Monday, May 01, 2017

Communicating across the Classes

1) WC people sound angry to MC people

One of the things I teach on our Urban Ministry Program is how different cultures hear different cultures differently. So, in the UK, when us lower class heads try to talk to middle/upper class believers about prejudice, they tend to hear a lot of anger (that we don't feel we're giving off). I've been trying to learn to communicate cross culturally so that I translate what I'm saying in a way that the receptor culture truly hears me. Sometimes that might mean me over-talking about a topic to make it clear to them.

2) MC People mainly only get to hear WC people talk about class.

The other thing is that as Carson says, people tend to learn what we're excited about. Sometimes minorities only get a platform when its to talk about being a minority. This means that the majority culture only hear them when they're excited about issues of prejudice. This can lead to the majority culture not realising that this person is also passionate about the gospel! 

3) Try to hear our heart, before our voice

Our words come from our hearts, but because of cultural differences in tone, and the severity of classism--when listening to WC people speak about classism in the church, its worth taking Martin Luther's take on Gal 4:20 'How I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you! (NIV).
'It is as though he were saying: "Perhaps I have rebuked you too harshly. But forgive me my harshness. Do not judge my heart on the basis of my words, but judge my words on the basis of the attitude of my heart. My words seem hard, and the rod seems severe; but my heart is gentle and fatherly. Therefore, my Galatians, accept my rebuke in the sense in which it was intended for.' Luther's Lectures on Galatians.