by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 4/26/16.
As a member of the Mosiax Network (I would encourage you to join too) I learned a great deal from the dialogue of leading thinkers at the 2016 Exponential pre-conference. We are also launching an academic society (info here) to study best practices. Here are some gleanings from the pre-conference.
Oneya Okuwobi, who co-wrote with Mark DeYmaz the “Multi-Ethnic Christian Life Primer.” She is the Director at Transcend Culture, an organization which resources to Multi-ethnic churches. She egan developing multiethnic curriculum for her church a decade ago after her pastor decided he wanted to focus on helping his “98 percent white, commuter church” become more multi-ethnic. (retrieved from http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-local-church-is-primarily-responsible-for-segregation-within-congregations-says-multi-ethnic-network-leader-113024/)
Her’s is the story of an Assembly of God church (http://peopleschurch.co) that was 90% Anglo in 2000 but today is over 50% multiethnic. She sees the key to this transformation as five stages:
- Understanding unconscious bias / privilege. Tests on this can be found at http://www.implicit.harvard.edu
- Take things you know you are bias against and surround yourself with images of positive examples that debase the bias.
- Exploring other cultures.
- Emerging when you start to integrate your leaders
- Experienced when the congregation reflects the diversity of the community both visually and in style.