Should Church Planting Be Multiethnic or Homogeneous?

Should churches aim to be multiethnic, or should we stick to the homogenous unit principle inherited from missiologists?

Should churches aim to be multiethnic, or should we stick to the homogenous unit principle inherited from missiologists? In today’s episode, Brian (last name withheld), a former IMB missionary to the Middle East and current missions pastor focusing on diaspora ministries, shares why the answer isn’t as simple as it seems—and how globalism is making cultural boundaries fuzzier than ever.

The church world is ablaze with conversation about multiethnic churches, racial reconciliation, and the social implications of believers’ fundamental unity in Christ. Meanwhile, expats and refugees from across the world are moving into North American cities in droves, but linguistic and cultural barriers prevent most churches from effectively engaging migrants.

Brian is a missions pastor for Wilcrest Baptist Church, a dynamic church in Houston—one of the U.S.’s most diverse cities. In our interview, he also shares how in the process of trying to engage expats in Houston, their church “accidentally” became an effective missions sending church in the process.

If you have been stumped by recent debates over the ethnic makeup of our churches, this episode will help you think in biblical categories—both in terms of our gospel unity, and the imperative to take the gospel into subgroups that wouldn’t otherwise hear the good news.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.