Seeking to raise awareness of the need to create a church where those from different ethnic backgrounds are enabled to feel welcome.
The affirmation of ethnic diversity can give the individual believer and the local congregation a sense of cohesion and belonging. Yet, if ethnicity becomes a primary criterion defining identity, we risk marginalising ethnic minorities. This twin principles of unity and diversity affect four contexts: the individual Christian, the local congregation, the global church and the church in society. In each case, the celebration of both the unity of how being in Christ sees ethnic differences disappear and the diversity that emerges in understanding and respecting ethnic differences amongst believers (ref http://www.jubilee-centre.org/unity-and-diversity-the-church-race-and-ethnicity-by-sujit-sivasundaram/ ).
Christ envisions a multi-ethnic church (John 17:20-23), Luke describes such a church in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1ff), and Paul prescribes unity and diversity for the local church in his epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2). In other words, looking closely at God’s Word — from Genesis to Revelation — we discover “a very precise theology upon which the multi-ethnic/economically diverse local church should be built, a biblical mandate that cannot be ignored.” (ref https://lcef.org/diversity-inclusion-church/ ).
Resources for Ethnic Inclusivity
- Preaching with Cultural Intelligence – podcast – https://influencemagazine.com/practice/preaching-with-cultural-intelligence
- Unity and diversity: the church, race and ethnicity http://www.jubilee-centre.org/unity-and-diversity-the-church-race-and-ethnicity-by-sujit-sivasundaram/
- Multicultural Vision in Christian Mission https://www.baptist.org.nz/uploads/PDFs/Intranet/Ethnic/Multiculturalism2000.pdf
- 7 Habits of Cross-Cultural Experts https://www.baptist.org.nz/uploads/PDFs/Intranet/Ethnic/7%20Habits%20of%20Cross%20Cultural%20experts.pdf
- Engaging your church for diversity and inclusion https://cbfblog.com/2016/07/13/engaging-your-church-for-diversity-and-inclusion-an-assembly-workshop-reflection/
- 6 Ways the Bible Changed My Perspective on Ethnic Diversity https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/6-ways-bible-changed-perspective-ethnic-diversity/
- From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race by J. Daniel Hays