5 STAGES & How Oneya Okuwobi Transitions Churches to Living Color #Mosiax

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:

  1. Understanding unconscious bias / privilege. Tests on this can be found at http://www.implicit.harvard.edu
  2. Take things you know you are bias against and surround yourself with images of positive examples that debase the bias.
  3. Exploring other cultures.
  4. Emerging when you start to integrate your leaders
  5. Experienced when the congregation reflects the diversity of the community both visually and in style.