Starting the Diversity Discussion


Walk into most churches today, and you’ll quickly notice a problem. Either the church will be all white, all black, all Hispanic, etc., or there will be a smattering of diversity in the church seats.

Does the church have a problem?

Lately, we’ve been discussing various ideas and practical methods that will help the church body create unity in diversity. The multicultural worship ideal that we’ve discussed is a Christian principle, but Christian’s have difficulty expressing it.

An interesting article went up on Huffington Post the other day. Heather Barmore wrote a piece sharing her heartbreak over the recent injustice she felt over the Ferguson incident. She also comments on the lack of interest the issue got in relation to other social issues. As she wrote on Facebook, “Systemic racism doesn’t hold a candle to vaccinations.”

Barmore notes when she talks about racial issues she’s either ignored or seen as an angry black woman.

People don’t want to hear that there are racial issues still relevant today.

People especially don’t want to hear that there are relevant racial issues in the church today.

Do you feel like you’re seen as Barmore is when you want to note the lack of racial diversity in your churches or community? Do you feel as though, like Barmore, people either ignore you or see you as an angry minority?

Those perceptions can be hard to overcome. However, there are ways to start a diversity discussion. Barmore found out that people will respond when one party seeks to understand the other better.

Read the article to find the question Barmore asked and a few of the responses she got in return.

To start a conversation concerning diversity and racial social issues in your church and community, the first thing one must do is break the silence regardless of how you’ll be seen. Then, rather than being polemic, seek to build a bridge of understanding between those who wish to ignore the racial elephant in the room. This can be hard, but it’s doable.

Connect with us on Twitter at @unityoneonline.

Steve Dragswolf

Hi, my name is Steve Dragswolf. I am Hidatsa born in North Dakota and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My heart is for the indigenous of the Americas. I am passionate about literacy and native culture. Connect @dragswolf

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