Mark DeYmaz on Multi-Ethnic Church

I am attending the pre-conference sessions at Exponential 2013 on the multi-ethnic church. The first session was led by Mark DeYmaz of Mosaic Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and author of many books including, Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church. Here are my notes from that session:

Theology & philosophy:
– Jesus’ vision
– Early church

If the kingdom of heaven is not segregated then why is the local church?
– Churches are 10x more segregated than their neighborhoods and 20x more segregated than their local schools
– Becomes a credibility problem related to the gospel – to the lost & the cynic we have unintentionally undermined our message

How did we get here?
– Homogeneous Unit Principle (Donald McGavern)
– Heterogeneous church filled with homogeneous cells (McGavern’s original vision) – best way to see individual people come to Christ
– Watered down through influence C. Peter Wagner to fastest growing churches
– Martin Marty challenges McGavern about it and he clarifies that it is biblical for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development, but not for planting a church

Biblical mandate – The NT Church was multi-ethnic:
1. Envisioned by Christ (John 17:20-23)
A. Jesus prays for himself (John 17:1-5)
B. Jesus prays for his disciples (17:6-19)
C. Jesus prays for those who believe (17:20-23) – if you are one (can’t guarantee this will happen) then (this will result):
i. the world will know Jesus is the one &
ii. the world will know that you love them

2. Described by Luke – the Church at Antioch (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1)
A. Diverse men of Cyprus and Cyrene (11:20a)
B.They spoke intentionally to both Jews and Gentiles (11:20b)
C. Large numbers came to Christ (11:21, 24, 26)
D. Believers we first called Christians at Antioch (11:26)
E. Diverse staff at Antioch (13:1)

3. Paul prescribes the Multi-Ethnic Church
A. Ephesians 1-3: unity of the church
i. Unity with the Father (ch 1)
ii. Unity of Jews & Gentiles (ch 2)
iii. Unity is an ancient mystery only revealed now (ch 3, esp. 3:6, 9, 10)
B. Ephesians 4-6: live worthy of this calling to be one
i. In ethics (in ch 4)
ii. In relationships (in ch 5)
iii. In the spiritual battle (ch 6)

“Explosive growth, in most cases, leads to internal focus.” (Re: Acts 1-2 church)

Paul didn’t give his life merely for the gospel but also for the implications of the gospel (see Acts 22:21), namely: Gentile inclusion

2 thoughts on “Mark DeYmaz on Multi-Ethnic Church

  1. Would you say it should be the goal of a pastor to grow a multiethnic church, or that if a pastor is doing things “right” that a multiethnic church will be the result? (Or are neither of those statements accurate?)

    Obviously I’m a fan of multiethnic stuff. 😉

    • Sam, I really appreciate you commenting on this. I would probably phrase it like this: the dream of heaven is a diverse community of brothers and sisters gathered around our Father God.

      I believe that this is God’s desire and that pastors – as well as all in our churches – should try to live into the dream and heart of God. I do think that pastors should call their churches – and the church more broadly – into active pursuit of God’s dream. I don’t think that we can control that or actually make it happen, but I do think it should be something we are aiming toward.

      I see this in the Acts churches, like the Antioch church (Acts 13:1-4).

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