autor Neil Cole
The day of wearing uniforms in church is over, and I’m not picking on the Salvation Army here. There once was a day that you could go to church and see everybody wearing clothing of the same color and style as they lead worship in a service. Not only anymore, today not only will the clothes be of a different color, but probably the skin.
Postmodernism is born in the urban setting and the cities are people magnets. The cities are growing in population but also in diversity. There are about 120 languages represented in the school system where my wife works.
Born in a world that gets smaller every day due to technology, trade and people migration, postmodernism has a high value of diversity. The modern mindset valued tolerance, but tolerance is not enough for the postmodern who needs diversity.
A meeting that is all Caucasian or all African American is suspect and not inviting to a postmodern person. Diversity is more than tolerance of others, it is embracing the differences, it is valuing the beauties that are so different.
The kingdom of God is probably the best place to see the diversity of God’s creation. Unfortunately, many have said that Sunday morning is the most segregated time in the U. S. I often find my eyes tearing when I read of Revelations description of the kingdom being made up of people from every tribe, nation and tongue (Rev. 7:9-10).
I am a part of a beautiful church. In this one little church you will meet people who are Mexican, Romanian, African American, Caucasian, Samoan, Chilean, Palestinian, Egyptian, Native American, and Filipino. We have poor unemployed people, college students (usually these first two mentioned are the same), wealthy business owners, homeless people, and hard working middle-class people struggling from pay check to pay check. We have a couple people in their late sixties and some toddlers wobbling from lap to lap hoping for a second cookie from a friendly church member. We have two wheel chairs present each night. This church has sent missionaries to relocate overseas to start similar churches in France, Spain, North Africa, Cyrpus and Japan.
This is probably not impressive for many large urban churches, but this is a church of between 20 and 25 people meeting in a living room!
Such a church is very attractive to someone who wants intimate relationships with real people in an experiential context and is looking for expressions of diversity. This is what I believe the church of the future will look like.