This morning at the Exponential Conference, I attended a session that focused on multi-ethnic church planting. This is becoming a growing passion for me. I believe that church planting in America must embrace starting multi-ethnic churches.
In today’s session, George Yancey discussed several approaches to assessing churches and identifying the multiracial potential of your church.
Rev. Ed Lee, pastor of Mosaic Community Covenant Church in Missouri City, Texas (mosaicpeople.org), presented a very helpful comparison of a variety of approaches to being a multi-ethnic church. The reality is that not all churches that would identify themselves as “multi-ethnic” will look the same or have the same emphasis, fundamental commitments, or motivations. I would encourage you to spend some time studying this chart: Variations 2-4 are true expressions of multi-ethnic churches. You may discover that your church is a hybrid of a couple of these variations.
Mark DeYmaz, pastor of a proven multi-ethnic church in Little Rock, Arkansas (mosaicchurch.net), described a timeline of the development toward a movement of multi-ethnic churches in the United States. He identified four books that are significant in the pioneer stage of this movement:
- Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (2001) by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
- United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation As an Answer to the Problem of Race (2003) by Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Michael Emerson, George Yancey and Karen Chai Kim
- One Body, One Spirit: Principles of Successful Multiracial Churches (2003) by George Yancey
- Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church: Mandate, Commitments and Practices of a Diverse Congregation (2007) by Mark DeYmaz
He believes that this multi-ethnic church movement is “the single greatest movement in the 21st century.” I am inclined to believe him!
Executive Director of Mosaix, Jim Spoonts, then shared the vision for a Multi-Ethnic Church Movement. They are seeking to inspire unity and diversity in the local church throughout North America and beyond through casting vision, connecting, conferencing and coaching.