A more powerful Gospel in a multiethnic church
Last week I was a part of the 400+ at the Multi-ethnic Church Conference in San Diego, a pre-conference of the National Outreach Convention. Though it has yet to proven whether this was a most significant historical event of the American church, for all who were present on-site and online, this was an incredible time of refueling for those on the front lines of working out the full implications of the Gospel.
3 things touched me most about this gathering — it was the grassroots effort in pulling this off. Speakers didn’t get paid. Sponsors pitched in. Organizers volunteered countless hours of time and effort. 2ndly, the energy & enthusiasm in the room. Some conferences have their share of spectators. This conference was filled with multiethnic leaders eager to learn and connect, to expand their horizons and soak in the value of differences in the Body of Christ across cultures, races, and ethnicities! Beautiful!
3rdly, the full implications of the Gospel was intentionally unpacked with every message. The Gospel is about healing and changing lives of the whole person, body and soul, and brings good to whole communities and societies, in word and in deed. The Gospel is powerful enough to overcome racism. What’s at stake is the credibility of the Gospel! The Gospel is about seeing the multiple facets of God’s character, more completely and wholistically– each culture and people group shed light upon; not possible with one culture alone or one homogenous group. It affects how we read and live the Bible; we need multiethnic diversity in community to more completely understand the Bible. The Gospel can bring about peace between warring tribes, and the learnings for how to do that are found in a diverse multi-ethnic community, where subconcious differences confound our best efforts to authentically relate to “the other.” The Gospel is not about what’s easy or efficient. It’s not just a nice thing to do.
In the coming weeks, as I clean up the 32 recorded audios from all the workshop sessions, I’ll be posting them and making them available. (Mark DeYmaz and I will be rolling them out in some strategic manner. We have to get a phone call in to discuss.)