MULTICULTURAL & 5 Models of Multicultural/Multiethnic Churches: A New Paradigm Evaluated & Differentiated

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min. Ph.D.

Published by The Great Commission Research Journal (La Mirada, Calif: Talbot School of Theology, Biola University), vol. 6, issue 1, 2014, pp. 22-35.

Abstract

This article puts forth a comprehensive and reconciliation-based paradigm through which to view multicultural congregations as one of five models or types. It updates the historical categories of Sanchez, adds contemporary models and then evaluates each through a 10-point grid of: nomenclature, mode of growth, relationships, pluses, minuses, degree of difficulty, creator complex, redistribution, relocation and reconciliation. The five models are: 1) the asset sharing Multicultural Alliance, 2) the collaborative Multicultural Partnership, 3) the asymmetrical Mother-Daughter model, 4) the popular Blended approach and 5) the Cultural Assimilation model. The result is a comprehensive five-model paradigm that includes an assessment of each model’s potential for spiritual and intercultural reconciliation.

Article

This article assesses the strengths and weaknesses of different multicultural[1] church models. Daniel Sanchez offered some of the earliest depictions of such models,[2] but 35 years later they beg to be updated. And despite the proliferation of books on the topic, no significant updating or additions to Sanchez’s categories have been offered other than the Sider et. al. partnership model.[3]

In addition, there is a vibrant discussion today regarding how John Perkins’ intercultural goals of redistribution, relocation and reconciliation are being addressed by churches.[4] Therefore, it can be helpful to assess how well different models of multicultural congregations are addressing each of Perkins’ intercultural reconciliation goals.

The following five models of multicultural congregations suggest a new and contemporized paradigm. I will analyze each through a 10-point grid of: nomenclature, mode of growth, relationships, pluses, minuses, degree of difficulty, creator complex, redistribution, relocation and reconciliation…

Download the full article here: ARTICLE ©Whitesel – GCRJ-Published Multicultural MODELS

[1] Though the term multiethnic church is often used today, I will use the broader term multicultural, since culture is a more accurate way to describe people who share similar behaviors, ideas, fashion, literature, music, etc. [c.f. Paul Hiebert, Cultural Anthropology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1976), p. 25]. Ethnicity is a type of culture often based on biological connections to a geographic area of origin, such as Sri Lankans (from the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), Yemenis (from the Republic of Yemen) or Chinese (from the People’s Republic of China). But the term ethnicity is very imprecise, because there may be dozens of different ethnic groups that hail from the same area of origin. Since ethnicity is so imprecise, culture will be utilized in this article.

[2] Daniel Sanchez, “Viable Models for Churches in Communities Experiencing Ethnic Transition.” (paper, Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1976).

[3] Ronald J. Sider, John M. Perkins, Wayne L. Gordon, and F. Albert Tizon, Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008).

[4] John M. Perkins, A Quiet Revolution: The Christian Response to Human Need, a Strategy for Today (Pasadena, CA: Urban Family Publications, 1976), p. 220.

This article is excerpted and reedited from The Healthy Church: Practical Ways to Strengthen a Church’s Heart (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2013).

CHURCH PLANTERS & What Do We Give Up When We Become Freedom-Seeking Entrepreneurs & Church Planters? A Lot, Actually.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald in their classic research paper titled ‘What Makes an Entrepreneur?,’ discovered that: ‘The probability of self-employment depends positively upon whether the individual ever received an inheritance or gift.’ This research needs to be applied to church planters, but seems to forecast that successful church planters may have a member of the family that is gainfully employed and able to support the family so the church planter does not have to. For more details see the link to Blanchflower and Oswald’s paper as well as this overview in the New York Times.”

Read more at … http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/12/what-we-give-up-when-we-become-entrepreneurs.html

MULTIPLICATION & Planting Internal AND External Churches #DoBoth #aPractitionerPerspective

Commentary from Dr. Whitesel: “We must plant twice as many churches! But just not autonomous church plants that are independent and ‘external’ to the organization, (called ‘external plants)’. We must also plant just as many venues, sites and campuses (these are ‘internal’ to the organization and called ‘internal plants’). To missionally multiply the church we have to do both.” Here is how a student/businessman endorsed this idea:”

The following is by Casey P, 5/22/14:

“Dr. Whitesel, you are the first church leader that I have heard that endorses the opposite of what so many districts and churches in our denomination want to do. I agree, how is easier to go out into a different locale, plant a church and ‘Birth’ from the ‘Mother’ church?

… I do not feel that my own Senior Pastor would make it a competitive situation, but I do feel the church’s congregations would, and some of the staff would lean that way.
The logistics, economical all require support, or as you point out the ‘baby’ church is left out there to suffer, grow, and/or die.

I have discussed with my Senior Pastor the concept of the Spanish Ministries church plant we have ‘birthed’ within our walls, e. g. we ‘birth’ these mini-churches within the walls of our own church. We have successfully integrated a contemporary church service from the traditional/vintage service and that service is in all sense and purpose a separate church from what is done in the traditional/vintage service. But, we do not have a different Senior Pastor, just Associate Pastors that help lead the services, lead the worship and teach the congregation.

This mini-church could withstand a further breaking down into a Saturday Church. One that expanded on the contemporary service into a service that was even more contemporary, vital, youthful and vibrant. Not Youth, but a more millennial-focused that includes worship and pastoring for that generation. We do not need to go afar to a different side of town, the Pastor can be staff and the ‘mother’ church is still evident and growing…

The district is concerned that we need to be planting more and more churches, when we really need to revitalized the churches we have in place. A Pastor can plant churches in their own building, with effort, thought and process. Their are tools in the congregation that need to be used.”