I just read this on page 120 of Francis Chan’s new book, ‘Erasing Hell.’ It really jumped out at me because I do think it is one of the major flaws in the present day church.
Why is it that only 5.5 percent of American evangelical churches could be considered multiethnic (where no single ethnicity makes up more than 80 percent of its congregants)? Why is that? Five and a half percent! And we’re supposed to be living in the melting pot, the place where hundreds of languages and colors often live within a few miles – or feet – of each other. What’s so sad about this is that many people outside the church are far less racially divided. Consider the military, our places of work, or athletics. Yet there are three places where racial division still persists: bars, prisons, and the American evangelical church.
He’s right on, and it’s something I’ve been struggling with for years – but especially now that I’m in a larger church that has a larger staff than most churches in America (the vast majority of churches are small enough to only hire one pastor, possibly two). We have the ability to have our pastoral staff reflect the diversity of the world around us – and I think it would be incredibly empowering for the young people growing up in our body to be surrounded by.
One of my regrets in my earlier years of ministry is that I graduated a lot of guys that headed off to ministry … but almost no girls. My assumption is that a part of that is they grew up in churches where only men could be full time, paid ministry leaders, so it just never occurred to them as a possibility. For me, I see a lot of parallels when it comes to diversity.
Anyway, just a few thoughts rattling around in my brain while I’m reading at the beach!