Well the way to look at multicultural barriers, there are a number of hurdles one has to consider. I think I will give you three just for the purposes of our conversation. One I think is personal proximity – that happens to deal with being in relationship with someone in terms of personal proximity. It is very interesting that when Paul in the New Testament heads to a particular region to plant a church he asks two questions. He asks where are the Jews and where do the Jews hang out, and then he asks where do the gentiles hang out, and so he is trying to establish personal proximity and by establishing that relationship and evaluating his context, he sets the foundation where he is able to get them to embrace the gospel so personal proximity is important.
Another one that I think is very important has to deal with power. When I talk about power I’m talking about the various levels of power, so power in the sense of positional leadership – do we have the right people in the right places at the right time? We’re talking about social power in that sense because you can’t have a multi-ethnic or multicultural church if you’re not living a multicultural life. And then you’re also dealing with emotional power as well in the sense of – am I connecting with that individual particularly because that person is a child of God?
So you’ve got personal proximity, you’ve got power and I think you also have a price to pay because any time that you step outside of your comfort zone in that sense, there are going to be people in your own indigenous circles that may not necessarily know what or agree with what you’re doing…and so in that sense it may strain some relationships but at the same time you have to know that those relationships and the pain you may have to experience at a particular point in time when you actually are trying to overcome those hurdles actually pale in comparison to the price that Jesus Christ paid for us as sinners and us as a church, in particular, to be in relationship with one another. Because of Christ’s blood and because of what he died for, he deserves what he paid for and so that helps us to get over those hurdles to multicultural churches.