The Multi-Ethnic Church Vision

Pastor Kent Reeder is at the Exponential Conference this week - April 27-30 - and will be regularly posting notes and thoughts based on the sessions and speakers in the conference. Please note that while many of the speakers at the conference are not confessional Lutherans and will, therefore, have some errant theology, the principles discussed are scriptural and godly. Pastor Kent will filter anything that isn't valuable out of these posts - you can enjoy the beneficial parts!

ADVANTAGES & CHALLENGES of planting a Multi-Ethnic Church by Ray Chang

  • Intro
    • The Challenge of diversity and division in the USA can be solved if churches will create a context for every tribe, nation, and culture.
    • Once you experience a healthy, functioning diverse culture, you realize that it has tons of value and that you wouldn’t want to live without it. May we work until the term “multi-ethnic” no longer has to be used because it is the standard.
    • The primary value and focus for us is Christ, and if he is what unites us then what divides us doesn’t really matter.
  • Planting a multi-ethnic church starts with a multi-ethnic leader.
    • The leadership, especially the pastor/planter has to have a multi-ethnic vision.
    • The leadership must constantly ask themselves: Is the church I’m in here on earth a reflection of what heaven will look like?
  • You have to state that vision.
    • Multi-ethnicity has to be part of what drives you.
  • You have to staff that vision.
    • Your leaders should be diverse.
    • Your resources should go into multi-ethnic teams.
  • You have to stage that vision.
    • That which is on the stage should reflect what you want to become.
    • The greeters, the volunteers, the whatever, must be diverse.

When planting a multi-ethnic church, you can’t afford to be ignorant of the details, because a person of any culture must be able to picture themselves thriving in your church. You have to apply your multi-ethnic goals to your vision, plans, and ministries.

Congregations that have a healthy multi-ethnic culture are very often congregations filled with people who have servant hearts. Being able to humble yourself to serve the needs of people from cultures that aren't yours is not easy, but it is Christ-like. The Gospel is for all people, Jew and Gentile, slave and free. While we would almost never deny this as true, it is harder to make this principle a central part of how we work. While we certainly appreciate the universality of salvation, it can be hard for us to live it out.

- Pastor Kent Reeder