When a position becomes available in most churches, leaders tend to contact those they know and trust for names of those they'd recommend for the job. The people we contact and those they recommend are, more often than not, people just like us in ethnic, economic, and educational background.
Consequently, the people we know recommend people they know, and by the time r?sum?s are submitted, interviews conducted, and decisions made, the new hire - "the best man for the job" - looks just like us. Indeed, we may have searched the country, but only through a limited field of contacts.
Those intent on building a healthy multi-ethnic church should develop relationships with people outside their own ethnic and economic background in order to break this cycle. Our intention to hire an African American speaker has meant connecting with other African American church leaders to express our desire. Without this network of relationships, the task would be much more difficult.
f you don't have connections outside your own ethnic group, start by simply picking up the phone and introducing yourself to pastors and professors, ministry and business professionals alike. Of course, once the church is established and diversity takes root, the process of finding candidates becomes much less contrived.
Excerpted from Multicultural Ministry, a new downloadable resource from Gifted for Leadership.