Creating a Diverse Community
Part Four: Our Power
by Eric Bryant
In our society, the majority culture has power, and the one with the most votes wins. Therefore, when we serve as leaders of the majority culture, we have the responsibility and privilege to make the necessary changes for inclusion. We need to include men and women from diverse backgrounds in our worship bands, on our dance teams, and in our leadership. Sacrificing our power is difficult yet essential in order to move our community towards diversity.
Paul left his buddy Titus in Crete and gave him the responsibility of appointing spiritual leaders for the young church. This cross-cultural challenge seemed like a daunting task. Who among the Cretans could possibly serve as an elder? “Even one of their own prophets has said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons’” (Titus 1:12). To accomplish his task, Titus invested in the lives of the Cretans in order to turn a few lying and evil gluttons into leaders.
It is not enough for us to allow people from a diverse background to attend our services. To become a diverse community, we need to raise up diverse leaders. We must be willing to give up some of our preferences without ever conceding our core values and our mission.
Becoming a diverse community is an urgent and critical need because the future world includes a diverse people. Not only do we live among different cultures, we live among people who are bi-cultural or tri-cultural. If we do not make the sacrifices necessary to become diverse, we are communicating to the diverse person that the church is not here for them. To reach a diverse person, we need to reach the entire world.
Sacrificing our mission, relationships, and power will enable us to become the diverse community we long to become. As we connect to Christ’s mission, we will be able to reach further than we could have imagined as we develop friendships and raise up leaders among those we are seeking to reach. Our world is too diverse. People are too diverse. Remaining homogenous cannot be an option. When we are unwilling to include other ethnicities and other backgrounds we are communicating that the Gospel is exclusive. The Gospel is inclusive. Jesus loves the world. Jesus loves the sinner. Jesus even loves us. We need to create diverse communities, for that is our mission.