Monday, May 2, 2011

Church Diversity by Scott Williams

How diverse is your world?  Your sphere of friends?

For those who attend church---how diverse is your church?

Does everyone there look like you?  Does that make you comfortable?  Have you ever even given it any thought?

In reading Scott Williams' book Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week, I cannot help but give thought to the topic.

You think you know yourself.  You think you've come so far from where others are.

I did...

...Until I read this book.

Scott (or @ScottWilliams as he is know on Twitter) really forces us as readers to take a deep, honest look at how we view diversity and lack of diversity---specifically in our churches.  He brings us to a place of honesty and realization that is even uncomfortable at times, I must admit.  But this place to which he pulls us is a necessary place in a pivotal time.

As Scott states, "It's become the 'new normal' for sporting events, concerts, and other arenas to be filled with worshiping fans of all races, holding hands, cheering, yelling, shouting, and worshiping together.  Unfortunately, that is not the 'new normal' in God's House---the local church."

What do we do about this conundrum?

"We have all been empowered by God to leave our little piece of the world different than when we found it.  There is a responsibility to change, to have tough conversations, to make tough decisions, and to move past the Nobel Peace Prize-winning platitudes of 'hope' and 'change.'  We cannot just talk about the change, but instead we much be the change." - Scott Williams

Because we are one body in Christ and share one faith as believers, His church---His body---is to reflect that.  Not only is it/are we to reflect that oneness, but we are also to be constantly reaching out to "all the world" not just the people and parts of the world that are most like us and most comfortable to us.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  - Galatians 3:26-28
So, now, do you think this Church Diversity thing is a big deal?

It should be.

If you take on the heavy challenge of diving into Scott's book, be prepared to be uncomfortable with yourself and your world around you.  And be prepared to be challenged and inspired all at the same time.

Oh, and fasten your seat belt and hold on tight!  It's a bumpy ride, but somebody's gotta do it!

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

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