Churches, Cultures & Leadership


Carson Video: Prophecies, the Economy, and from Commuter to Local

Pastor Carson’s story shows how transformation is not a straight line. Turbulent economic times forced many commuters at Carson’s congregation to stop coming to church in an effort to save money on gas. This difficult loss led the church to continue and increase their engagement with their local neighborhood. New friends became key leaders, ultimately creating a more hospitable multicultural worship environment. Carson speaks to the value of these new friendships as well as the value of learning from the diversity of a multiethnic congregation.  → On p 210, Branson suggests that leading change is among a leader’s most imperative tasks. Leaders and churches learn how to pay attention to seemingly disconnected elements in their lives and neighborhoods – and they discern God’s presence and guidance. The table on p 225 summarizes elements of adaptive leadership. Discuss how Pastor Carson exhibits these practices. Use this video along with pp 215-226 to reflect on a time you witnessed change in a church community. Practice “getting on the balcony” in an attempt to see God’s bigger picture. This is the second video with Pastor Carson.

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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.


We are assembling resources for pastors, professors, and students -- websites, cinema, documentaries, group exercises, books, and Bible studies.