Jump directly to the Content

An Army of Ones

Does diversity in the church work?

Martin Luther King Jr. said that 11:00 on Sunday morning is "the most segregated hour in America." Not much has changed since King made that statement. But is this a bad thing? As America has grown more diverse, and not just racially, the church has responded by creating congregations to appeal to specific subcultures. We see not only black congregations and white congregations, but also boomer and postmodern, contemporary and classical, liturgical and spontaneous.

Some of this has been spurred by research that indicates homogeneous congregations grow more rapidly by appealing to a definable target audience. But even there, no congregation is completely homogenized; differences of opinion will show up in even the most niched congregations. Working through differences is usually what leads to maturity. The question remains—how diverse should we strive to be?

We asked three church leaders to explore the model presented in the New Testament and compare it to their own experience.

Craig ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Religious Complexity Produces Shallow Faith
Religious Complexity Produces Shallow Faith
A.W. Tozer and other wisdom from The MacDonald Files.
From the Magazine
Empty Pews Are an American Public Health Crisis
Empty Pews Are an American Public Health Crisis
Americans are rapidly giving up on church. Our minds and bodies will pay the price.
Editor's Pick
Ten Percent Won’t Work for Everyone
Ten Percent Won’t Work for Everyone
The New Testament suggests that different Christians should give different portions of their income to the Lord.