Randy Nabors is pastor emeritus of New City Fellowship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was the lead pastor for 35 years. He is the author of “Merciful: the Opportunity and Challenge of Discipling the Poor Out of Poverty.” Nabors currently serves as coordinator for urban and mercy ministries for Mission to North America, the church planting arm of the Presbyterian Church in America denomination, and he is also the coordinator of the New City Network. He earned an M.Div. from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, and has done graduate work in urban sociology and urban ministry at Georgia State University and Westminster Theological Seminary.
Randy Nabors pastored a cross-cultural church for 35 years and now works with the Presbyterian Church in America denomination to help plant churches that reflect the diversity within the new church’s community. He’s done a lot and seen a lot. In Today’s Conversation, he joins Leith Anderson to talk about pastoring cross-cultural churches.
In this podcast, Randy and Leith discuss:
- How terms like “cross-cultural” and “multi-ethnic” are distinct;
- Whether every church should be cross-cultural;
- How to deal with differing cultural preferences about music, preaching and other things; and
- Whether there is a certain profile that helps make someone successful as a pastor of a cross-cultural church.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Leith: Should every church seek to be multi-ethnic or cross-cultural?
Randy: If you’re in Montana somewhere, or Nebraska, or some state — if you are in an all-something neighborhood and it is completely homogeneous — then I don’t see any mandate that you have to become something different than you are. I do think African American churches are legitimate churches. I think white churches are legitimate churches. But I do think that if you are in a mixed neighborhood and you step over certain pockets of demographics in that neighborhood to only reach the kind of people you want in your church, I don’t think you’re being obedient to the Great Commission, and I think there might be some incipient racism at work there or cultural bias.
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