Multi-cultural church – worksheet

Here’s the handout from today’s CPI Urban Hub workshop on multi-cultural church

Urban Church – multi-cultural church

  1. The Start of a conversation

Aim today is to open up an ongoing conversation.

Urban context = multi-cultural so this affects church context.

Three things to consider

–          There may be a variety of cultures/ethnic groups in the community – but that may not be the same as being genuinely multi-cultural depending on levels of physical and social segregation

–          There is an ongoing debate about whether or not the church can/should aim to be multi-cultural or whether it is better for witness and/or discipleship to take place in the context of “Homogenous Units.”

–          As with point 1 it may be possible to have churches that are in a multi-cultural context and have people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds without being multi-cultural churches


  1. What does it mean to be fully multi-cultural?


Biblical Case study

Read Galatians 3:26-28 – In context, what does this have to say about being “multi-cultural.” Perhaps equally importantly -what does it not mean?




 levels of multi-culturalism in church life

Where would you say that your church is against the following criteria?


  1. A church that is completely homogenous -single ethnic culture (n.b. there may be other aspects of cultural diversity such as age/class etc)
  2. A church where people from different backgrounds are attending
  3. A church where people from different backgrounds are fully engaged as members of the local church body (possibly sub-levels within this)
  4. A church with a leadership team that reflects the variety of cultural backgrounds within the congregation and the community
  5. A Church that in its practices fully reflects and celebrates both cultural diversity and Gospel Unity


What are the joys and encouragements that you are experiencing from being at the stage you are?

Are you happy with where it is?


  1. Challenges and barriers to being a multi-cultural church

What are the specific challenges/barriers you have faced? (nb in terms of multi-ethnic, your barrier may be your context if it is mono-ethnic. As noted above there are other aspects of cultural diversity that your church is going to see – what challenges have you faced with those).

Biblical Case studies

What do the following examples teach us about the challenges that may come in multi-cultural contexts?

How were those challenges met?

Acts 6:1-7

Acts 15

1 Corinthians 8 c.f. ch 9:19-23





What is your experience of trying to resolve challenges/overcome barriers? What has worked? What hasn’t?

4.Next Steps

Things we might want to look at

  1. How does thinking in terms of “idolatry” and how it can affect cultures affect our approach to multi-cultural church?


  1. Are there examples of churches outside of our own context (geographical/church tradition) that we can learn from?


  1. Are there areas where we have to recognise not just mistakes/errors but sin in terms of how we have approached this area -is there need for repentance?