Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Church Diversity: Look ma, I finished another book
I have made an effort to read more this year. I have read books by some of my favorite fiction authors. Robert Crais and Michael Connelly being the two I like most. I have also tried to read books with a little more lasting significance. They have included books by Christian authors. I try not to get too deep. Lord knows how many times I have tried to read books by CS Lewis.
I have visited a blog by Scott Williams. Up until recently, he was a campus pastor for that Juggernaut of a church sensation, Church.tv. He wrote a book about his passion. It is something he has lived with, been through, enjoyed and suffered through all his Christian life. Church diversity. In fact, that's the name of the book, Church Diversity. Following are some thoughts I had while reading the book and later digesting what I read.
Right off the bat, the premise is set. A quote that he attributes to Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday morning at 11:00 AM is still the most segregated hour of the week. I am sure after reading that line, many people either said, right on brother or "hey, any one want to buy a slightly used book?" I read on.
First off, I love Mr. Williams' passion. I wish I felt so strongly about something that it would influence and obsess me throughout all the jobs I had in my life. From what he writes, he never relented in his thoughts that the church somehow needed continual injections of diversity.
Second, he knew how to present his views. He tells of the many people in leadership positions he presented his ideas to. He tells of how some of those leaders got on board and have encouraged and promoted his views within their churches and corporations.
Thirdly, I do not think he will stop fighting his fight. He believes strongly that God has given this mantra to him and he has got on the horse of diversity and will not stop riding it until every one in every church joins him in his quest. Again, I honor him for taking his passion and making it is life long witness.
I would recommend this book for anyone who has gone to church, any one who lives in a community that is a mixed racial population, any one who lives in an area that is more than 90% of one ethnic group or any one in leadership in a church or companiy.
My personal feelings on this book. I couldnt help but feel as if I was being lectured and chastised for choosing to attend a church that is predominatly attended by one particular ethnic group.
His decision to make Church Diversity a race issue and the way he lets the reader know they are wrong if they disagree did not set well with me. I think Church Diversity has to do with race, worship styles, preaching styles, financial status, location of the church and a lot more factors. Racial diversity is important. But it is not the biggest road block for churches who proudly claim Matthew 28:19 as their key verse.
I have a set way I think church should be done. But it would be foolish if I set it out there that everyone else was wrong if they didnt agree with me.
Church Diversity is one of the paddles in the canoe we call church. If all the paddles are a certain color in the canoe I am in, then that is church Preference, not segregation. I hope Scott Williams never stops preaching his message. I hope he will understand if I prefer to fight a different battle.
Posted by Yarmouth House at 1:58 PM