Multi-Ethnic Church : Staff pt. 3

I hope you have been reading the slew of Multi-Ethnic Church posts I have written. This is the third section on Staffing a Multi-Ethnic church. Last post we talked about the importance of cross cultural education, but now we must delve deeper. 

For me multi-ethnic ministry is much like “Alice in Wonderland” the more you delve into the complexity of diversity, the more fun it becomes and the less you want to return.

I’d like to delve into the complexities within each ethnicity. Ethnicity is a larger term, culture is the smaller. I.E. Within Asian Ethnicity there are many countries, who have many cultures. Cultures are not bound by borders. My friends who are Gypsy are great evidence of a culture living outside the social economic boundaries of any one particular country. 

Why does this matter!? We must not only be aware of ethnicities different from ours, but also the cultures within each ethnicity. I’ll chart out what I’m referring to. Sociologists now refer to these differences as C1 C2 C3. Hang on with me, because this will make sense. 

C1 – Carlton (from Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire) [ brown by skin tone, but white by habit]

C2- Denzel Washington (he can be either a 1, or a 3 at will)

C3- Ice Cube (very “hood” in all his mannerisms)

The fact of the matter is that there are possibly hundreds of sub cultures within any one ethnicity. The “white” community doesn’t realize that they cross their own cultural boundary often thanks to education that they have received via media, reading or Experience. 

Some sub cultures of White culture:

1.       “red-necks”

2.       Bikers

3.       Trekies / Techies

4.       Sport fanatics

5.       Northern whites / southern whites

We must take our time in cultural education to be sensitive to differences between unique ethnicities. We must all strive to be like Denzel in the chart above the “C2” who can relate to either the unique C3 or confused C1. Being a C2 is often times learned, not created, as in the case of the Apostle Paul. Some people like myself are created C2. I believe I’ve been created to be a C2, my mom is white my dad is a dark Filipino Cajun French who “looks like a Hawaiian Buddha.” If you’re not from diversity, you have to learn diversity. Paul learned it through the power of the Holy Spirit and a desire to share the Gospel. Paul’s message quoted before in 1 Cor. 9:19-23 is not just for someone crossing ethnic lines, but also for the person wanting to reach those within their own ethnicity. 

Lovingly I'd like to say just because you hire an ethnic minister, he may not personally relate to all the sub-cultures within his own ethnicity. The Gospel transcends all barriers, but we must be personally aware of the needs and language for those people to grasp the Gospel correctly.  

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