7 Elements of a Multi-Ethnic Church

George Yancey writes in One Body One Spirit that there are seven characteristics of multi-ethnic churches that are worth noting. Some of these were surprising. 1. Inclusive Worship. Music is so important to people that when they sing to God it needs to take on a form that is culturally meaningful for them. In the Euro-white culture, we have everything from Indie-Rock, to pipe organs, to Coldplay, to acoustic folk in our churches. But others prefer a keyboard and rhythm section driven sound. I suppose in India people would want a Sitar with Ravi Shankar sound. The point is that the musical style of the church must reflect the diversity of the people that come there. 2. Diverse Leadership. Yancey writes, “multiracial leadership is important because members of different racial groups desire to feel represented by the members of the church, especially racial minorities who historically have received a lack…

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Bringing God Down

Today is Good Friday, which is the day where we celebrate the fact that Jesus died for his people. To some, this notion that Jesus needed to die for someone else’s sins may seem radically absurd. But John Stott wrote in The Cross of Christ that the cross reveals two things. First, the absolutely blinding perfection of God. And second, the deep sinfulness of human beings. He writes, If we bring God down to our level and raise ourselves to his, then of course we see no need for a radical salvation, let alone for a radical atonement to secure it. When, on the other hand, we have glimpsed the blinding glory of the holiness of God, and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we tremble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely ‘hell-deserving sinners,’ then and only then does the necessity of…

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Communities of Grace vs. Communities of Performance

Tim Chester posted about different types of church communities and how the ethos of the group affects individuals. Communities of Performance People talk about grace, but communicate legalism Unbelievers can’t imagine themselves as Christians Drive away broken people The world is seen as threatening and ‘other’ Conversion is superficial—people are called to respectable behavior People are secretly hurting People see faith and repentance as actions that took place at conversion The gospel is for unbelievers Communities of Grace People can see grace in action Unbelievers feel like they can belong Attract broken people People are loved as fellow sinners in need of grace Conversion is radical—people are called to transformed affections People are open about their problems People see faith and repentance as daily activities The gospel is for both unbelievers and believers

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Why People Don’t Sing in Church

Jorge Sedaca, who is on staff at the North American Mission Board in church planting, posted an article recently about visiting churches and experiencing some thoughts on why people don’t sing in church. I’ve summarized his thoughts below, but the whole article is worth a read for those of you who are interested in engaging a congregation in corporate worship. It is interesting to note that he likes many of the songs that I can’t stand, but hey, to each his own. Here’s his observations of why people don’t sing in church: 1. The congregation is unfamiliar with the songs being used. 2. The use of too many new songs week after week. 3. The songs selected are not suitable for congregational singing. 4. The overall quality of the songs is very poor. Hey worship leaders, your congregations want to sing. If you ever find yourself looking out at a…

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