Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference | Main Session 7: Diversity is a Noun – Let's Make it a Verb with Author Trillia Newbell

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 7: Diversity is a Noun – Let's Make it a Verb with Author Trillia Newbell


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 7: Diversity is a Noun – Let's Make it a Verb

 

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

Author Trillia Newbell


Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Author of United, Fear and Faith

We pursue diversity because our God delights in His diverse family. This is not a trend. This is of the Lord.

The Kingdom of God: Our family is already diverse (Galatians 3:27-29).
The Gospel: Jesus does not discriminate for who He died and resurrected for to be reconciled to God, and neither should we (2 Corinthians 5:14-20).
Missional: We are to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Family of God: We are heirs of Christ and children of God together in Christ's bloodline – "We are all our own" (Romans 8:14-30).

Heaven on Earth: God rejoices in His beautifully diverse family (Revelation 7:9-10).
But we can't only be reading and talking about it. We need to be doing it. We are a forgetful people. We need to be reminded.

Ultimately, this is about loving our neighbor – people created in the image of God. Do we delight in one another? We're not born color blind, nor are we supposed to be color blind. When John looked and beheld the all the tribes and peoples and languages, he saw their beautiful differences like God does, and He rejoiced with them, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

So how do we pursue diversity in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our church families?

 (1) Fight apathy:  
Go and make learners of Jesus of all nations. Sometimes the first step is going to a cultural event with people of a different ethnicity and celebrate with them.

(2) Gain knowledge and understanding: 
Ignorance is not bliss. Listen to other people's stories. Learn about people groups' histories.

(3) Talk to your neighbors and befriend them:
Invite them into your home. Welcome them to your meals. Relax in your living room together. Pray for them and with them when God provides the opportunity.

(4) Keep praying, evangelizing, and being hospitable.  

Common pushbacks:

Won't asking questions seem artificial? 
It's only artificial without love.

Won't it feel weird? 
It may get awkward, but keep walking in step with the Spirit.

What if I'm rejected? 
God says there are times we will be. Be encouraged in knowing God goes before u, He gives grace to the humble, and He strengthens the weary.    

What's wrong with preferences?
 James says God is impartial, so when we image Christ, we will be, too (James 2:1, 8)

When we pursue and embody the diversity of our communities in our churches, God provides the benefits:

(1) Stronger learners of our God, His family, and His gospel
(2) We become a greater visual display of God's reconciling gospel
(3) We will become better at welcoming the stranger
(4) We will grow in our ability to share the gospel with people from different backgrounds than ours
(5) We will understand the miracle of union and unity in Christ to a greater degree
(6) We will reflect what God intended for humanity to be as the imago Dei
(7) We will reflect now what the Kingdom of God will look like
(8) We will reflect the humble, pursuing nature of God's character   

  
– Sully


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