This past Sunday in church I sat next to a young Hispanic man. As I was thinking about our differences, I looked around at the people in our church, and I saw that each one of us is like a candle. The only difference was that each candle had a different color coating on the outside.
photo by geralt – courtesy of Pixabay
Years ago, I was watching Dr. A.R. Bernard, the Pastor of the Cultural Christian Center in Brooklyn, New York, on television. He was talking about how the leadership in his church purposely went after racial, ethnic and cultural diversity. They wanted their church to be representative of the city they were living in and be a microcosm of the world in general. I liked that idea and it stuck with me. He talked about how they would purposely seek out leaders from different backgrounds to be front and center in their church. He said that if you want your church to be a certain way, you must make an effort to make it happen.
That became a dream of mine. I don’t want to go to a church that is homogeneous racially, ethnically or culturally. We need people from different backgrounds in order to understand each other and not be afraid of our differences. Each race, ethnicity and culture can add an element to our church that would otherwise be missing. I, too, want to go to a church that is a microcosm of the city and world I live in.
I looked around at my church, and thankfully, it more than represents the community we live in racially. We exceed the percentages for our city as far as ethnic diversity. Culturally, I’m not sure how we are doing. I haven’t met many people from different countries around the world. That is still a dream of mine, that God would bring them to our church.
We have many churches in our area that represent their native countries and speak their languages, i.e…Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Korean, etc. That is all well and good and I understand why people want to worship in a setting that they are familiar with and with people that speak their native languages. I’m just putting the word out, though. We need a few of them from each church to come to ours, so that we can get to know them and the gifts and insight they would bring to our body of believers.
So, if you’re new to the area, come on in. We don’t need people that look like we do or talk like we do. We need you, with your racial, ethnic and cultural differences. You will truly make our church representative of the world we live in and we will all be the better for it.