We hear many questions about diversity these days. Today I would like to discuss three: the “what, why and how.”
The What: We have to teach God’s Word and what the Word says about creation, redemption, adoption and revelation.
The Why: The kingdom of God is diverse. We see it in all creation. (Gen. 1:27). All people groups are made to reflect God’s glory. In addition, we all are created in need of God’s saving grace regardless of our demographics. God doesn’t discriminate about who He will save based on the color of our skin. Our mission is multiethnic. Also, we are adopted children of God and fellow heirs with Christ. He foreknew us, and He predestined us to be His children. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. Our interactions with other people will radically change if we take that notion seriously. The Book of Revelation records every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping together around the throne of grace. God didn’t have to include us in His plan. We pursue it because Scripture states, embraces and advocates for people born again into a new family for a holy and good God. He commands us to love our enemies without the expectation of return. When we love one another, we know we are His disciples (John 13:35). Our love matters. We need to be churches that know how to love when it’s hard, especially when it’s people who do not look like us.
- Evaluate your leadership teams. Look to where you can add diversity, not solely for the sake of it, but also for the benefit for the body.
- Learn how to celebrate our differences and resist the notion of being colorblind. Let’s celebrate what God has created while acknowledging the beauty of our differences.
- Preach the Imago Dei. God created each and one of us to worship Him.
- Show hospitality. Express our love for others especially strangers. ‘Hospitality’ derives from the Greek words philos, which means “friend,” and xenos, which means “stranger.” To do that, our hearts must be transformed and repent where we haven’t. (1 John)
- Teach leaders to repent.
- Gain knowledge.
- Resist apathy. It’s easy for people to think that because of the century in which we live, times have changed.
- Pray for unity. Ask God to help us reach the nation, evaluate our hearts and take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Adapted from the Church Planting Masterclass, which provides training and development for kingdom-minded leaders and churches in this Great Commission work. Understand your church’s role and get practical help reaching the nations with the gospel, one church at a time. Click to start the Church Planting Masterclass.
Published October 5, 2022