As the church continues to hear and heed Christ's call to reflect the multiethnic character of his people, pastors and lay leaders need to gain skills and competencies to serve in those contexts. The multicultural team of Juan Martínez and Mark Lau Branson has written this book to equip such leaders to create environments that make God's reconciling initiatives apparent in church life and in our missional engagement with neighborhoods and cities.
Generated by courses they teach at Fuller Theological Seminary, Branson and Martínez take an interdisciplinary approach that integrates biblical and theological study with the disciplines of sociology, cultural anthropology and communications. The result is a rich blend of astute analysis with guidance for practical implementation of a deeper intercultural life for the church.
Case studies, Bible studies and exercises for personal reflection and classroom use connect the real life and everyday challenges that inevitably arise in multi-ethnic contexts. Martínez and Branson offer not static model but a praxis of "paying attention," reflection and study that can lead to a genuine reconciliation and shared life empowered by the gospel that is personal, interpersonal, cultural and structural.
- Mark Lau Branson & Juan Martínez
Given the phenomenal demographic changes in our nation (e.g., cultural diversity of our communities and congregations), Churches, Cultures and Leadership is a very important and rich resource for engaging the multicultural challenges facing the church. Via an interdisciplinary approach (i.e., Scripture, practical theology, social anthropology, cultural studies, philosophical hermeneutics, leadership theory and communication) Branson and Martínez have gifted the church with an unique--the only one of its kind--work for practical and faithful intercultural life and for helping the church reflect the diversity of America.
—Rev. Eldin Villafane, Ph.D., professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and author of Beyond Cheap Grace
Part biblical study, part handbook on ministry, for use in the classroom or in small groups, Churches, Cultures and Leadership is a foundational text that meets the need for a broad, interdisciplinary and substantive perspective on intercultural ministry. From years of experience, Mark Lau Branson and Juan Martínez offer unique insights and a range of practical resources. May it help us toward a church in the power of the Spirit!
—Mark R. Gornik and Maria Liu Wong, City Seminary of New York