A Race for the City: Pursuing Ethnically-Diverse and Community-Congruent Churches in American Cities
Within the last two decades the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, have been among the top ten gateway cities for new immigrants to America. Among the many immigrant populations, these cities can now boast the largest Somali, Liberian, Oromo, Hmong, and Karen populations in the US. 100 languages are currently spoken in the neighborhood surrounding Bethlehem Baptist Church in downtown Minneapolis. Numerous Mosques and Temples are being established in these cities, some in former church buildings. Meanwhile, older urban churches like Bethlehem Baptist Church, remain Anglo-dominant and more involved in mission work overseas than among the unreached peoples nearest to them. Using David Britt's Community-Church Congruence Model of Church Growth as the theoretical framework, this case study examines the points of potential congruence between Bethlehem Baptist Church and the ethnically diverse communities around them. Appreciative Inquiry was used to frame the research questions revealing points of potential congruence that could be realized through leveraging the assets and aspirations of both the church and the community.
Mentor: Shelley Trebesch
Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)
Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis, Minn.), City churches, Church work with immigrants, Christianity and culture, Church renewal
Missions and World Christianity