When I posted “I Go to Church with White People” on my blog, I was nervous. It was the first piece I’d written about racial issues. As an African American woman raised in the black church in South Carolina, my choice to worship at a predominantly white church was not normal. God, however, opened my eyes to the need for intentionally choosing a diverse community.
Embracing a community of faith that is diverse, trusting, and mutually submissive can humbly reveal much about God, and even more about ourselves. Diverse community can give us a clear lens to know and love God, plus help us understand our blind spots. This renewed vision compels us to love others well.
Multicultural small groups—those that are racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse—can be a catalyst to help us love our neighbors because they bring us close to “the other”—people who are different from us in some way. Simple proximity to “others” is a good first step.
We truly become a united people, though, through sacred moments together as a result of prayer, study, listening, and learning. Through the fellowship and community of diverse believers, our hearts are changed and we can re-enter a diverse and changing world again and again as reconciled, transformed, and renewed people who glorify God.
When a watching world sees true heart change, it’s a compelling witness. This change begins by drawing close to God and embracing a diverse community. The Holy Spirit changes people, and he uses changed people to miraculously change other individuals, organizations (including the church), and the world.
Diverse Community Helps Us Grow
Continue reading at Christianity Today SmallGroups.com.