If you “don’t see color” in terms of skin tones you can stop reading here.
This is a post for people who see all the colors, who embrace the rainbow, who find joy in messy configurations of humans.
One of the truths about the Future Church is that it will be as diverse as its community – or it will die. My own young adult children are constantly looking for community that looks like the world in which they live. That world is not predominantly white.
Maybe you live in an all white or all black or all brown or all golden area. Or maybe you live in a very diverse area in terms of cultures but you only associate with people who look like you. It’s an essential spiritual discipline that we branch out a little for the sake of the Gospel.
UPI reported in April that the United States will become a majority-minority country sometime around 2044. If you are part of a congregation who embraces this reality but you wonder how you can adapt to these demographic changes, here are some questions to talk about with your people:
- Does your church leadership look like the congregation you hope to be in the coming years? (The only racial diversity I see in many of our white congregations is found behind the scenes doing building maintenance or childcare.)
- Do you invite diverse preachers to your pulpit when the regular pastor is on vacation? (Different voices with different life experiences enhance the spiritual lives of our congregation.)
- How comfortable would your congregation be if you called a pastor of another race? (Especially if your congregation doesn’t look like the neighborhood around it, it makes to sense to call a pastor who looks like/sounds like the community. Or – if you hope to broaden your staff’s – and your congregation’s – perspective, it makes sense to call a pastor who stretches you theologically and demographically.)
These are serious questions to discuss with God’s people in your midst. Systemic racism (and white supremacy) are in our DNA and it will take very intentional and uncomfortable conversations to move forward.
The rainbow is our future – and in many of our communities the rainbow is our present. This is cause for rejoicing in that this is the world God created. This is what the reign of God looks like.
Rainbows also represent LGBTQA+ Pride, and I pray we are also welcoming of those rainbows as well.
Image of a rainbow over a church building in Búðakirkja, Iceland.