Multi-ethnic Ministry Annotated Bibliography

Multiethnic Church WHY

Anderson, David A. (2004). Multicultural ministry: Finding your church’s unique rhythm. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. A pastor recounts his and his church’s journey into multiethnic ministry. This quick read is compelling, down-to-earth, and accessible for boards and congregations.

Pohl, Christine, D. (1999). Making room: Recovering hospitality as a Christian tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. Although the purpose of this book is not to plead specifically for multiethnic ministry, its compelling call for hospitality to strangers makes the connection clear.

DeYoung , Curtis P., Emerson, Michael  O., Yancey, George, and Chai Kim, Karen. (2003). United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race. New York: Oxford University.

In the last four decades, desegregation has revolutionized almost every aspect of life in the United States: schools, businesses, government offices, even entertainment. But there is one area that remains largely untouched, and that is the church. Now comes a major new call for multiracial congregations in every possible setting–a call that is surprisingly controversial, even in the twenty-first century.

In United By Faith, a multiracial team of sociologists and a minister of the Church of God argue that multiracial Christian congregations offer a key to opening the still-locked door between the races in the United States. They note, however, that a belief persists–even in African-American and Latino churches–that racial segregation is an acceptable, even useful practice. The authors examine this question from biblical, historical, and theological perspectives to make their case. They explore the long history of interracialism in the church, with specific examples of multiracial congregations in the United States. They cite examples ranging from the abolitionist movement to an astonishing 1897 camp meeting in Alabama that brought together hundreds of whites and blacks literally into the same tent. Here, too, is a critical account of the theological arguments in favor of racial separation, as voiced in the African-American, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American, and white contexts. The authors respond in detail, closing with a foundation for a theology suited to sustaining multiracial congregations over time.

Faith can be the basis for healing, but too often Christian faith has been a field for injury and division. In this important new book, readers will glimpse a way forward, a path toward once again making the church the basis for racial reconciliation in our still-splintered nation. (publishers description from

Multiethnic Church HOW

DeYmaz, Mark. (2007). Building a healthy multiethnic church: Mandate, commitments, and practices of a diverse congregation. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Although this author’s focus is on a single-congregational (rather than multi-congregational) approach, this book gives the best one-stop overview of both rationale and general how-to principles for a ministry among diverse people.

Ortiz, Manuel. (1996). One new people: Models for developing a multiethnic church. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. This useful book provides a straightforward survey of specific models and methods.

Lo, Jim., (2002) Intentional Diversity: Creating Cross-Cultural Ministry Relationships in Your Church. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wesleyan Publishing House. Short and practical.

They’re Playing Our Song: The Secret Multiracial Churches Know About Music” by Michael O. Emerson (Christianity Today June , 2012)

Intercultural Leadership

Lingenfelter, Sherwood G. (2008). Leading cross-culturally: Covenant relationships for effective Christian leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic & Brazos Press. Using examples from cross-cultural negotiations and work assignments involving missionaries, the author shows how cultural dynamics influence leadership approaches and outcomes. Principles and examples are applicable in US contexts, especially in multi-congregational churches.

Livermore, David. (2009). Leading with cultural intelligence: The new secret to success. New York, NY: AMACOM. Writing for business professionals, this Christian author identifies capabilities related to drive, knowledge, strategy, and behavior that leaders can develop to increase effectiveness on diverse teams.]

Branson, Mark Lau & Martinez, Juan F. (2011). Churches, Cultures, and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities. IVP Academic.

Childs Drury, Elizabeth. (2011). “Leading the Multiethnic Church: Help From New Metaphors and the Leadership Challenge.” Great Commission Research Journal vol. 2 no. 2 Winter 2011

Childs Drury, Elizabeth. (2010), “Leadership Transfer awakens Dormant Dilemmas in a Multiethnic Church: Correctives From Church Planting.” Great Commission Research Journal vol. 2 no. 1 Summer


Anderson, David, & Zuercher, Brent. (2001). Letters Across the Divide: Two Friends Explore Racism, Friendship, and Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. An African American pastor and his Caucasian American accountant air their race-related grievances and discuss them with one another truthfully. Quick, emotional, and thought-provoking read.

Perkins, Spencer, & Rice, Chris. (2000). More than equals: Racial healing for the sake of the gospel (Rev. ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Two friends in ministry—one African American and one Caucasian—describe their journey toward embracing reconciliation as an important matter in the church. Group study guide included.

Biskie, Grace. (2012, August 14). “Church Stories: A Plea to Engage in Racial Reconciliation.” Rachel Held Evans Blog

Salter McNeil & Associates, LLC. The Ministry of reconciliation headed by Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil.

Sociological Dynamics

Emerson, Michael O., & Smith, Christian. (2000). Divided by faith: Evangelical religion and the problem of race in America. Oxford University Press. This sobering and influential study has been cited widely by multiethnic writers and sociologists since 2000. Authors suggest ways in which evangelicalism contributes to racial division and to systemic poverty.

Payne, Ruby K. (2005, 1996). A Framework for Understanding Poverty (4th rev. ed.). Highlands, TX: Aha! Process, Inc. Author seeks to raise awareness about how economic circumstances influence many other areas of life. The book has received mixed reviews—some glowing and some blistering.

Garces-Foley, Kathleen. (July 2007). “New Opportunities and New Values: The Emergence of the Multicultural Church.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 612 no. 1 209-224.

Bevere, Allan R. (2011, Feb. 18) “The Problem with Diversity for Diversity’s Sake” and the original article Jonas, Michael (2007, August 5). “The Downside of Diversity.” The Boston Globe.

TOURÉ. (2012, May 7). “Inside the Racist Mind.” Time Magazine.

Corbett, Steve & Fikkert, Brian. (2012). When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself. Chicago: Moody Publishers.

Rothenberg, Paula S. (2004). White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism. Worth Publishers.

Jensen, Robert. (2005). The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege. City Lights Publishers.

Daniel Tatum, Beverly. (2003). Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity. Basic Books.

Williams, Heather Andrea. (2012). Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery. The University of North Carolina Press.

Black Students Face More Discipline, Data Suggests” by Tamar Lewin (New York Times March 6, 2012)

Narrative Methodology for Teaching and Discipleship

Steffen, Tom A. (2005). Reconnecting God’s story to ministry: Crosscultural storytelling at home and abroad. La Habra, CA: Center for Organizational & Ministry Development. Author presents narrative as methodology best suited to connecting with people in diverse groups and with cultures that lean toward oral learning.

Lodahl, Michael. (2008). The story of God: A Narrative Theology. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press. Helpful complement to Steffen resource above.

Improving Your Intercultural Capabilities

Lane, Patty. (2002). A Beginner’s Guide to Crossing Cultures: Making Friends in a Multicultural World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Good introductory overview of intercultural dynamics. Set up to work well for group study.

Rah, Soong-Chan. (2010). Many colors: Cultural intelligence for a changing church. Chicago: Moody Publishers. Asian American pastor makes a moving call and offers suggestions for leading the church to greater intercultural sensitivity.

Lingenfelter, S. and Mayers, M. (2003). Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. A good look at the tensions between different cultural orientations. This type of information gets used in partnering across cultures business classes.


Brown, Robert M. (1984). Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. This author discusses how ten Bible passages could be understood by Christians living in poverty. Eye-opening read, even as we may disagree on interpretation.

Tennent, Timothy C. (2007). Theology in the context of world Christianity: How the Global Church Is Influencing the Way We Think about and Discuss Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Asbury Theological Seminary president presents deep and thought-provoking critique of Western systematic theology, pointing out points of intersection and divergence across world religions.

Carter, J. Kameron. (2008). Race: A Theological Account. Oxford University Press.

Barreto, Rev. Dr. Eric D. (2012, May 23). “Acts 2:1-21: Think Differently About Difference.” The Huffington Post.

Hiebert, Paul G. 1978. “Conversion, Culture and Cognitive Categories.” Gospel in Context 1 (4):24-29

Wilson, Norman G., Ph.D. (2012, July 30). “Biblical and Theological Foundations for Ethnic and Cultural Diversity: A Wesleyan Perspective of the Kingdom of God and The Church.” Global Ambassadors.

Woodley, Randy. (2004). Living in Color: Embracing God’s Passion for Ethnic Diversity. IVP Books. A theology of diversity and it is the first to take the discussion out of the Black/White binary.

Foundational Principles

Kelley, Robert E. (1992). The Power of Followership. New York: Doubleday Currency. This book is the essential counterpart to any study of leadership—but even more important in intercultural relationships.

Steffen, Tom. (2010). The Facilitator Era: Beyond Pioneer Church Multiplication. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. The key concepts in this book—which is actually about church planting and missions—are, in some people’s view, central to organizing multiethnic church ministry effectively and honorably: facilitation, narrative, power-sharing, and wisdom regarding resources.

Farley, John. (2005). Majority-Minority Relations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education-Prentice Hall. This is a textbook, so a lot of information, but not something you’d just want to sit down and read.

Macro Context of Multiethnic Church Ministry in the U.S.

Jenkins, Philip. (2011). The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  The U.S. church is one part of the worldwide church—and both are changing. This book helps develop our background understanding of the values and expectations of Christian immigrants in the U.S.

Webber, Robert E. (2002). The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. Although differences in race, ethnicity, education, and economics seize our attention in multiethnic ministry, even more churches face the challenge of integrating different ages and eras. This helpful overview of changes in evangelicalism happens also to capture much of what other writers have identified as values in successful multiethnic churches.

Soong-Chan Rah. (2009). The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Captivity. IVP Books.


Expert: Less Than 10 Percent of U.S. Churches Multiethnic” by Michelle A. Vu (The Christian Post January 11, 2011)

Sherwood Baptist Partners with a Black Church to Bring Racial Healing” by Mark Moring (Christianity Today November 30, 2011)

Christian Colleges and Racial Diversity” by Scot McKnight (Jesus Creed March 4, 2012)

Black and White and Red All Over: Why Racial Justice Is a Gospel Issue” by Russell D. Moore (Christian Post June 13, 2012)

Race and the Gospel in Mississippi” by Russell D. Moore (Christian Post September 13, 2012)

AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks” by Sonya Ross and Jennifer Agiesta (Associated Press Oct. 28, 2012)  The Associate Press Racial Attitudes Survey Conducted by GfK


The Mosaix Global Network Also check out their Teleconference Archives.

Salter McNeil & Associates, LLC. The Ministry of reconciliation headed by Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil.

Wesleyan Native Ministries

Global Partners

Intervarsity on Racial Reconciliation

Other Resources

Gabriel Salguero “The Power of One Service” at the M11 Conference 2011

Wesleyan General Conference 2012 – 5th Legislative Session – Rev. Rich Avery (Wesleyan Native Ministries), Rev. Larry Plenty Star Salway, The Wesleyan Church’s formal apology to Dr. Jerry Yellowhawk and native peoples, and the Lakota celebration dance that followed. (2012, June 5)

Episode 163 – Josh LeRoy & The Bridge ProjectThe Techology Show July 18, 2012

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