How long will it take for church diversity?
How long will it take? How long? A diverse society is all around us in the United States and yet most of our Christian churches do not match that diversity. Most would agree the church should, whether a church leader or the average joe.
Scott Williams weighs in with another voice to reiterate this truth in the new book, Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week. There are dozens of other mentions and book reviews already via the blog book tour. It’s a message that needs repeating because it hasn’t sunk in yet.
As I read the book (which I confess I have not yet finished), it did prompt me to consider some other elephants in the room regarding church diversity.
1. A majority of churches are still working in the shadow of the decades of teachings and thoughts on church growth and the so-called “homogeneous unit principle.” And the commonly cited cliche, “birds of a feather flock together.” For overly practical reasons, it is often easier to gather a larger group of people to sustain a church organization that’d employ staff and pay for meeting space. What will it take to rethink the purpose of church is developing fully-devoted followers and that does not mean catering an “evangelistic” message that’d concede to one’s “natural” racial preferences.
2. @scottwilliams does a great job reviewing the best practices from the business world and outlines the strategies from top innovative corporations that have leadership diversity. For churches that love and value innovation, does incorporating more diversity result in more innovation? In other words, if diversity did accelerate church innovation, wouldn’t the most innovative churches be more diverse? Diverse not only in attendance, but especially in leadership?
3. Looks like church diversity will just take a lot more time and effort, and perhaps more books, more events, more training. Mosaix Global Network is one of the bigger efforts that’s connecting church leaders all over for collaborative efforts – most recently hosting a multiethnic church planting track at the Exponential Conference. This Church Diversity book has a pretty robust campaign to kick off a “movement.” It’s going to take a lot more of what @scottwilliams calls: “right message at the right time.”
I’ve got many more thoughts about this issue, having tracked it for years at my web page of multiethnic church resources, launched at least 5 years ago. Often it feels like we’re back to square one on this topic. But I suppose that’s where most people are, and that’s where we to help each other to learn from each other and work together with each other.
Appreciate the your take on religion and its effects. Love the entire site in general. Keep it up.
Is anyone here currently in a church of predominately one race outside of your own, or have been in the past? (For me, I am the only black adult man in my church, which is predominately white). If so, how long do you plan to attend there (or how long will you attend)? How did you go about handling some of the barriers/difficulties that arise in this situation?