Working across difference is the key to the vitality of our local churches and our leadership potential of our clergy leaders and laity in leadership.
West Ohio names that diversity takes many forms, including but not limited to:
- Race and ethnicity
- Age and generation
- Socioeconomic status
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion works with our team of West Ohio Cultural Coaches to help our churches, ministry leaders and the annual conference better work across difference.
“In my ministry as an IDI coach, I have grown in awareness and appreciation of cultural differences. I am aware of some of what has been my own unconscious bias and how that impacts what I see and how I understand others. I am thankful for the IDI and the Development Plan and I am encouraged to share it with others.”
- Rev. Rae Lynn Schleif, Assistant to the DS of the Maumee Watershed District
What does it mean to be a faith community in a world of changing demographics? Can we do ministry as a church if we don’t agree theologically on certain topics? What does leadership look like when lay leadership has been formed in different ways? West Ohio is committed to vital, effective ministry that lives into these and other questions around diversity and difference.
The Intercultural Development Inventory
“I serve in a multicultural ministry context of South Western Ohio. IDI has shaped me to have more purposeful conversations with leaders in developing multicultural awareness and ministries in our district. In addition, it has been very important of my own development as a leader growing personally, not only in awareness, but in advocacy for cultural competency in my personal and professional life.”
- Rev. Dr. Todd D. Anderson, Superintendent, The Ohio River Valley District
Part of our strategy in equipping our leaders and our churches is by using the Intercultural Development Inventory, an assessment tool that helps individuals and organizations understand how they interact and function across diversity.
We are using the IDI with:
- Local churches: leadership board, mission teams, small groups and more
- West Ohio Cabinet
- West Ohio Board of Ministry
- West Ohio Lead Teams
- The Eight Year Assessment (Beginning January 2020)
- Crucible participants (in partnership with East Ohio)
- West Ohio Churches
- District leadership teams
The West Ohio Cultural Coaches were funded out of a grant generously awarded by the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), a ministry of the United Methodist Church. We give special thanks to Mary-Frances Winters and The Winters Group, LLC for working with the West Ohio Cultural Coaches.