What are some of the challenges of pastoring a multi-ethnic church?

In a multi-ethnic church it can be particularly difficult to:

  1. Maintain a rigorous biblical ministry. With members who come from so many different denominations and cultural backgrounds, whose expectations should govern? Whose ministry philosophy do you adopt? Some multi-ethnic churches, particularly international churches, tend to drift toward the lowest common denominator of doctrinal agreement. This can generate heated opposition toward taking a definite stand on important, disputed doctrinal issues.
  2. Keep the main thing the main thing. In a church in which ethnic and cultural differences seem to demand constant attention, it’s easy to become fixated on matters that are far removed from the gospel. Therefore, pastors of multi-ethnic churches must labor to keep the gospel central in their own life, their preaching, and the life of their congregation.

(Much of this material has been adapted from John Folmar’s article, “Pastoring a Multi-Ethnic Church”)