Segregated churches in America need to stop simply managing the current state of decline and begin working together to create a “credible witness of God’s love,” Mark DeYmaz, a leader of the multi-ethnic church movement, recently told Together LA.
“We can’t be all about unity in our own local churches without unity in the city,” said DeYmaz, who was at the leadership conference, Catalyst West, on Friday. “Take for example, Together LA and Los Angeles — pastors coming together with varying ethnic backgrounds, economic conditions, and the urban and suburban churches working together to advance a credible witness of God’s love for all people in and around the L.A. region — this is super important.”
In his recently released book, Disruption: Repurposing the Church to Redeem the Community, he stated that not only are Americans divided along the lines of race, class, and culture as well as religion and politics, but Christians are often at odds with one another over the same things as well.
“This is the time, then, for Christ-centered peacemakers to step up and stand out so that Christians will no longer be seen as disturbing the peace but disrupting, in a positive sense, by diffusing division at every turn,” he wrote in his book.
He said that the goal for Christians should be to come together to bless the city, to lead people to Christ, to promote the greater unity, and ultimately to fulfill the great commission.
“The starting point is individually building cross-cultural relationships, [and] collectively creating local churches that reflect their communities, and then the aggregate effect of bringing all those pastors and churches together to have a transformative witness in their cities,” DeYmaz explained. The process he describes is the “future of the American church.”
“In fact, if we don’t get to this state (of process) we end up managing decline. That’s what’s largely going on in around this country both in cities and in the church,” he said. “We are simply managing decline because we are bowed up … in terms of how we do churches that are systematically segregated. We target people groups, [but] we should be targeting communities and that’s the future and that’s what works like Together LA and others in cities around the country are all about. It’s so encouraging to see because this is the hope of the gospel, this is the gospel of Christ.”