Building a Multicultural Church: The Importance of Relationships

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Doctor of Intercultural Studies

First Advisor

Glanville, Elizabeth L.


In a multicultural church setting is it possible to experience unity in the midst of diversity? In this research I present findings about the growth, health, and effectiveness of multicultural churches that have been impacted by globalization, through personal spiritual formation and glocal influence.

Quantitative data gathered through research conducted with members of the church I pastored confirmed the general lack of understanding and practice of spiritual disciplines, as well as minimal engagement in ministry and outreach endeavors. Interviews with several pastors of multicultural churches who were experiencing growth proved beneficial, and each of these pastors sensed the growth they were experiencing was organic or accidental. This qualitative data revealed several commonalities in leadership dynamics and community practices, as well as similar challenges and pitfalls they had encountered in leading and building community in their respective multicultural churches.

In the middle of the doctoral journey at Fuller I transitioned from pastoring a mega-church in Canada to a small church in Florida, but these churches shared a common ingredient, that being they are both multicultural in makeup. This move provided me with the opportunity to test the leadership dynamics and community practices while bringing healthy change to this new church setting, providing a solid foundation to initiate growth, spiritually, numerically, and missionally. Ultimately, the foundation for the ministry is centered on the words of Jesus (paraphrased) from Matthew 22:37-39: love God, love people. Relationship is everything.

Mentor: Elizabeth L. Glanville, PhD


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