If You Want A Diverse Church

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

The words are those of Martin Luther King, Jr. from his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 in Washington D.C.

Today we celebrate Dr. King’s life and his contribution to our nation. His vision, courage and non-negotiable principle of non-violence made him one of the most important change-agents in American history.

Dr. King’s means and his ends were righteous and consistent with those of the kingdom of God. It is right that we honor him today.

At the same time, it’s hard to ignore that Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week. Put another way: most churches don’t look like the kingdom of God.

I’m blessed to be a member of a growing and truly diverse church. I live in a large diverse city. The diversity of my church looks like the diversity of my city. We are not a white church, a black church or an hispanic church. We are all of that and more.

Having participated in the creation and execution of my church’s strategic and growth planning, I can tell you from experience that if you want a truly diverse church there are a number of things you can do, but one is absolutely essential.

If you ignore it, it really doesn’t matter what else you do, you will not have a diverse church. It’s not difficult to do. Any pastor can do it. In fact, you can start doing it next Sunday.

The great thing is that if you do it, it will also substantially increase your chances of reaching the lost. More diversity plus more salvations and it takes absolutely no skill, no training and no experience to implement.

The secret? Stop talking about politics from the pulpit.

It’s that simple.

Apart from the fact that the left/right game is not a real solution to our country’s problems–the answer is a Gospel that changes man–speaking about politics from the pulpit will almost always offend 50% of your target audience, assuming of course your target audience is the general population.

The objection is that many pastors believe there is a right way to vote and that one’s Christianity should mandate a particular political agenda. That may be true; I’m not sure, but I am sure if you proceed down that path you will not have a diverse church.

Nor will you reach as many non-Christians with the Gospel because they will reject your politics before you ever get to the really important stuff, i.e. the Gospel.

The question to ask yourself is, “Which is more important, making Republicans/Democrats, or making disciples?”

If you choose the latter, you are one your way to having a diverse church. GS