Possible Reasons Why Churches Don't Pursue Being Cross-Cultural
January 30, 2014
Pastor Randy Nabors, in a blog dated January 3, 2014, provided a list of possible reasons why churches do not pursue being cross-cultural. Some of the reasons may shock you. Others may be obvious. Some you may have never considered.
Number 2 on his list of 7 is, "Cultural affinity or ethnocentrism." Pastor Nabors writes,
"[T]here is a reason people don't jump ethnic lines to go some other ethnic church. They feel comfortable with what they know, there family and friends are still in their home church, they understand the language, if not linguistics they get the cultural language. The music is usually in their "heart language." This is true for most every ethnic group when it comes to religion.
I often tell white pastors that black folks in this country were forced to create a unique cultural kind of worship service since they were shut out of white churches. Without going into a commentary on ethnomusicality let me just say that most black folks who come from the traditional or even contemporary black church find most white churches to be utterly boring. Most black folks don't like stilted or even Celtic music styles, they don't get into lectures that pose as sermons, they don't appreciate a worship that seems to stifle emotions and is almost martial in approach. While many black believers have been blessed by coming into a deeper ministry of the Word when they come from congregations that neglected Biblical teaching and pursued simple emotionalism or prosperity preaching, there is no doubt that black religious experience in America has been rich with depth and feeling, and often relevant to their social condition.
So why should any minority come to a majority race worship where their concerns are either neglected or even despised? Why should they make the effort, and why should anyone do that which is uncomfortable in crossing cultures? I think there are several sound and good reasons, but they are not always apparent.
It is difficult for any ethnic or cultural group that feels oppressed or marginalized by the majority to be confronted with an invitation to join the majority religious culture with the requirement to give up all of their own cultural identity."
The remainder of the post can be read here.