The Possible Church: Stories of Those Who Have Led White Churches into a Multiethnic Reality

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2022

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Abstract

As the number of multiethnic churches in the United States continues to rapidly increase, predominantly white congregations perpetually struggle to contribute to this trend. Stories of formerly white churches achieving a multiethnic reality are few and far between, despite survey data indicating 70 percent of church leaders wish their congregations were more ethnically diverse.From within this troubling scenario, a question and a need emerge. The question is why formerly white, now multiethnic churches are so rare. The need, is more stories—for while statistics prove change is necessary, stories prove change is possible—and many leaders who desire to transition their white churches into multiethnicity will not act until they know it can be done.

This thesis seeks to answer the question above, by addressing the need above. That is, by collecting and curating stories from leaders who already lead such churches, explanations for their rarity emerge, alongside footsteps for aspiring leaders to follow as they begin their own journeys.

The result of casual conversations with ten leaders at formerly white, now multiethnic churches from across the United States, this thesis presents stories that illuminate the uncommon leadership, robust theology, and intentional culture that makes them so rare.

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McCormack, Brian (2022). The Possible Church: Stories of Those Who Have Led White Churches into a Multiethnic Reality. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25018.

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