Thursday, October 26, 2006

A2 Bullpen Discussion: David Ireland

Does your church reflect the demographics of your community? the demographics of the church is 80% African American, the community is 60% Caucasian but it's a myth that your church has to reflect your community -- communities have very little to do with diversity in a congregation How do you become multiracial in a homogeneous community? the church becomes a magnet diversity looks different -- it's not white & black, but European & Asian, tribe X & tribe Z -- it's really not about the races, ethnicities, rich & poor, etc., but about making room for people different than me. One of the ways we connect with people different than me is to see the world from their point of view (in McManus' terminology, as the antagonist (Goliath), and not the protagonist (David)). Bill's observation: "I've never seen a racially diverse church that doesn't come out of the magnanimous heart of the senior pastor." "There shouldn't be anyone in my community that would feel uncomfortable coming into my church because of their ethnicity, or whatever." (Dave Ireland) How do you begin? Create, for example, a Hispanic service? Start one-on-one, and then start incrementally to cross the militating, multicultural divide tolerate -- "I don't like you, but I put up with you" accommodate -- "I change because I like you so much" David Ireland talked about the fact that he's lactose intolerant, and if someone invited him over, and then made food all filled with cheese and made with milk, he would be hurt, whereas someone that accommodated him by taking his food allergies into account would be more welcoming and genuine. :)

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