How should decisions be made in ethnically diverse churches? This is a question I’ve been wrestling with lately with our church being in leadership transition. The problem being, I’ve found that attitudes towards participation in congregational government seem to vary across ethnic lines.
This article on Understanding Congregational Government in the 21st Century sums it up well:
Some ethnicities are more honourific than middle-class Western culture, where you honour and respect your leaders and never speak publically against them. How do you have robust debate and gathering of divergent views in contexts where people do not speak up for fear of disrespecting their leaders?
It’s quite ironic actually. For in insisting that everyone be heard, middle-class Westerners like myself are actually imposing middle-class Western values. Yet if we say nothing against the non-participation, we get all the say, which we often do. Very Catch 22.