Introduction and Background
The Cross-cultural Mission Empowerment Program is a Missio Africanus initiative designed to help non-Western congregations in the UK figure out how best to engage British people in mission. It is a praxis-focused program that intends to help congregations understand their contexts better and to transform their own cultures in order to connect better with the cultures of their neighbourhoods.
In Britain over the last couple of decades, the growth and spread of African Pioneered Churches has been remarkable, contrasting the decline of British Christianity. However, the corporate failure of these African congregations in infiltrating the British white community coupled with the disconnect between the first and second generation in many of these congregations are issues that these congregations grapple with—and issues that will determine what the future of these congregations will be. Hence, this cross-cultural mission empowerment program is to strengthen the presence, impact, and missional strategies of African Pioneered Churches and other ethnic minority churches in Britain. We do this through a training process that involves several avenues focusing on mission, culture, and cross-cultural ministry in the context of multicultural Britain.
So far, we have successfully helped many congregations begin to understand their role in God’s mission in Britain better. Most of those congregations have, then, gone on to develop a mission strategy that has improved their cross-cultural relationships with their neighbours and opened doors for ministry outside their immediate cultural communities.
As earlier mentioned, another problem that this Project is solving has to do with the faith of the younger generation of African immigrants—generally known as second generation immigrants—who live in-between African and British cultures and generally find it difficult to stay in African churches after high school. We help congregations understand the cultural dilemmas that their younger members go through, and therefore equip congregational leaders to better serve them in ways that are relevant for them. This is critical because without properly engaging the younger generation, the future of African churches in Britain is at stake.
The Program is delivered in four ways:
- Track One involves a series of three five-hour meetings over three Saturdays (from 10am to 3pm each Saturday).
- Track Two involves a series of six three-hour meetings held twice a month (for three months).
- Track Three is delivered in a series of nine five-hour meetings held once a month (for nine months).
- Track Four takes six weekend-long intensive workshops spread through two years.
The main difference between these tracks is the depth with which the materials are covered. All the tracks require some reading. Thus, participants will be provided with a reading list to accompany the conversations.
A one-evening taster event can be organised to give congregations a taste of what the Program will offer and how beneficial it could be.
The Program is designed for ministry leaders in congregations. Thus, we encourage that pastors and their supporters, and leaders in music, youth, and other ministries be part of the conversation. We have also learned that there are many members in congregations who have passion for the issues discussed in the Cross-cultural Mission Empowerment Program. Such members are encouraged to attend.
The Program delivery is flexible and can be accessed both by a congregation, a regional network of churches, a denomination, and at any place in between. By default, residential weekends take place in Liverpool but can also be organised in other parts of the country.
If this sounds like something you would like to explore further, please, contact us at email@example.com or visit us at www.decolonisingmission.com