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Thinking Through the Multicultural Church

Posted on | December 6, 2013 | No Comments

Just because your church looks diverse doesn’t mean it is diverse.

I recently returned from Mosaix' 2nd National Multi-ethnic Church Conference in Long Beach, California I was struck by a few things about the conference that I thought were worth sharing.

Probably the main "news" (as in the newspaper kind of news) out of that conference was Thom Rainer's apology for LifeWay's stereotyping in LifeWay's Vacation Bible School curriculum ten years ago. However, as you can imagine, there was so much more that took place at the conference. As such, I thought I would share a few of my own observations about multicultural church.

My first church was a multicultural (or as some say, multi-ethnic) church, though we were not thinking in those categories. We just reached our poor neighborhood.

My church today would not fit the standard definition of multicultural. It's not because that's not the desire for us to be so. But more, it is impacted by the location where we meet (Hendersonville is 93% Anglo). However, having just recently opened a campus in Gallatin, which is substantially more diverse than Hendersonville, we are excited about the opportunity to seek to become a more multicultural church.

With that in mind, there are four things from the conference that I will keep in mind as we move ahead.

First, just because your church looks diverse doesn't mean it is diverse.

One of the things I have said is that often pastors who say they have multiCULTURAL churches really have multiRACIAL churches. Both are good, but being multicultural is much harder than being multiracial.

You can be multiracial if you simply have "persons of color" who attend your church. They may work in the same places, go to the same movies, eat in the same restaurants, …

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