Being of One Accord (Part Two)

Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, the cultural, racial, and ethnic makeup of society is changing...

Critiquing the Homogeneity of Today’s Church

As argued in part one of this two part exploration of culture and the New Zealand church,[1] the Scriptures present us with a comprehensive vision for being of one accord in Christ.[2] Yet, despite the inclusive examples of Jesus and the early church, the church today has at best, failed to recognise and understand, or at worst, ignored and flouted the biblical imperative, to love one’s neighbour.[3] If this is the case, the church has a challenge before it. What does it mean for us to live as one in Christ? What does it look like? What does it feel like and how is it fleshed out in the real world?

In this second article, I will discuss the implications of this challenge for us as the church, in a given local setting. Reflecting on my own context and the society within which we operate here in New Zealand, I will analyse the various models of the multiethnic church. From this I hope that we will be able to recognise some commonalities that can be applied to intentionally embrace this opportunity and bring to life the prayer of our National Anthem.[4]

God of Nations at Thy feet,

In the bonds of love we meet,

Hear our voices, we entreat,

God defend our free land.

Guard Pacific's triple star

From the shafts of strife and war,

Make her praises heard afar,

God defend New Zealand.

E Ihowā Atua,

O ngā iwi mātou rā

Āta whakarangona;

Me aroha noa

Kia hua ko te pai;

Kia tau tō atawhai;

Manaakitia mai


O Lord, God,

of all people.

Listen to us,

Cherish us.

May good flourish;

May your blessings flow;

God defend


However, whilst the biblical imperative is clear, it must be recognised that applying this in our own context is not always easy. Growing a multi-ethnic church that reflects our oneness in Christ sounds great but the reality is, this is a process fraught with difficulties.

In my experience, to a large extent the Church has chosen to love those who "look like me and agree with me," rather than those who come from different places. It seems to me, that many Christians value sameness and reject strangeness. In the church today, it appears that living as one in Christ has been domesticated and limited to what is comfortable and pragmatic.

This oversight by the church was validated and endorsed by the Church Growth Movement, which generally argues that church growth is compromised when homogeneity is not prioritised and as such, a pragmatic case has been made for the Homogeneous Unit Principle (HUP).[5]

Although the motivation behind this theory is evangelistic in nature, aimed at making the process of coming to faith easier by eradicating any cross-cultural barriers, its general thrust mistakenly endorses separation and division along racial, cultural, and social lines. One of the proponents of this theory, Peter Wagner, even claims segregation is a dynamic tool for assuring Christian growth; in his words, “a sign of a healthy, growing church is that its membership is composed of basically one kind of people.”[6] Church growth proponents argue that the degree of cultural shaping needed for any congregation to balance Christian universalism and ethnic particularism makes growth tenuous, if not impossible.[7]

Although speaking into the American context, David T. Olsen suggests that the Church must address three critical transitions to avoid a dismal future of decline: the transition from Christian to post Christian, from modern to post-modern and now, finally, the shift from mono-ethnic to multi-ethnic.[8] The first two transitions have been thoroughly explored and understood but the third transition is yet to be fully considered, comprehended, and integrated into the life of many churches.

Olsen goes on to say that “as the power centre of global Christianity moves south and east, the multi-ethnic church is becoming the normal and natural picture of the new face of Christianity.”[9] I can only imagine what a witness the church could be if it could model for the world what unity in diversity looks like.

John Stott says it this way:

"It is simply impossible with any shred of Christian integrity to go on proclaiming that Jesus by his cross has abolished the old divisions and created a single new humanity of love, while at the same time contradicting our message by tolerating racial or social or other barriers within the church."[10]

Being of One Accord: Our Society is Changing

Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, the cultural, racial, and ethnic makeup of society is changing.[11] This is a global phenomenon that has rapidly increased and accelerated as people from many different nations make their home in new lands. Unfortunately, this shift has not always been easy as people from very different backgrounds try to live together.

Condoleezza Rice former US Secretary of State has said, “That immigrant culture that has renewed us, has been the core of our strength. I don’t know when immigrants became the enemy.”[12]

As immigration continues to increase and our cities and communities across the world and here in Aotearoa become more multiracial, the churches within those cities and communities will need to address this change. Rather than seeing these changes in our society as a threat and “immigrants as the enemy,” the church needs to see this as an opportunity and lead by example by visibly demonstrating that it is possible to truly “love one another,” no matter where we are from or how different we might be.

With twenty-four percent of our total population in New Zealand being made up of immigrants, we have the highest percentage in the world.[13] This changing dynamic is even more evident in Auckland, where forty percent of its inhabitants are born overseas.[14] This presents a unique challenge to the generally homogenous church.

It seems clear to me that generally speaking, the Multi-Ethnic Church (MEC) is better suited to life in the twenty-first century. This is because the MEC intentionally embraces ethnic diversity, actively seeking to break down barriers that have so often divided the church, such as ethnicity, race and culture.[15] Most authors define a MEC as a church in which no one racial or ethnic group makes up more than eighty percent of the congregation attending the main worship service.[16] However, the goal is not simply numerical diversity, there is a qualitative facet that must be considered in any MEC. A truly multi-ethnic church will be a place where ethnic diversity is welcomed and encouraged and fully incorporated into the whole life of the whole church. It is not just about the numbers.

Therefore, due to second generation inculturation into the dominant culture, the lifespan of a monocultural/monoethnic church is limited in any multicultural/multi-ethnic society in which the church exists. This is true particularly in Auckland where fewer and fewer people are socialised with people only from their own race. Thus, it makes sense that the MEC is the church of the future.

According to a recent report on the 2013 census, New Zealand has more ethnicities than there are countries in the world. In total, 213 ethnic groups were identified in the census, whereas there are 196 countries recognised by Statistics New Zealand.[17]

The five largest ethnic groups in New Zealand are New Zealand European, Maori, Chinese, Samoan, and Indian. Ethnic diversity has been increasing. Some of the biggest increases since the 2006 census has come from groups within the broader Asian category, spearheaded by the Chinese, Indian, and Filipino ethnic groups. New Zealand and Auckland in particular, are now classified as “super diverse.”[18] Some other interesting things are pointed out in the report:

· Twenty-three percent of Auckland is Asian.

· Forty percent of Aucklanders are born overseas.

· Across New Zealand, the Chinese population increased by sixteen percent to 171,000 people, Indians increased by forty-eight percent to 155,000 and Filipinos have more than doubled to 40,000.

· Increases in the largest Pacific ethnic groups were Samoan (up ten percent to 144,000 people), Cook Island Maori (up seven percent to 62,000) and Tongan (up almost twenty percent to 60,000).

· The variety of immigrant community groups arriving in New Zealand is staggering.

What such statistics indicate is that if this trend continues, which it is likely to, then ethnic diversity will be the norm rather than the exception and the church has to come to grips with this. This is not a threat to be contained but rather, an opportunity to be embraced. Whilst our society is multi-ethnic statistically, for the MEC, it is also theologically sound and a missiological imperative and therefore, something we should embrace.

As a nation, we have been shaped by the Treaty of Waitangi which in and of itself, is deeply rooted in the gospel and designed to protect the rights of the indigenous people of Aotearoa. This is beautifully expressed by Governor Hobson, “he iwi tahi tatou – now we are one people.” As a church, it is part of our history and our legacy and therefore, its expression today is core to our responsibility as God’s whanau in this land.

Despite our bicultural history and the diversification evident in our society, particularly in Auckland, I think that many of our churches remain largely untouched. Many churches cling to a monocultural ethos that intentionally or otherwise, tends to exclude peoples from different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. In my experience, by and large, the church’s answer to multiculturalism has been to ignore it or to set up separate churches that are language and culture specific. There has been little effort made to accommodate and virtually no attempt to assimilate.

As God’s people in this land, the church is called to embody the gospel and express the Waitangi covenant both bi-culturally and multiculturally.

Being of One Accord: My Local Context

In the local church in which I minister (Glenfield Presbyterian Church/GPC), we have a range of people attending from many different cultures.[19] Until recently, apart from the New Zealand/European group, the predominant culture was Filipino, making up approximately forty percent of our congregation.

Our journey as a MEC really began when a married couple (the husband was a European New Zealander and the wife a Filipino) began inviting their friends to church. With a strong lay leadership component, a rich diversity of peoples in our own community and coming from an evangelical tradition that emphasised outreach, we began to see that we had a huge opportunity to see our mission statement realised; helping ALL people(s) find and follow Jesus.

Seven years ago, in what I believe was a misguided effort to accommodate the Filipinos who had recently arrived in the country and in the church, we agreed to a request for separate home groups. This was effective in increasing growth. We were then approached to include a separate Filipino worship service. We cautiously went ahead, but in hindsight, we now realise that we perhaps moved too far. Trying hard to accommodate their desires, I think the goal of integration got slowly swallowed up and eventually lost. Rather than working towards assimilation, this move to a separate worship service actually widened the gap and eventually led to a split about two years later in 2012. A new monocultural, homogeneous church was formed which was language and culture based. GPC had an intercultural dream but the reality was and still is, much harder to achieve.

My/our challenge was and is, how to hold peoples together, building a church that caters for the needs of many cultures whilst remaining “one in Christ.” Today, we still have a diverse church culturally and we have entered into a partnership with another church with the same dream.

We are still excited about building an intentional, intercultural church but we recognise it is not easy. Despite the difficulty we are convinced this is the way forward. We believe it is the future for the church in general here in New Zealand, as people from all over the world make Aotearoa their home.

As much as we might understand the biblical and theological basis for all this the “how to” question remains largely unanswered. We know it’s possible, we know it’s difficult, we know it is expressed in the heart of Jesus, we know it's seen in the evidence of the early church, but how is this lived out in the church in the twenty-first century, here in New Zealand, in my context at Glenfield Presbyterian? How can we really be church together, one in Christ, making the vision of Revelation 7:9-12 a reality, here on earth as it is in heaven?[20]

Recognising all the above we will now look at some models of church that have been developed in the effort to make this vision a reality.

Being of One Accord: Models

As previously mentioned, the standard recognised by most authors to define a multi-ethnic church (MEC) is a church in which no one racial or ethnic group makes up more than eighty percent of the congregation attending the main worship service.[21]

Multi-Congregational Church - MCC (Ortiz): This model is bound together, to varying degrees, primarily by various ethnic groups using the same building. It takes into account sociological, cultural, and language realities and has the potential to transition to a Multi-ethnic church (MEC).

The difficulty I have with the MCC is that there is a tendency for people from the various groups to at best be neighbours and acquaintances rather than family. Often, the various groups can have little connection. Although there is potential for a MCC to become a MEC, they are not one and the same. Sharing a facility but meeting separately does not really demonstrate “oneness in Christ.” Despite the best of intentions, fragmentation often occurs and defacto parallel congregations are often the result.

For a MCC to become a MEC there has to be a great degree of intentionality and in my experience, this does not necessarily happen, even when we think we are working toward the same goal. When we gather separately, the potential for misunderstanding seems to grow. Integration is difficult enough even when you meet face to face and share in the same worship service. It is near impossible when you meet separately even if it is in the same building.

Graduated Inclusion Model (Deymaz): This model falls somewhere in between other models, where there is an intentional transition that moves towards integration.[22] This model makes room for language-specific small groups which reach out to first generation peoples allowing for a both/and approach to evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development involving the whole church.

This model uses the HUP principle to target specific 1.0 ethnic groups for evangelistic purposes.[23] Although they meet together in small groups there is no intention of creating a separate ethnically based church or worship service. This model is transitional and flexible but very deliberate and intentional. Over time it forges a new, common identity transitioning people into a genuine multi-ethnic environment.

Church within a Church Model (DeYoung): This model is similar to the Graduated Inclusion Model but goes a little further. Acknowledging the sociological, cultural, and language issues for the 1.0 generation, it sees the need for language/ethnic specific groups gathering together. This is pushed further to separate language/ethnic based worship services.

In my personal experience this goes too far and the risk of separation rather than integration is increased exponentially. In my opinion, even the term “Church within a Church” paints an image that goes against what is actually being advocating for.

Pan-ethnic Model (Garces-Foley): This model is distinguished by a common language and shared racialised status amongst people who identify with distinct ethnic groups. Perhaps this best fits somewhere in between a MCC and a MEC. An example of this might be a Mandarin speaking congregation/worship service catering to many Asian ethnicities.

Assimilated Multi-Ethnic Church Model (DeYoung): This model still tends to reflect the dominant culture but makes intentional efforts to assimilate and incorporate other cultures and ethnicities. Whilst making some gestures to include other ethnicities by blurring the lines, the dominant culture remains exactly that - dominant.

Pluralistic MEC Model (DeYoung): This model attempts to accommodate and is partly integrated, but informal social networks remain segregated.

Integrated MEC Model (DeYoung): In this model, there is no longer an old culture with certain accommodations and a mosaic with elements of separate and distinct cultures, but is a hybrid community. There is no longer an “us/them” mentality, and no dominant racial culture. The “us” is the whole congregation.[24]

Ethnic Transcendence Model (Marti): In this model, ethnicity and diversity are largely ignored and the focus is the end result of a new identity in Christ.[25] It adopts the principle of the “half-step” whereby, rather than looking at the most ethnically distant person to reach, church leaders intentionally target ethnics that are only a half-step removed in terms of culture, ethnicity, race, and language.[26] As such, the diverse aspects of ethnic identity are transcended through a shared commitment to Christ.[27]

Ethnic differences exist but they are not the focus and in a sense these churches are both mono-cultural and multi-ethnic all at once. Its singular culture or ethos reflects the dominant popular culture and therefore works best when ethnic connections are diluted. To a degree, these churches function as a refuge particularly for second and third generation ethnic groups wanting to get away from what they perceive to be ethnic confinement or stereotyping.

In this environment, ethno-cultural identity is subsumed and left behind rather than actually recognised, celebrated, and addressed. It opts out and as a result I am not convinced that this strategy of "ethnic transcendence" fits the MEC category completely. It falls short in a number of ways. It is intentionally inclusive of people as individuals but ignores ethnic identity and opts for a colour-blind, melting-pot approach. This acts to smooth out differences, creating a new form of homogeneity that unintentionally excludes. It might be multicultural and multi-ethnic but it’s not multiracial, and without any intention to become so. In this case, homogeneity may actually grow unless this is intentionally addressed rather than silenced.[28]

My preference would be for the graduated inclusion model which realistically addresses ethnicity and language, celebrates culture, and at the same time, intentionally and deliberately moves towards a new culture “in Christ.”

While proponents of separate homogeneous churches based solely on ethnicity will argue that ethnicity is lost or diluted in the MEC, ironically, this is not the case and the opposite tends to happen. In the MEC environment, ethnic identity is reinforced due to the wealth of diversity readily on tap which actually heightens awareness of ethnicity and identity. People are actually able to understand themselves better in relation to others who are different, bringing to light taken-for-granted cultural practices.[29]

There is never a “one-size-fits-all” solution to the “how to” question, and this was reinforced to me as I investigated three churches within the Auckland area that proactively and intentionally sought to be effective and dynamic MEC’s. Each had positives and negatives, and all agreed they had plenty to learn.

Being of One Accord: Language

Language is a real issue in the MEC context and particularly in worship. It can be both a barrier that divides but also a tool that unites. When the lingua franca (in New Zealand this would be English) is adopted as the bridge language in order to make communication possible, it needs to be carefully and critically evaluated and great efforts made to incorporate the other languages of the peoples present.[30]

Issues related to the translation of songs, prayers, readings, and sermons all need to be addressed. Language dictates understanding and without language, misunderstanding is an ever-present reality. If evangelism and worship, spiritual growth and discipleship are real goals, then acquiring a new language (for those new to the country) cannot be a prerequisite.[31]

However, there has to be balance in this. Although theologically this is the ideal, the reality on the ground is a little messier. As far as language is concerned, the Church has to balance the missional ideals with the pastoral and didactic needs. As people arrive on our shores and in our churches from all over the world they face a huge learning curve. Adapting to a new culture and learning a new language are daunting tasks and the Church can be a very practical part of this process as they welcome the stranger and at the same time, equip them for life in a new place.

The question is how to balance the need for understanding and spiritual growth, which could lead to separation, with the need to remain of one accord in Christ. There is a fine line between facilitating understanding and spiritual growth whilst at the same time growing relationships where the first language is love. Any MEC has to grapple with this issue constantly; it is difficult to find that balance but the effort must be made. Although it’s a bit like trying to catch running water, the effort, time, resources, and energy given to this task is worth it. It sends an intentional and strong message one way or the other about who is welcome and who is not, who can belong and who cannot.

Being of One Accord: General Conclusions

I looked at three models of Church that sought to live out he iwi tahi tatou (now we are one people) here in Auckland New Zealand. I saw how unique they are and also how different. Each context demands a different approach dependant on variable factors such as environment, context, theological tradition, leadership, and vision, to name a few.

From this study, we can extrapolate some general conclusions and some overall pointers that can help us move positively towards building a healthy multi-ethnic church here in this land such as:

· Recognise that being an MEC is always a fluid thing and it must be constantly evaluated.

· Be aware that an unintended separation could potentially occur when separate ethnically-based or language-based services are created.

· Recognise that leadership is critical in this journey, particularly the senior leader, but also the lay leadership.

· Understand the importance of food and hospitality in building a multi-ethnic faith community.

· Understand that intentionality is a key component. A MEC is rarely an accidental thing. The vision must be constantly articulated, as well as visibly demonstrated.

· Using the HUP as a means to an end can be a good thing; meeting people where they are at in a language-specific environment provides familiarity, safety, friendship, and a place to grow. However, a well-structured, clearly articulated, and understood process is needed to ensure that ethnic silos are not the result.

· Never assume you are on the same page as far as the multi-ethnic vision is concerned. Work hard on communication, verbal and non-verbal, build trust, and continually reinforce the message.

· It is possible to use a mixture of models working progressively towards the same goal, but it must be very clear what the desired intention is and overall vision being pursued.

· Both “fragmentation and homogenisation are the traps that churches fall into when they overstress either diversity or unity. Whatever the quality is that sets the MEC apart, it must lie somewhere between these two poles.”[32]

· Transparency, honesty and rigorous self-evaluation are key components from the leadership down.

· Understand that a high level of emotional intelligence is needed corporately and individually in a MEC. This needs to be taught, lived, and demonstrated at every opportunity.

· Understand that the opportunity for misunderstanding is exponentially increased in the multiethnic environment.

· Create as many opportunities as possible, in a safe environment, for communication to occur.

· Recognise that power is perceived and used differently in different cultures.

· Don’t underestimate the challenge of language and the separation/isolation this can cause. Deliberate steps need to be taken to address this (e.g. Easy English classes)

· Recognise the unique context of Aotearoa New Zealand. Shaped by our bi-cultural history, we are well prepared for a multicultural future in society and in the church.

· Relish the gospel opportunity that has arrived here on our shores. As new peoples arrive, the church can respond by opening its hearts as well as its doors.

· Although we have a clear biblical mandate that is non-negotiable, the reality of living as one body is difficult.

· Recognise that despite the difficulty we need not be afraid to try, there is no one answer, no one solution, no one way.

· Celebrate our diversity, honour our unity, and trust that God will show us the way.

The words of New Zealand’s National Anthem cited at the beginning of this article form a prayer that can find expression in the Church. As God’s people, this bond of love is richly expressed in our "oneness in Christ." Our new identity as brothers and sisters in Christ makes it possible for people from every nation to come together as one and worship the "God of Nations"? This is our hope, this is our vision, this is our motivation, now it is time to put it into action.

God of Nations at Thy feet,

In the bonds of love we meet,

Hear our voices, we entreat,

God defend our free land.

Guard Pacific's triple star

From the shafts of strife and war,

Make her praises heard afar,

God defend New Zealand.

E Ihowā Atua,

O ngā iwi mātou rā

Āta whakarangona;

Me aroha noa

Kia hua ko te pai;

Kia tau tō atawhai;

Manaakitia mai


O Lord, God,

of all people.

Listen to us,

Cherish us.

May good flourish;

May your blessings flow;

God defend


Emma Keown is the senior minister at Glenfield Presbyterian Church, which is situated in a wonderfully multicultural community. In 2015, Emma completed her Doctor of Ministry through ACT and Laidlaw College, where her thesis focused on what it means to be one in Christ withough blurring what makes us unique and cultrually distinct. She is married to mark and has three wonderful daughters.

[1] Emma Keown, “Being of One Accord (Part 1),” Stimulus 23.3 (Nov, 2016): 4-11.

[2] By being of one accord in Christ, I refer to our unity as Christians in Christ. This in no way erases culture, identity, race, or ethnicity. Rather, it celebrates the diversity this brings but recognises that first and foremost, as Christians, we are all brothers and sisters and children of God. Our faith in Christ brings us together united by the language of love without diminishing who we are as people of different cultures, backgrounds, and ways of being in this world.

[3] Romans 13:8-10 makes it clear that the only debt we owe as Christians is the debt of love, in this way we fulfill the Law. Matthew 5:43 clarifies this further; even our enemies are included in the mandate to love our neighbor. Barriers based on difference no longer apply. Loving our neighbor is not limited to those we like, or to those who are the same as us.

[4] For full translation of God Defend New Zealand see

[5] The “Church Growth Movement” came to the fore in the 1970-80s and its founders were Donald McGavran and Winfield Arn. This was supported by the work of Peter Wagner who coined the term “Homogeneous Unit Principle” (HUP). He argues that culturally similar churches grow faster. Adding to this argument is the view of the cultural pluralists who understand “integration” to be a form of domination of the majority over the minority. As such they would also argue against the diversity of a heterogeneous church.

[6] Peter C. Wagner, Your Church Can Grow: Seven Vital Signs of a Healthy Church, rev. ed. (Ventura California: Regal Books, 1984), 127.

[7] Curtiss Paul DeYoung, United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 123-27.

[8] David T. Olson, The American Church in Crisis (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2008), 170.

[9] Olson, The American Church in Crisis, 170-71.

[10] John Stott, The Message of the Ephesians: God’s New Society (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP, 1979), 111-12.

[11] See and also

[12] Speaking at Duke University in April 2012, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke about her disappointment with US immigration policy. See

[13] See

[14] Kevin Ward, Cultural Diversity and Unity in Christ: the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand in a land of many cultures, 1-2. See

[15] George Yancey, One Body, One Spirit: Principles of Successful Multiracial Churches (Downers Grove: IVP, 2003), 15-18.

[16] See Yancey, One Body, 15. Curtiss Paul De Young, United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 3-4. Manuel Ortiz, One New People; Models for Developing Multiethnic Churches (Downers Grove: IVP, 1996), 22. Mark Deymaz & Harry Li, Ethnic Blends: Mixing Diversity into Your Local Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 24.

[17] Brendan Manning, “Census 2013: More ethnicities than the world’s countries,’ New Zealand Herald (Dec, 2013). See

[18] See “Auckland More Diverse that London and New York,” New Zealand Herald. See See also “Super-diverse Auckland in global study.’ See

[19] Eleven years ago, Glenfield Presbyterian Church (GPC) would have been fairly homogenous, mostly white, mostly middle class, mostly ‘Kiwi’s’, and in my view, mostly stagnant. Today it is very different. We are learning to open up; the walls that subconsciously kept others out are coming down. Things have changed a lot since then. See Our church is made up of Malaysian, Indonesian, South African, Maori, Indian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Pacific Islanders, Filipino, NZ/European and others.

[20] Revelation 7:9-12 gives a vision of a great multitude, from every nation, gathering before the throne of God as one people united in worship. The hope is that this will become a reality on earth as it is in heaven, and where better to start than in the church, even in my church?

[21] See Yancey, One Body, 15; DeYoung, United by Faith, 3-4; Ortiz, One New People, 22; Deymaz and Li, Ethnic Blends, 24.

[22] Deymaz, Ethnic Blends, 107-111.

[23] See The term first generation or the 1.0 generation refers to either people who were born in one country and relocated to another, or to their children born in the country they have relocated to. The term 1.5 generation refers specifically to immigrants who arrived in the destination country before adolescence. They bring with them characteristics from their home country but continue their assimilation and socialization in the new country, thus being “halfway” between the first generation and the second generation. The term second generation or 2.0 generation refers to children of first-generation immigrants.

[24] DeYoung, United by Faith, 165-169.

[25] Kathleen Garces-Foley, Crossing the Ethnic Divide: The Multiethnic Church on a Mission (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 96-98, citing Gerardo Marti.

[26] Garces-Foley, Crossing the Ethnic Divide, 97. Referring to the pastor of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles Erwin McManus who coined this phrase; the principle of the half step – where people share cultural, ethnic, racial and language commonalities.

[27] At the extreme end of this, ethnic identity is seen as evil and even demonised.

[28] There are some that argue that when ethnic diversity is intentionally prioritised, over and above everything else, it actually defeats the purpose and is a poor strategy for actually gaining it.

[29] Garces-Foley, Crossing the Ethnic Divide, 117.

[30] Lingua Franca: A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. It is also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language or vehicular language. It is a language or dialect systematically (as opposed to occasionally, or casually) used to make communication possible between people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly, when it is a third language that is distinct from both native languages. See See also

[31] Learning the language for the new immigrant cannot be an absolute prerequisite. It may be helpful, it may be beneficial but it cannot be demanded as if it were a requirement for entry into the kingdom of God and the body of Christ.

[32] Garces-Foley, Crossing the Ethnic Divide, 83.