On Sunday afternoon I met with a leader from our church over coffee and our conversation turned to an upcoming sermon about worship. This African American woman and I discussed the many different levels of complexity when it comes to worship in a multi-ethnic church. She pointed out some of the generalizations that are often made about the worship preferences of different cultures and ethnicities; I wondered about the potential for spiritual formation when we submit to forms of worship that are not initially comfortable. As we left the coffeeshop I mentioned how grateful I am to belong to a church community that expects these kinds of discussions, questions, and sermons.
In fact, I’ve come to take these conversations for granted though they are probably rare for most pastors and churches. Despite the many challenges of a young, diverse church, such conversations – and their applications – are surely one of our greatest gifts. Pastors and church leaders who serve in less diverse circumstances must look elsewhere for the theological agitation that is necessary for forming churches that faithfully reflect Gospel reconciliation.
Thankfully, the upcoming Mosaix Multi-ethnic Church Conference will provide one such forum. With sessions on theology, church planting, sociological trends, best practices, and more and with seasoned and competent leaders like John Perkins, Choco DeJesus, Michael Emerson, and conference organizer Mark DeYmaz, the conference will be full of thoughtful information. But as I look at the list of speakers and consider who else will be attending I know that it will be the conversations, like the one this past Sunday, that will make those days in Long Beach so fruitful.
The conference is November 5-6 so you’ve got plenty of time to register.