Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference | Main Session 4: Okay, So Now What? with Pastor Matt Chandler

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference Main Session 4: Okay, So Now What? with Pastor Matt Chandler 

Previous Kainos Movement 2015 Conference posts:

The following posts will feature my notes from the strong collection of Kainos 2015 pastors, nonprofit leaders, and sociologists who prophetically spoke into our segregated American cultureOur prayer, hope, and striving is that Emmaus City will be a transcultural and multi-ethnic church in Worcester, of Worcester, and for Worcester. As we move forward, we have much to gain from these men and women who have gone before us and lead the way in Jesus' name.

Kainos 2015 Main Session 4: Okay, So Now What?

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

Pastor Matt Chandler

President of Acts 29 Church Planting Network
Pastor of The Village Church
Author of The Explicit Gospel, Creature of the Word, To Live is Christ To Die is Gain, Recovering Redemption

We have been pursuing multi-ethnic ministry at The Village for 8+ years in Flower Mound, Texas where the population is 95% white. We're still not where we want to be, but even if we don't get there, we're going to raise the racial IQ of our leaders and our congregation.

But it's hard. And it brings critique. Often the responses we get are:
Caucasian: "You're moving too fast in becoming more multicultural."
African American: "You're not moving fast enough in becoming multicultural."
Hispanic: "How did we get left out?"

So how do we remain steadfast? Revelation 7:9-10: God has purposed it. His good news is about the nations being part of His Kingdom and for people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to know, follow, and worship Jesus. We know He's going to gather His multiethnic family in the end. He planned it from the beginning with Abram in Genesis 12:1-3

Abram didn't know what God exactly meant. What was the end of the earth for him? How far could he see? Still, he moved based on the command and promises of God. In 1 Kings 8:22-61, Solomon dedicates the temple and includes all the peoples of the earth in his prayer and blessing. In John 10:1-18, Jesus knows there are many outside the people of Israel who He will bring and will follow Him. All throughout the Scriptures, God reminds us His good news is for all nations.

We must remember that our natural pull is toward homogeneity. This is apparent throughout the American church in its history and today. First of all, we're going to have to learn how to table well together. We are family, but are we even friends? Do we know what it means to be in the shoes of someone who does not share our ethnicity or culture? And what does it mean to truly be a friend? Look at how the Scriptures talk about friendship:

My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend (
Job 16:20-21). 

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17). 

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses (Proverbs 27:5-6). 

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26). 

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4).

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you (John 15:12-14).

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

We need to have commitment, fidelity, mutual instruction, and correction from others across cultural and ethnic lines if God's family – Jesus' brothers and sisters – include people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. And we need to remember that Jesus is the Savior. Friendship breaks down when we try to be saviors to each other.

How do we actually live this out in our churches?

(1) Cultivate genuine friendships
(2) Develop proximity (ex. white family takes boys to black barber shop; visit other churches with different majorities; gather to pray with believers from different backgrounds; etc.)
(3) Raise up and support leaders with diversity in mind and give significant authority to those in leadership who are different than you
(4) Educate your leaders and your congregation (ex. require increasing knowledge on the Civil Rights movement, history of the black and minority churches in America, history of systemic injustice in America, etc.)
(5) Sermons should address racism in all its forms
(6) Bathe it all in prayer
(7) Don't take your eyes off Jesus

– Sully

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