The dynamics of shaming affect your church community more than you might think. Guest contributor Sang-il Kim raises awareness for Boston Christian leaders to a surprising level of honor-shame dynamics in US urban culture. Join the conversation!
On Friday, March 4, 2005, Pastor Reth Nhar said goodbye to his wife, climbed into a car with four Cambodian friends, and headed out into the evening rush hour for the 60-mile drive north out of Providence, through the heart of Boston, to Lynn, Massachusetts. There the five made their way up to the second floor of an office building at 140 Union Street, grabbed some tea, and at 6:45 p.m., they crammed into a meeting room at the new Cambodian Ministries Resource Center.
The vision of EGC’s Intercultural Ministries is to connect the Body of Christ across cultural lines to express and advance the Kingdom of God in the city, the region, and the world. Building relationships and creating learning environments are essential to achieving this vision. Among its networks with urban ministries globally, Emmanuel Gospel Center is connected with Gemeinsam fuer Berlin a ministry organization in Germany since 2006, whose mission statement is: “Through a growing unity among believers in committed prayer and coordinated action, the Gospel of Jesus Christ shall reach all areas of society and people of all cultures in Berlin, so that the evidence of the Kingdom of God will increase, thus causing a higher quality of life in the city.”
For EGC, the 2010 Ethnic Ministries Summit was not a one-time event as much as another step along the way in our participation in and encouragement of the Kingdom of God in Boston expressed in all its cultural diversity. Here are a few of the milestones for EGC as we have watched God building his church in Boston, anticipating the church described in Revelation.
Do you want to see transformation in your organization? You might want to give some thought to the importance of creating a safe environment, where your team can learn together to trust, practice confidentiality, become good listeners, stop judging, and develop a culture of patience, forgiveness, and celebrating the best in one another.
“In June of 1972, I was discouraged because a year had gone by since I had graduated from seminary, and I hadn’t raised a penny to go back to Haiti, which had been my goal. So after preaching at a church in New York City, two ladies asked me whether they could join my wife and me for a night of prayer.
Cultural misunderstandings, theological controversies, and power issues influence our relationships and encounters between churches of different ethnic backgrounds and denominations.
While it is the nature of teens to consider their parents to be “out of touch” and the nature of older people to complain about the younger generation, the biblical mandate to pass the faith on to our children becomes extremely difficult in immigrant communities where younger people rapidly assimilate into a culture very different from their parents’. While this is not a new issue, to those experiencing the conflict, it is an issue that seems to threaten the very future of their faith.