I’m prompted to write this post as a reaction to all the hand-wringing, doomsday predictions, and fear of the future that I have observed over the last 2 days. Let me stress this is not a political commentary. Rather its me playing missiologist about the 3rd largest mission field called the United States of America.
As I watched both the political conventions this summer and the speeches given Tuesday night by the respective candidates, I was struck by the vast difference of who made up the audiences. One was a picture of a vast array of people of color. The other was a picture that lacked any color at all.
I won’t delve into why it seems most ethnics vote one way and most whites vote another. I’ll leave that to the sociologists and political pundits. For Kingdom citizens, there is a bigger question on the table – which audience do we want the evangelical church to look like?
For 20 years I have beat the drum telling evangelicals that they need to get their institutional house in order because diversity is coming. That line no longer is accurate. Ladies and gentlemen, diversity is here.
And as demonstrated Tuesday night, the organizations that figure out how to express their values, attitudes, and beliefs in a diverse manner will be the ones that come out on top. The ones that don’t will slowly and steadily lose their impact.
Here are the facts. Our country is browner, is more female, and is well on its way to becoming an ethnic minority/majority country. If we can’t figure out how to speak to this reality evangelical institutions will be completely marginalized.
We need a modernization of the Church as a whole. If our gospel message is to be heard it cannot be held captive by the traditions and rituals of one ethnic group. We cannot run our Christian organizations as niche marketers if we truly want to reach the mission field the Lord has put in front of us.