Archive - Diversity RSS Feed

King Of Glory (Rockin’ Reggae Style)

I really love our worship team led by Stephen Cole and Kaci Baldwin. The team is a diverse group of genuine worshippers that truly love Jesus and care about those they are leading in worship each and every week. One of the things that I love about their worship is the fact that they have fun and they are all “Worshipping” and not simply singing songs and playing instruments.

This weekend they were jammin’ as usual and broke out into a little reggae funk in the middle of a Rockin’ King Of Glory worship tune. Every service was different as Stephen was just free-styling.  One is the beauties of worship is the fact that it’s a universal language and genuine hearts for diversity will help to break down ethnic and style barriers. People were swayin’, bobbin’, yellin’, shoutin’ and jammin’ in the isles.

The above video is a little sample of today’s worship, shot with an iPhone video camera.

What do you love about your worship team? Share some of your favorite worship songs or unique things that you like to see from your worship team.

Jesus Embraced Diversity

If we look at the myriad of diversity in the world we can clearly see that God values diversity.  Diversity is not always about race or ethnicity; for instance  Jesus certainly expressed diversity in his choice of staff: tax collector, fisherman, physician, former prosecuting attorney, women etc. He valued diversity and placed an array of personalities, backgrounds and experiences around him in order to advance his work.   The story of Jacob and the “minority” sheep is another great illustration.

The bottom line is most organizations and teams do not like to talk about or embrace diversity.  They would prefer to talk as though it doesn’t exist.  By doing this they are assuming that everyone has the same backgrounds, experiences and wiring.   People are so uncomfortable and worried about the “Race” conversation offending someone, they choose to make it a non-issue.  The only way that race will be a non-issue is if you make race an issue. (repeat that last sentence)  Although it may seem taboo, you must be willing to talk openly about race and diversity.

The even harsher reality is to acknowledge the realization that diversity in organizational teams should and in my opinion must exist.  It’s not like Jesus just said “I took a group of people to be on my team.”  Jesus articulated who they were and the uniqueness they brought to the table — this gives us a clear perspective of how he rolled.   I think Jesus was illustrating this mindset,  “I know all of these people around me bring diverse backgrounds, diverse way of thinking and diverse ways of acting to the table, but that’s the beauty about how we are going to get this work done.”  In other-words, Jesus is saying that you and you and you and you… can be on my team with the unique differences, skills, thoughts and backgrounds that God has given you.

Jesus embraced diversity at all levels; I personally think we need to be like Jesus and move from tolerating diversity to embracing diversity at all levels.  Jesus embraced diversity — Do You?  Does Your Job? Does Your Church?

Fortune magazine states that “diverse groups make better decisions.  If everyone in the room is the same, you’ll have fewer arguments and worse answers.  Diversity is a distinct competitive advantage.

Share your experience and thoughts working in organizations or attending churches that either embrace or simply tolerate diversity of any kind?  Race, Gender, Thoughts, Backgrounds…

Christians You Don't Have To…

train tracksChristians You Don’t Have To Go Across The World To Experience Diversity, Simply Go Across The Tracks.  There are many different ways for congregations to connect with a diverse group of people and going on an international mission trip is not the only solution.

Most churches give both time and resources to other non-profits, outreaches, ministries and mission efforts.  As it relates to Church Diversity, ministry leaders should look at the percent of their personal outreach and philanthropic budget that goes towards local multicultural organizations.  I’m not implying that a church should cut their international missions budget, I’m just saying look local.

The reality is church organizations can make great strides in impacting church diversity by exposing their congregation to local multicultural partnerships and outreach.  Congregations can find multicultural organizations to give to, partner with and work alongside.  When Jesus said go into all the world, that didn’t simply mean go around the globe—for many churches that simply means go across the train tracks.

For those of you who may not understand what “the other side of the train tracks” means, its referring to the fact that most communities were and some still are racially segregated by a set of train tracks or a dividing street.  It can be “The Hood” on one side of the tracks and things get a little nicer, cleaner and newer on the other side.  Hood or not, many times there is just a clear racial divide.

I thought the blockbuster movie “The Blind Side” provided an excellent illustration of what happens when people go across the tracks; the experience can be similar to an international mission trip.  When Christians get out of their comfort zones and be the hands and feet of Christ in a community that’s less than a 20-minute drive from their suburban utopia, eyes are opened.  In the movie The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock plays the role of Leigh Anne Touhy.  The Tuohy’s are a Christian family led by wealthy restaurant chain owner Sean Tuohy, played by Tim McGraw.  The short and skinny on the movie is the fact that a kid from the other side of the tracks got a shot to attend a rich private school, the Tuohy’s adopt him, he learns how to read, gets his grades up, becomes an excellent right tackle, learns to protect the quarterbacks Blind Side, goes on to play college ball at Ole Miss and eventually gets drafted in the 2009 NFL by the Baltimore Ravens.

There were several scenes in the movie where Lee Anne Tuohy was heart broken by what she experienced in “The Hood” only 20 minutes from her beautiful suburban home, in an area that she never realized existed.  She had a desire to reach out, give and make a difference.  She confronted some of her rich swanky girlfriends about their negative stereotypes as she had a desire connect with and change a community that she never knew existed.  She realized that You Don’t Have To Go Across The World To Experience Diversity and Serve The Under-served… You Simply Need To Go Across The Tracks.

Why don’t we simply go across the tracks more often?  Share your thoughts!

Pastors, Ministry Leaders and Christians Don't Want To Talk About This…

diversity worldMost Pastors, Ministry Leaders and Christians don’t want to talk about the fact that “Church Diversity Sucks!”  Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”    All the world and all creation includes neighborhoods and pockets of the world where people don’t look like you, your church brethren or me.

It’s important to have His will done on earth as it is in heaven.  What will it look like in Heaven?  It will be diverse, a great multitude of different people where that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…

Pastors, Ministry Leaders and Christians don’t want to talk about this, but they should.  It’s not acceptable for The Church to settle for status quo and live out Dr. Martin Luther King’s 40 year old statement where he said  “We must face the sad fact that at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning, when we stand to sing… we stand in the most segregated hour in America, and the most segregated school is Sunday School.”

Pastors, Ministry Leaders and Christians don’t want to talk about this and that’s the problem.  Start talking, start listening and start doing!

What do you think?  Why aren’t these folks talking?  Is it a problem?

Church Diversity Sucks (Reason #2)

excusesReason #2  Excuses

It seems like yesterday when I was in college pledging to become a member of a fraternity.  The whole process of pledging was quite a memorable series of events and one of the things that I vividly remember was quoting this short phrase that we called excuses.  The phrase read as follows: “Excuses are tools of incompetence, used to build monuments of nothingness… those that specialize in using them, never amount to anything.” 

One of the reasons Church Diversity Sucks is because of Excuses.  There are a plethora of excuses that pastors, ministry leaders and congregants use as justification to not address the issue of Church Diversity.  Here are a few common excuses:

  • It’s about culture, so diversity is not necessary
  • There is no ethnic diversity represented in the communities near our church
  • Race is not an issue, we look beyond race… we’re color-blind
  • Talking about race is divisive
  • Nobody cares, it’s a non-issue

This list of Excuses could keep going like the Energizer Bunny.  Again, as we are talking about Excuses; let’s make some wording adjustments to that Excuses saying that I recited while pledging my fraternity.  Here is a new version of that saying being directly related to the topic of Church Diversity: “Church Diversity excuses are tools of incompetence, used to build churches of diversity nothingness… those pastors, churches, leaders and congregations that specialize in using them,  will never be diverse.” 

The bottom line is that if a pastor or ministry leader chooses to be serious and intentional about addressing the issue of Church Diversity, they will have some positive impact.  I you try and fail, that’s fine… but stop making Excuses about why you can’t.  Start with the baby step number one: Have a conversation about diversity and you will be one step closer to the ol’ “On earth as it is in heaven.”

Do you feel that pastors, leaders, churches… make too many excuses relative to this topic.  Are any of these excuses valid?  Share your thoughts or additional excuses!

Church Diversity Sucks (Reason #1)

diversity-2Reason #1 Homogeneous Platform

Church Diversity Sucks for many reasons; this week I’m going to share a few of those reasons with you.  This first reason Church Diversity Sucks is because too many churches have a Homogeneous Platform.  By homogeneous platform I’m talking about the church platform, stage, pulpit… or whatever you call it.  In other-words, everyone that you see on the stage looks the same from the perspective of race and ethnicity.    

Often times people will say that they don’t really pay attention to the ethnic diversity or lack there of on their stage.  Generally speaking, individuals who say that are probably attending a church that does not have any reflection of ethnic diversity on their platform.   Those churches that have ethnic diversity represented on their platform; not only see it each and every week but they can feel it.  There is something distinct about a church culture that at-least considers embracing the notion of every tribe and every tongue or maybe starting with another tribe and another tongue.

Individuals who happen to be the ethnic minority of a particular church, can not only feel the presence of a diverse platform; but it speaks the love language of welcomeness not only to them.  In other words, someone that looks like me, my cousin, my friend, my neighbor… is welcome here.  That same love language of welcomeness translates to the ethnic majority of the church as well.  There are many ways to begin the process of creating a culture of embracing diversity and the first place to begin is having a diverse platform.

If Church Diversity Sucks in your church, I bet your platform is not diverse.

Do you find this to be true in your church or other churches that you have attended?  Share your overall thoughts!

Jesus Embraced Diversity…

embrace-diversityIf we look at the myriad of diversity in the world we can clearly see that God values diversity.  Diversity is not always about race or ethnicity; for instance  Jesus certainly expressed diversity in his choice of staff: tax collector, fisherman, physician, former prosecuting attorney, women…  He valued and placed an array of personalities, backgrounds and experiences around him in order to advance his work.   The story of Jacob and the “minority” sheep is another great illustration.   

The bottom line is most organizations and teams do not like to talk about or embrace diversity.  Teams like to talk as though everyone has the same backgrounds, experiences, Godly wiring… and act as though someone will be offended by a diversity discussion.  It’s even more taboo to acknowledge the realization that diversity in organizational teams should and in my opinion must exist.  It’s not like Jesus just said he took a “group of people” to be on his team; he articulated who they were and there uniqueness to give us a clear perspective of how he rolled.   In other-words; I know these peeps bring a diverse way to think and act to the table, but that’s the beauty about how we are going to get this work done.  In other-words, Jesus is saying that you and you and you and you… can be on my team with the unique differences, skills, thoughts and backgrounds that God gave you. 

Jesus embraced diversity at all levels; I personally think we need to be like Jesus and move from tolerating diversity to embracing diversity at all levels.

Fortune magazine states that “diverse groups make better decisions.  If everyone in the room is the same, you’ll have fewer arguments and worse answers.  Diversity is a distinct competitive advantage.” 

Share your experience and thoughts working in organizations that either embrace or simply tolerate diversity of any kind?  Race, Gender, Thoughts, Backgrounds…

Page 2 of 2«12

Designed by EightDay Studio. Powered by the Standard Theme. Developed by Milk Engine.