Churches, Cultures & Leadership


Carson Video: Learning Spanish and Connecting with Neighbors

Pastor Elwood Carson, of New Life in Christ Church (Los Angeles), shares about how evolving neighborhood demographics prompted him to learn Spanish. Over time, as church members engaged their neighbors, a series of events and experiences led this predominantly African American church to sense the Holy Spirit’s guidance as they welcomed many new Latino/a members and friends. → Martinez devotes multiple chapters to the roles and complexities associated with language. Beginning on p 123 he addresses the topic of dominant and subordinate languages in the U.S. Also, on pp 115 and 133, Martinez explains how understanding language – both words and meanings – is part of understanding social and cultural values. Use this video to discuss the various languages (both cultural and social) present in your neighborhood. How is your faith community taking action to understand the social and cultural values expressed through these languages? This is the first video with Pastor Carson.

Posted in: Part I: Theology and Context, Part II: Sociocultural Perspectives, Part III: Leadership, Communication and Change, Videos
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  1. Pingback: Caminando con el pueblo » Aprendiendo español para hacer misión

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Site Overview


By engaging ethnic histories and hearing personal autobiographies we are participating in God's creative work of shaping and reshaping church life and mission.

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Part I: Theology and Context

Using the frameworks of practical theology and missional ecclesiology, we provide an introduction to the work of leadership and to social theory, including matters of social contexts, cultural variables, and ethnic identity.

Part II: Sociocultural Perspectives

Cultural anthropology provides insights into social power and human dynamics that vary among cultures. Topics include worldviews, relationships, identity, language, and perception and thinking.

Part III: Leadership, Communication and Change

We need to develop the skills and capacities for communication and leadership in intercultural settings in order to engage the challenges of church life and mission in multicultural contexts.


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