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If you create to Select enough sections about this legend, click Thank our contemporary catalog day or be our security security. In planting a church you begin from scratch and therefore, can clearly articulate the vision for each and everyone who comes right from the start. And of course, you don't have to deal with transformational issues such as established DNA that has to be re-encoded, individuals who did not sign-up specifically for the journey, or existing staff who may or may not get it, etc. Nevertheless in a transformational situation, infrastructure is already well-established: there are people, programs and facilities that can instantly be reconfigured to promote and establish the new direction.

And if you are one who has planted a church before, you know the struggle to find good people, solidify leaders and obtain the necessary resources not only to survive, but more importantly to thrive in the years ahead. On the other hand, they may be the very ones holding it back! So, pick your poison! Beyond that, it speaks to attracting diverse individuals to the church. So let me address both concerns. Yet how can this be done in a church-planting situation? In our case, those of us who first came on staff raised money like missionaries. By so doing, we were not only able to empower diverse leadership immediately, but also to devote ourselves fully to chasing the dream without wondering where our next meal would come from!

Indeed when planting, there are few other ways to so quickly build or diversify a vocational staff team. This also allowed us to open the church with a visible display of our intentions, which in turn helped us to more quickly attract diverse members to the church. Overtime, then, the offerings grew and we were able to capture the salaries through a budgeting process. However, some who are currently on our staff — including me — still generate a portion of their compensation from outside the church. This enables us to stretch the internal dollars even farther.

The other thing to keep in mind is that not everyone functioning in a position of leadership, responsibility and authority must or should be paid.

Crossing the Ethnic Divide : Kathleen Garces-Foley :

And you will limit the development of your multi-ethnic efforts if you do not empower the laity, as well. Of course Paul spent time in bi-vocational service and likewise, we empower a number of people to serve in high levels of leadership at Mosaic — including as members of our staff — who are not paid a dime. In such ways, then, you can diversify both your leadership team and your congregation right from the very start. Interestingly, we have chosen from the very beginning not to advertise the church as you might otherwise expect, but rather to allow it to grow through word of mouth.

When we have advertised, we have done so almost entirely by reaching out evangelistically through Latino and Asian publications in our city. I think this has helped us to grow diverse in a way that has not been otherwise forced. It has forced us to depend on God to make the dream come true in His way and in His time. I can't underemphasize it enough!


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Basically, credibility begins and ends in what is modeled from the top. If diverse leaders cannot walk, work and worship God together as one, there is little hope that a diverse congregation will be able to either. Well I see them as on their way, yet having some way to go in truly becoming a multi-ethnic church for the sake of the gospel.

Indeed, I encourage them to press on to maturity in this regard. For reasons I have previously discussed, empowering diverse leadership is the third core commitment of building a healthy multi-ethnic church. Begin by inquiring as to what churches in your city — different from you in race or class - share a similar theology, vision, mission, values and passion for Christ. Secondly, contact the pastor or existing leader and arrange a to meet them, preferably over a meal.

When you first meet them, greet them with humility and respect. At some point, then, share your heart and vision for developing a multi-ethnic church. Invite their thoughts and more importantly their blessing. Assuming you connect, ask them to consider their own contacts and recommend others for you to call. In such a way, you will begin to find your way to diverse men and women of peace who share your heart and vision for the church, as well as your theology.

In fact, this is how we found Steven Weathers African American who is currently one of the teaching pastors at Mosaic. Of course, you can also reach out to those you know and trust across the country asking them to connect you with diverse others they know and trust. In so doing, you can expect to find your way to potential candidates. Keep in mind, however, that even if no potential candidates come from such inquiries, it is equally important for you to begin and later build upon new relationships you initiate with diverse leaders in your city or throughout the country that you contact.

In the early days, I think I unintentionally offended people by casting the vision in a way that may have been seen by some as condemning of other congregations that weren't doing it the way we were, or understanding it the way we did, etc. I mean beyond the great commission Matthew , 20 , we have also been instructed to care for orphans and widows James , to do justice and love kindness Micah and to recognize the sanctity of life Psalm , etc.

In other words, the intrinsic desire of a healthy multi-ethnic church, its very motivation, is to see people come to know Christ in a personal way. May I also reiterate that I do not believe a healthy multi-ethnic church should be focused on racial-reconciliation, but rather on reconciling men and women to God through faith in Jesus Christ and on reconciling individuals collectively to the principles and the patterns of the New Testament local church.

If we make these two works of reconciliation our priority, we can expect that many wonderful blessings will follow including such things as racial reconciliation and community transformation. How do you deal with this issue? As a pastor, you are under no legal obligation to ask or to know whether or not those you serve have legal status in this country. Since the church is known for being on the "offensive" on racial issues, Bryson said it has been able to hold forums on issues such as the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases.

He says even with racial flare-ups around the country, his church has been able to continue the conversation about race in a way that is growing relationships. King said 60 years ago that on Sunday morning was the most segregated hour in America. We thought we could help change that. God created every combination of people, so I like to say if people don't like a diverse church, they're gonna hate heaven.

First Baptist Church of Orlando never set out to be a culturally diverse church, though roughly 45 percent of attendees at the 19,member church is part of an ethnic minority group. The mission was to reach this city. It just happens that [the] city was diverse. Indeed, in the last 15 years, the Central Florida city has seen a growing number of residents from Haiti, Brazil and Puerto Rico. As a result, First Baptist now translates its English services into Spanish and Portuguese, has small groups for specific languages, including Russian and Mandarin, and hosts worship services in Creole and Portuguese, with tentative plans for Spanish and Arabic services.

But church leaders say they didn't necessarily pursue those ministry opportunities. In some cases, an individual offered to translate worship services into a particular language. In other cases, members asked for a language-specific small group. In every case, the church had a ready response. De Armas, who is of Cuban descent, notes that sometimes hearing the gospel in one's "heart language" can make the message clearer.

But church leaders are eager to build unity in the midst of their diversity, which is why language-specific events are never held at the same time as the church's main worship services. For First Baptist, building unity amid diversity also means being intentional about including the language ministries in every part of the church. The language ministry staff is part of the larger church staff, and they manage budgets, just like the church's other ministries do. Members of the language ministries serve as deacons and leaders in the church. In the English worship services, choruses are sometimes sung in Spanish or Portuguese.


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Uth believes there is a beauty in seeing people from diverse cultures come together in worship because the church begins to look more like heaven. But he doesn't chide churches that are not densely diverse. Not every church exists in a community with as much diversity as Orlando, but he believes every church should reflect its community.

Although First Baptist is large, de Armas says a church's size doesn't have to determine its commitment to diversity. He says he's seen smaller churches that are doing even more to reach their diverse communities and larger churches that are doing very little.

Crossing Cultural Boundaries for Christ

Uth says pastors must first desire to become culturally diverse. Then they must lead by example and teach their way through change, emphasizing what the Bible says about diversity, such as the fact that God doesn't have favorites.

Reflections on the LCMS Youth Gathering

While First Baptist is aggressive in its efforts to meet the needs of its changing community, de Armas says the church still has a lot to learn. He knows there are times when ethnic minorities visit the church and don't have the experience church leadership would like them to have. Pioneered by Bill and Sandy Scheer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they "believed God for diversity because at that time, the church at large was not diverse. So we want to be good at reaching the unchurched.

We want to affirm the unloved, those who would usually be uncomfortable in church. When the church started, we initially attracted the biker community and those that would be considered 'alternative. Every June, Guts Church hosts a Motorcycle Rally that reaches two communities: the local biker community and a community of orphans on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. The proceeds are used to feed children and drill water wells in Haiti.

Pastor Bill has given his life to the local church, a place that has sometimes been difficult for people. I'm constantly preaching to our staff and leaders that we have to be ahead of the game, we need to be out front—with honor, value, dignity. Those three words inform the way Bill pastors. He takes his message to men, challenging them to display those characteristics, asking them difficult, pointed questions. These three words also color the way he views racism. Although racial tension does exist, he has made a choice not to feed the issue. If we make it an issue, it then becomes an issue," he says.

If we honor people, they're going to line up to the door to get in. People have to be able to connect with who is on stage. The war's already been won. We're not going back to France to fight the Germans because the war is over. That's what a lot of this is. The tension we see today is frustration. He stressed that a right relationship with God helps people deal with their frustration because He provides the kind of hope that won't disappoint.

They have developed an unconventional way to reach the kids in their community every October. It's called "Nightmare," and it reaches thousands in their community with message of Jesus. Guts Church also reaches families through a weekly grocery giveaway, a monthly men's lunch and a weekly Hispanic church service. With an emphasis on growth with steady, consistent growth for 23 years , there is also a foundation of grace. Kevin Butcher has a rich heritage of connecting across the so-called "racial divide" in America, but the Hope Community Church pastor didn't know that part of his family history until his seminary days.

Taking a course on Pentecostal history, Butcher kept seeing his grandfather's name, David Wesley Myland, come up in all of his textbooks.

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Myland—principal Bible teacher and mentor of J. Butcher, who is writing Love Will Bring You Home , a NavPress book on how the love of God restores us, believes that the passion of his grandparents for a diverse church was birthed somewhere deep in his spirit. His congregation, Hope Community Church HCC , is located in "a very tough, largely impoverished, crime-ridden, drug-infested area of Detroit's east side, a neighborhood that happens to be 95 percent African-American," says Butcher, who also pointed out that the church building sits about six blocks south of a gateway into an increasingly affluent and increasingly Caucasian group of suburban neighborhoods called the Grosse Pointes.

In fact, we feel that if we do not live out the gospel in that way, we are literally spitting on the cross of our Jesus. The church's ministry staff also features significant variety in race and ethnicity, from African-American to Albanian to Native American and more.

More than church programming and outreach strategies, the love of Christ is the driving force that is foundational to Butcher's ministry. Without that love, and the healing of wounds that comes with it, a congregation can get "stuck" in repeat mode. Without that love, we get frustrated, feel misunderstood, unheard and disrespected—and bolt. With that love that bonds us together in a common identity—brothers and sisters in Jesus 'Christ is all and in all,' Col. Butcher believes the church is truly the church when the body has an "intentional, loving space created for all people," he says.

In fact, we will not settle for anything less. Although Las Vegas is famous for a number of reasons, many do not know that it is home to the highest concentration of megachurches in America. This unique assembly is certainly newsworthy for its size and location, but it is also known for its intentional approach to diversity. ICLV celebrates the blending of the many cultures and nationalities that make up its congregation, and the evidence of this is everywhere. At Summerlin, their main campus one of four , the flags of more than 30 nations are suspended from the ceiling, representing the native countries of members of the church.

It wasn't this way when Pastors Paul and Denise Goulet arrived with their family in Then the congregation was mostly white. We really made this a huge issue, and when it happened, we started celebrating. Worship services and even small groups are provided in several languages, including French, Spanish and Greek. Sunday services are translated, and headphones and special listening equipment are provided. Those who livestream church services on the Internet have the option of choosing an English, French or Spanish language broadcast.

Each week, Goulet offers a simple greeting to Spanish- and French-speaking congregants in their own languages. On occasion, the church has welcomed guest speakers who will use someone to translate the message. One way this is done is by establishing congregations in different parts of the city. Along with the Summerlin location, Prayer Mountain and South Gate campuses are situated in mostly middle-class and upper middle-class residential communities.

The church's Dream Center location targets the specific needs commonly associated with the inner city. Nearly 10, members come together to worship at either one of the ICLV campuses, or by way of its online portal. Like the congregation, the church staff and the pastoral team reflect a wide range of nationalities and cultures—African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Greeks, Hawaiians, French Canadians and Ethiopians. The church's worship music traditional gospel songs and modern choruses reflects the congregation's different cultural and ethnic styles and influences.

As for ICLV's Web presence, Haines acknowledges that every component is "intentionally diverse to reflect the type of congregation we have—old, young and different ethnicities. Pastor Goulet says it's the preaching of the Good News of Jesus that draws people. However, cultivating a cohesive spiritual family requires an added element. He imagines heaven with people of different colors, languages and backgrounds, and he labors to make this a reality at ICLV. In the same way, he sees a different future emerging for his city than the one many are promoting. Many in urban neighborhoods feel the alienation, which we try to tear down with our on-site presence and ministries.


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Kings started crossing the cultural gap between the college campus and Durham's housing projects by establishing an inner-city learning center in the early s. That eventually swelled its numbers, led to countless conversions, and prompted the building of a 2,seat sanctuary in the area. Today the 1, people who attend each week are an ethnic stew of approximately 80 ethnicities. They largely divide into 40 percent white, 40 percent African-American, and 20 percent Asian or Hispanic.

Although it's not always easy, building diverse congregations is certainly rewarding and we'd have it no other way. In addition to the learning center, Lewis says the church sought to cross racial barriers by sponsoring listening sessions where Caucasian ministers could hear from people of color and minority groups. Despite the passage of time, they learned that many in the African-American community still carried pain from the Civil Rights era. While many of the younger people lived in a new world, their parents and grandparents did not; Lewis says many hearts and minds changed as a result of these sessions.

After listening to residents' concerns, the church developed a multiethnic leadership team to help maintain a unity of vision and purpose. This reality is reflected from the platform during its worship services, with both singers and pastors coming from various backgrounds. This multicultural shift included broadening worship styles. At King's, music specials can range from classical piano to urban Christian hip hop to Full Gospel.

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The unusual repertoire has featured African-American gospel singers performing in Italian and Chinese singers rapping. The latter come from the Chinese Mandarin-speaking congregation that meets at the same time on Sunday morning, an hour before a Spanish-speaking service meets in another location. This commitment to diversity extends to neighboring campuses—the church supports full-time pastors at Duke University and historically-black North Carolina Central University.