Many well-meaning Christians, in sincere efforts to live lives more pleasing to God, seek to create so-called “multi-cultural” churches and ministries by seeking to make them multi-racial.
This is a valiant effort, to say the least. God has a desire see all the nations worship Him, that every nation, tribe, tongue, and people bring glory to Him alone.
But is a multi-racial church truly diverse? I would venture to say no, especially in America. In a country where people are mobile and have freedom of where to go, they decide to attend such a church. Thus it creates an environment where people want to be with others of different cultures. A single culture emerges: people who want to be with others of different races.
A voluntary grouping will always have a prevailing culture. It will always contain people who are similar in at least one way. The whole concept of groupings relies on that. People come together for a common purpose. It’s not truly diverse.
A basket full of apples, oranges, pears, grapes, and peaches is still a basket full of fruit.
Many of the multi-ethnic churches I see are very multi-ethnic. Often enough, they are made up of mostly young singles–college students and recent grads. Or mostly educated, white-collar individuals. Somehow their groups are “diverse” while mine isn’t. I have no qualms about these homogeneous groupings. Yet many of them have belittled my homogeneous grouping.
It’s easy to spot a church that is predominantly one ethnicity because of the way they look. In America we’ve conditioned ourselves to spot racial differences. But what about differences in age, socioeconomic status, political leanings?
I believe that there is a very prominent place for homogeneous groupings in God’s kingdom. In fact, the universal church is a heterogeneous group made up of many homogenous groups for one homogeneous purpose: to glorify God.
Ethnic diversity has become an ends for many because it’s politically correct. America has been the place of civil rights movements and affirmative action. This thinking is what makes many look down upon ethnic-specific ministries. Yet the same people would have no problem with age-specific or gender-specific groups. Men’s groups glorify God. Churches made up of primarily college students glorify God. Ethnic-specific ministries glorify God.