When the church began, an amazing diversity of people from different geographic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds gathered together to confess a common faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul cast a vision of one body where Jew and Gentile would worship together in unity. The Revelation to John likewise foreshadows an eternal future where all nations will join together at the throne of the Lamb.
Sadly, Christianity has not often lived up to this ideal. The history of the church has been marked by continued segregation, ethnic strife and racial division. But at the dawn of a new millennium, hopeful signs of change are emerging.
As society diversifies, local churches find themselves interacting with people from every tribe and tongue. But not every church is equipped to handle the realities of ethnic and racial diversity in their congregational life. Sociologist George Yancey's groundbreaking research on multiracial churches offers key principles for church leaders who want to minister to people from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. Insights from real-life congregations provide concrete examples of how churches can welcome those who have been marginalized, giving people of all heritages a sense of ownership and partnership in the life of the church.
Based on data from a landmark Lilly Endowment study of multiracial churches across America, this volume offers insights and implications for church leadership, worship styles, conflict resolution and much more. Here is an essential resource for pastors and church leaders committed to cultural, ethnic and racial reconciliation in their congregations.
"George Yancey has written a remarkable book that makes a groundbreaking contribution. Drawing extensively on the first-ever national study of multiracial congregations, he uncovers seven main factors that these congregations have in common. He takes us through these commonalities, step by step, in an engaging and easy-to-read manner. Contained in the book is the very heart of what it takes to transform one's church into a multiracial congregation, and what it takes to develop together once a church is demographically multiracial."
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading George Yancey's new book, One Body, One Spirit. I find this work to be extremely scholarly, helpful and inspiring. The book is a must for anyone interested in starting a multiracial ministry or concerned about race relations in the church. I have known George for a number of years and have seen his love for Christ and his dedication to the touchy issues of racial reconciliation. One Body, One Spirit will be a welcome resource for anyone who has made the courageous decision to go on this journey."
"My heart soared with gratitude and renewed hope for the church's future as I read One Body, One Spirit. George Yancey's compelling call to build multiracial worshiping communities is healing, motivating and with the aid of his insights, realizable. This practical guide ushers us toward the heavenly worship that awaits."
"Dr. Yancey has provided a helpful volume for the church as it takes on the globalization of our communities. He provides much assistance in the 'how to' of the ministry of the church. One of the important areas that is extremely helpful is worship. Yancey's investigation has brought together numerous principles and illustrations on how best to develop the ministry of a multiethnic church. In the flow of things, it seems that he is deeply concerned that the multiethnic church not be an end in itself but a means to race reconciliation."
Foreword by Michael O. Emerson
2. Multiracial Churches: Past and Present
3. Should We Have Multiracial Churches?
4. Types of Multiracial Churches
5. Seven General Principles for Building Multiracial Churches
6. Inclusive Worship
7. Diverse Leadership
8. An Overarching Goal
10. Personal Skills
Appendix A: How This Research Was Conducted
Appendix B: Useful Websites
Appendix C: Determining the Type of Multiracial Church of a Congregation