Practical Steps for Pastors to Grow Churches in Racial Diversity

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Signed into law in January 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday is a celebration of Dr. King’s immeasurable contribution to the United States, and to humankind. In the words of Coretta Scott King, "we celebrate the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit."

As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and reflect on the impact of his ideas, we would be remiss for not making explicit the connections between racial reconciliation and the gospel.

Multiracial. Cross-generational. Multicultural. Cross-geographical. The church of the Lord Jesus is fueled by a gospel that speaks to all races, both genders, and different generations.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. A recent survey by LifeWay Research shows that 50 years later, not much has changed. 

In light of this reality, we thought it would be appropriate and helpful to release a clip from an interview between Dave Harvey and Jamaal Williams, in which they discuss racial diversity and reconciliation in the church.


Your preaching should be opening up a whole new world for your people.
— Jamaal Williams