Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Church for All People

This past Sunday I talked to Legacy about "A Church For All People." It was part of a celebration of "the world in our backyard."

Legacy is blessed to be in a mission field in which the world has literally settled in our backyard. One of our responses to this reality has been to offer an English Language Program over more than a decade. We have the privilege to serve over 235 different people from 28 countries this year alone.

Sunday afternoon we asked the students in ELP to introduce us to their cultures. The results were captured in the picture here. It was taken by a member of the New Star Leadership Education Center with whom we partner. (By the way, they are providing relief for families connected to the earthquake in Chengdu, China. Go here for more information.)

We had 18 displays of different countries and cultures in which we were able to hear about our friend's homes and taste some of their native food. It was great!

This event was part of an awareness that began in my a year or so ago as I once again asked God to show me our mission field as Jesus would see it. I could not get away with the diversity of cultures that are here and the hope of unity only the ekklesia can bring.

Here are my notes for the day. You can hear my message here. There are links to the authors I mention at the end of this post.

Legacy’s Core Value: All people matter to God; therefore, they matter to us.

What does a church look like where “all people matter to God.”

One characteristic is a multi-cultural representation of those in our mission field.

My personal history of life in a majority white culture has created prejudices in me.

Two recent experiences have exposed the depth of those prejudices: DEEP and DAC.

My knowledge of the Story of the Church has challenged my passive stance on this issue.

The turning point of the ekklesia movement was when ethnically diverse disciples reached out to those not like them. (Acts 11:19, 20)

God’s vision for the body of Christ is unity in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:14-22; Revelation 7:9, 10)

We can celebrate what God is doing at Legacy to allow us to experience a taste of His vision.

Schools and governments can only teach tolerance and appreciation. Only a changed heart in Christ Jesus in the community of the ekklesia can people experience true unity.

Ephesians 2:22 follows Ephesians 2:8 and 9.

David A. Anderson, Gracism; Racism vs. Gracism article

Mark DeYmaz, Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church; DeYmaz' blog.

We who are Legacy Church will continue to help "all people" trust Jesus. This means we will continue to work intentionally to experience the no-walls unity that only Christ can bring.

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