What I learned from the Black church: If it doesn’t make me want to dance…and shout and speak in unknown tongues and challenge my life it wasn’t church. Church should remind me that, no matter what is in the news or what my problems look like, God is for us not against us. It is the God who lifts up His people we are worshiping.
What I learned from the White church: If it doesn’t make me think and want to know more of God it wasn’t church. I should need a pen to write down something from the Scriptures and have an insight to apply to my life and want to share with friends…it is the God who revealed himself through His word and in the narrative of creation, fall, redemption, and homecoming we are worshiping.
What I learned from the Latino church: If it doesn’t make me use my entire body it wasn’t church. I should be called to his sacrifice on my knees with hands outstretched to receive. I should remember that God is both bigger than my brain yet as simple to appropriate as “Take. Eat. This is my body…” It is the God who is unspeakably huge and holy, yet intimately incarnate with us we are worshiping.
I could go to church with people who all look like me. My spiritual life would be infinitely more bland if I did.
Mark DeYmaz of the Mosaic network tells us that 92% of American Protestants worship mono-ethnically. My neighborhood doesn’t look like that, so we started a multi-ethnic church plant several years ago. It is a tiny underfunded experiment in what we call “Black-catholi-gelicalism.” Lots of holy things happen among us every week. http://www.mystjudes.com
*No disrespect intended toward groups not included. In my neighborhood people under 35 are: 15% African American, 33% Anglo, 55% Latino, 7% all others.