For the pastors and church planters asking, “How can I grow a multicultural church?” The answer is simple: live in a multicultural and diverse community. Why should you want to grow a multicultural church? The answer to that is also simple: being multicultural is a Gospel commitment. I believe that God has called us to bring the Gospel to all people in all places. It starts with local churches in diverse communities.
I’m talking about living somewhere that is diverse on many levels: ethnically, generationally, socio-economically, religiously, etc., and having a church that is reflective of that. This is a commitment to the great commission and to Acts 1:8, where Jesus commands his apostles to take the gospel to all peoples and nations.
It’s a commitment to the vision God gave to Peter that the gospel wasn’t just for the Jew, but for the Gentile as well. You remember the one with the unclean animals on the sheet that God had to show him three times? (Acts 10) The notion that salvation was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews was a hard pill to swallow for many of Jesus’ first followers. They were all Jewish and they were used to separating themselves from the Gentiles. God had to make it abundantly clear to them that he doesn’t want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Paul drove the point home when he wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28-29) It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, what language you speak, how old you are or how much money you have. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and God raised him from the dead so that all who repent and believe in him can recover and pursue God’s design. This is the message of the gospel and this is the message of Family Church.
Being committed to the gospel is being committed to being a multicultural church. Jesus’ heart was for all people, and so is ours.
Watch for Part 2, Multicultural Church: A Local Imperative