Reviewer

Traci Espeseth is assisting minister at Lifepoint (Des Moines Foursquare Church) in Des Moines, Wash.

  Who it's for

Pastors and church leaders who seek to foster diversity

  Details

  • Price: $12.99
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Format: 160 pages, softcover and e-book

The world around us, and therefore its demographics, are constantly changing. We continue to see the United States become less and less homogeneous.

According to The Wall Street Journal, in 2012 minority ethnic groups accounted for more than half of the births in the U.S.; and demographers anticipate that within the next 30 years, the U.S. will be a majority-minority nation. Yet, despite this opportunity for diversity and growth, our churches remain steadfastly segregated.

In Isaiah 56:7, the Lord declared: “For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (NKJV). Several times throughout the Bible, we receive the direct command to love and serve others (e.g., our neighbors, our enemies) as we love ourselves, and to use Christ’s love for us a our metric in that love.

Through the narrative of her past experiences, and by outlining a clear and practical doctrine on diversity, author Trillia J. Newbell lays out a case for working toward intentional diversity in the church in her new book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity.

“Diversity in the church isn’t about quotas or filling a gap,” Newbell asserts, “but about loving others.” The author uses real-life examples to communicate how her life and church have been changed by the intentionality of diversity on the part of the pastor, the people of the church and her personally.

By straightforwardly acknowledging some of the roadblocks to diversity, such as geography and longstanding church culture, Newbell is able to address the issue of segregation head-on, and offers some very practical solutions and challenges, specifically for pastors, whom she asserts must set the standard in seeking out diversity in relationships.

United should be a must-read for all pastors. Whether the issue is race segregation, or segregation by other categories such as interests, age or economics, this book will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and seek out others to love in order to make larger strides toward fulfilling the Great Commission.