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Church Diversity
     

Church Diversity

4.8 5
by Scott Williams
 

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Unifying insights for embracing racial diversity in God's House! Includes interviews with some of the nation's top church leaders, observations from successful churches, and effective corporate strategies for engaging the issue.

Overview

Unifying insights for embracing racial diversity in God's House! Includes interviews with some of the nation's top church leaders, observations from successful churches, and effective corporate strategies for engaging the issue.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892217038
Publisher:
New Leaf Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/30/2011
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Scott Williams serves as campus pastor (NW Oklahoma City) and is a key leader among the executive leadership at LifeChurch.tv. He is an effective speaker and popular social media influencer for pastors and ministries.

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Church Diversity 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ThomasRFellerJr More than 1 year ago
I've read and reviewed a good number of books this year and this one is certainly one of the best. Scott Williams holds no punches in the sharing the sad reality most churches - and the American Church at large - struggle with: we are still a segregated community. The book starts by reminding us of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s statement, "We must face the sad fact that at the eleven o'clock hour on Sunday morning when we stand to sing, we stand in the most segregated hour in America." Williams begins with this statement and then travels forward almost 50 years to paint the reality that while business, government, and education have adjusted to change the reality of segregation the church has remained largely silent. And, white people, before you get defensive, I'll let you know that Williams is just as critical of his own race as he is of ours. The first chapter is spent laying the ground work and giving some history regarding Williams himself. Throughout the rest of the book Williams lays down the reality facing us today, addresses it as the problem (sin) it is, shares stories of both success and failure as churches have addressed this issue, and lays out an outline for churches to begin working towards diversity. If you allow it to, this book will convict, challenge, and motivate you for change. For the record, Williams does not attack or condemn the church (either white or another racial distinction) as consciously creating a segregated institution. He never suggests this is a direct sin of commission where people have said, "You stay away because you are [insert ethnic group]" What he does do is come right out and say that this is a problem in the church and it needs to be addressed - whether it has been created by sins of commission OR sins of omission, whether it has been created and perpetuated by whites or any other ethnic group (I keep referring to whites because I am white). The only criticism of the book I have is that it limits its focus to racial diversity and does not directly address issues such as worship style, age, or even income diversity. To be fair, Williams gives a passing mention of these other areas early on in the book, but I wish more time would have been spent addressing them as well. But over all this book hit the nail on the head in addressing the elephant in the room. Now it's just time for church leaders to step up and join Williams in addressing this great sin the church has perpetuated. This book gets a solid 5/5 stars - put it on your must read list! Please note, a complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an open and honest (though not necessarily favorable) review.
bamagv More than 1 year ago
I first heard of Scott Williams on Twitter (@ScottWilliams) as I loved reading his #fistbump in the morning...Did you know he created the Twitter #fistbump? After reading more about him, I learned he served on staff as a key leader and campus pastor for LifeChurch.tv, one of the largest and most innovative churches in America. Williams has written a fantastic new book entitled "Church Diversity: Sunday, The Most Segregated Day of the Week".I grew up in a predominantly white church and we had a "sister" church that was predominantly black. While we would support each other's events, gospel meetings, etc. we worshiped at our own locations most Sundays. I want you to understand that the church I grew up in is a wonderful church and I still love the "family of God" there to this very day but thankfully, they are now much more culturally diverse in one location today. When I read more of Williams "tweets" about his upcoming book, I knew this book would be real & personal to me because of the church environment I grew up in. Remember the children's song, "red & yellow, black & white they are precious in His sight"? Well, Williams takes that line to an entirely new level in this book. He addresses the topic of modern day churches being segregated by race and color. Throughout the book, he pinpoints some of the most common "reasons" that churches are segregated by race and color including social groups, demographics of the community, location, etc. In the end, you realize these are all just "excuses" for not doing what we are called to do. One part of the book that I think will probably be forever ingrained in my mind is a conversation Williams had with his friend Slim, about the church he attended. He writes: My next question to Slim was this: "Is it a white church of a black church?" No sooner than the words came out of my mouth, Slim responded with words that I will never forget. He said "Young man, that is the stupidest question you can ever ask. It's not a black church, it's not a white church, it's God's church." Did you catch that?....It's GOD'S church! Oh how I love that reminder!! While most of us would like to believe that racial prejudice don't exist in our towns and churches, the underlying truth is that they do because we are all guilty of sometimes looking at things in black and white rather than looking at them through God's eyes. Throughout the book, Williams references lots of Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as modern day church leaders such as Bill Hybels and Craig Groeschel. I also loved his "Oreo" metaphor for the church. I don't want to spoil it for you but have you ever stopped to consider how many different types of Oreo cookies there are available on the market? Also, I think he hit the nail on the head with his formula for church leadership: "No diversity on the staff + no diversity on the platform = no diversity in the church". I also enjoyed reading Chapter 6 where he shares stories from church pastors that "have overcome the fear of the scary proposition and huge commitment of church diversity". There stories are inspiring, encouraging, show you how you can implement church diversity within your own congregation and that even the smallest of churches can diversify and grow. As Williams says it's "more than a book - it's a movement of God, pastors, ministry leaders, volu
SiriusKnott More than 1 year ago
Subtitled 'Sunday: The Most Segregated day of the Week,' Scott Williams' thought-provoking book aims at being the flashpoint for the We Are Church Diversity movement. We Are Church Diversity is consists of "congregants, pastors, church planters, educators, leaders and Christians around the world" who affirm that diversity matters to God and are "committed to seeing the body of Christ more racially unified." Williams offers us the challenge of intentionality: church diversity on purpose. And he proposes lots of ways to do that: everything from having your church acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr Day, to celebrating Church Diversity Week (beginning the 2nd Friday of each year and ending on the 3rd Friday), to preaching diversity from our pulpits [fellow preachers, I'm talking to you] and Sunday school lecterns, to making sure that your church board and stage reflect the diversity you believe in (because what guests see on the stage and who they see in the leadership lets them know whether they are truly welcome or simply tolerated). Of course, the book is something of a riff off Paul's Letter to American Christians, November 4, 1956 by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The most oft-quoted section of this letter stands as a undeniable indictment of the modern church - as much as it did more than 50 years ago: "You must face the tragic fact that when you stand at 11:00 on Sunday morning to sing 'All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name' and 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,' you stand in the most segregated hour of Christian America." God is for diversity. The Bible reminds us that He has made "of one blood all nations of men" [Acts 17:26], which means that He packed all of the genetic potential for every shade from black to white into Adam and Eve. Consider also, the birth of the Church. In Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the church. The Bible records that there were in Jerusalem "Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven" (verse 5). It started with every nation, and in fact each person present heard the Spirit-filled disciples speak in their own language (verse 6). And after Peter's sermon, we find that about 3,000 souls (verse 41) were added to the Church. from every every nation under heaven! Why should this surprise us? Doesn't our Great Commission tell us to make disciples of all nations [Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8] and that we are to be witnesses to the uttermost ends of the earth? Doesn't the Word record that God pulled Philip out of a revival in Samaria so that he might bring the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch? God cares about diversity... and Bible fortells that God will have His perfect way. The Book of Revelation records that John saw "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (Rev.7:9) as a fulfillment of the Great Comission that He charged us with! So why shouldn't our churches reflect the kind of diversity God intended from the beginning of the Church and certainly intends as its end result? Williams invites us throughout this book to assess ourselves and our churches, to believe in our potential for the kind of Biblical diversity God desires and to change the church for the better. On purpose. Learn more about this book and how you can get involved in the We Are Church Diversity movement at ChurchDiversity[dot]com
sgagne More than 1 year ago
When I saw on Twitter that @ScottWilliams was writing a book called Church Diversity: Sunday The Most Segregated Day of the Week, I thought, "Cool! It'll probably be a good read; but it won't really relate to me - I'm not a racist." I mean, the last two churches I have been a part of are diverse, after all. The church I'm in now is small (running about 50 on a Sunday morning) and there is an old black woman and her granddaughter, an Hispanic couple, and an Asian woman (married to a white guy) - we're doing good with our minority-to-white person ratio! And then I read the book, and discovered that church diversity is more than maintaining a ratio of ethnicity in your local church body. So, what's my dark, little secret? It didn't really hit me until I was well into the book, and was reading a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the letter, he speaks to the racist heritage of the Assemblies of God... Bum, bum, bum! That was it. I have been raised Assemblies, and am ordained Assemblies! OH, SNAP! I represent a racist heritage! Great... The truth is, if you were raised in the United States of America, chances are you have a connection to some sort of racism or segregation. And an even sadder truth (is "sadder" even a word?) is that as Christians in America, we are still seeing it happen week in and week out. - When you go to church, do you see a church staff that represents the different races, classes, and ethnicities that are present in your community? - Are there evident attempts by your family, church, or social group that clearly states "Everyone Welcome"? If the answer is "No", then this book is a must read (even if it is "Yes", still read it). It will rock your world, and cause you to view diversity in the church not just as a cool idea, but as a must. After all, Jesus, in the Great Commission, says to "Go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matt 28:19), not just the ones that look like us.
HisFireFly More than 1 year ago
I am joining Scott Williams and New Leaf Publishing Group as they celebrate the release of Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week. Church Diversity is more than a book it's a movement of God, pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers, congregants, and the community. It's about the Church changing its perspective to become part of a culture-changing and world-changing movement. A new and different future begins with the turning of these pages, taking this journey, and speaking the truth in this vital conversation. In Chapter 2: Confront the Elephant in the Pew, Williams talks about how easy it seems to be for us to completely ignore what is right in front of us. This does not benefit us, or the elephant. We could make a strong argument that we have come a very long way in the area of dealing with race and ethnicity. However, we are far from arriving. Race is just one of those things that people would prefer to ignore and would rather not talk about. The problem with that approach is the fact that ignoring the elephant is not going to make the elephant (insert elephant noise) get up and waddle out of the sanctuary. As a matter of fact, the elephant has been sitting around for so long that he's lazy and doesn't want to move. There are pockets of leaders and churches poking and prodding at the elephant, but not enough to get the attention of his elephant siblings around the world. Herding elephants is not an easy thing to do, and herding racial elephants is ten times as hard as herding any other. The first step in herding elephants is acknowledging that they exist. No one wants to be ignored - that includes the racial elephant. Acknowledgment is the first step to getting it out of the room. When there is an elephant in the room, acknowledge it. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, attended integrated schools and know well the issues between people of colour and those with "white" skin. We could play together at school, but rarely mixed after the bell rang. It saddens me to know things haven't changed as much as we'd like to believe. In the rural area of Manitoba, Canada where I now reside, the problem is the same, but the colour is different. People will ask "Do you go to a "white church" or a "First Nations" church? The elephant still sits sluggishly, waiting for the people of God to wake up and throw him out. I urge you to join in the efforts to become the Church that our Lord desires to come back for.