"It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1960. This quote remains true and begs the question “How do we heal the church divide?” Mario Melendez presents an engaging introduction to the experiences of multi-ethnic believers and a path by which church leaders increase engagement and service to these diverse communities. Finding a model in Saint Timothy, Melendez reveals that multi-ethnic believers have always played a crucial role in Christian fellowship. Having experienced the mixing of their parents' heritage during their upbringing, third cultures kids are invaluable cultural and religious ambassadors. Embracing the unique gifts of third culture congregants and leaders, churches can embody the kaleidescope of their communities and bring about healing amongst the people of God.
Church clergy and lay leaders, as well as members of multi-ethnic households and those looking to increase the engagement of diverse groups within their congregation will find Third Culture Faithful an inspiring call to action.
Mario Manuel Catalino Melendez is Filipino and Cajun French and grew up around the deaf community. He is the Augie Henry Chair of Old Testament and assistant professor of Old Testament and Biblical Studies at Oklahoma Baptist University. He has also served as a minority ministry strategist, Hispanic youth intern, and bible study writer for a refugee church, as well as lecturing on the topic of multi-ethnic ministry. He is a participant in the Hispanic Theological Educators section of the Evangelical Bible Society. He has served as a multi-ethnic ministry consultant in English, Asian, and Hispanic churches in Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
Chapter 1: The Psychology of Third Culture Syndrome
Chapter 2: Your Parishioner, the Third Culture Kid
Chapter 3: Your Ministry for the Third Culture Kid
Chapter 4: Your Pastor, the Third Culture Kid
Conclusion: Points of Application
Appendix: Finding Timothy
About the Author
This is a much needed resource for every church leader. The question of how to bridge cultural gaps with the gospel has never been so important. Third Culture Faithful gives practical steps that any church can take to reach their community with the gospel.
Mario Melendez has produced a must-read for church leaders and members with a true desire for ethnic diversity. Melendez offers biblical insight into how to reach and develop the leadership potential in third culture people to grow a biblically sound, yet culturally diverse church.
Despite American society being more diverse than ever, many churches remain monoethnic. Third Culture Faithful focuses on the role multiethnic Christians play in helping to change this troubling reality. Melendez excels at explaining how third culture people can help to strengthen the church and serve as bridges between different ethnocultural groups.
Unfortunately, the church has adopted racial categories in which a large percentage of the population simply do not fit, causing many to people to feel like they have no place among the people of God. Melendez—who is himself of Filipino, Cajun French, Spanish, and French descent—shows a better way to minister to and empower “third culture” people. A paradigm shifting resource!