CHURCH & MINISTRY ACROSS CULTURE
Greenwood and Jordan describe the transitioning of Village Baptist Church in Oregon from being a homogeneous church into the multi-ethnic church it is today. They identify nine key dimensions involved in making such a change. The nine dimensions are (1) leaders from the people for the people; (2) united multi-ethnic ministry team; (3) reputation in the community; (4) intentionality; (5) a steering group; (6) incremental steps; (7) multi-ethnic church activities; (8) commitment to developing cross-cultural competency; (9) commitment to multi-ethnic worship services.
Here Mike maintains that all churches belong to one of three basic models of church, though some churches may combine or mix these models. The three broad models are dominant host, bridging and multiethnic churches. There is discussion of autonomous churches and insularity, followed by a closer look at particular expressions of each of the three broad models. Analysis of each model involves case studies and questions. Mike finishes with considering these models in the light of biblical teaching and presents five key propositions.
The ten hindrances are: (1) racism and ethnocentrism; (2) it’s not a priority for us; (3) fear of the unknown – will I be able to do it?; (4) it will bring conflict into the church; (5) we already have a strong ministry to English-speaking people, so we’ll concentrate on that; (6) pastor: “I have too much on my plate already. I have no energy to get something else going”; (7) Anglo-dominated churches in areas with high NESB (non-English speaking background) concentrations often have fewer gifted menbers and they are already fully committed to other ministries; (8) the pastor feels pressured to run a ‘successful’ ministry and feels he needs to emphasise the ministries he knows he can do well; (9) we don’t speak their language; (10) lack of acceptable Christian resources in the target language.
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