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February 19, 2020

Creating Healthy, Multi-ethnic, Economically Diverse Churches

By New Churches Team

The New Testament Church

Mark DeYmaz began working for a church when he graduated college. This led to an 18-year career in student ministry in all white churches. In the late 1990s, DeYmaz moved to Little Rock, and it dawned on him that the only people of color in an otherwise amazing church were janitors. He began to search the New Testament and came to realize that every church in the New Testament was a healthy, multi-ethnic, economically-diverse church. Once he began to understand the theology of the multi-ethnic church, he left the white evangelical megachurch he was serving to come to the inner city of Little Rock. He had a big dream. Could diverse men and women actually worship God together as one?

Diverse Leadership

From the beginning of the church plant, DeYmaz didn’t want to start the church as a white man telling the people of minority to join him in his vision. He asked two African American men to plant the church with him. Their launch included African American, white, and Hispanic people. DeYmaz became a co-founder of the church with one of the African American men. They also practice team-based management. Each person occupies a role based on their gifting, but there’s no boss or hierarchy. The church is not led by any one person. They collectively lead the church together. They currently have four teaching pastors of different ethnicities that rotate to teach and essentially an African American, white, Asian, and Hispanic will each teach once a month.

The Three-Legged Stool

DeYmaz believes that the future for healthy, multi-ethnic, economically-diverse churches starts with a special structure similar to a three-legged stool. Similar to American football, which involves each team having an offense, defense, and special teams, in which each focuses on their specialty but equally support each other to lead to success, the church must develop a team of teams mentality. The first leg that DeYmaz suggests is what most church planting is currently focused on – the spiritual leg. In the spiritual leg, we evangelize, disciple, grow small groups, create programs for kids, and so forth. This leg is typically led by a senior pastor and funded by tithes and offerings. The second and third legs would be additions to the typical church structure that can support the church in light of the trend of declining tithes and offerings.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.

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