3 Things You Might Not Have Considered About Multiculturalism

A multicultural church is a foretaste of the family of God we will experience in eternity.

Even though we weren’t aiming for it, my first church was a multicultural church. It wasn’t necessarily intentional—we just reached our poor neighborhood and that’s who lived there.

My church today would not fit the definition of multicultural. It’s not because we don’t want to be, but it is impacted by the location where we meet, which is 93 percent Anglo.

However, having just recently opened a campus in a more diverse area, we are excited about the opportunity to seek to become a more multicultural church.

But our excitement should not blind us to the issues that are involved in developing a multicultural church. While the results are worthwhile, it takes work. Previously, I shared a few thoughts on multicultural church after attending a related conference. Here are three more thoughts to consider in moving toward having your church better represent the diversity in your neighborhood.

Multiculturalism Reflects the Kingdom of God

The church is called to be both a sign and an instrument of the kingdom of God. It’s an instrument in the kingdom of God, and it’s God’s agent in the world showing and sharing the word of Jesus to a broken and hurting world.

A multicultural church is a foretaste of the family of God we will experience in eternity.

But it’s also a sign in the kingdom of God, a draw to the kingdom, a credible witness to the kingdom, etc., because people are supposed to look into the church and say, “That’s what the kingdom of God looks like.”

A multicultural church is a foretaste of the family of God we will experience in eternity. Doing multicultural ministry is a gift because it gives us a glimpse of forever.

Revelation 7 says men and women will gather around the throne of God for eternity, and they will be from every tongue, tribe and nation. Scripture goes to great lengths to point out the diversity around the throne. Here is a bit of the passage:

After this, I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!

All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
(Rev. 7:9-12 HCSB)

Thus, it seems only right and pleasing to God that our churches might be signs of the kingdom of God today in increasing multiculturalism.

Multicultural Ministry Is Difficult

As I just wrote, multicultural ministry is a gift because it is a foretaste of our future fellowship with the family of God.

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Ed Stetzer
Ed Stetzer is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. Ed is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine and Catalyst Monthly, serves on the advisory council of Sermon Central and Christianity Today's Building Church Leaders, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN.