We recognize that the Raytown community as a whole is becoming more and more multicultural and multiracial. Laurel Hills Elementary,the school we are partnering with, includes more than 60% African American and Hispanic.
We want to be effective at sharing the Gospel with a community filled with people of diverse cultures and races. We have been intentionally praying for this, and we have also been intentional in preparing for it.
According to George Yancey, the common “critical mass” for a multiracial church is met when a cultural minorities reach at least 20% . (Check out his book One Body One Spirit for further insights.) This is true whether the majority of the church body is white, African American, Hispanic, Laotian, etc.
This past Sunday, we got to minister at the Swap Meet. Of the 16 from our church, exactly 50% were people of color. That’s a good thing, because at the Swap Meet, more than 90% of the kids and their parents we served were people of color.
At our Sunday Night CONNECT Worship Service this week, we continued the trend of becoming a multicultural multiracial church. For example:
1) Folks in attendance represented these people groups: African American, Mexican, Honduran, Gypsy, Indian (Sub-Continent), and Argentine.
2) Of the 60 in attendance, 21 represented “non-majority” race/culture. This reflects a 35% rate.
3) We enjoyed providing simultaneous Spanish translation for the 2nd time.
4) Reflecting our diversity, we included a bilingual English/Spanish song during our worship for the first time.
As an aside, I personally had the incredible opportunity of doing an interview this week with Jeff Adams, Senior Pastor at KCBT, a Raytown area church that is widely recognized as a national model for multicultural multiracial churches. When Adams arrived, the white population in the congregation was 98 or 99%. Today, it is approximately 25%. It takes a special person to navigate a church through this metamorphosis. I learned a lot.
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