Who Ya Gonna Call?

The new Ghostbusters are women.  And they get the job done.  Mosaic on diversity

When the team of Ray, Egon, Winston, and Peter Venkman  was replaced by Erin, Abby, Jillian, and Patty some people scoffed.  Some didn’t care.  Some were inspired.  Sort of like what happens when non-traditional clergy replace “traditonal clergy” – and by that I mean women and people of color replacing white males.  Some people scoff.  Some don’t care.  Some are inspired.

I loved this article from The Atlantic and hope you’ll read every word.

The Eclipse of White Christian America is the title of the article.  What word jumps out at you in that title?  Which part makes you anxious?  For many of my people, they see “eclipse of Christian America.”  For me, the word “white” leaps out.

I hear over and over again that

  • People don’t go to church like they used to.
  • Young families won’t commit to church.
  • 20 and 30-somethings are not interested in church

But the issue here – for me – is not about age.  It’s about race and ethnicity.  Some pastor search committees in predominantly white churches  want a “young minister.”  There are lots of young pastors out there but they may not be white. Some congregations want lots of new members, but they don’t want new members who don’t look like themselves.

There are still lots of Protestant Christians in the United States. Increasingly they will not be white as demographic shifts continue.

So . . . who will Pastor Nominating Committees call in the future?  Many of our PNCs want to call a pastor with “classic looks” – code for a white guy in a tie perhaps.  But I hope they call the very best pastor – who doesn’t necessarily look like them.  The next pastor should always offer something that looks like the church of the future.

(Note:  Looks often deceive.  Find out what your candidates know about missional church, entrepreneurial church, conflict management, time management and emotional intelligence – because they will get tired – and cultural fluency.)

Image is a mosaic of some of the best pastors I know in my denomination.

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