Reviewer

Huey L. Hudson is senior pastor of Restoration Church (Huntsville Foursquare Church) in Madison, Ala.

  Who it's for

Pastors who want to increase diversity in their churches

  Details

  • Price: $18.99
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Format: 240 pages, softcover and e-book

Leading a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church: Seven Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them, by Mark DeYmaz and Henry Li, presents a compelling argument for the pursuit of diversity within the local church.

From the outset, the book issues the challenge for churches to overcome Sunday morning segregation, which severely plagues the American church, even suggesting that “the church, far from representing the diversity and unity of the kingdom of God,” is “actually the primary institution perpetuating systematic (institutional) racism in our society.”

The book provides sound biblical bases for diversity as well as sound practical applications that can be used to create it. The authors address issues that must be overcome for healthy diversity to exist in the church: personal obstacles; theological as well as philosophical obstacles; practical, cross-cultural and relational obstacles; and spiritual obstacles. Overcoming these challenges may not be unique to churches that are diverse in nature, but working through them does appear to be more pronounced in diverse congregations.

A nice addition to the authors’ stories and perspectives are the stories and personal testimonies of pastors and leaders from across the country who serve in multi-ethnic churches. By including these, the authors broaden the themes and perspectives beyond what they alone could provide. As pastor of a multi-ethnic church, I found the experiences and challenges presented to be quite similar to what I experience within our congregation.

Readers should be aware that some of the authors’ doctrinal positions might be a turn-off to those who hold to different views. Although these doctrinal issues are not presented in a dogmatic fashion, they do tend to distract from the general theme.

Overall, I would highly recommend the reading of Leading a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church. I believe desiring and creating ways to blend the body of Christ glorifies God, and is worthy for all to pursue.