By Ray Chang: To understand what is a multiethnic church, we need to understand what multiethnic means. We also must understand the vision that God has for His church and where that vision comes from.
What is a multiethnic church?
Multiethnic is when a church is composed of one primary language but different ethnic groups. Multiracial is different physical characteristics of individuals. Multicultural is one predominant language with multiple cultural differences. Multiethnic churches are the intersection where God’s people come together; people of different races, languages, and culture come together to worship the same God. Multiethnic churches seek to gather people that are different than us. In this way, the church is meant to reflect the kingdom of God and what that looks like.
So, where does this vision come from?
The Biblical Reality
First and foremost, this diversity is the command of scripture. Throughout the Bible, we see one theme: the redemption of mankind. God first created one man and one woman in His image. The fall caused the first separation from God. Humans were separated and set apart from our Creator. The Old Testament is filled with stories of God redeeming His people and how those people were called to proclaim His truth to all nations. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we are brought together as one people, God’s people. Jesus’ Great Commission is to make disciples of all nations. We are called to make disciples of all people. All humanity is brought under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
The Sociological Reality
The sociological reality is what is happening in the world around us. The world is changing radically. Demographics and diversity are increasing dramatically. How can we effectively reach people without creating segregated communities? The gospel is supposed to break down the barriers that separate us. Jesus died on the cross to bring us together. Instead of building up walls that keep us segregated, we should be tearing them down in name of Jesus.
The Missional Reality
The gospel is about reaching all people. That is our job. We are called to bring all people together and evangelize people where they’re at. Jesus breaks down the walls of separation in mankind. All humanity is to be in fellowship with Christ. This is the missional reality that God has for us. We are to go out and make disciples of all nations, and create one nation that worships God.
As Revelation 7:9-10 tells us, “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” We are meant to see children of God and unite through the gospel, so let’s unite in our churches.