Ten Ways to Build Multi-Ethnic Bridges Between Churches

These principles also apply within congregations or the congregation will not be multi-ethnic for long. If the dominant culture insists that everyone must think as they do then they will become the only ones in the church.
  1. The dominant culture will basically be telling God that He made a mistake when He made people from the other cultures in the manner that He made them and with their own style of thinking, associating, understanding, relating, listening, and worshipping.
  2. We will be making the mistake that Western missionaries made over the centuries and that is why we still have people attempting to reach the indigenous people in foreign countries.
  3. The reality is that the USA is a country filled with indigenous people yet when they enter the halls of western churches we force them to worship as we do without any consideration for their style of worship. No wonder they create their own dominations 😦
  • 1. Welcome. We must welcome people of other cultures who want to join our church, and if they so desire, we must help them create niches where they can worship in familiar ways.
  • 2. Teach. We must teach, over and over, the contrasting biblical truths of unity and creativity.
  • 3. Pray. We must pray with each other regularly across ethnic boundaries.
  • 4. Evangelize. We must work together in culturally-relevant local evangelism.
  • 5. Nurture. We must work together with ethnic churches in our community to nurture the youth while encouraging the youth to maintain pride in their heritage.
  • 6. Repent. We must repent of hegemonic dominance or neglect on one side and of resentment or dependency on the other.
  • 7. Link. We must designate a member to be a “culture broker” who links our congregation with specific churches of other heritage in our community, and who holds the church members accountable for maintaining faithful relationships of depth and substance.
  • 8. Invest. We must invest time and money sacrificially and risk ourselves emotionally in strong partnership and exchange patterns.
  • 9. Build leaders. We must work together in culturally-relevant leadership training and publishing of useful materials.
  • 10. Learn. We must be ready to learn from each other, believing that the word of the Lord may come to us through people very different from ourselves.
Adenery, Miriam. “Is God Colorblind or Colorful: The Gospel, Globalization, and Ethnicity.” In Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, by Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, 415-22. Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1981, WSB Reader.

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