Monday, January 22, 2007

Missional Churches - Fourth in a series

For review, here is the original article on which all of this is based.

(4) Embracing the ethnic and social diversities of local communities is becoming a moral expectation. (This is one aspect of God's voice that I believe we have heard strongly from outside the confines of the church.)

This is an area where I think we are starting to see the church respond in a positive manner. I, like many of you, live in a primarily Caucasian area. Minorities in Monroe County make up less than 10% of the population. So ethnic diversity is going to be a difficult row to hoe. But social diversity, especially economic diversity is not a difficult task.

One of the most striking things about most (not all) American churches is their homogeneity in many aspects. Race, income, and education are all stratifying agents used to create homogeneous groups. We all want a church of people like us. That is an understandable reaction. But Jesus didn't call us to people like us, other than calling us to other sinners.

The Bible makes more than 170 references to the poor. It is an issue that matters greatly to God. In the Old Testament Israel was frequently punished for not taking care of the most vulnerable in their society - poor, widows, immigrants and orphans.

Who are those people for us today. That list is a good start, add the recently downsized or let go, former prisoners, and children of single parents. If we made solid connections with those groups and welcomed them openly into our fellowship, not just allowed them into our building or service, we would reflect the Kingdom Jesus was talking about.

It's a goal, and one that God would be pleased with.


bishopman said...

Preach it, brother. Can I get a "Amen"?

I hate it when churches don't like to have "icky" people in their midst.

Rags said...

no amen's here. We aren't THAT kind of church.