“Of the 44 million people living in the United States who were born in another country, 74 percent are Christian.” —Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
Can you imagine your church meeting in an unheated garage every Sunday for worship and prayer? On the north side of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a Spanish-speaking pastor and his family did just that with their church, which they called “Venid a Mi” (“come to me” from Matthew 11:28). God led the pastor of this church to approach Philip Rose, the pastor of Bethany Reformed Church in Sheboygan, with the request to meet in Bethany’s building for worship. Pastor Philip and his church welcomed the opportunity. The two churches soon began to share their ministry resources to help reach the community for Christ.
Follow Bethany Reformed Church’s example with these seven best-practice principles for host congregations:
- Develop a biblical foundation.
- Discern the right multicultural model.
- Cultivate intercultural agility and competency.
- Know the developmental steps to lasting partnership.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate to build trust.
- Try not to make assumptions. Each intercultural partnership is unique.
- Seek partnership and avoid paternalism.
You can also take advantage of the resources the Church Multiplication Team offers to host congregations. These include a demographic study of your community, help recruiting a planter or pastor in need of a host, project coaching, cultural agility coaching and assessment, and best practice wisdom-sharing.
Consider holding a discovery weekend, which is an on-site discernment weekend for congregations. A team of leaders comes to the church to help the congregation discern whether hosting is right for them. Congregations gain biblical perspective, discover best practices, hear from leaders with hosting experience, and take a closer look at opportunities in their ministry context.