I love to see churches that end up multi-ethnic, but not those that aim at it

Alternate title: Just. Preach. The Gospel.

I have deeply appreciated the opportunity to worship in different cultures in Bible believing churches: the Methodist church in Singapore, a few churches in Kenya, black churches in the U.S. (mainly for funerals), a multi-ethnic church in Ohio, multi-ethnic worship with prisoners, and more.  I love how preaching the real Gospel will break down barriers like skin color and income.

But I really don’t like the idea of putting multi-ethnicity first.  These apparently Gospel-believing people seem well-intentioned but are missing the point.  Via Mosaix Leaders Summit Sets Ambitious Goal of Planting 1,000 Multi-Ethnic Churches in 10 Years.

A first-of-its-kind gathering of over 25 different influential Christian organizations and leaders, including the Southern Baptist Convention and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), convened this week to discuss and trade ideas on how to plant and grow multi-ethnic churches throughout North America, including strategies to establish 1,000 such churches over the next seven to ten years.

The Christian Post obtained the program of the closed-door, two-day meeting titled the 2015 Multi-Ethnic Church Planting Leaders Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event, from Wednesday to Thursday, was organized by Mosaix Global Network along with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for the Development of Evangelical Leadership in Charlotte.

In addition to discussion on strategic partnerships to establish 1,000 multi-ethnic churches within the next decade, attendees also discussed how to facilitate the process of 20 percent of the churches in North America, having 20 percent racial diversity by 2020.

. . .

The Mosaix website underscores that “according to research, more than 86 percent of all churches in the United States are segregated, with more than 80 percent of their membership representing a single race or ethnic group.”

So are they telling the black churches I’ve visited that they are racist for having nearly 100% black members?  Do they propose quotas?  Do they not see that some cultures prefer to worship in different ways?  Do they not see that most people like to worship close to home, which typically means a more homogeneous congregation?

They seem to ignore worship preferences.  For example, I’m not a hand-waver in church.  If I did that it wouldn’t be sincere.  But if other cultures can do that with sincerity I wouldn’t want to them to change on my account.  I’m pretty liberal that way.

I hope these churches focus on sharing the real Gospel with anyone who will listen and let God sort out who worships in what building.  Of course we should welcome anyone with a sincere interest in following Jesus, but all you need for that is the Gospel.

5 thoughts on “I love to see churches that end up multi-ethnic, but not those that aim at it”

  1. Yeah, our church has people of different ethnicities, but we don’t really think about it most of the time. We just treat all people as people. It seems so weird to think of trying to have certain percentages of different ethnicities. Anytime you start trying to have certain skin colors or backgrounds, you’re treating one group as more important than another. Let’s just all be color-blind and follow Jesus together.


  2. The mind is an idol factory, so I’ve heard it said. One of the idols of this age is an idea called diversity. I’m with you. Diversity is fine. But seeking diversity is like worshiping at the high places of the old testament. And the tell tale sign that it is an idol straight from the bowls of liberalism is the double standard that has no problem with all black churches, but considers all white churches as proof of racism.


  3. You said “I love to see churches that end up multi-ethnic, but not those that aim at it”
    Wow that captures exactly how I feel and think about ministry!


  4. I wish we could eliminate some of those terms from our vocabulary.
    Last Thanksgiving my wife and I stopped at a gas station in a little town about 10 miles from our house. There was a young lady there trying to get home for Thanksgiving and her car had died. I went out with the station owner and a teenager who works for him to see if we could fix the car. We checked it out pretty carefully and finally established that she had filled it with diesel fuel (it was a gas car) at a station up the road.
    We had noticed people passing on the state highway slowing down to look. Later a passerby explained what they saw. An elderly farmer (me), an Indonesian man (owner), and a teenage boy working on a car for a young Asian woman. That never occurred to any of us, and I think that is the way it should be. I am glad I live in a community where we don’t even think about that.


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