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Multiethnicing a church…

I think I’ll start highlighting some slightly ‘out-there’ ideas I’ve been pondering over the next couple weeks. Here’s one.

I’ve spent the bulk of my church-life in ethnic churches. I’m a firm believer in the ethnic church and it’s role critical role in developing community, evangelism, identity, perspectives, etc. However, like many others in my generation, we struggle with also being a multi-ethnic church in a multi-ethnic culture.

While there is undoubtedly incredible diversity even within an ethnic community, there’s something indescribably beautiful about entering a community where the diversity is almost blatant.

Many of us have been there before, where we’ve invited, or wanted to invite a friend from a different, only to find that the whole ‘race-thing’ can become just one more barrier to Christ.

So the big question is how on earth do you transition a church that’s mono-ethnic into a multi-ethnic church?

Here’s one simple idea I’ve been bouncing around…

We declare a month where everyone commits to bringing someone who’s not like themselves.

This way no one feels awkward, no one knows it’s an ethnic church

In a month’s time you’re a completely different church!

What do you think?  Too radical?  Too naive?  I know there are other factors and issues such as multiethnic staffing/leadership, integration, etc.  I’d love to know what people think.

(I know multiculturalism is the even bigger issue, but one thing at a time folks…)

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Brandon Donaldson November 5, 2007, 11:31 am

    This is such a great question. I think any purposeful direction toward this initiative is positive. Probably the best shot of creating a truly diverse crowd would be at the planting stage with ethnically diverse leadership, who were on the same page and passion.
    When we attended Mosaic in LA, it was the first time I had been a part of a truly diverse community. There seemed to be such a great mix of different ethnicities.
    We long for that for our family and our kids. We want our kids to see and experience the beauty and diversity of people. It has been a bigger challenge for us to find here in Oklahoma, US :).

  • Lon November 6, 2007, 12:52 am

    I’m absolutely with you on having a diverse leadership team, especially if you’re planting, but also as you progress as any church. Leadership make-up says a lot to a congregation and to a new comer.

    As diverse and wonderful as other communities may be… I also think we’ve got to love the people God’s given to us. but I hear you on the struggle… Toronto’s as diverse as it gets, so it’s odd when we have so many mono-ethnic churches in the city!

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