I participated in a very interesting forum on Friday evening. Global Interaction, an organisation that you’d normally associate with overseas mission, hosted an evening on multicultural mission in Australia. Interested, I went along for a look see.
Well, I am glad I did. I think I have just found Sydney’s mosaics.
The forum was held at Bankstown Sports Club. Many of the participants, like myself, seemed to come from multicultural areas in Sydney’s south and west and many that I talked to seemed familiar with the Emerging-Missional conversation, including the writings of Hirsch and Frost. But like myself, they had some qualms and were keen to explore what it means to be missional in much more explicitly multi-religious and multi-cultural settings than what normally gets talked about.
At one point in the evening I raised the issue that I have raised here on a number of occasions, that I think the homogenous unit principle of cross cultural mission collapses in the face of utter pluralism (though I phrased it more in terms of how do you do incarnational mission when you’ve got more cultures than Christians). That seemed to stump a few of the mishos, which is unsurprising because it stumps me sometimes too, but simply the fact that they took the question very seriously was encouraging. The best response coming from the floor was the suggestion that maybe we have to start off incarnational but shift to multicultural church in the discipleship process. This was not dissimilar to Steve Hayes’ comments here at Glocal Christianity some weeks back. All I would add to that is the need for networking and pooling expertise, which this evening was a good first step towards. I hope there are more of these evenings in the future.
Thanks to the Global Interaction team for taking the initiative.