Churches, Cultures and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities  -     By: Mark Lau Branson, Juan F. Martinez
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Churches, Cultures and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities

IVP Academic / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

As the church continues to hear and heed Christ's call to reflect the multi-ethnic character of his people, pastors and lay leaders need to gain skills and competencies to serve in those contexts.

The multicultural team of Juan Martinez and Mark Branson collaborated to write Churches, Cultures, and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities to equip such leaders to create environments that make God's reconciling initiatives apparent in church life and in our missional engagement with neighborhoods and cities.

Generated by courses taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, Branson and Martinez take an interdisciplinary approach that integrates biblical and theological study with the disciplines of sociology, cultural anthropology and communications. The result is a rich blend of astute analysis with guidance for practical implementation of a deeper intercultural life for the church. Case studies, Bible studies and exercises for personal reflection and classroom use connect the real life and everyday challenges that inevitably arise in multi-ethnic contexts.

Martinez and Branson offer not static model but a praxis of "paying attention," reflection and study that can lead to a genuine reconciliation and shared life empowered by the gospel that is personal, interpersonal, cultural and structural.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830839267
ISBN-13: 9780830839261
Availability: Available to ship on or about 09/29/14.
Email me when this product is available.

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Publisher's Description

As the church continues to hear and heed Christ's call to reflect the multiethnic character of his people, pastors and lay leaders need to gain skills and competencies to serve in those contexts. The multicultural team of Juan Martinez and Mark Branson has written this book to equip such leaders to create environments that make God's reconciling initiatives apparent in church life and in our missional engagement with neighborhoods and cities. Generated by courses they teach at Fuller Theological Seminary, Branson and Martinez take an interdisciplinary approach that integrates biblical and theological study with the disciplines of sociology, cultural anthropology and communications. The result is a rich blend of astute analysis with guidance for practical implementation of a deeper intercultural life for the church. Case studies, Bible studies and exercises for personal reflection and classroom use connect the real life and everyday challenges that inevitably arise in multi-ethnic contexts. Martinez and Branson offer not static model but a praxis of "paying attention," reflection and study that can lead to a genuine reconciliation and shared life empowered by the gospel that is personal, interpersonal, cultural and structural.

Author Bio

Mark Lau Branson (MA, Claremont School of Theology; EdD, University of San Francisco) is the Homer L. Goddard Professor of the Ministry of the Laity at Fuller Theological Seminary where he teaches courses on congregational leadership and community engagement. He is the author of Juan Francisco Martnez (M.Div., Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary; Th.M. and Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate dean of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community and associate professor of Hispanic studies and pastoral leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. His most recent book is

Endorsements

Churches, Cultures & Leadership is one of the most significant books on the work of racial and cultural reconciliation yet published. Branson and Martínez have written a comprehensive work that integrates biblical research and social science analysis with highly practical suggestions for application in congregations and communities facing intercultural realities. They make the complexities of diversity understandable, accessible and even exciting. This thoughtful, engaging and substantive book by two practitioner scholars is a must-read for anyone interested in creating intercultural community.
-Curtiss Paul DeYoung,
professor of reconciliation studies, Bethel University

If I were teaching today, this would be my basic and required text. If I were a pastor, this would be my chief source for leading my congregation into the future. Since I am a congregant, I will read this to better understand how to function in a changing urban society. This is a timely offering, crafted out of field experience, classroom disciplines and deep personal commitments. Great stuff!
-William Pannell,
Fuller Theological Seminary

Branson and Martínez discuss the issues of culture and ethnicity in the life of the church, and of leadership within the context of these issues, in a more thorough and yet more accessible and practical way than any other book I know. This is a must-read book for any who are really concerned for the mission of the church in the future that now opens before us.
-Justo L. Gonzalez,
author of The Story of Christianity

Part biblical study, part handbook on ministry, for use in the classroom or in small groups, Churches, Cultures and Leadership is a foundational text that meets the need for a broad, interdisciplinary and substantive perspective on intercultural ministry. From years of experience, Mark Lau Branson and Juan Martínez offer unique insights and a range of practical resources. May it help us toward a church in the power of the Spirit!
-Mark R. Gornik and Maria Liu Wong,
City Seminary of New York

Given the phenomenal demographic changes in our nation (e.g., cultural diversity of our communities and congregations), Churches, Cultures and Leadership is a very important and rich resource for engaging the multicultural challenges facing the church. Via an interdisciplinary approach (i.e., Scripture, practical theology, social anthropology, cultural studies, philosophical hermeneutics, leadership theory and communication) Branson and Martínez have gifted the church with an unique--the only one of its kind--work for practical and faithful intercultural life and for helping the church reflect the diversity of America.
-Rev. Eldin Villafane,
Ph.D., professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and author of Beyond Cheap Grace

A book on the intercultural formation of congregations that integrates theology and cultural anthropology. This book is not a 'how to' but a humble and profoundly informative presentation that facilitates coming to the transparency needed for moving toward intercultural relations and ministry. Culture, language, worldview, theology and the unconscious assumptions that shape these are defined and examined so that we can understand our habits of ethnicity, class and social status. Awareness exercises are provided for facilitating conversations and the doing of theology. Leadership issues are then discussed in light of all of these aspects. The vignettes provided keep it real, and resources are provided with every chapter for further reading and viewing (movies). Finally, a book that's 'real' about these complex matters. Read it, share it and you will be ushered into lasting change.
-Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier,
pastor, religious educator and dean of Esperanza College of Eastern University

This book provoked my mind theologically, historically, practically and spiritually. Branson and Martínez do a masterful job in communicating the complexities that conjoin church, cultures and leadership.
-Dr. David A. Anderson,
senior pastor, radio host, and author of Gracism

Branson and Martinez take and interdisciplinary approach that integrates biblical and theological study with the disciplines of sociology, cultural anthropology and communications. The result is a rich blend of astute analysis with guidance for practical implementation of a deeper intercultural life for the church. Based on years of experience, highly engaging, greatly needed, Churches, Cultures and Leadership will benefit professors, students and church leaders. It may also be of interest to others working in diversity education.
-www.sirreadalot.org, June 2011

"As the American population continues to ring itself around metropolitan areas--with all of their growing diversity--, this book could become a welcome and most useful church resource, for many years to come."
-George B. Thompson, Jr.,
Congregations, Volume 2 2011

Editorial Reviews

"This book provoked my mind theologically, historically, practically and spiritually. Branson and Martínez do a masterful job in communicating the complexities that conjoin church, cultures and leadership."
"A book on the intercultural formation of congregations that integrates theology and cultural anthropology. This book is not a 'how to' but a humble and profoundly informative presentation that facilitates coming to the transparency needed for moving toward intercultural relations and ministry. Culture, language, worldview, theology and the unconscious assumptions that shape these are defined and examined so that we can understand our habits of ethnicity, class and social status. Awareness exercises are provided for facilitating conversations and the doing of theology. Leadership issues are then discussed in light of all of these aspects. The vignettes provided keep it real, and resources are provided with every chapter for further reading and viewing (movies). Finally, a book that's 'real' about these complex matters. Read it, share it and you will be ushered into lasting change."
"Given the phenomenal demographic changes in our nation (e.g., cultural diversity of our communities and congregations), Churches, Cultures and Leadership is a very important and rich resource for engaging the multicultural challenges facing the church. Via an interdisciplinary approach (i.e., Scripture, practical theology, social anthropology, cultural studies, philosophical hermeneutics, leadership theory and communication) Branson and Martínez have gifted the church with an unique--the only one of its kind--work for practical and faithful intercultural life and for helping the church reflect the diversity of America."
"Part biblical study, part handbook on ministry, for use in the classroom or in small groups, Churches, Cultures and Leadership is a foundational text that meets the need for a broad, interdisciplinary and substantive perspective on intercultural ministry. From years of experience, Mark Lau Branson and Juan Martínez offer unique insights and a range of practical resources. May it help us toward a church in the power of the Spirit!"
"Branson and Martínez discuss the issues of culture and ethnicity in the life of the church, and of leadership within the context of these issues, in a more thorough and yet more accessible and practical way than any other book I know. This is a must-read book for any who are really concerned for the mission of the church in the future that now opens before us."
"If I were teaching today, this would be my basic and required text. If I were a pastor, this would be my chief source for leading my congregation into the future. Since I am a congregant, I will read this to better understand how to function in a changing urban society. This is a timely offering, crafted out of field experience, classroom disciplines and deep personal commitments. Great stuff!"
"Churches, Cultures & Leadership is one of the most significant books on the work of racial and cultural reconciliation yet published. Branson and Martínez have written a comprehensive work that integrates biblical research and social science analysis with highly practical suggestions for application in congregations and communities facing intercultural realities. They make the complexities of diversity understandable, accessible and even exciting. This thoughtful, engaging and substantive book by two practitioner scholars is a must-read for anyone interested in creating intercultural community."

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Mark Lau Branson
Located in: Pasadena, CA
Submitted: July 02, 2011

    Tell us a little about yourself.  Mark Lau Branson, Ed.D., is the Homer L. Goddard Associate Professor of the Ministry of the Laity at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he teaches courses in congregational leadership and community engagement. He was ordained at San Francisco Christian Center, an African American Pentecostal church, and has served on the pastoral teams in United Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Branson has served with several Christian agencies active in education, community development, and community organizing, and works frequently as a consultant. He has graduate degrees from Claremont School of Theology and the University of San Francisco. Mark is a consultant with The Missional Network. Recently he co-authored (with Juan Martínez) Churches, Cultures and Leadership (May, 2011). Previous publications include Memories, Hopes, and Conversations: Appreciative Inquiry and Congregational Change (Alban) and chapters in The Missional Church in Context (Craig Van Gelder, ed.), Leadership in Congregations (Richard Bass, ed.), and The Three Tasks of Leadership (Eric Jacobsen, ed.). Mark, Nina, and sons Noah and Nathan are members of First Presbyterian Church, Altadena, California

    What was your motivation behind this project?  As a professor and consultant (and previously as a pastor) I am constantly asked about the challenges of pastoral leadership in churches and neighborhoods of ethnic diversity. There are other great books on the market but no comprehensive book with stories, Bible studies, theology, cultural anthropology, and frameworks from theories about organizational change and leadership. Dr Martinez and I wanted to bring these perspectives together in a book with lots of attention to real-life situations.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  We shaped the book with special attention to professors and pastors -- because we all learn when we are in learning communities that that can read and discuss ideas while we also recall our own experiences and engage in ministry. We point to ways of paying attention, of rethinking texts and contexts. Our goal is that we enter more fully onto God's grace -- because God is ahead of us in our neighborhoods and churches and we need the capacities to see and learn about participating with God's initiatives.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  Juan and I have been teaching seminary classes for many years -- and we are active in our own churches. As co-teachers and co-authors, we constantly learn from each other. We also learn from our students (and clients) because they bring new stories of challenges and God's grace. That's why we dedicated the book to our students and their churches.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  We created a very extensive bibliography for the book - because we are indebted to so many authors who work in matters of culture and leadership.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  WE know that real on the ground stories matter -- and we want to have a way for readers to engage each other. So we created a website that features numerous lots of additional resources, including interviews with pastors who are leading multiculutural churches. We invite readers to comment of the posts and to send us their own contributions. churchesculturesleadership.com

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