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Where the Nations Meet: The Church in a Multicultural World [Paperback]

By Stephen A. Rhodes (Author)
Our Price $ 17.85  
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Item Number 134652  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 26, 1998
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830819363  
EAN  9780830819362  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
IVP Print on Demand Title Peppered with inspiring and challenging stories from multicultural congregations, this book not only provides a theological basis for multicultural ministry but also suggests how such ministry can be successfully conducted in all churches. This book for all pastors and laypersons who want their church to be a place of unbounded celebration where the nations meet.

Publishers Description
Ride the subway or a bus in New York, London, Los Angeles, or any number of other cities around the country or around the world, and you will be impressed by a cacophony of languages, a crazy quilt of skin colors and a ceaseless array of cultural histories. Excitingly and sometimes confusingly, this is the world the church now serves. Pastor Stephen Rhodes, in whose congregation thirty-two nationalities gather weekly, fervently believes Christians should embrace the varied cultures that now surround us. In Where the Nations Meet he sets forth a biblical, ministry-tested pastoral theology of multiethnic ministry. He shows how God's creation was always intended to be multicultural, how the church is called to evangelize, serve and include all ethnicities, how the church can bring healing to increasing conflict in a world of so much difference, and much more. Peppered his prose with inspiring and challenging stories from multicultural congregations, Rhodes not only provides a theological basis for multicultural ministry but also suggests how such ministry can be successfully conducted in all churches. He offers a valuable guide for all pastors and laypersons who want their church to be a place of unbounded celebration where the nations meet.

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More About Stephen A. Rhodes

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rhodes, pastor of Culmore United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia, was named Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church for 1997. He is nationally recognized as a leader in multicultural ministries, and he has served in various capacities with the United Methodist Conference Board of Global Ministries.

Stephen A. Rhodes currently resides in the state of Virginia.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
32 Nationalities in One Congregation!  Apr 14, 2004
Is this what the early church was like . . . people from all tribes and nations drawn together into one common church of God? If so, no wonder several conflicts are recorded in Scripture!

Just when the church growth movement convinced pastors across the nation into believing that all growing churches must be homogeneous along comes Stephen Rhodes to ask whether this is really God's plan for the church. His statements are bold, "We are living in the last days of the idolatry of success, in which Christians bow before the false god of homogeneous church growth instead of throwing the church doors wide open to all God's children." He backs up his statements with a wonderful case study, his own church of 32 nationalities on the outskirts of our nation's capitol.

If this book has a problem, it may come from the passion with which Rhodes presses his point. He has all of the passion for multicultural ministry that a missionary might have for missions, or an urban pastor might have for ministry in the ghetto. This could spark a reaction from those of us who have bought into the homogeneous principles of church growth or who do not have so many cultures represented in our parishes.

Still . . . the discussion valid and Rhodes is the perfect person to raise the question. This is a book that I hope you will purchase and wrestle with.

Comendable  Jan 18, 2002
Stephen Rhodes is to be commended on his contribution to the doctrine of the church. The church should have an open door policy to any person walking in looking for spiritual guidance. I recommend his book. That said, Pastor Rhodes needs to understand that there is a place for homogeneous churches. People can embrace and celebrate their own culture and use it as a means to reach out to those in their culture, or those interested, who are without Christ.
Worthwhile, but too down on ethnically-focused churches  Feb 8, 2001
This is a good book, and I recommend it to all seeking a deeper understanding of the multicultural opportunities and challenges facing churches. Pastor Rhodes and Culmore United Methodist Church have been on a remarkable and inspiring journey, and their story is well told here.

However, one theme really bothered me: the quite negative portrayal of ethnically-focused churches (i.e., churches composed mostly of a single ethnic minority). I'm sure some such churches indeed exist out of a hostile rejection of the common culture (32-33); or out of a Balkanizing, defensive belief that their ethnic subculture is necessary, sufficient, and indeed superior (44-46, 76). I'm sure some such churches are engaged in conformity to a prepackaged cultural identity, closing themselves to the new identity in Christ that God wants to give them, including the non-negotiable call to racial reconciliation (32, 53, 112). But how can all ethnically-focused churches be painted with such a broad brush, and in a way that implies that only ethnic-minority churches are characteristically beset by such sins?

(The Michael Lind quote [32] especially bothers me. It's not as if only members of American racial minorities who embrace minority ethnic identities and worldviews are the ones trapped by cultural conformity. What about white [and non-white] Americans carried away by the American majority culture of nationalism/consumerism/capitalism? Or, what about anyone who embraces a politically-correct multiculturalism that embraces and affirms everything without subjecting any of it to the lordship of Christ? Lind singles out the subcultures of non-white immigrants as the locus of "abject conformity" and fails to see that same abject conformity in people pursuing "generic American identity" [meaning what? white American identity?].)

While Culmore is truly both multiracial and multicultural, it seems to nevertheless have certain cultural affinity strands: the experience of recent immigration for many (and in the context of the big expatriate population in the D.C. area), enough assimilation to worship mostly in English, and the ethnic affinity fellowships. Which is to say, it seems to me that EVERY church has a particular culture of some kind. Like good restaurants, churches need to welcome everyone--but also specialize in SOMETHING, and to be clear about what that something is.

Let's try it this way: imagine if Culmore had started off not as a mostly-white church but as one of its non-white ethnic affinity fellowships. Imagine further that the affinity was not based on an immigrant culture but rather the emergent, tensive, ambiguous, bicultural experience of 1.5-3.0 generation Asian-Americans. Imagine further that these folks don't yet have much of a grasp of their own identity or story, don't have a distinct "voice" with which to worship (no music, preaching style, or prayer tradition they can call their own), haven't yet worked through a Christian critique of their subculture, don't have a clear picture of what it would look like for people of their background to be fully committed disciples of Jesus, and don't have many church leaders who look like them. Imagine that you yourself have that same emergent, tensive, ambiguous, bicultural background, instead of the deeply and clearly felt sense of, say, being Appalachian that Pastor Rhodes has. And imagine that 95% or so of the larger population folks with this background in the surrounding community-upwards of 100,000 folks within driving distance--are non-Christians, with only a few scattered churches nearby making any special effort to reach them.

Don't you think that such a group might rightly need to concentrate on effectively cultivating their own distinct (sub)cultural flavor of spirituality, worship, and evangelism before they'd be ready to move on to become a cross-cultural community? In a sense, to work on racial reconciliation to THEMSELVES before their fully ready to be reconciled to anyone else? And all without any posturing about rejecting the common culture or being ultimately culturally self-sufficient, or selling out to the subculture without subjecting it to the Lordship of Christ? This is exactly where we see ourselves at my church (New Life Christian Fellowship, Castro Valley, California).

And so I appreciate Pastor Rhodes and the beautiful thing God is doing at Culmore; but I wish this book acknowledged other ways (including ways that are more monocultural for now) of contributing to the overall goal of "making disciples of all nations/peoples."

A must read for churches building a multicultural model  Mar 29, 2000
Where the Nations Meet: The Church in a Multicultural World, is a book that delivers great biblical depth on the subject of multicultural church models. Just the Introduction and the first chapter are worth the price of the book. I have used it with the elders at my church as we strategically planned for developing a multicultural church. The book is not about practical How to's, but about biblical truths and principles which are foundational for a succesfull long lasting multicultural ministry. It is a must reading for elders, pastors, or lay leaders who want to get a biblical grounding on this subject. The author will go through many insightfull comments on familiar and unfamiliar biblical texts bringing rich thoughts to the multicultural church model. One quote worth the price of the book is 'God's call of Abraham was not an exclusive call but an inclusive one,' "In You all the nations will be blessed."'
A Glimpse Into the Future Church  Mar 29, 2000
The author takes us down a journey of his own experience of pastoring a church of many nations. He uses scripture as a foundation of his ministry and shows how different verses of the bible show how God's heart is for every nation. A must read for all in the full time ministry!

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