I remember when we first arrived at Poplar and started to think about how to be multi-cultural church in a multi-cultural area. I had seen models of church that had specific services for specific national groupings. We started to explore the potential, only to be de-railed in a conversation with some of our African church members.
It's a bit irritating that I can't remember who exactly wrote this. Anyway it is in the Urban Theology Reader...
"The Joppa story witnesses to the new things that the spirit of God is doing in the church and the world after the coming of Christ , and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in those empowered and called by the spirit to challenge exclusion, to transform division into communion and to draw the marginalised into the heart of the community of the people of God."Northcott, M. (ed) (1998) Urban Theology: A Reader
Not a bad ‘how to’ avoid church becoming a ghetto. Remember we are called to challenge exclusion. Remember we are called to transform division into communion and remember we are called to draw the marginalised into the heart of the community of the people of God.
And I think it is an attitude of mind rather than any working out of programme. Could be that your church is in Jersey (where when on holiday my daughter asked where are all the black people…?) but it doesn’t stop you being a church that challenges exclusion, transforms division into communion and draws in the marginalised.
I am left trying to get my head around ‘specialised churches’ for ‘specialised people’ are they able to challenge exclusion, transform division into communion and draw in the marginalised?
I am left trying to get my head around do ‘specialised churches’ for ‘specialised people’ demonstrate the kingdom or a ghetto.
I am left trying to get my head around whether I have been fed a church growth lie that ‘if you attend a church for the first time and fail to see someone like you in the first minute you are unlikely to return’. Or has Phil Yancey got something when in "Church why bother?" says if he sees anyone remotely like him within the church he never attends again!
More blogs about multi-cultural church; segregation; Urban ministry; sleep walking to segregation.