Byron Davis on Multi-Ethnic Church

Byron Davis of Epic Life Project led us through the fourth session of the pre-conference on multi-ethnic church at Exponential 2013. It was a very engaging discussion of the generations, the changing shape of America, and the need for pastors to view themselves as community leaders, not just preaching leaders.

My notes are here:

How do we empower a diverse leadership in the church?

Generational backgrounds:
The greatest generation: born before 1928; ‘saved the world’; won WWII
The silent generation: born from 1928-1945; children of the Great Depression and WWII; family and extended family a concern
Baby Boomers: from 1946-1964; right after end of WWII; shaped what we understand of America today
Generation X: 1965-1980; a lot of entrepreneurs
Millennials: refers to those born after 1980; first generation to come of age in new millennium

The Perfect Storm:

2025: America will be a minority majority nation:
Americans 25 and under represent the most diverse generation in American History
Americans 35 and under represent the greatest people group per capita, second only to the Baby Boomers (with technology amplifying their impact)
Americans 35 and under also represent the greatest number of people in our history, who no longer attend church

Implications:
Ministry leaders today, no matter their ethnic background, must possess the ability to reach, and impact people who don’t look like them – our communities are getting more diverse around us in ‘color’ and ‘culture’

The Real Devastation that segregated churches cause:
reproduces inequality
encourages oppression
strengthens stereo types and fear
heightens political separation

The Millennial Generation is ready to lead and be mobilized by the ‘new’ pastor….the Community Leader

Small church – big impact
Go big by leading small
Recognize the power of the various ‘tribes’ in your community and your church
Learn to engage your local community through your local family networks – family discipleship (both blood families, and broader small groups in the church)

Examples:
Providence Church in Denver: 20-25 people yet has started an entire network of non-profits to care for the needs of their neighborhood; not branded by the name of the church; raising up young millennials to serve for two-year stints
Courageous Church in Atlanta: about 200 people; were able to mobilize more sending of tents to Haiti after the earthquake than most national governments
Mulberry Church in Louisiana: about 100 people; used EBay to raise $45,000 to send aid to Haiti

Notes available here: epiclifeproject.com/multi

Books to read on these topics:
David Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Faith
Mark DeYmaz, Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church
David Olson, American Church in Crisis
James Krile, Community Leadership Handbook
Paul Smits, Everyone Leads
Steve Troop, Tribal Church
Andy Stanley, Deep & Wide
Larry Osborne, Sticky Church
Cecile Andrews, Living Room Revolution
David W. Mills, Rapid Community Assessment

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