The last article was an attempt to think through one of the major debates about cross-cultural mission. For those less interested in the technical, academic discussion, I thought I’d try and summarise things with 5 headline propositions about urban, cross cultural church planting.
1. The aim of the local church when evangelising and making disciples is to reach people living in a particular context. This means that it is not aiming to artificially create a particular type of culture. A church planted into a heterogeneous community should reflect the cultural diversity present. A church planted into a homogenous community should not be embarrassed if it is mono-culture.
2. The church nationally and internationally should reflect the cultural diversity we find in the World around us. We look forward to the day when Christ will get her his people from every tribe and nation and we work to see aforetaste of that now. We should expect and long for our interchurch gatherings, conferences, festivals and training programmes to reflect the diversity that there should be in the Church.
3. Even a gathering based on a particular affinity will not be fully homogenous. We can expect a level of diversity in all groups.
4. Reaching unreached cultures requires intentionality. We should not sit back and wait for people to get used to our own cultural idiosyncrasies.
5. culturally diverse church is only genuinely diverse when not only those attending but the church membership and the church leadership truly reflect the reality of the neighbourhood. This may mean having to rethink aspects of how you organise church has life.
If you want to get a bit more insight into how I reached those conclusions, please read the previous article “Like for Like”