Contextualization in an Urban, Global CenterBy
In London, England with The Upstream Collective, we had a stimulating discussion today about issues of contextualization in churches that are unique to London and many other urban, global centers. Questions were raised about whether or not metaphors, music, language, accents, etc. should be adjusted for the target audience. One of the realities dealt with was the presence of trans-nationals in urban, global centers. Additionally, there are nationals and a plethora of other distinct ethnic groups, etc.
To provide one thought on this discussion, I offer Malcolm Gladwell’s 2004 Ted talk where he shares about the market research of Dr. Howard Moskowitz. His findings on product research include the revolutionary findding that there is not a perfect product, but rather there are a number of perfect products. It seems that we have Dr. Moskowitz to thank for the retail dilemma of which of 13 different Crest toothpaste flavors to choose from. And about as many Colgate offerings, etc.
These findings also, I believe, speak to the numbers of and types of churches and church plants that are necessary to reach the transnationals and different people groups of an urban, global city such as London.