MULTICULTURAL & The DNA of Diversity – 3 Biblical Reasons for Diversity

How a Los Angeles church cultivated a multiethnic ministry right from the start.

By Patty Townley-Covert, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 10/14/14

Developing our identity

Edgerly believes such intercultural relationships incorporate critical components for their church because:

1. “We have a multiethnic directive by Jesus.” In Matthew 28:19, He said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” He also said to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the Earth.

2. “We have a multiethnic DNA that produces unity.” At the Tower of Babel, God separated a sinful people by making them speak different languages. But in Acts 2, He brought His people back together in Christ by giving believers the ability to speak the languages of nations. As a result 3,000 people joined the church that first day.

3. “We have a multiethnic destiny.” In Revelation 7, when John saw a panoramic view of what the Church looked like in heaven, he saw every nation, every tribe worshipping the Lord together. John recognized these various people groups because “we are still distinct in heaven.”

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MULTICULTURALISM & How Being Bi-Cultural Can Make You a Better Leader

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Univ. of Michigan & Columbia Univ. research shows that leaders who succeed view their culture as helping their leadership rather than hindering it. For example, whether a person is a young person, a non-majority culture or a woman (working in a typically male occupation) if that person is encouraged to view their professional identity and cultural identity as helpful rather than conflicting, they will more likely succeed. Follow the links to the important research cited in this article.”

“Here is a quote: ‘Women who succeed in challenging careers have a personality trait by which they regard there two ‘selves’ – their professional identity and their gender identity – not as in conflict but as fundamentally compatible (Shia, “Why Some Women Are Better Negotiators,” Harvard Business Review, 10/14/15, p. 3)’.”

Download the original research here …



TRENDS & 5 Trends from the Third Wave of the National Congregations Study #DukeUniversity #JSSR #UnivChicago

ABSTRACT:  The third wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS-III) was conducted in 2012. The 2012 General Social Survey asked respondents who attend religious services to name their religious congregation, producing a nationally representative cross-section of congregations from across the religious spectrum. Data about these congregations was collected via a 50-minute interview with one key informant from 1,331 congregations. Information was gathered about multiple aspects of congregations’ social composition, structure, activities, and programming. Approximately two-thirds of the NCS-III questionnaire replicates items from 1998 or 2006-07 NCS waves. Each congregation was geocoded, and selected data from the 2010 United States census or American Community Survey have been appended. We describe NCS-III methodology and use the cumulative NCS dataset (containing 4,071 cases) to describe five trends:

1)   more ethnic diversity,

2)  greater acceptance of gays and lesbians,

3)  increasingly informal worship styles,

4)  declining size (but not from the perspective of the average attendee),

5)  and declining denominational affiliation.

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Changing American Congregations: Findings from the Third Wave of the National Congregations Study*

by Mark Chaves Department of Sociology Duke University Durham, and Shawna L. Anderson NORC at the University of Chicago (Forthcoming in the December, 2014 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion)

*The NCS-III was funded by a major grant from the Lilly Endowment, and by additional grants from the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project, Louisville Institute, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, RAND Corporation, and Church Music Institute. It also received generous support from Duke University and from the National Science Foundation via NSF’s support of the General Social Survey. Jodie Daquilinea led NORC’s NCS team, and Viviana Calandra translated the questionnaire into Spanish. Cyrus Schleifer and Alison Eagle helped analyze data and construct the figures.

Download the report … Changing_American_Congs.pdf

DIVERSITY & A Conversation about Sharecropping, Racism, and the Gospel


Conversation with my wife’s grandmother, Daisy, had been cordial and mostly forgettable…until she started talking about her childhood as a sharecropper.

My wife, my son, me and Ms. Daisy had been driving in the car on our way back from Kansas City, Missouri after spending Easter with my in-laws. A surge of wakefulness knocked me out of highway hypnosis as we entered the last two hours of our ten hour journey. The flat plains of the Mississippi Delta melted into a blur as we whisked past soybean fields and one-stoplight towns like Transylvania, Sondheimer, and Talla Bena.

Cotton Pickin’

The Delta formed an appropriate setting as I asked Grandma Daisy, now in her eighth decade of life, about what it was like growing up in Vidalia, Louisiana, not far from where we were driving. At first she spoke with reticence, holding back a gush of details and memories. ”It was hard for me coming up,” was all she said.

But I persisted. Gently asking questions until her speech started to flow…

…“So how did you feel about the Boss Man and White people?”

“Oh, I hated them.  I really, really did.” She was frowning again, and shaking her head this time.

“I was mad at what they did to us.  I had to walk eight miles to school each way.  Rain, cold, hot, whatever.  The school bus used to pass us by.  We couldn’t ride it because we were Black.  Sometimes there’d be this big ‘ol bus and only two white children riding it.  The bus would pass by close enough to splash water on us, but they wouldn’t pick us up.”

The memories came faster now and she continued.  ”We used to walk by the White people’s houses.  The adults would be sitting on their porches drinking tea, or lemonade, or whatever.  Their kids were playing in the front yard and they’d let their kids throw rocks at us and curse us.  They didn’t say a thing.”

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