When I saw on Twitter that @ScottWilliams was writing a book called Church Diversity: Sunday, the Most Segregated Day of the Week, I thought, “Cool! It’ll probably be a good read; but it won’t really relate to me — I’m not a racist.” I mean, the last two churches I have been a part of are diverse, after all. The church I’m in now is small (running about 50 on a Sunday morning) and there is an old black woman and her granddaughter, an Hispanic couple, and an Asian woman (married to a white guy) — we’re doing good with our minority-to-white person ratio! And then I read the book, and discovered that church diversity is more than maintaining a ratio of ethnicity in your local church body. So, what’s my dark, little secret?
Please watch the following clip and then read on.
So, about that “dark, little secret”. It didn’t really hit me until I was well into the book, and was reading a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the letter, he speaks to the racist heritage of the Assemblies of God… Bum, bum, bum! That was it. I have been raised Assemblies, and am ordained Assemblies! OH, SNAP! I represent a racist heritage! Great…
The truth is, if you were raised in the United States of America, chances are you have a connection to some sort of racism or segregation. And an even sadder truth (is “sadder” even a word?) is that as Christians in America, we are still seeing it happen week in and week out.
- When you go to church, do you see a church staff that represents the different races, classes, and ethnicities that are present in your community?
- Are there evident attempts by your family, church, or social group that clearly states “Everyone Welcome“?
If the answer is “No”, then this book is a must read (even if it is “Yes”, still read it). It will rock your world, and cause you to view diversity in the church not just as a cool idea, but as a must. After all, Jesus, in the Great Commission, says to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19), not just the ones that look like us.
Learning to love like Christ — which is inclusive…