Monday, April 10, 2006

multi cultural or multi ethnic

I have been thinking a lot about multi cultural worship lately and what that can look like. It seems there a lot of churches around at the moment that would claim to be multi cultural in their worship style. The reality though is often that they are multi ethnic and not multi cultural. In a recent debate around the National Census in NZ there were a lot of question and a fare few talk abck complaints abotu a question reffering to ethnicity. Quite a few people jumped up and down not wanting to be reffered to as NZ European, "It doesn't descibe me." was the often heard statement, or "I'll put I am other on the bottom of the form - I'm a Kiwi."
It seemed to me that this confusion was similar to the confsuion that many of our churches refer to when they say they are multi cultural, when in fact they are multi ethnic..
Ethnicity and cultural are not one and that same, ethnicaly I am European, culturally i am probably Kiwiish... they are not the same thing.
In a few months I hope to be on a journey of helping a Church become truly multi cultural in their approach to worship and multiethnic in their make up. It's not going to be an easy journey but one the cross cultural landscape of youth work has allowed me to see some possibilities in. A ministry that is normaly monoethnic but multi cultural due to the dissonance and differeing world view of young people to their parents generation.
Apart from that Leslie Newbigin (thanks to Brian Smith for that one) has been a huge influence on my understanding of the relationship between the gospel and culutre and the need for the same gospel to engage with the culture

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