“We want cultural and ethnic diversity to be celebrated; not just tolerated.”
Saehee and I determined in our hearts that God had led us to minister to a specific subgroup in Southwest Missouri. This subgroup has many different titles: intercultural, international, multiethnic, minorities, etc. Whatever the label may be, the fact is this growing population is a harvest field ready for the love of Jesus Christ to be lived out and presented to them.
Being a multiethnic couple (I am Hispanic and Saehee is Korean) has brought a natural attraction and love for people who may not quite fit in everywhere. The Springfield Metro Area boasts a population of 92% Caucasians. When people ask if it is viable to start an intercultural ministry in such a White area, consider that the 8% that is not Anglo is still 25,000 people.
Many are immigrants who moved here for a better job. Some are refugees who moved here for a better life. Other are natives of this area but may still face problems of racism. Our desire is to be a bridge builder for the intercultural community into the larger Missouri community as well as a place where are cultural and ethnic diversity is celebrated; not just tolerated.
What makes our ministry unique?
- We pastor a church called Life360 Intercultural Church
- Our leadership team consists of people who speak Spanish, French, Korean, Arabic, Swahili, and of course, English!
- We intentionally meet on Saturday evenings to foster a non-western style of extended worship and fellowship
- Our weekend gathering begins with international food and fellowship at the dinner table
- Ethnic diversity is celebrated through Christ-centered message, multi-language worship and prayer, meals, featured videos, and Garments of Praise (i.e. dressing up in multiethnic clothing)
- Our Saturday service feels more like a family reunion than a traditional church service
- Wednesday gathering focuses on the intimate and in-depth spiritual growth in various language groups