The Key to Being a Multicultural Church

MulticulturalIn his article, “Unity and Diversity: Being a Multicultural Church” (Concordia Journal, Summer 2016:203-210) Mason Keiji Okubo identifies the key to being a multicultural church. He writes,

The key to being a multicultural church (i.e. the key to removing the blockage in spreading the gospel) is our ability to love. While that may sound a bit simple-minded or self-evident, in practice it is not that easy. I’m not talking about just liking someone who is different. I’m talking about loving someone who is different, someone who is radically different. I’m talking about having a relationship with someone who has different likes and tastes in food, different life experiences, different customs and traditions, different values; a person who in fact may have a totally different worldview. A worldview is the glasses through which you evaluate your experiences. A person of another culture evaluates many things differently. It is these differences in culture which give rise to conflict. It is these differences in culture which give rise to separation. In fact, it won’t be in the big things which different cultures will conflict. It will be in the small things. It is said the main conflict in multicultural congregations will not be theological, but it will be in the kitchen. The making (and the breaking) of relationships will be in the small things, the details. Why are the small thing so important? Because it will be here, in the small things, that love will be most evident. It is easy to sacrifice for the big issues, but the only reason you sacrifice in the small ones, is because of love. (p. 206-207)

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