Intercultural Engagement

NZCMS sends Mission Partners globally to serve in different countries, cultures, and languages. Here in New Zealand the nations have come to us! Around a quarter of our population were born overseas, and there are more than 200 ethnic groups in our country. There are many opportunities for intercultural mission and engagement here in New Zealand. NZCMS would love to connect with you and your church to resource you to engage interculturally in your neighbourhood.

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What is intercultural community?

Broadly, culture relates to language, habits, ideas, beliefs, customs, social organisation, processes and values. Diversity is part of God’s creation, and God is at work in every culture. Culture can be a good thing! However, we (and the gospel we proclaim) can become captive to our culture. The challenge for every follower of Christ is to allow the Gospel to transcend our culture – to bring out the best of our culture and set us free from everything that entangles.

How do we become intercultural?

When we talk to those in church leadership about intercultural communities they often say ‘tell me what to do!’ Becoming an intercultural community is a process – and there is no single way to do it because it is always contextual. That said, there are many different ideas and tools that can help stimulate conversation, conversion and action in your community.

Why does it matter?

Aotearoa New Zealand has always been a diverse place. Even between different iwi and hapū, there are cultural variations. People from all over the world now live in New Zealand. In 2013 there were more than 200 different ethnic groups across the country – and many of our communities are increasingly ethnically diverse.

Where can I learn more?

Alice Kinyua, our Intercultural Communities Enabler, would love to learn about your context to encourage and help resource you, or connect you with others. You can email her at [email protected].

Here you can find links to some helpful resources developed overseas:

United Church of Canada

United Church of Canada

united-church.ca

Free Methodist Church in Canada

Free Methodist Church in Canada

fmcic.ca

Churches Cultures & Leadership

Churches Cultures & Leadership

churchesculturesleadership.com