In the spring of 2006, I received a call from the local NBC affiliate wanting to feature our church in a segment on people and institutions of faith making a difference in the lives of Arkansans. They wanted to describe the diversity of our church—a story of interest, in part, because we are located only three miles from Little Rock's Central High School where, in 1957, nine black students (the Little Rock Nine) were denied entrance, despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court ordering the desegregation of public schools throughout the United States.
When I inquired into the producer's interest in Mosaic, she said, "I want others to know that your church is not just diverse on the outside but diverse on the inside as well." In other words, what had caught her attention was the fact that our leadership—indeed, our pulpit itself—is fully integrated.
The leadership at the church in Antioch (Acts 11:19—25; 13:1) serves as a model for enlisting diverse leadership within a local church setting. Luke was compelled, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not only to mention the names of the men involved as prophets and teachers at Antioch, but their countries of origin as well.
This made clear that the church, like the gospel itself, is for all people, and that a diverse team is best fit for leadership in a "house of prayer for all the nations."
According to the Encarta World English Dictionary, quotas define "the number or quantity that is permitted or needed" within a given setting. In other words, those in positions of authority determine the limits as to who, what, and how much is needed. Of course, there is no place in the New Testament where racial quotas are prescribed, but that doesn't mean diversity ...