Christian Church Must Lead the Way in Diversity
Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land: Churches Must Seek to Be More Reflective of the Communities They Serve—Racially, Ethnically and Economically
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once famously lamented, “The most segregated hour of Christian America is at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.”
It seems this sentiment is still somewhat true today, as Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land says new findings from Lifeway Research point to both good news and bad news when it comes to the ethnic composition of the nation’s churches.
“The bad news is that all these years later, about 80 percent of Protestant pastors say that their congregation is primarily made up of one ethnic or racial group,” Land said. “The good news is that it is slightly more diverse than it was; 81 percent is a decline from the 86 percent in 2013. And even better news is that 93 percent of Protestant pastors believe their churches should strive to become diverse. That’s an increase from 85 percent in 2013.”
Land noted that the research also shows the size of the church does make a difference. Churches of more than 250 members were slightly more diverse than those that were smaller.
“If Sunday morning is still the most racially segregated moment in American life, perhaps it is because it is the most voluntary moment. How sad,” Land remarked. “Christian churches should be leading the way, demonstrating by example that in Jesus Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, bond nor free. If we are going to lead the way, we must be in the heart changing business, and we must reach out and seek to make our churches more reflective of the communities we serve, racially, ethnically and economically.”
Land recently delved into this topic for his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 800 stations nationwide.
SES is in the midst of its new “Philosophy, Politics and Economics” program, with classes in the current session continuing through May 4. Additionally, the 2018 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, which will focus on the theme of “The God Who Is,” is set for Oct. 12-13. The seminary will welcome top thinkers, scholars, authors, apologists and scientific minds, including Ravi Zacharias, to its 25th annual conference, which will be held at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary and SES President Dr. Richard Land here.