Learning unity

From Our Leaders

May 10, 2024 | Opinion | Volume 28 Issue 7
Yoel Masyawong |
Photo by Caglar Oskay/Unsplash.

As Christians, we are called to be in the world but not of the world. We are urged to be transformed and renewed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2). 


Whatever the dominant culture in the world says to us is not who we are. Instead, we are a community of faith that has Jesus at the centre of our lives. 


I believe that Jesus Christ came to tear down the walls that divide people, and that the Holy Spirit unites us to be one in Christ. The intercultural church must reframe a new kind of church to which everyone belongs. It is a corporation of churches made up of people with different cultures, and it is a place where all members can bring and share communal gifts.


The vision in which I bring multicultural pastor together is to share a gift of cultures—foods, languages and, most importantly, to learn the deeper values of cultures that do not appear on the surface.


Intercultural church is a learned skill, not an automatic part of theological education in the community. The diversity within the churches is rewarding like no other place in the community, because when churches gather and worship God Almighty, we promote a new kind of church where race, ethnicity and culture no longer hinder or divide us.


Thus, the characteristic of an intercultural church requires us to sow the intercultural seeds deep down to the core of our identity. Along with the condition of putting aside our biases, we must together start nurturing our differences and embrace the peace, love and reconciliation of Jesus Christ.


The common challenge the church faces today is the struggle to pass the faith on to the next generation. Sadly, the church community has lost its ability to draw young people and keep them in the church.


In traditional ways, often the church tends to put the young within a fence meant to protect and love. However, young people today have been growing in distinct life ethics. The virtual world broadens their views without fences, and the church becomes ancient and rearmost in their freedom of options. 


The Mennonite Church Eastern Canada intercultural volleyball tournament, held in March, is an event that creates space to engage in physical, tangible relationships and builds a bridge between the church and young people on common ground. 


Through my job with the regional church, I have been blessed by walking with the pastors and leaders in our area. The richness indiversity among our churches allows for the pursuit of a true intercultural church. I say, with humility, that I have heard numerous stories of how we are a blessing to a wider church. 


Let us hold hands, persevere in pursuing an intercultural church by faith, and believe that the church of Jesus Christ will stand forever:


“For through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:18-19). 

Photo by Caglar Oskay/Unsplash.

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