Miami is the most international city in the United States, which means 61% are foreign born (#2 is Washington D.C. at 53%). This is what makes planting a church in Miami so unique and challenging. One of the complexities is this- How bilingual should your ministries be from the beginning? So, I decided to ask some church planting experts, Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im from NewChurches.com. They graciously answered a question I recently submitted. This is what I asked:
“In planting multicultural churches, do you recommend launching the first service bilingual?”
Ed & Daniel graciously answered my question! If you’d like to hear their response, go to Episode 123 on the New Churches Podcast (start at 3:02 min). In their answer, Ed & Daniel say many helpful things:
- “The first thing they teach you in missiology is ‘don’t tell people of other cultures what they should do.’” –@edstetzer
- “There’s a lot of different expressions in terms of how you want to do church in a multi-ethnic context.” –@danielsangi
- “When we look biblically, there’s not a prescribed form of how to do multi-ethnic ministry.” –@danielsangi
Their bottom-line answer is “depends,” which I translated to mean, “let your core group decide.”
If I would ask the question all over again, I would have asked, “Do you know of any churches that launched with a bilingual worship service and then became financially self-sustaining within 3-5 years?” If anyone reading this post has experience planting bilingual or trilingual churches, I’d love to know your thoughts!
Please pray that God would give us wisdom as we investigate to know what would be the most contextually appropriate way to launch a new church in our target area of Miami!