Diverse Leadership
3. An Over-Arching Goal
5. Personal Skills
Diverse Leadership: All the principles are important, but this one serves as a foundation that makes it easier to implement the others. The right people in place will shape the church. A leader needs to have a cross-cultural gift and inter-personal skills. As I travel around to different churches, some of the ‘issues’ I see are essentially team dynamics between white people. If we add in the pain of the cross-cultural legacy we can misread a situation or miss some signals completely.
An Over-Arching Goal: There is a goal beyond diversity – for us, the missional vision of growing a 1000 member church predominantly through seeing people saved. We are reconciled to God and then reconciled to one another – this is the biblical picture. If not, then we wouldn’t bother to build to one another. In reaching people and needing to build them together into a family, diversity is the outworking of the gospel.
To learn more about building multi-cultural churches in the UK… Understanding Worldviews and Cultural Strongholds Conference… at King’s Church… Sat 14th March… Speaker – Dave Devenish…Further details at www.kingscentre.org.uk/downloads/Conference_Leaflet.pdf
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