Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
multicultural, integration, Japan, organizational influence
Petite, William Paul, "The Challenge of Ecclesiastical Multicultural Integration in Homogeneous Japan" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3199.
In 2019, 26% of the attendees at Akita Bible Baptist Church (ABBC) were non-Japanese. However, only 4% of the official members of the church were non-Japanese. The purpose of this action research project was to find a strategy to reduce the gap between the relatively high percentage of non-Japanese attendees (26%) and the low percentage of non-Japanese official members (4%). In other words, the purpose was to identify a strategy to increase multicultural integration regarding organizational influence at ABBC. This strategy was discovered by first interviewing eleven non-Japanese attendees. The research facilitator was surprised to discover that 73% of the non-Japanese interviewees thought they had organizational influence even though only one out of the eleven was an actual church member with objective organizational influence. How much influence did they think they had? On average, with ten being the most influence they could have and one being the lowest, they thought they had an influence level of six. This viewpoint led to a shift in how the research facilitator viewed multicultural integration regarding organizational influence. Contrary to the original assumption, the objective percentage gap is much less important than the subjective level of influence the non-dominants feel they have in the church. The interviewees also revealed that empathetic listening and caring for the non-Japanese would be beneficial in increasing multicultural integration regarding organizational influence. As a result, the church enacted an English service intervention strategy that led to a measurable increase in the subjective level of multicultural integration at ABBC.