Home > Blog > An Unprecedented Opportunity

October 22, 2016

An Unprecedented Opportunity

By Mark DeYmaz

Never in my lifetime have the people of this country been so at odds with one another. Sure there have been challenges, obstacles, and disagreements in the past. But they were usually limited to one or two issues at a time. Today, however, no matter where you turn, people are bowed up, choosing sides, and vilifying those that disagree with them on matters of race, class, culture, gender, religion, politics, and even on whether to stand, sit, or kneel during the playing of our national anthem. Thanks to social media, the battles are not only ongoing but also perpetually fueled by one new video, hashtag, or meme in support of one opinion or another.

Could it be for such a time as this that God has brought us here:

  • To a place of passion and understanding?
  • To disrupt the status quo?
  • To repurpose the church to redeem the community?

Indeed, this should be the local church’s finest hour-our finest hour.

Our Finest Hour

By establishing healthy multiethnic and economically diverse communities of Christ-centered faith, we can both learn from and lead others to navigate the rough seas of division. By walking together, working together, and worshipping God together as one, we can get beyond the distinctions of this world that so often divide. In so doing, we “bring to light for everyone what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold (Gr., polypoikilos – “marked with a great variety of colors”) wisdom of God might now be made known through the church…” (Ephesians 3:10, 11) In so doing, we can shape the things to come.

That said, we should not promote or pursue such a dream because it is politically correct, but because it is biblically correct; not because of changing demographics, but for the sake of the gospel; not because it is easy, but because it is right.

A Biblical Mandate [1]

While from cover to cover God’s heart for the nations can be demonstrated in the Bible, the New Testament specifically expects the local church to reflect God’s love for all people on earth as it is in heaven:

  • Christ envisioned the multiethnic church on the night before He died (John 17:20-23)
  • Luke describes the multiethnic church at Antioch (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1)
  • Paul prescribes the multiethnic church in the book of Ephesians

Seven Core Commitments[2]

In addition to the theological underpinnings, the following seven core commitments are intrinsic to a healthy multiethnic church:

  1. Embrace Dependence
  2. Take Intentional Steps
  3. Empower Diverse Leaders
  4. Develop Cross-Cultural Relationships
  5. Pursue Cross-Cultural Competence
  6. Promote a Spirit of Inclusion
  7. Mobilize for Impact

Seven Common Challenges[3]

Seeing diverse believers walk, work, and worship God together as one is a beautiful thing. Nevertheless, there are obstacles to overcome. In fact there are at least seven common challenges encountered by pastors of multiethnic churches, including:

  1. Personal
  2. Theological
  3. Philosophical
  4. Practical
  5. Cross-cultural
  6. Relational
  7. Spiritual

National Multiethnic Church Conference

Such theology, the seven core commitments and common challenges, as well as promising practices for building healthy multiethnic churches will be fully discussed at the 3rd National Multiethnic Church Conference coming to Dallas, TX, Nov 1-3, 2016. This triennial event – organized by the Mosaix Global Network – will feature more than 1,000 pastors and ministry leaders, 80 speakers, 68 workshops, 17 tracks, and 10 main stage sessions. If you missed this conference, you can purchase the digital access pass here.

Since 2004 Mosaix has been bringing like-minded leaders together for relational connection, mutual encouragement, and peer learning. In so doing, it has driven the national conversation by challenging the Church in America with one simple question: If the kingdom of heaven is not segregated, why on earth is the local church?

Yes, by building healthy multiethnic and economically diverse churches, we (collectively) get beyond rhetoric to results for the glory of God. By taking intentional steps, empowering diverse leaders, developing cross-cultural relationships and competence, and promoting a spirit of inclusion, the local church gains credibility. By appealing to more than a single demographic, unity and diversity gives us broad influence in the community. In this way, our light so shines and Christ is lifted up so as to draw all men and women to Himself (Matthew 5:9; John 12:32).

Given the pain and polarization of people largely affected by race, class, culture, and politics, we have an unprecedented opportunity today to advance faith, peace, hope, and love in and through the local church. Indeed, this should be our finest hour. Let’s determine to make it so.

If you missed the conference and the live stream, click here to watch the first three sessions for free.

___________________________

[1] See Mark DeYmaz: Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church (Jossey-Bass/Leadership Network, 2007)

[2] Ibid.

[3] See Mark DeYmaz and Harry Li: Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church (Zondervan/Leadership Network, 2010, 2013)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark DeYmaz

Mark DeYmaz (@markdeymaz) is a recognized champion of multiethnic church planting, growth, and development, for the sake of the gospel throughout North America and beyond. He is the founding pastor of Mosaic Church in Little Rock, AR, and a co-founder of the Mosaix Global Network. His books include Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church and the recently released small group study, Multiethnic Conversations.

RECENT POSTS

view all
Mobilizing People for Mission [Part 3]

Exclusive Content


How Do You Train Volunteers?

Exclusive Content


Lessons Learned in Bi-Vocational Rural Pastoring

Exclusive Content


Rural Church Planting as a Bi-Vocational Pastor With James Pavlic [Behind-the-Scenes]
How to Get People to Join Small Groups

Exclusive Content


Preparing for Momentum

Exclusive Content


CATEGORIES