6 Actions to Take When Leading from the Dominant Culture in a Multi-Ethnic Church

In a follow-up to my post, “I’m a racist. That’s why I need people of colour in my church”, here are 6 steps to take with a few comments/questions for those of us who are from the dominant (white) culture when leading in a multi-ethnic church.

Learn
Do you put yourself in a place to learn from brothers and sisters who are different from you?  Do you read authors who are black, Asian or from a different social class? Are all your favourite preachers & teachers white middle-class men? Time to change that.

Listen 
Do you have any friends from a different ethnic background?  Do you take the time to ask questions about their story?  Have you wondered why certain ethnic groups act in certain ways? Politely ask!

Lament
The tendency for those of us who come from the dominant culture is to move quickly into “fix-it” mode when our eyes are opened to historic cultural sins.  Don’t let the first question out of your mouth be “What can I do now to make things better?” Take the time to lament.

The word “lament” is rooted in scripture but doesn’t get enough traction in Protestant circles.  There have been a few books recently on the subject – check out Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith and Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times

Love
My wife, Josephine, has said again and again over the years that people will put up with a lot if they know that you love them.  Yes, there will be cultural mistakes when people from various ethnic backgrounds worship in the same church. I know cause I’ve made many of them!!  But love covers a multitude of sins!

Lead
How are you using your privilege, your connections and your advantages for the Kingdom of God? Get out there and do something!

Leave
There may be a time when you need to leave and it may come earlier than you expect.   The goal for every leader should be to raise up the next generation.  Hopefully, minority leaders have emerged over the years making it possible to move on to the next challenge.

 

 

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Chris Hatch

Seeking to love God and neighbor