On the cover of the August 2005 issue of Church Executive is an interview with Dr. David Anderson, Senior Pastor of Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Maryland. I’m glad to see the issue occasionally getting exposure in the media outlets, and that Bridgeway continues to grow, now closer to 2,000 in attendance (which would qualify it as a megachurch.)
Bridgeway Community Church has responded to that call. In the last 13 years, Anderson’s church has grown to nearly 2,000 congregants who “practice the dance of multicultural ministry.” Anderson, who is the author of Multicultural Ministry (Zondervan, 2004), a book about his experiences as a hands-on builder of a multicultural ministry, says his church has found its own “unique rhythm” that appeals to a racially diverse congregation.
And towards the end of the interview:
What examples can you give that illustrate there is an environment of acceptance of other cultures and groups at your church?
Recently one of my staff members (a white woman) went to a major conference (that happened to be all-white) in the Midwest and came back and said, “I love that church. I love everything they do. But I felt like I went to a family reunion and only half of the family showed up.” She sees us as family. She sees people who are different than her in their color as family. That’s when I knew that the DNA of Bridgeway, the DNA of multicultural ministry has so affected her, has so enriched her life, that now she feels that something is missing and abnormal when she is not in a multicultural environment.
And for those of you who want a to-do list on diversifying a church, the magazine also excerpted from Anderson’s book: Want cultural diversity in your church? Here’s David’s do-something list for you.