Diversity Triumphs

It was once said that the most segregated hour in the United States was 10 am on Sunday morning. Very few churches have a diversity of people in their congregation. Even today.

Of course part of the reason is style of worship. But that is not the entire reason. The question is—do we reach out to only those like us? Or do we reach out at all?

One reason we still seem to have racial troubles some 50 years after Martin Luther King had a dream (mine, too) is that at a personal level too many of us just don’t like people who aren’t like us. Most white men around me hate powerful women. (Another latent problem.) They may get along with an individual black person, but black people as a whole are still regarded suspiciously. Oh, and the other way around.

Trust is a commodity on the endangered list in too many places. This lack of trust, maybe for good reason, is a cancer.

I look to Jesus for examples. He lived during his ministry in a predominately Jewish area. But there was diversity even within the tribe. He dealt easily with women—not a rabbi-like action. He socialized easily with all social strata of the Jews. He had no problems interacting with Romans and Greeks. His inner circle contained people of differing politics, geographies, backgrounds.

Paul reflects the teachings found in Deuteronomy 30 and Isaiah 40 ff where God talks about rulers ruling with justice and mercy. That is probably the way we should read Romans 13. (He just made a personal mistake about the future rulers of Rome.) If you read Paul carefully without pulling quotes out of context, he pleaded with his followers to seek unity amongst their diversity—and some of the ekklesia knew tremendous diversity.

Study after study reveals the benefits to an organization that accrue from diversity.

Why aren’t we trying?

An organization practicing diversity among its teams wins over time.

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