Check out @imterencelester
Thanks @thecharliemitchell, amen and amen.
Check out @imterencelester
Thanks @thecharliemitchell, amen and amen.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: For almost 3 decades I’ve helped churches become culturally integrated. And, an important aspect of that is working towards “racial reconciliation.” But it’s not as easy as most churches think. Churches hope by integrating their worship teams and even their boards they can accomplish racial reconciliation. But racial reconciliation is something much deeper that requires addressing practices that run throughout society. And, so it requires a church to take a more expansive stand.
Read this interview with my IWU colleague who has investigated this and explains the phenomenon.
…(Hawkins) For the last 20 years, according to sociologists, there’s been this really significant move among white evangelical Christians to embrace racial reconciliation. This has become a big part of white evangelical Christianity, this move to become diverse and have diverse churches as a way to achieve this reconciliation. So, there’s an attentiveness over the last two decades to becoming more racially diverse within American churches, particularly among white evangelical Christians. The problem here is that the tools that get used to bring about this racial reconciliation are very much centered on ideas about just interpersonal relationships and ideas about colorblindness. White evangelical Christians say, “We recognize that there has been a problem in the past. The way we’re going to move forward is becoming friends. Ultimately, we’re trying to get to the point where race doesn’t matter at all. So, we’re getting to the point where we’re colorblind.”
While that might have some particular outcomes at the individual level and the interpersonal level, what that leaves in place are all sorts of structural disparities that continue to persist within American society along racial lines. And so, you get black Christians who enter into these churches, into these relationships, and say, “Well, okay, so there’s an interpersonal thing going on here too, but there’s also a larger reality about the experiences of people of color in this country that we need to address at the structural level or at the level of systems that operate in this country.” And when those conversations start to happen, suddenly these white evangelical Christians pull way back and say, “No! That’s not what we’re talking about here. That stuff doesn’t exist. Or if it exists, it doesn’t exist to the extent that you are claiming exists.” And the problem here is that you can’t just get over these past things and just enter into these relationships.
In other words, these white evangelical Christians have been influenced by decades’ worth of this teaching that tells them don’t talk about race, try not to see race, be colorblind. And when someone tells you that structural racism or systemic racism exists, you can ignore them…
Read more of the interview here … https://religionandpolitics.org/2021/06/29/how-white-southern-christians-fought-to-preserve-segregation/?
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I have taught hundreds of churches how to become multi-ethnic. And I’ve produced books and scholarly research/papers on how to do this too.
If your church is serious about becoming multiethnic you need someone to coach you. And that’s what I do.
For background why you need a coach, see this article of March 31, 2021 by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson … https://religionnews.com/2021/03/31/behind-gallups-portrait-of-church-decline/ where the author said:
“Sociologists also report that the experience of immigration increases the intensity of whatever religious convictions are held by migrants. They find religious homes in the U.S. within existing congregations and through establishing new ones, often using the facilities of declining churches. Denominations rooted in Africa and Asia now have hundreds of congregations throughout the U.S., which continue to grow. As much as Hispanics have supported Catholicism’s numbers, today there are more Latinx Protestants in the U.S. than Episcopalians.”
Sociologists also report that the experience of immigration increases the intensity of whatever religious convictions are held by migrants. They find religious homes in the U.S. within existing congregations and through establishing new ones, often using the facilities of declining churches. Denominations rooted in Africa and Asia now have hundreds of congregations throughout the U.S., which continue to grow. As much as Hispanics have supported Catholicism’s numbers, today there are more Latinx Protestants in the U.S. than Episcopalians.
March 31, 2021 by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson read more at … https://religionnews.com/2021/03/31/behind-gallups-portrait-of-church-decline/?
March 31, 2021 by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson read more at … https://religionnews.com/2021/03/31/behind-gallups-portrait-of-church-decline/?
For strategies almost any church can utilize to become a church of living color see my and Mark DeYmaz’s Abingdon Dress book: reMIX – Transitioning Your Church to Living Color.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: My PhD from the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary immersed me in the tensions and bridges of cultural differences.
So, when I designed a doctor of ministry program on leadership, the first thing I wanted to emphasize is that church leadership varies by culture. I also have a sensitivity to this because many of my students and Missional Coach mentees are African-American. For over 25 years they have taught me much about how leadership differs between cultures.
Toward that end, two of the first leaders that I had address my DMin students were African-American leaders: Dr. Dewey Smith of Greater Travelers’ Rest Church and Dr. Raphael Warnock of Ebeneezer Baptist Church.
Regardless of where your politics lie, it’s important for today’s leader to have a multicultural understanding about the different ways to lead. I hope you will read this article and begin to learn more about the ways different cultures lead so as a result that we can complement and coach one another.
Senate race thrusts ‘Black America’s church’ into spotlight.
by Aaron Morrison, Associated Press News, 1/3/21.
For decades, the red-bricked Gothic Revival church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached has been a monument to the history of Black Americans’ fight for civil rights and the legacy of an activist icon…
For King’s former church, the intense spotlight isn’t new. Its 6,000 members are accustomed to standing-room only Sunday services, due in large part to the out-of-town visitors who flocked to the church. Still, Loeffler’s criticisms have renewed attention on a pillar of Black life in Atlanta and a tradition of political activism it represents.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: As my clients know, I’ve spent 20 years helping churches grow into multiethnic congregations. In fact I wrote a book about how to do it with my friend Mark DeYmaz called reMIX: Transitioning your church to living color (Abingdon Press).
An important part of that transition is to stop doing certain practices that segment your congregation.
Here is a recent interview in the Harvard Business Review with Gardiner Morse on her book “What Works.”
The takeaway can be summed up in these thoughts:
simple changes—from eliminating the practice of sharing self-evaluations to rewarding office volunteerism—can reduce the biased behaviors that undermine organizational performance.”
Here is a portion of the interview …
“Designing a Bias-free Organization” an interview with Gardiner Morse, Harvard Business Review, 7/16.
Do whatever you can to take instinct out of consideration and rely on hard data. That means, for instance, basing promotions on someone’s objectively measured performance rather than the boss’s feeling about them. That seems obvious, but it’s still surprisingly rare.Be careful about the data you use, however. Using the wrong data can be as bad as using no data. Let me give you an example. Many managers ask their reports to do self-evaluations, which they then use as part of their performance appraisal. But if employees differ in how self-confident they are—in how comfortable they are with bragging—this will bias the manager’s evaluations. The more self-promoting ones will give themselves better ratings. There’s a lot of research on the anchoring effect, which shows that we can’t help but be influenced by numbers thrown at us, whether in negotiations or performance appraisals. So if managers see inflated ratings on a self-evaluation, they tend to unconsciously adjust their appraisal up a bit. Likewise, poorer self-appraisals, even if they’re inaccurate, skew managers’ ratings downward. This is a real problem, because there are clear gender (and also cross-cultural) differences in self-confidence. To put it bluntly, men tend to be more overconfident than women—more likely to sing their own praises. One meta-analysis involving nearly 100 independent samples found that men perceived themselves as significantly more effective leaders than women did when, actually, they were rated by others as significantly less effective. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to underestimate their capabilities. For example, in studies, they underestimate how good they are at math and think they need to be better than they are to succeed in higher-level math courses. And female students are more likely than male students to drop courses in which their grades don’t meet their own expectations. The point is, do not share self-evaluations with managers before they have made up their minds. They’re likely to be skewed, and I don’t know of any evidence that having people share self-ratings yields any benefits for employees or their organizations.
But it’s probably not possible to just eliminate all managerial activities that allow biased thinking.
Right. But you can change how managers do these things.
Read more at … https://hbr.org/2016/07/designing-a-bias-free-organization?
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: For over a decade I have coached hundreds of church leaders on how to become multiracial congregations. I’ve even written a book with my colleague Mark DeYmaz in how to do it, titled: reMIX: Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press)
But churches only succeed at this when their goal is not to become multiracial. Instead they succeed when they step up and undertake the goal Paul gave us, which I call “a holistic ministry of reconciliation.”
Look at the scripture below from The Message Bible. Paul is not just talking about reconciliation between humans and God. He is also talking about how the Church is to be a community of reconciliation between prosecutors and the persecuted, Jews and Greeks, etc. and etc. Without a focus on reconciling our histories, fears and aspirations we won’t be partnering with God in a ministry of reconciliation.
I know, there are some people that say if we undertake a ministry of reconciliation between people, we will lose our emphasis upon a ministry of reconciliation heavenward. But churches do so many things at the same time! Certainly they should be able to embrace both these important aspects of reconciliation at the same time?
I am calling upon young pastors, planting pastors, church revitalization pastors and judicatory leaders to start showing how these dual aspects of reconciliation can be practiced at the same time in the local church!
If readers wonder about details of how this can be done, I just point them to my and Mark DeYmaz’s book on transitioning your church to living color..
And, don’t get me wrong, spiritual reconciliation is the fulcrum for eternal life.
But one of the ways we demonstrate it down here is by practicing physical reconciliation too, as did Paul who at one time lined up with the persecutors but eventually was the one to build bridges to them.
Here is what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 about the synergetic nature of spiritual reconciliation and physical reconciliation.
“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 MSG
“Multiracial Congregations May Not Bridge Racial Divide” by Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio, 7/14/20.
…Integrated churches are tough things,” says Keith Moore, a Black pastor in Montgomery, Ala., who works closely with local white pastors. “When you see both African Americans and Caucasian Americans [in a church], it’s more than likely to have a Caucasian pastor,” he says. “I think it’s sometimes more difficult for whites to look at a black pastor and see him as their authority. That’s a tough call for many.”
… As a result, Moore says, African Americans ready to worship in a multiracial church are often forced to accept white leadership and a different worship style.
“You have to abandon some of your ethnic culture and become more palatable to the majority white culture,” Moore says, “give up some of the old traditional African American experience to fit in. So there is a sacrifice.”
Moore’s impressions, in fact, are supported by the research of Emerson and Dougherty.
“All the growth [in multiracial churches] has been people of color moving into white churches,” Emerson says. “We have seen zero change in the percentage of whites moving into churches of color.” Once a multiracial church becomes less than 50% white, Emerson says, the white members leave. Such findings have left Emerson discouraged.
“For the leaders of color who were trying to create the multiracial church movement,” Emerson says, “they’re basically saying, ‘It doesn’t work. The white brothers and sisters just won’t give up their privilege. And so we’ve been defeated, in a sense.'”
The continuing power of race
In Columbus, Ohio, Korie Little Edwards found a similar pattern in her own research. After her personal interest led her to join a multiracial church, her subsequent study left her skeptical that such churches were making the difference in promoting equality that she had hoped to see.
“I came to a point where I realized that, you know, these multiracial churches, just because they’re multiracial, doesn’t mean they have somehow escaped white supremacy,” she says. “Being diverse doesn’t mean that white people are not going to still be in charge and run things.”
In her book The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches, Little Edwards argued that people of color often lose out.
“The pain people experience is not feeling like they’re accepted for who they are,” she told NPR, “not being able to be themselves, not being able to worship how they want to worship, feeling like you have to fall in line with what white people expect you to do.”
by Rebecca McLaughlin, Christianity Today, 6/14/20.
It is a common misconception that Christianity first came to Africa via white missionaries in the colonial era. In the New Testament, we meet a highly educated African man who became a follower of Jesus centuries before Christianity penetrated Britain or America. In Acts 8, God directs the apostle Philip to the chariot of an Ethiopian eunuch. The man was “a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure” (Acts 8:27, ESV). Philip hears the Ethiopian reading from the Book of Isaiah and explains that Isaiah was prophesying about Jesus. The Ethiopian immediately embraces Christ and asks to be baptized (Acts 8:26–40).
We don’t know how people responded when the Ethiopian eunuch took the gospel home. But we do know that in the fourth century, two slave brothers precipitated the Christianization of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which led to the founding of the second officially Christian state in the world. We also know that Christianity took root in Egypt in the first century and spread by the second century to Tunisia, the Sudan, and other parts of Africa.
Furthermore, Africa spawned several of the early church fathers, including one of the most influential theologians in Christian history: the fourth-century scholar Augustine of Hippo. Likewise, until they were all but decimated by persecution, Iraq was home to one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world. And returning to Sengmei’s homeland, far from only being reached in the colonial era, the church in India claims a lineage going back to the first century. While this is impossible to verify, leading scholar Robert Eric Frykenberg concludes, “It seems certain that there were well-established communities of Christians in South India no later than the third and fourth centuries, and perhaps much earlier.” Thus, Christianity likely took root in India centuries before the Christianization of Britain.
Many of us associate Christianity with white, Western imperialism. There are reasons for this—some quite ugly, regrettable reasons. But most of the world’s Christians are neither white nor Western, and Christianity is getting less white and less Western by the day.
Today, Christianity is the largest and most diverse belief system in the world, representing the most even racial and cultural spread, with roughly equal numbers of self-identifying Christians living in Europe, North America, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. Over 60 percent of Christians live in the Global South, and the center of gravity for Christianity in the coming decades will likely be increasingly non-Western.
According to Pew Reseach Center, by 2060, sub-Saharan Africa could be home to 40 percent of the world’s self-identifying Christians. And while China is currently the global center of atheism, Christianity is spreading there so quickly that China could have the largest Christian population in the world by 2025 and could be a majority-Christian country by 2050, according to Purdue University sociologist Fenggang Yang.
To be clear: The fact that Christianity has been a multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic movement since its inception does not excuse the ways in which Westerners have abused Christian identity to crush other cultures. After the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century, Western Christianity went from being the faith of a persecuted minority to being linked with the political power of an empire—and power is perhaps humanity’s most dangerous drug.
But, ironically, our habit of equating Christianity with Western culture is itself an act of Western bias. The last book of the Bible paints a picture of the end of time, when “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” will worship Jesus (Rev. 7:9). This was the multicultural vision of Christianity in the beginning. For all the wrong turns made by Western Christians in the last 2,000 years, when we look at church growth globally today, it is not crazy to think that this vision could ultimately be realized. So let’s attend to biblical theology, church history, and contemporary sociology of religion and, as my friend Kanato Chopi put it, let’s abandon this absurd idea that Christianity is a Western religion.
These highlights are from DeYmaz’s seminar at Exponential 2020. More details can be found in his book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics (Baker, 2019). Also, insights can be found in Mark DeYmaz and Bob Whitesel’s book, reMIX: Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press, 2016).
The key is what the business world calls “ROI” or return on investment. Church economics is, basically, “how do you leverage the assets of a chruch to bless the community and secondly to create income for the church?”
Because of the “rise of dual income streams in households” (see the Pew chart on this page) this principle, when applied to church, leads to dual income stream churches. ”
Also, the reduction in income of the middle class means less charitable giving.
“Today most churches are just managing decline” – Mark DeYmaz.
“Those born before 1964 = 78.8% of the total church giving.” – Mark DeYmaz.
“If you keep giving everything away for free, you may not be here in 10 years.”
A strategy is …
Theologically, see Matt. 25:14-29.
14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’
I (Bob) would summarize this passage as saying that, securing church money rather than leveraging it to do more good is what Jesus is warning.
Strategies suggested by DeYmaz include …
For more see Mark’s book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics (Baker, 2019). Also, insights can be found in Mark DeYmaz and Bob Whitesel’s book, reMIX: Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press, 2016).
From his seminar (3/3/20) at Exponential 2020, Orlando, FL.
… On the spiritual front, churches must become healthy multiethnic and economically diverse reflections of their community to advance a credible witness. The (Mosiax Church, Little Rock, AK) social team exists to advance justice and compassion work through an umbrella nonprofit, and the financial team to generate for-profit sustainable income. As it stands, the American church is pitched to just one team: a spiritual team, and we’re basically getting nowhere with that right now. No one’s listening. The way you’re going to get them to listen is through job creation, the repurposing of abandoned property and reduction in crime. I believe economics is the evangelism strategy of the 21st century.
… Imagine the economic impact that ultimately leads to incredible witness through good works and evangelism if those churches would just put those assets to work. Imagine if you could wave a magic wand and turn loose those billions of dollars into America’s inner cities, into the community, into job creation, business creation, repurposing of abandoned properties. What could that investment do to change people’s lives, to see cities flourish? The church would get credit for that.
“Mark DeYmaz: The Church as a Benevolent Owner—Part 2,” by Jessica Hanewinckel, Outreach Magazine, 2/12/20.
Mark DeYmaz is the author of The Coming Revolution in Church Economics: Why Tithes and Offerings Are No Longer Enough, and What You Can Do About It (with Harry Li, Baker)
And co-author with Bob Whitesel of re:MIX – Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press) … https://www.amazon.com/Transitioning-Your-Church-Living-Color/dp/1630886920/ref=nodl_
by Mark Travers, Forbes Magazine, 10/10/19.
…Perhaps the best way to correct people’s misguided assumptions regarding racial economic inequality in America is to simply present them with the numbers. And, in this case, a picture might be worth more than a thousand words.
… For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the average white family in the United States has $100. In those terms, how much money do you think a comparable black family has?
…The answer is less than $10. Most Americans guess upwards of $80. This is the crux of a new article appearing in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Specifically, a team of psychologists led by Michael Kraus of Yale University examined the extent to which people underestimate the degree of racial economic inequality in the United States. Their results are alarming, to say the least.
Key findings from their research are summarized in the five charts below.
Figure 1. The chart above illustrates the extent to which Americans underestimate the racial wealth gap in the United States. (Data was collected using a nationally representative sample of 1,008 American adults.) Perceptions of black wealth when white wealth is set to $100 are shown by the diamonds within error bars. The actual ratio of black to white wealth is depicted by the diamonds toward the bottom of the chart. It is easy to see the arrant disconnect between perception and reality. It is also the case that most Americans think the racial wealth gap is decreasing over time when, in reality, it has remained relatively stable, and exceptionally unequal, for decades.
Figure 2. The graph above depicts perception (diamonds with error bars) and reality (diamonds) of the racial wealth divide for people of varying levels of education. In both cases, the wealth gap decreases as education level increases. Still, the degree of overestimation is enormous. For instance, most Americans assume that the wealth gap between white and black families with post-graduate educations is virtually negligible. The truth is that black families with post-graduate degrees are still only worth about 30 cents to every white families’ dollar.
Figure 4. The chart above includes perceptions of income inequality for Latinx and Asian racial groups, as well as for blacks. Comparing perceptions (diamonds with error bars) to reality (diamonds), most Americans underestimate wealth inequality for all groups, but the misperception is largest for the black and Latinx groups.
Figure 5. What might cause the gross underestimation of racial economic inequality in the United States? While there are undoubtedly many factors at play, the researchers suggest that personal beliefs regarding the nature of success may contribute to the misperception. The chart above shows that people who believe in a “just world” (i.e., that people generally get what they deserve in life) are more likely overestimate the degree of economic equality between blacks and whites.
by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 6/21/15. (adapted and annotated by the author from his book with Mark DeYmaz, reMix: Transitioning Your Church to Living Color, Abingdon Press, 2017).
John Kotter is a renowned and respected change coach who perfected eight steps for organizational change that have been applied successfully to thousands of organizational transitions.1 Harvard Business Review said, “Perhaps nobody understands the anatomy of organizational change better than retired Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter.”2
NOTE: Here is a link Kotter’s seminal 1995 article and #InfoGraphic on change and the best overview of this Harvard professor’s change methods.
I have consulted or mentored hundreds of church transitions. And, I have found Kotter’s eight stages to be reliable, valid and important steps for a healthy church transition to living color.
Here are the key phases for implementing the principles and procedures of a church revitalization.
1. “Establishing a Sense of Urgency.”
““Son of man, I’ve made you a watchman for the family of Israel. Whenever you hear me say something, warn them for me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You are going to die,’ and you don’t sound the alarm warning them that it’s a matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault. I’ll hold you responsible. But if you warn the wicked and they keep right on sinning anyway, they’ll most certainly die for their sin, but you won’t die. You’ll have saved your life.”
Ezekiel 3:17-19 MSG https://www.bible.com/bible/97/ezk.3.17-19.msg
2. “Forming a Powerful Guiding Coalition.”
3. “Creating a Vision.”
NOTE: A vision should be a “visual representation” of what the church will look like in 5 years. USE: (a.) A small group to create, (b) a short statement to communicate. Here is an article on “The Art of Crafting a 15-word Strategy Statement” from Harvard Business Review Good vision statements and Poor Vision Statements (compared) which states there are …”two requirements:
4. “Communicating the Vision.”
5. “Empowering Others to Act on the Vision.”
6. “Planning for and Creating Short-Term Wins.”
NOTE: This is probably the most overlooked step.
7. “Using increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision.”
NOTE: There is a “continuum” or “progress toward” better models for a multicultural (or multiethnic) church. All are found in The Healthy Church (Wesleyan Publishing House). Here are three from good … better … and best: 5 Models of Miltiethnic Churches
8. “Institutionalizing New Approaches.”
You can download the article here >> WHITESEL ARTICLE 8 Steps to Changing a Church
Below is the slide I use in my presentations >>
1 John Kotter, Leading Change, (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996), John Kotter, “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail,” Harvard Business Review (Boston, Harvard Business Publishing, 2007), retrieved from https://hbr.org/2007/01/leading-change-why-transformation-efforts-fail/ar/1
2 Editor’s note to John Kotter, ibid. Harvard Business Review.
3 John Kotter, “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail,” Harvard Business Review (Boston, Harvard Business Publishing, 2007), retrieved from https://hbr.org/2007/01/leading-change-why-transformation-efforts-fail/ar/1
4 James Strong The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Thomas Nelson, 1990), 1515.
5 Bob Whitesel, Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change and What You Can Do About It (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002) and Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2008).
6 Scott Wilcher, MetaSpeak: Secrets of Regenerative Leadership to Transform your Workplace, Ph.D. dissertation (Nashville: Turnaround 2020 Conference, 2013).
F. J. Barrett and D.L. Cooperrider, Generative metaphor intervention: A new approach for working with systems divided by conflict and caught in defensive perception, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (Maryland: Silver Springs, NTL Institute, 1990) Vol. 26, pp. 219-239
Exploring Strategic Change, 3rd Edition (New York: Pierson Publishing, 2008).
G. Bushe and A. Kassam, When is Appreciative Inquiry Transformational? A Meta-Case Analysis, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science (Maryland: Silver Springs, NTL Institute, 2005) Vol. 41, pp. 161-18.
Speaking hashtags: #CaribbeanGraduateSchoolOfTheology 8Steps4Change.church 8Steps4Change.com
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I created a new typology for understanding multicultural churches: The 5 Types of Multicultural Churches and ranked each based on how well they create reconciliation (to God) and reconciliation (to one another). See my address to academics and popular articles on this here:
MULTICULTURAL & 8 Steps to Transitioning to 1 of 5 Models of a Multicultural Church #GCRNJournal by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., The Great Commission Research Journal, Biola University, 3/1/17.
UNITY & 5 ways church unity creates a powerful influence in your city by Bob Whitesel, chapter “The Church as a Mosiax: Exercise for Cultural Diversity” in
re;MIX Transitioning Your Church to Living Color (Abingdon Press, 2017).
The Church as a Mosaic: Exercises for Cultural Diversity, A Guest Post by Dr. Bob Whitesel (Dr. Bob Whitesel explores what it would look like for the church to be variety of ethnicities and cultures) overview courtesy of Ed Stetzer on The Exchange, Christianity Today, 2/10/14.
If Reconcilation are the goals, then one of the best strategies is to integrate a church rather than just plant or support an autonomous congregation (and in the push both congregations apart).
In the chapter I contributed to the book, Gospel after Christendom: New voices, New cultures, New expressions (ed. Bolger, Baker Academic Books, 2012), that before St. Thomas’s Church in Sheffield, England became England’s largest multicultural congregation … it was first a multicultural merger between a small Baptist church and a small Church of England congregation.
The power of mergers has been under estimated and underutilized in creating multicultural churches.
And, with so many small struggling mono-cultural congregations, the idea of merging two homogeneous congregations to create a multicultural congregation needs to be the strategy of more churches and denominations.
The power of mergers has been under estimated and underutilized in creating multicultural churches.
See my book The Healthy Church: Practical Ways to Strengthen a Church’s Heart (Wesleyan Publishing House, 2013) for ideas and the chapter “The Church as a Mosiax: Exercise for Cultural Diversity.” You can read an overview courtesy of Ed Stetzer on The Exchange, in Christianity Today.
Also, read this article for more ideas:
by Sandhya Dirks, National Public Radio, Weekend Edition, 8/11/18.
… Which brings us to Pastor Kyle Brooks and Pastor Bernard Emerson. They knew creating an inter-racial church was not going to be easy, but they kept kicking the idea around. They would take long walks through Oakland’s Dimond District and dream about it out loud. Maybe at some point in the future, they thought.
Then a year ago, Neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, and they felt like they could no longer wait.
First, they had to break it to their congregations.
“I saw it on facebook, and instantly I typed back, ‘oh my god, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for,'” said LaSonya Brown, who had been attending Emerson’s church, The Way, for about a year. “I’ll be the first one to join,” she said.
Brown was raised in a black church with only two white people in it. One was her godfather, who had married into the black community, the other was a white woman who would “speak in tongues, and then translate the tongue.”
“I never knew her name, but I’ll never forget her,” Brown said. Despite it being different than what she had known before, Brown welcomed the idea of an inclusive congregregation. “I think it was something that I wanted, but I didn’t realize that I wanted it until I saw his post,” she said.
At first she thought it was going to happen instantly, just everyone showing up to church together. But it is not that easy to flip the switch on hundreds of years of segregated worship.
“It’s much more complicated than that,” Brown said. “You don’t think that your life is different than somebody else,” but it can be. In an ideal world, she said, people want to think about what they have in common and not their differences.
But we do not live in that ideal world of race relations. “There’s a lot of things that we don’t do in common,” she said. “But we do want to know how to be together.”
Each church individually went through months of workshops and classes, owning up to their own fears about what merging would mean.
Many people in Pastor Brooks’ white congregation were afraid of being uncomfortable. There was a feeling of discomfort around everything from different hymns, to the service being in a different neighborhood, to different styles of worship. There was also discomfort in having to face up to their responsibility, as white people, in ongoing American racism. Everyone in the church was excited about the merger, but that did not make it easy.
Pastor Emerson’s congregation was also supportive, and not just because they are largely family. The black congregants of The Way had different fears, fears that they might not be welcomed. Emerson said some of them asked, “will they accept us for who we are?”
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Since Mark DeYmaz and I wrote our book about how homogeneous congregations can transition to churches of living color (book is called ReMIX from Abingdon Press) there has been an increase in multicultural churches.
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.
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.
For the study, Dougherty and Emerson analyzed data from the National Congregations Study, a nationally representative survey conducted in 1998, 2006-2007 and 2012, with a cumulative sample of 4,071 congregations. The study by Dougherty and Emerson — “The Changing Complexion of American Congregations” — is published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
The study found that:
Read more at … https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=199850
“(Bob) Whitesel agrees that diverse leadership is a crucial point,
‘Oftentimes, the dominant culture will have a tendency to try and run a multicultural church,’ he said. ‘We teach in this book about shared leadership. It’s almost impossible to grow a multiethnic church without having multiethnic leadership in place first. You have to include these people and their voices in the decision-making process before you make structural change’.”
From “Move to multiethnicity is not easy, but worth it” by Emily Snell, United Methodist Interpreter Magazine (n.d.), retrieved from http://www.interpretermagazine.org/topics/move-to-multiethnicity-is-not-easy-but-worth-it
by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/22/17.
This is my video introduction to the assignments on how to create both diversity and unity in LEAD 545: Strategic Leadership and Management. Be sure to read the syllabus and weekly instructions before watching my additional video introduction.
©️Bob Whitesel 2017, used by permission only.