Questions to ask a young white church planter who wants to do a cross-cultural church plant; some of these apply to People of Color as well.
1. Why are you doing this, or attempting to do it? What has motivated you to do what can be a very difficult work?
2. Do you have any close friends who are People of Color or the ethnic group among whom you wish to plant? Who do you hang out with? Do you know how to be a friend or are you simply a religious professional?
3. Have you done your homework in terms of cultural, ethnic, historic, and sociological studies of the people groups among whom you will work? Have you read not only social science work but art, novels, essays, etc.?
4. How are you learning the culture; are you going to an ethnic church, listening and trying to understand the popular music as well as religious music, watching shows, films, documentaries, interacting with the people of the community on a social, culinary, physical, athletic level?
5. Are you willing to submit yourself to leadership that is not white?
FIND A MENTOR
6. Are you willing to seek out a mentor, possibly an older POC pastor, and show them respect and loyalty as you learn from them?
1 CORINTHIANS 9:19
7. Do you see this mission as one that must balance the needs of white people against the needs of minorities? If so, you probably haven’t learned enough yet.
DEFINE YOUR TERMS
8. Do you know how to define the terms, cross-cultural, multi-ethnic, mono-ethnic, multi-cultural, and mono-cultural?
9. Do you realize and understand the social and cultural dynamics of dominant versus sub-dominant culture? Do you understand the source, power, and results of privilege for cultural groups in a society?
CHEMISTRY IN RELATIONSHIP
10. Do you understand the necessity of loving and communicative chemistry in building a multi-ethnic team? Do you realize the inherent dangers of ego, competition, envy, jealousy, and power in building a team or staff – when mixed with the issues of race?
A SENSE OF CALLING
11. Are you willing to diligently seek out a broader group of ethnic leaders while being patient to find the person that believes, and that you believe, is absolutely called not only to this task, but this team, and to their particular role?
12. Do you understand the necessity of being consistently affirmative in seeking minority leadership in your missional setting while being stubborn in holding to spiritual qualifications?
13. Do you understand the difference, and the offense, in simply seeking to hire “token” ethnic staff without inspiring someone to share the vision you have for the community you are trying to reach? This is not just a job, but a calling.
14. Do you realize the love we should exhibit, and the humble servant attitude God calls us to have is always being evaluated by the people of the community? Are you willing to be a servant leader?
15. What cross-cultural relationships do you have or are you developing that give you credibility in the community?
TRY BEING A FRIEND BEFORE BEING A HERO
16. Do you know (live) the difference between boisterously advocating justice for a marginalized community and actually loving people in that community?
SAYING “YES” TO THE PEOPLE
17. What intensity or longevity of suffering are you, and your family, willing to endure to disciple the community to which you feel called? The answer to this question is not degree or years, but actually yes or no.
18. Are you willing to listen to criticism, and consider it, especially from ethnic leaders -even if younger than you, even if in competition with you? Criticism is not always “true” but the way we receive it says much about us.
19. Are you willing to wait until the Lord convinces your spouse, as much as he has convinced you, to take up this missional challenge?
IF NEEDS BE, WILL YOU GO IT ALONE?
20. Are you willing to go it alone, without ethnic team members, by immersing yourself in the community until you can raise up indigenous disciples?