Purposeful Transculturalism

I recently came across this video produced by The Village Church in Texas, and I was encouraged by their purposeful investment in ministering to people from diverse backgrounds. The video is entitled “Racial Reconciliation”, but it represents a lot of what we have been teaching about transculturalism at HMCC. Take a look:

Racial Reconciliation from The Village Church on Vimeo.

The problem highlighted in the video – the lack of diversity in the church – is obvious. And the fact that many times the secular world’s institutions exemplify greater diversity than the church makes this reality all the more tragic. I’m thankful to see other believers taking the call to reach the nations seriously at home, as well as abroad.

A couple specific observations about transculturalism from this video:

1) It’s hard. Breaking down barriers between different social groups is always difficult, and all the more so because the issues of diversity are so complex. Perseverance is needed to fight for what is valuable.

2) It takes time. It would be easy to watch this video and point out that there are still a relatively small number of minorities in the church. Personally, I applaud the church for making the effort, and we must acknowledge that change does not come overnight.

3) It’s more than race. One of the scenes of the video showed an ASL translator at the front of the auditorium during worship. It’s easy to think of transculturalism or diversity only in terms of race, but it is much more than that. God loves people with a variety of disabilities, socio-economic backgrounds, educational achievements, and cultures.

4) It’s uncomfortable. Anyone who has built a meaningful relationship with someone from a different culture knows that there can be some discomfort and awkwardness as we work through different perspectives, cultural practices, and values. But being uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel is worth it, and surrendering our own preferences is often the cost we must pay.

I’m praying for more churches to hear God’s call to reach the nations and love our neighbors as ourselves. When we can dwell in unity with one another, it demonstrates that we really are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:35).