Multi-Ethnic Churches Growing: The Secret to Their Success

Craig HueyChurch, Culture, Faith, First Amendment, Social Issues2 Comments

Multi-Ethnic Churches Growing: The Secret to Their Success

Governments want unity.

Leaders struggle to create unity.

Every Christian should strive for unity in Christ:

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6)

In Ancient Times, Roman Emperor Nero could not understand how despite his ruthless, sadistic persecution of Christians, all of them were united.

But in South Carolina, Pastor Derwin Gray (former NFL star for the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers) has found the way to unity people of faith, in concert with their diverse ethnic backgrounds.

“God doesn’t want us to be color-blind. He wants us to be color-blessed.”

Here are his seven steps for bringing unity into the Body of Christ:

  1. Focus on the Gospel, not self-help. Focus on Jesus as Savior who did it all, rather than on yourself and what you need to do.
  1. Hire people of different races for key roles in church leadership.
  1. Be a good listener, and have those hard conversations to learn from another person’s point of view.
  1. Embrace diverse musical talents. For Pastor Derwin, he notes how secular artists can draw men and women from all kinds of backgrounds to one concert. That kind of unity can—and should—exist in our churches.
  1. Find leaders who reflect the Spirit of grace as well as talent. Pastor leaders should not be able to lead a great Sunday service, but lose their peace or reveal a negative character throughout the rest of the week.
  1. Tolerate, but do not dwell on criticism. Be prepared for disappointments, lack of commitment, but keep fighting for a unified church made up of diverse people.
  1. Develop a powerful prayer life. For Pastor Derwin, he draws his leadership from Ephesians 3:

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3: 16-19)

What do you think? Does the Church need to find better ways to support ethnic diversity?

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2 Comments on “Multi-Ethnic Churches Growing: The Secret to Their Success”

  1. I have actually thought about this quite a bit. I would venture to believe that a lot of Christians don’t see this as a priority, though it should be. Unfortunately, a lot of biased attitudes lie unchecked in the hearts of many. Here’s a way to check if that’s you: what would you think if all churches stopped using a picture of a white Jesus and made him look like people in the region he was from? It’s dishonest to keep using the brown haired, Caucasian Jesus and that sort of dishonesty keeps certain people from the faith. And if the thought of making that one change bothers you, please ask God to help you.

  2. You don’t think it is perhaps that people have different worship styles and that unless you do a kind of “middle of the ground” worship style – kind of like some Calvary’s (that tend to be much more diverse) – people won’t be comfortable or able to connect in worship and not want to attend. Even if I am at a church with my same ethnicity, this would be the case. I know worship is for God and it should not be about pleasing the person worshiping and people should not nitpick about having just the kind of music they like, because it is not about them. But I do think when the music is not middle of the road enough it can tend to bring in a homogeneous group.

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