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Segregation and the Church From Where Weve Come

Written by Ed Stetzer Feed on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Pastor Mark DeYmaz shares his thoughts on new LifeWay Research data on segregation and the church.

On January 15, 2015, Christianity Today published an article on its blog, Gleanings, entitled, “Sunday Morning Segregation: Most Worshipers Feel Their Church Has Enough Diversity.” The article written by my friend, Bob Smietana, of Facts & Trends, cited recent findings of a study of church segregation by Nashville-based LifeWay Research, including these:

  • More than eight in ten congregations are made up of one predominant racial group;
  • Two-thirds of American churchgoers (sixty-seven percent) say their church is doing enough to become racially diverse;
  • More than half (fifty-three percent) disagree with the statement, “My church needs to become more ethnically diverse.”

Such findings prompted Bob to write, “Sunday morning remains one of the most segregated hours in American life…and most worshipers think their church is fine the way it is.” And he’s right.

Yet there’s another equally valid way to interpret the data, one that is much more promising and positive given the fact that twenty-five years ago, even fifteen years ago, very few were even asking the questions.

Think about it.

Based on this research, the flip side of the findings mentioned above are these:

  • Some fourteen percent of churches today have at least twenty percent ethnic diversity in their attending membership, a percentage that has doubled in the past ten years;
  • One-fourth of American churchgoers (now) say their church is not doing enough to become racially diverse;
  • Almost half (forty percent) agree with the statement, “My church needs to become more ethnically diverse.”

To be clear I am not at all challenging the research or in any other way suggesting it's ...

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