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Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, [2] then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. [3] Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, [4] not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:1-4 NIV

Diversity is the heart of Christian life: Diversity is not just a pleasant buzzword, especially for churches. It’s the heart of the Christian life, as we see in Philippians 2.

Diversity is incredibly important to us at BACC. Our executive minister, Russ Ewell, wrote a piece about diversity for at the end of Black History Month that reflects our beliefs as a congregation. We desire to be a refuge for the world and know that we cannot be that if we are monocultural. Instead, we work intentionally to build a place where everyone feels heard, seen, and loved. 

Diversity is a goal but not a reality for most churches: Most churches in America are not diverse. One recent survey found that  76% of Protestant churches are predominantly one racial or ethnic group, and most pastors see diversity as a goal but not a reality. 

Diversity is a matter of the heart: First-time visitors to the BACC are often struck by the diversity of the congregation. We are grateful for the culture God has taught us to build so far, and we know we will continue to become more diverse as we learn from one another and grow in our love.

“Building a truly diverse church is a matter of the heart, not a numbers game. It’s about building a culture where anyone—from any generation, background, gender or ability—can feel heard and seen and loved. It’s about building a culture of humility, respect, trust and hope,” Russ wrote. “But it is, in fact, built. Diversity rarely happens by accident.”

By listening, we learn to love: Jesus calls us to love, and listening to others is an important way to do that. “If the Church wants to be a safe haven for the marginalized, listening to them as we do this month is just the beginning,” Russ continued in his article. “In listening, we learn to love; and in loving, we learn to empower others and expand ourselves.”

The church that changes the world

[44] All the believers were together and had everything in common. [45] They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. [46] Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, [47] praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47 NIV

Love breaks social norms: At the BACC, we are inspired by and seek to model ourselves after the early Christian church, where the community extended far beyond weekly worship services in both internal relationships and external impact. By following the loving example of Jesus (John 13:34-35), these men and women broke social norms and changed the world as they knew it. 

This weekend, think about someone in your circle with a different background than you. Spend time with them. Listen to them. What can you learn from their valuable perspective?

Every little gesture matters and builds a foundation for inclusivity! 

Until next time!

BACC Staff

Written by

Bay Area Christian Church

This was created by a member of the Bay Area Christian Church team.