The Elusive Dream: Pursuing Racial Diversity in Predominantly White Churches

Below you will find the headings of a talk I gave for the Race and the Church Conference in Richmond, Virginia on November 19, 2016. The conference organizers explained that the conference series was committed to developing a gospel-centered framework through which we might pursue multi-ethnic and cross-cultural churches. The other presenters for the conference were Sean Lucas, Alexander Jun, Léonce Crump, Jemar Tisby, Carl Ellis, Karen Ellis and George Robertson.

Six Obstacles and Gospel Answers

1. White churches tend to read the Bible as if Christianity is fundamentally a White religion.

Christianity is fundamentally a gospel religion with hope for all sinners.

2. White churches tend to think tolerating other races in the church means there is no racism in the church.

Gospel churches celebrate the diverse multi-ethnic expanse of God’s grace.

3. White churches implicitly think of White American culture as superior to the culture of ethnic minorities.

Gospel churches are a redeemed new creation culture that reflect King Jesus and His kingdom.

4. White churches tend to think about race as a sociological/cultural issue and not a gospel issue.

Otherness, including racial otherness, is a gospel issue because the church is one new man in Christ reconciled through the cross.

5. White churches hide behind language of racial colorblindness because it ends the discussion.

Gospel churches are not colorblind, but rather delight in every tribe, tongue, and nation.

6. White churches hear about integrated churches and immediately think in terms of White leaders and ethnic minority learners.

Gospel churches love and learn from one another under the Lordship of Christ.

Racial diversity + Relational proximity + Shared gospel mission = Gospel community (the goal).

By |February 28th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

About the Author:

David E. Prince is pastor of preaching and vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky and assistant professor of Christian preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of In the Arena and Church with Jesus as the Hero. He blogs at Prince on Preaching and frequently writes for The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, For the Church, the BGEA and Preaching Today