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Church Planting resources arranged by topic
Unique people group resources and places in need of churches
The basis of multicultural church planting can legitimately start where the
Scriptures start. God has displayed His creativity not only in the
creation of the heavens and the earth, but in ethnic diversity, in
redeeming the world, and in building His church. In a fast-forward way, we can
see God’s plan through other key biblical passages. “The Lord had said to
Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go
to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. . . . I
will make your name great, and you will be a blessing . . . and all
peoples on earth will be blessed through you,’ ” Genesis
To this man of faith who would go on a great pilgrimage, God unveiled a plan to
reach the world. Through this one man who left his people, all peoples on
earth will be blessed. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority
in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the
age,’” Matthew 28:18-20.
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus commanded His followers
“to make disciples of all nations.” This key command echoes in different
ways throughout the New Testament. (see Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-49; John
20:21-22; Acts 1:8)
In Let The Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions, John
Piper declares, “God’s great goal in all history is to uphold and display
the glory of His name for the enjoyment of His people from all the
nations.” In step with “God’s great goal” described by Piper, the Lord has
allowed world migration today to bring many different peoples to the major
cities. In the major metropolitan areas around the globe, multicultural
churches are microcosms that simultaneously reflect a fulfillment of the
Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20) and foreshadow the reality
of heaven. (see Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9-10; 14:6-7; 15:4; 21:3)
The goal of this guide is to serve as an introduction to multicultural church
planting by answering these questions:
1. What is a multicultural church?
2. Why are more multicultural churches needed?
3. Where are new multicultural churches needed?
4. Who is well suited to lead a multicultural church planting
5. How are multicultural churches started?
6. When should we consider starting a new multicultural church?
A MULTICULTURAL CHURCH?
There is a growing discussion of the definition of a multicultural, or
multiethnic, church. At a basic level, there is a key distinction between
a multi-congregational church and a multicultural church. The
multi-congregational church has separate groups of believers working under
a common purpose and perhaps, in a common building. Often, language is a
key factor that keeps the congregations as separate units, though working
We will be working from a definition drawn by the Multicultural Church Network,
SBC: “The multicultural church is a biblical community of believers: (1)
who have as a current reality or hold as a core value the inclusion of
culturally diverse people, and (2) who come together and serve as a single
body to live out God’s call to be a New Testament church."
Furthermore, this guide’s emphasis is on multicultural church planting rather
than on transitioning a monocultural church to become multicultural. The
multi-congregational and transitioning multicultural church models have
special issues that will be dealt with in
MORE MULTICULTURAL CHURCHES NEEDED?
First, more multicultural churches are needed, simply because more churches are
needed in the United States. At first, one may question the appeal
for more churches in the United States. However,
consider the following:
Gallup estimates the American unchurched population to be 195 million (making
the United States the third-largest unchurched nation in the
in America has a greater percentage of churched people today than a decade
Half of all
churches, within the past year, did not add one new member through conversion
America is the only continent where Christianity is not
more multiethnic churches are needed, because more varieties of churches are
needed in the United States. Charles Chaney, a Southern Baptist
missiologist and writer states, “America will not be won to Christ by
establishing more churches like the vast majority of those we now have.”
Consequently, more and different churches are needed. Many people are falling
through the cracks of existing churches. In an increasingly multicultural,
urban society, there are groups of people who do not fit into the
traditional categories of churches.
couples and families
people who prefer speaking English
suburban people in major metropolitan areas who appreciate living, working, and
ministering in the midst of ethnic diversity
Let’s consider the perspective of one group that is falling through the cracks,
Generation-X. Tim Celek, Dieter Zander, and Patrick Kampert speak to how
Generation-Xers see God and the church in their book Inside the Soul
of a New Generation: Insight and Strategies for Reaching Busters:
“Busters are not resistant to spiritual matters. They’re not resistant to the
concept of God. But they view the church as being separatist, segregated,
institutional, irrelevant, judgmental, holier-than-thou, controlling,
authoritarian. And to some degree, they’re right.”
The irony is that the impression some people have of church is not what God
calls us to be. The people of God are not to be barrier builders, but
barrier breakers through Jesus who makes us one. (see Ephesians 2:14-15,
19) In the face of negative church perceptions, a multicultural church
can serve as a gracious apology to the unbelieving
NEW MULTICULTURAL CHURCHES NEEDED?
New multicultural churches are needed in the cities or sprawling metropolitan
areas. In the late 1800s, D.L.Moody stated: “Reach the big cities and you
reach the nation." Today, Moody’s statement could be adapted, “Reach the
big cities and you reach the world." In A Theology As Big As the
City, Ray Bakke and Raymond Bakke comment about the incredible urban
growth in the past 100 years: “The spectacular growth of large cities on this
planet represents an awesome challenge to the church of Jesus Christ on
all six continents. In 1900, 8 percent of the world’s population lived in
cities. By the year 2000, that number will be nearly 50 percent.” As
believers, the “go” part of the Great Commission command is still in force.
However, we are now also responsible before God on another level. The very
people to whom we once had to “go” many miles to reach have come to us.
This is changing the face of urban America.
In The Urban
Christian: Effective Ministry in Today’s Urban World, Ray Bakke, Jim Hart,
and Raymond Bakke described the heart of multicultural urban ministry:
“When I began to look seriously at the problems of cities, I realized that
the Lord is doing something very unusual in this generation. He seems to
be shaking up the world. ‘Go and make disciples of all nations.’ We know
where all the nations are—in the big cities. God has brought all the nations
here—to wherever your big city is.”
What have been principal receiving areas in the United States? This list
includes, but is not limited to: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago,
San Francisco, Anaheim, Houston, San Diego, Boston, and Washington,
LEAD A MULTICULTURAL CHURCH PLANTING TEAM?
In most ministry settings, any available, faithful, and teachable believer can
be used greatly of God. In a multicultural church, the challenge
level increases, especially for the lead pastor. Therefore, the
following background and qualities are valuable for anyone in a leadership
role in any church, but especially for the lead pastor of a
multicultural church. One well-suited for multicultural church
commitment to the authority of Scripture; especially principles of
reconciliation and unity
commitment to missions
commitment to include people of all ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic
commitment to prayer
A sense of
to enjoy and compromise with different cultural
to handle criticism and rejection
leadership and pastoral gifts
training in theology and in the social sciences (informally or
ARE MULTICULTURAL CHURCHES STARTED?
Multicultural churches can be started through a variety of church planting
strategies. In The Church Planter’s Toolkit, Logan and Ogne list
several possible options:
A church planter begins gathering a core group through evangelistic efforts
and other contacts. This is the most common strategy
A core group hives off from the parent church and stays in the
same general vicinity.
A core group intentionally relocates from the mother church to plant a
new church. Berkland Baptist Church illustrated this strategy when it sent
out church planting teams around the world.
When key lay leaders move and core groups form in the new
Core groups and/or churches who approach a partnering church for help
are embraced. Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago has facilitated the
starting of a number of congregations using this method.
Several churches work in a cooperative venture to start a new
A flickering church work is taken over and restarted at the same site.
Armitage Baptist Church in Chicago is an example of this.
This method is when a church building is sold and the congregation
relocates to several new starts.
An apostolic leader sparks multitudes of new churches.
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