Amelia Explains it All: Church Diversity

Mia is talking BIG WORDS today and one word, in particular, she recently learned as I’ve been blogging Scott Williams’ book Church Diversity. She’s also overly fond of a creepy doll she was given. Don’t ask, just watch.

As many of you pointed out, I’m losing my touch on my One Word for 2011, which is green. To be a good sport, I wore a green shirt for this video. Ha!

Your practical solutions to the problem of church diversity probably won’t compare to Mia’s, but… what are they?

 

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34 responses to “Amelia Explains it All: Church Diversity

  1. Very cute!

    Practical church diversity solutions……welcome everyone, not just those who look, think and act like you (us).

    • how can you make sure everyone is being welcomed? I would say that we’re really welcoming, but what does that look like? how do we train greeters, ushers and people in the pews to appreciate and embrace every single person?

      • The more like Jesus you make them, the more naturally it will be that way. Where fear is an obstacle, perfect love casts out fear. Where hate is an obstacle, the love of Jesus is stronger than hate. Where lack of common ground is an obstacle, Jesus is your common ground. If your concentration is on becoming like Jesus, you’ll naturally attract those who want to be near Jesus (both saved and not), and repulse those who don’t want to be near Jesus.

        As for greeters and ushers… do you choose people for those roles who love Jesus and love people? It’s more the character of the person than the training you give them that will make them welcoming. You can train a person to *act* caring, but you can’t train them to care. That has to come from inside.

      • I’m a trainer by nature… I like to equip. Yes, finding the right people is essential, but even loving people can be inept at making the connections essential to making people feel at home. Think about people who are so comfortable with visitors in their house that they never offer a glass of water or food, because they assume that they already feel so at home they’ll just go get it from the fridge.

  2. This is a great post and Amelia is a super sweet & super smart young lady.

    • Thank you, Scott! it’s been a great experience reading the book, sharing with my church, family and friends along the way. She’s pretty special and has a heart for people.

  3. Everybody in the church is peach! Let’s paint each other! She needs to tell Scott Williams her idea. Church Diversity = SOLVED.

  4. LOL too cute!!

    I actually like her idea, but why not everyone wear long sleeved shirts and long pants and a bag over our heads and worship together? I know…. you don’t have to say it. LOL

  5. “If we paint each other…” That cracked me up!

  6. Kristin, she is too cute. LOL!

    I loved watching her go through each ‘area’ she saw that your church was diverse. 🙂

    • I asked her before we started if God loved all colors of people and tall and short people and asked her if he loved “silly” people and she said “he has to… he loves me!”

  7. Paint them. FTW

    So cute.

  8. What to say about Amelia………….too dang smart for her own good. Also, she has too high of a voice for headphones, but playing it on the speakers would interrupt my roommate watching SportsCenter.

    She should also know that not all people are peach. I’m definitely not peach above my sleeve tan line.

  9. Paint each other–nice 🙂

    On this note, I have recently found out that there is more racism in my community than I thought. I had an interesting conversation with a neighbor that was eye-opening, but he was open to the truth found in the Bible about equality and the need to love everyone regardless of race.

    • I’m still so surprised that race is a consideration in whether or not we will love someone, invite someone over, date someone, befriend someone, sit next to someone in a pew… I am probably never going to not be surprised by that, no matter how many times I encounter racism

  10. One thing I found notable is that Mom had to be the one to bring up the idea that skin color was a way that people were different. That’s a good thing if it didn’t occur to Amelia. 🙂

    • Mia and I do talk about these prior to shooting and she talked about how her friends at school (across the street from the church we attend) had different skin colors, but her friends at church were peach (with one exception)

  11. An interesting way of phrasing the diversity question: Would a person of another color (or whatever other category) who wanted to come to your church feel unwelcome in your church? If the answer is yes, then you may have a problem (depending on what it is that makes them feel unwelcome). If the answer is no, then the absence is indicative of a preference rather than a problem. Diversity is a case where we should be measuring opportunity rather than result.

    The same is true with, for instance, business hiring. Prejudice is a woman getting turned down because she’s a woman. Good business is a woman getting turned down because there’s a better qualified male candidate. Good business is also a man getting turned down because there’s a better qualified female candidate. If I may rabbit trail, I do think there are certain jobs where gender should matter; for instance, a coach who is going to be in the locker room should be of the same gender as the team.

  12. Church with the lights off 🙂

  13. 🙂 I agree that IS a creepy doll! And I think outreach is one of the best ways to help create diversity within the church. Our church community is more “peach” because the community around our church is more “peach”. There are many nationalities and even many from foriegn countries. We do neighborhood events such as car or mortercycle shows (yep, our conservative Baptist pastor rides a Hog.), family fun night, Vacation Bible School or carnivals. We also have a team of “fix it friends” that primarily help those within our church and those in our zip code with home maintanence and repairs that they are unable to do themselves. We’ve gone door to door offering to paint curbside house numbers free of charge, expecting nothing, not even sharing the gospel unless they asked. Our church also supports missions outside our community and takes time to hold an annual missions confrence where we are given time to “travel” to all the places with some of the missionaries we help support. This gives everyone exposure to other parts of the world where the gospel is being shared.
    In some of those communities there is no “diversity” except the missionary family. If the community you are in is not diverse then it is hard to expect the church to reflect something different. Not having diversity is not a poor reflection of Christ, nor is it always a sign that the church is neglecting the needs of others. If I were to attend a church where most of the community is Hispanic or African American, no one would ask if those churches were meeting the needs of the “peach people”.( I like being called “peach” rather than “white”, which isn’t accurate anyhow, I just happen to look more peach that Indian, or to be PC, Native American.) If I attended church on the reservation, there wouldn’t be any “peach” people there, well except me and my family.
    The church should be a reflection of Christ’s love. It should be a place to come together for worship and prayer, learning and fellowship. It should be a place where what job you have, what kind of car you drive, what school your kid goes or does not go to, or even the color of skin doesn’t matter. Romans 10:11-13

    • I think that my biggest problem with the lack of church diversity is that I do live in a very diverse area, and our church is in the middle of it… but the people are still peach. I love that our church is so outwardly focused, and does mission work and outreach and our members volunteer in the community at a high rate, but when people find Jesus, in our area, tend to worship in ethnically-separated groups instead of together.

  14. That’s too cute! Love it.

  15. Pingback: Lies and the lying liars who lie to my daughter « Messy Paradise

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