Multicultural Church Glossary: S-Z



Sift Culture

When you culture sift you find out what” behaviors, ideas and products of culture run counter to the teachings of Christ, while keeping those that agree (Whitesel, 2007, p. 61). Even as you culture sift, you intent is to learn about another people group’s cultural characteristics and worldview, with the goal of determining how to fully understand their perspective.

Stew Pot

  • “As stew pot brings up the image of a tasty mixture, where each ingredient add its unique flavor while retaining its own unique properties. The stew pot image of a new product, colorful and flavorful to a degree that would have been impossible for any of the ingredients alone” (Whitesel, 2007, p. 164).
  • Kenneth B. Mullholland describes a stew pot as, “Just as softened, but  largely unassimilated and quite discernible chunks of meat, potatoes, celery and onions swim in the gravy of the stew, so ethnic minorities–Mexicans, Liberians, Poles, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Samoans–seek to find their place in American society without surrendering their cultural heritage (Fuder, 1999, p. 316).
  • “The concept of ethnic stew is similar to that of melting pot, though the degree of cultural distinctiveness is higher in the former, however not reaching the level of the “salad bowl” thesis (different groups keep their differences, while maintaining relations among each other).(Laubeova, 2000).


Syncretism relates to “The replacement core or important truths of the Gospel with non-Christian elements” (Moreau, S, 2004, loc 297).


10/40 Window:

The 10/40 Window is that “slice of the world extending “from ten to forty degrees north of the equator and stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to China and Japan” where the largest number of unreached people live” (Van Rheenen, 1996, p. 209).

The Joshua Project adds that, “The original 10/40 Window included only countries with at least 50% of their land mass within 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. The revised 10/40 Window includes several additional countries, such as Indonesia, that are close to 10 or 40 degrees north latitude and have high concentrations of unreached peoples.  An estimated 4.59 billion individuals residing in approximately 8,622 distinct people groups are in the revised 10/40 Window” (Joshua Project, [cited: 4 May 2013], Online:


“Enduring the presence of people who differ from you, or ideas that conflict with yours” (Robins, Lindsey, Lindsey, & Terrell, 2002, p. 55).


“Working to change society by transforming its unjust structures into more just ones. In the twentieth century evangelicals typically did not think of transformation as appropriate missionary work. However, advocates of transformation as appropriate missionary work. However, advocates of transformation rightly note that the historical fights against the slave trade, infanticide, widow burning, and foot binding are all examples of transformational mission” (Moreau, 2004, loc 394).



  1. This is an African term that “connotes the basic connectedness of all human beings beyond all lines of race and class”  (Loc 898). Further, “African individuality and freedom are always balanced by the destiny of the community. African eschatology is more concerned about communal salvation than the personal salvation so often envisioned by Western spirituality” (loc 911). “The opposite of Ubuntu is a “system that encourages a high degree of competitiveness and selfishness in a world that seems to have been made for interdependence must have something wrong with it….competition is the sign of the fall of creation…” Campolo and Battle quote Desmond Tutu’s thoughts to illustrate Ubuntu, as “When a Western person, formed in a worldview of the sole importance of the individual, meets an African person, the Western person meets someone whose experience of the self is distinctly different front the Western eschatology of personal salvation” (loc 905). Ubuntu Theology “A theology that articulates God’s reconciling work among different cultures and races” (loc 42)(Campolo & Battle, 2005, locs. 42, 898, 905, 911).
  2. “An African way of seeing a person…Concept of personhood, emphasizing the communal and spiritual dimension of human identity” (Battle, 2009, loc 1 ).
  3. Dr. Jim Joseph Ubuntu is, “Where people are supposed to act with humaneness, compassion, and care, is a example of how a private value can be reflected as a public value. The private aspect is how individuals act towards each other and the public values are ensuring that the society is structured in such a way that people are cared for and treated humanely.  Condoning and sanctioning the values of Ubuntu would engender this type of society–one where leadership would tend to public values and social institutions” (Borda, 2007, loc 3026).


  1. “One who has not been in church, except sporadically, for at least ten years (most for a lifetime), but have recently become active in church. All of the formerly unchurched have also recently become Christians, not merely church attenders (Rainer, 2001, p. 17).
  2. (Kinnamon, D & Lyons, G., 2007, UnChristian: What a New Generation Thinks: What a New Generation Thinks about Christianity and Why it Matters, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books).

Uncommon Church

You define a church that changes from one characterized by “conflict, decline, and marginalization” to that of “renewal and growth” as uncommon. Nevertheless, you refer to a church that remains marginal as common (Whitesel, 2012, Cure for the Common Church, p.16)

Unreached Peoples

“People groups that currently have no access to the Gospel. They are “hidden” not in the sense that they are invisible, but in the sense that there is no way, given current conditions, that they can hear the Gospel in their own language in a way that makes sense to them” (Moreau, 2004, loc 294)

-V to Z-


  1. Worldview comprises the “models of reality that shape cultural allegiances and provide interpretations of the world” (Van Rheenen, 1996, p. 33)
  2. Additionally, worldview holds underlying assumptions about the nature of reality and human behavior (Martin, & Nakayama, . 2009).



  • Battle, M. (2009). Ubuntu: I in you and you in Me.  New York, NY: Seabury Books.
  • Borda, J. (2007). Salsa, south and spirit: Leadership for a multicultural age. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Campolo, T. & Battle, M. (2005). The church enslaved: A spirituality of racial reconciliation. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
  • Fuder, J. (1999). A heart for the city: Effective ministries to the urban community. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
  • Kinnamon, D & Lyons, G., (2007). UnChristian: What a New Generation Thinks: What a New Generation Thinks about Christianity and Why it Matters, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
  • Laubeova, L. (2000) “Melting Pot vs. Stew Pot,” Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities. retrieved on February 28, 2012, from
  • Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2004). Intercultural communication in Contexts, 4th Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  • Moreau, S. (2004). Introducing world missions: A biblical, historical, and practical survey. Baker Academic.
  • Rainer, T. (2001). Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them, Grand Rapids, MI: Zodervan.
  • Robins, K., Lindsey, R. Lindsey, D., Terrell, R. (2002). Cultural proficient instruction: A guide for people who teach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.,
  • Van Rheenen, G. (1996). Missions, biblical foundations, and contemporary strategies. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
  • Whitesel, B. (2007). Change reaction: How to introduce change in your church. Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishin House.
  • Whitesel, B. (2012). Cure for the common church. Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House.

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