This case study examines the six-month transition to a new pastor for a multiethnic, multicongregational church near Washington, DC. It describes four dilemmas that emerged and proposes correctives from church-planting literature, particularly the facilitative approach of Tom Steffen (and principles from Donald McGavran and David Garrison). First, the ownership dilemma asks how a multiethnic church can achieve genuine mutuality among varied cultural groups and suggests the need for chronological Bible teaching. Second, the identity dilemma asks how deeply individual pastors and congregations need to agree on matters of governance and doctrine, and how non-negotiables can best be communicated. It insists that familiarity and trust are essential to both. Third, the cohesion dilemma asks how power and authority should be distributed to assure cohesiveness; it suggests that a facilitative senior pastor continually shed power to a diverse team so that leadership transfer happens without disruption. Fourth, the mission dilemma asks how a church can help diverse members keep sight of why they need one another in reaching the world and illustrates the need for frequent, ongoing, cooperative missional efforts among all congregations. The four dilemmas and their correctives point to interdependence as an essential core value for the MEC.
Childs Drury, E. (2010). Leadership Transfer Awakens Dormant Dilemmas in a Multi Ethnic Church: Correctives from Church Planting. Great Commission Research Journal, 2(1), 86-102. Retrieved from https://digitalarchives.apu.edu/gcrj/vol2/iss1/9