MULTICULTURAL & Researchers find that almost 20% of churches are transitioning to multicultural congregations. #BaylorUniversity #re:MIXbook

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This latest research from my friend and colleague, Dr. Kevin Daughtery at Baylor University, indicates that almost 20% of churches are transitioning to multicultural congregations.

Learn about this exciting new trend in the article below and then pick up a copy of ReMIX: Transitioning your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press) to find out how almost any church can do it.

Multiracial Congregations Have Nearly Doubled, But They Still Lag Behind the Makeup of Neighborhoods

By Terry Goodrich, Baylor Univ. communications, 6/20/18

The percentage of multiracial congregations in the United States nearly doubled from 1998 to 2012, with about one in five American congregants attending a place of worship that is racially mixed, according to a Baylor University study.

While Catholic churches remain more likely to be multiracial — about one in four — a growing number of Protestant churches are multiracial, the study found. The percentage of Protestant churches that are multiracial tripled, from 4 percent in 1998 to 12 percent in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available.

In addition, more African-Americans are in the pulpits and pews of U.S. multiracial churches than in the past, according to the study.

Multiracial congregations are places of worship in which less than 80 percent of participants are of the same race or ethnicity.

“Congregations are looking more like their neighborhoods racially and ethnically, but they still lag behind,” said lead author Kevin D. Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “The average congregation was eight times less diverse racially than its neighborhood in 1998 and four times less diverse in 2012.”

“More congregations seem to be growing more attentive to the changing demographics outside their doors, and as U.S. society continues to diversify by race and ethnicity, congregations’ ability to adapt to those changes will grow in importance,” said co-author Michael O. Emerson, Ph.D., provost of North Park University in Chicago.

  • The percentage of Americans worshipping in multiracial congregations climbed to 18 percent in 2012, up from 13 percent in 1998.
  • Mainline Protestant and Evangelical Protestant churches have become more common in the count of multiracial congregations, but Catholic churches continue to show higher percentages of multiracial congregations. One in four Catholic churches was multiracial in 2012.
  • While whites are the head ministers in more than two-thirds (70 percent) of multiracial congregations, the percentage of those led by black clergy has risen to 17 percent, up from fewer than 5 percent in 1998.
  • Blacks have replaced Latinos as the most likely group to worship with whites. In the typical multiracial congregation, the percentage of black members rose to nearly a quarter in 2012, up from 16 percent in 1998. Meanwhile, Latinos in multiracial congregations dropped from 22 percent in 1998 to 13 percent in 2012.
  • The percentage of immigrants in multiracial congregations decreased from over 5 percent in 1998 to under 3 percent in 2012.

Read more at … https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=199850

Learn about this exciting new trend in the article below and then pick up a copy of ReMIX: Transitioning your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press) to find out how almost any church can do it.

remix cover

MULTICULTURAL DISPLACEMENT & Exercises to Experience What a Minority Culture Experiences Daily

by Oneya Okuwobi, Vice President of the Academy for Intercultural Research, Mosiax pre-conference, Exponential, 4/25/17.

There is not yet evidence that majority culture people are coming over to minority culture churches.  To combat this:

  1. Get your majority culture church to experience “cultural displacement.” This means going individually to another cultural environment and experiencing what it is like being a cultural minority.
  2. Go and submit yourself to a pastor of a different culture.  This is something minority culture people experience all the time, but majority culture people may have never experienced it.
  3. Partner churches together, to create synergies across cultures (a Multicultural Alliance Church model).

Read more here … http://transcendculture.com/oneya-fennell-okuwobi.html

MULTICULTURAL CHURCHES & 5 Models: A New Paradigm Evaluated and Differentiated #AICR #AcademyForInterculturalChurchResearch

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel.  The following article of mine was republished in the inaugural issue of The Journal of the Academy for Intercultural Church Research (AICR). I highly encourage anyone interested in reliable and valid articles on multicultural churches and their growth to bookmark this site: http://intercultural.church

Five Types of Multicultural Churches

This article first appeared in the Great Commission Research Journal, vol. 6, issue 1, summer 2016 (La Mirada, CA: Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University, 2014) and is used by permission.

FIVE TYPES OF MULTICULTURAL CHURCHES: A New Paradigm Evaluated and Differentiated

Author: Bob Whitesel, D.Min. Ph.D.

Professor of Missional Leadership Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University


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.

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


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.

Starting With Goals: Spiritual And Cultural Reconciliation

Sociologists have long known that people of a dominant culture will try, sometimes even subconsciously, to make over people from an emerging culture into their own image.[5] C. Peter Wagner called this the “creator complex” and said, “Deep in the heart of man, even in missionaries, lurks that ‘creator complex’ by which he delights in making other people over in his own image.”[6] And so, when humans encounter different customs, the creator complex in us wants us to view their customs as abnormal and change them to be more in keeping with our traditions.

The creator complex arises because it seems easier and quicker to assimilate a culture and make it look like us, than to try and sift out any impurities that run counter to the message of Christ. But in the words of missiologist Charles Kraft, every culture is “corrupt, but convertible.”[7] To convert any culture thus entails sifting out elements that run counter to Christ’s Good News while retaining elements that affirm it. Eddie Gibbs calls this “sifting a culture,” drawing from the image of a colander or strainer that sifts out impurities in food.[8]

So what then is the goal for our filtering of cultures? Let us return to Charles Kraft’s reminder, that every culture is “corrupt, but convertible.”[9] Our purpose thus becomes to assist God in His quest to convert or transform a culture. Such transformation begins by reconnecting people to their loving heavenly father. This has been called the ministry of reconciliation, which Paul described in 2 Cor. 5:11, 17-18.

John Perkins suggests that today’s divided world needs churches that will foster both spiritual reconciliation and physical reconciliation. This would fulfill Jesus’ prayer that His children would be united as the Father and Son are united (John 17:20). To describe this goal, Perkins employed 3 Rs:[10]

  • Redistribution (sharing money from wealthier cultures with struggling cultures),
  • Relocation (relocating ministry to needy areas) and
  • Reconciliation (physical and spiritual reconciliation, first between humans and their heavenly Father, and then between humans).

Among today’s emerging generations I am seeing young people more attune to this need for reconciliation between people of different cultures. Today’s young people have been born into a very divided world of politics, economics and cultural clashes. Yet, across the nation I have observed churches lead by these young leaders that refuse to limit themselves to just spiritual reconciliation, but also see maturity in Christ as advancing cultural reconciliation. I agree with Brenda Salter McNeil who sees the emergence of a reconciliation generation, who in addition to a spiritual reconciliation, sees “a host of people from various tribes, nations, and ethnicities who are Kingdom people called to do the work of racial reconciliation.”[11]

And so, to bring about both spiritual and cultural reconciliation, we need models that describe churches where people of differing cultures are not only reconnecting with their heavenly Father, but also who reconnecting with one another. A multicultural church may provide the best locale. To understand a multicultural church, let us look at five models.

5 Models of Multicultural Churches

To picture the variety of multicultural congregations I have suggested the following five categories. In each category I have codified examples from many authors, along with my own case-study research to present a clearer picture of the multicultural options and the plusses and minuses of each approach.

The Multicultural Alliance Church

This church is an alliance of several culturally different sub-congregations. Daniel Sanchez describes it as one church “comprised of several congregations in which the autonomy of each congregation is preserved and the resources of the congregations are combined to present a strong evangelistic ministry.”[12] The different cultures thus form an alliance by joining together as one religious organization in which they equally:

  • Share leadership duties (i.e. leadership boards are integrated),
  • Share assets (it is only one nonprofit 501c3 organization)
  • Offer separate worship expressions (to connect with more cultures)
  • Offer blended worship expressions (to create unity).

Offering multiple worship options allows the Multicultural Alliance Church to reach out and connect with several different cultures simultaneously.[13] And a regular blending of traditions in a unity service creates unity amid this diversity.[14] A weekly format of a multicultural alliance church with five sub-congregations could look like this:

FIGURE ©Whitesel HEALTHY Multicultural Alliance copy.jpg

FIGURE ©Whitesel HEALTHY 4.2 Strengths:Weaknesses of the Multicultural Alliance Church.jpg

FIGURE ©Whitesel HEALTHY Multicultural Partnership copy.jpgFIGURE Healthy Church 4.2 Strengths:Weaknesses of the Multicultural Partnership Church.jpg

Multicultural Mother Daughter Church.jpg

FIGURE ©Whitesel HEALTHY 4.6 Strengths:Weaknesses of the Multicultural Mother-Daughter Church.jpg

Multicultural Blended Church.jpgFIGURE ©Whitesel HEALTHY 4.8 Strengths:Weaknesses of the Multicultural Blended Church.jpg

Multicultural Assimilation Church.jpg

FIGURE ©Whitesel HEALTHY 4.10 Strengths:Weaknesses of the Multicultural Assimilation Church.jpg

Read more at … http://intercultural.church/five-types-of-multicultural-churches/

#GCRN #AICR

PRIVILEGE & Understanding Unconscious Bias #HarvardUniversity

by Bob Whitesel D.Min.m Ph.D., 4/26/16.

Harvard University offers a helpful online test to help you see your unconscious biases that affect your opinions, language, friends, church preference, etc.  Understanding that we all, everyone, has unconscious biases. These biases are not all bad but it is important to understand that our upbringing and our choices have led us to embrace biases that we don’t even know we have.

Check out this resources at http://www.implicit.harvard.edu and take the short test.  You don’t have to share the results with anyone unless you want to.  The purpose is just to help you better understand yourself and how you can relate more authentically and openly with others.From the website: Participation is voluntary. It is your choice whether or not to participate in this research. If you choose to participate, you may change your mind and leave the study at any time. Refusal to participate or stopping your participation will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

What is the purpose of this research? The purpose of this research is to examine how people evaluate others.

How long will I take part in this research? Your participation will take up to 10 minutes to complete.

What can I expect if I take part in this research? As a participant, you will complete a decision-making task, answer some questions and complete an Implicit Association Test in which you will sort words or images into categories as quickly as possible.

What are the risks and possible discomforts? If you choose to participate, the effects should be comparable to those you would experience from viewing a computer monitor for 10 minutes and using a mouse or keyboard.

Are there any benefits from being in this research study? There are no foreseeable benefits for study participants. Scientific knowledge will benefit from a greater understanding of how people perceive others.

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.

MOSIAX & Thoughts From the #Exponential Pre-Conference #reMIXbook #DisruptionBook

By Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 4/25/16.

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.

Mark DeYmaz:

Transformation is three things: “spiritual transformation, financial transformation and social transformation.” These three must be undertaken in balance or the organizational becomes silo-ed and unable to holistically transform the community. “We are preaching an isolated, narrow view of theology and practice.}

Strategies are lacking. “You ask people about diversity and people often say, ‘It’s just happening on Sunday morning’ or ‘We’re just letting it happen.’ But if you ask a growing church about evangelism or discipleship, they probably wouldn’t say ‘It’s just happening on Sunday morning’ or ‘We’re just letting it happen.’ We don’t ignore planning in other important areas.”

“What is the first question church planters get?  ‘Who are you targeting?’  That is an nonbiblical and illogical question.”

“It’s not about a melting pot.  As Soong-Cha Rah says it is a ‘salad bowl.’  You’ve just got to stop smothering everything in Ranch sauce.”