CMMW founder and director Rev Israel Olofinjana has just released his latest book, African Voices: Towards African British Theologies.Read More
Majority World Christians felt honoured to have their work praised and acknowledged by Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales, with the Government spokesperson speaking glowingly of the exhibition and the diverse Christian communities whose stories it told.Read More
We are thrilled that two of our CMMW Directors have been appointed to strategic mission roles, one in London City Mission, and another in Liverpool Hope University. Find out more about Tayo and his new role in this interview...Read More
More than 50 people gathered on 10 June for a CMMW conference in St Mark’s Baptist Church, Bristol, discussing the joys, challenges and opportunities of leading a multi-ethnic church.Read More
CMMW are delighted to announce that Usha Reifsnider has recently joined the CMMW leadership team.Read More
If Brexit is dividing people into us and them, migrants and British citizens, elite and uneducated, racist and accepting of others, how should the church respond and handle these differences?Read More
Leading a multicultural church is a new book by Malcolm Patten, minister of Blackhorse Baptist Church. We caught up with him to hear more...
Tell us what the book is about
The book is intended to support pastors and leaders of multicultural churches. It is in two parts.
The first part explores the multicultural dimensions of scripture, for example: How ethnically diverse were the people of Israel? How did the principle of assimilation into the people of God in the Old Testament become a principle of integration in the New Testament, where people were able to retain their own cultural identity as followers of Jesus? I also look at political theories of multiculturalism, and the theory on reducing prejudice proposed by social psychologist Gordon Allport.
The second part is much more practical, drawing on the theoretical foundations of the first part, but applying them in the area of worship, pastoral care, leadership and mission. There are many illustrations of good practice (and some bad!)
Why did you write the book and what inspired you to write it?
I came to London from the North-East of England in 1989 to train for Baptist ministry. I was immediately struck by the diversity of the city. When I began ministry in my student placement, I was keen to see people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds not just making up the congregation, but actually shaping the way we did church. I wanted to see them empowered to play a full part in church life, from the leadership down.
I think the other thing we have to grasp is the fact that from 2010, according to UN figures, more than half the people of the world now live in cities, and this figure is expected to increase to 70% by 2050. Cities by their very nature are multicultural places. I recently visited Dushanbe (capital city of Tajikistan), Skopje (capital city of Macedonia), and Yaounde (capital city of Cameroon), and in each city apartment blocks were going up all around because of the influx of people, just like in the cities of the UK. So developing multicultural churches in cities all around the world is fast becoming one of the front lines of world mission today.
How has your experience of leading multicultural churches informed the book?
To a great extent the book shares my personal journey as a pastor, but I think there are many principles and learning points I discovered along the way that will be helpful and applicable for others in their situation. The principles and insights in the book have been tested and proved along the way, and there are plenty of practical examples. For instance, the difficulty of appointing new leaders from different ethnic backgrounds if the current leaders are only looking amongst their friends and their own cultural group - the book tackles common issues such as this.
What lessons can leaders learn from the book?
The book will help you to think through in a more coherent and biblical way the significance of being a multicultural church. It will also help in very practical ways to discover how to reduce prejudice, develop understanding and unity amongst diverse teams and strengthen your church's pastoral care, worship, vision and mission.
What are the challenges in leading a multicultural church?
There are many. It is hard work, particularly if you need to overcome language barriers. It is also slow work - it is much easier gathering people together who do things in a similar way, but in a multicultural church you are doing things the long way round. It can feel like you are trying to please everybody ,but end up pleasing nobody. But when things fall into place, multicultural churches are the most beautiful of places and a foretaste of heaven.
Buy your copy today: Leading a Multicultural Church: Free Delivery at Eden.co.uk
Gathered under the theme of One God, One People, One Message, participants gathered together from various nations to explore and think through trends and key mission topics affecting our current global scene.Read More
“Growing multi-ethnic churches changes everybody, that’s why it’s difficult and painful. When strangers come in, you can’t stay the same”. This conference in Birmingham on 2nd July addressed the theme of multi-ethnic churches in Britain, and was well attended with 75 participants drawn from African, Caribbean and white British backgrounds.Read More
CMMW director Dr Samuel Cueva will be hosting the Global Mission Conference in London in October 2016, gathering missionaries, mission societies, pastors, theologians and church members to think and pray about Mission in the Third Millennium.Read More
The CMMW team gathered together for a strategic meeting last week at the Church Mission Society (CMS) office in Oxford., planning for their upcoming conference in Birmingham on 2nd July.Read More
This unique collaboration between Birmingham Churches Together, Queens Foundation and the Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World will bring together church leaders from many different Christian traditions who are seeking to integrate people from different ethnic backgrounds into the life and mission of their church.Read More
Culture matters - whether national, ethnic, class, age, gender or organisational. This workshop in Tooting on 30 April, organised by Friendship Plus, will equip you and your church members on the role of Cultural Intelligence in Mission and Ministry.Read More
CMMW gathered together 15 pastors who have come to minister in the UK from 10 diverse nations across the worldRead More
In the words of Dr Kate Coleman: ‘Israel’s latest offering goes the extra mile, beyond documentation, by proposing insightful and pragmatic ways that UK Christians can further express the prophetic nature of what must inevitably be increasingly creative and diverse expressions of mission and ministry in the unfolding history of the United Kingdom’.Read More
South Asian Concern (SAC) is an organisation passionate about celebrating the good news of Jesus, sharing this good news with people of all backgrounds, and encouraging, equipping and enabling followers of Christ to be more effective in their engagement with South Asians.
They’ve recently released a book telling the story of SAC. Here Ram Gidoomal, one of their co-founders, tells us more about what God has done through SAC...Read More
Watch the inspiring talks from Mark Sturge on and David Wise on the realities, highs and lows of growing truly multicultural churches.Read More
Find out more about our March conference in London, with speakers Mark Sturge and David Wise.Read More
The three talks from the CMMW conference are now available to view online.
Click below to access each video:
Watch Rev Celia Apeagyei-Collins's talk on partnering in mission, which she opened by saying: "The very fact we are talking about partnership in mission indicates that something is wrong..."
Watch Rev Yemi Adedeji's talk on strategic partnerships, where he emphasises that partnership is not possible without relationships.
Watch Rev Dr Roger Standing's talk on unity, where he speaks passionately about the vision of a New Jerusalem with worshippers of all ethnicities before the throne, rich in diversity but uniting as one functioning community.