Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review: Church Diversity

When this book came up as being available for review as part of the Page Turners program, I did not request it.  Even though I'm Facebook friends with the author, Scott Williams.  Even though I'm rather partial to anyone with a last name of Williams.  But a book called Church Diversity?  How can this apply to me right now?

I'm not in charge of anything, I'm not in a position to change anything, and, ummm, well... you know, I'd rather not think about that elephant in the room.

I grew up in a church where diversity meant that the Norwegians and the Swedes were willing to mix socially, you know?  That isn't a slam of that church... that was a fairly accurate reflection of the community. So this isn't something I've ever really thought about.

Then an email came about doing a blog tour, and I went and watched the little promo videos.  Like this one:

Um, yeah.  Scott Williams.  Talking about going out into all the world.  Talking about how we need to talk about the elephant in the pew.  Quoting the Reverend King, about 11:00 on Sunday being the most segregated hour in Christian America.

So I signed up.

Here's what the publisher says:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best over 45 years ago: “We must face the sad fact that at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning, when we stand to sing… we stand in the most segregated hour in America.”
What an unfortunate reality that many still face today. Have you ever been asked the question, “Is your church a white church or a black church?”…No, it’s God’s Church!
Church Diversity discusses topics such as:
  • How we can begin to implement change today
  • What key insights, strategies and practical tips can help
  • Who are the leading voices in diversity and what can they teach the Church

This resource is a tool to foster the tough conversations and encourage decision-making to change the face and heart of the Church.
There is already a community out there passionate about this topic and moving the Church forward. Hundreds of them uploaded their photos and can be seen throughout the pages of this book. Their twitter names are also included so you can begin connecting with them today!
I've been slowly working through this book, which is incredibly well-written.  And I am realizing the church diversity is not just up to the leadership in "the church" or even "a church" but it is something that everyone needs to be thinking about.  The best part is that although he is a black man, he isn't pointing fingers at white America as being "the" problem.  And I realized that was part of my hang-up about reading the book, because I guess I was concerned that I was going to have to wrestle with the idea that everything was the fault of white Christians.

Scott certainly is convicting, but he doesn't throw around a lot of blame and guilt.

Not only does he give the vision of a church for all nations and all tongues, but he gives a ton of practical stuff too.  And it isn't just what worked in his church in Oklahoma.  He talks to people from a number of other churches around the nation about their successes in embracing diversity.

This is a book that church leaders everywhere ought to read.  But it is also a book for every Christian to read.  we all need to be a part of the solution here.

For more info, check out the Church Diversity website, where you can find out a lot more.  Listen to a radio interview.  Check out Scott's blog.  And look into reading the book.  Well worth the time.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  


Rodna said...

Hey Debra, I just got a book in the mail from New Leaf Publishing. I have never reviewed for them before, but I found out about them from your reviews!

I checked them out, and requested one book.

I can't find any info on their site though about when reviews are due, or anything.

I was hoping you could give me a little info about reviewing for them.

Thanks Debra!

Debra said...

Rodna -- usually there isn't a 'due date' as such. This one was different, as it was part of a blog tour.

What book did you get?

Generally, what I do is to set a "due date" about six weeks from when I get the book. A lot of the stuff I can review a lot faster. But some of them take awhile...

Feel free to email me with questions too. :)

Scott Williams said...

Debra thanks for your review... As I was writing the book, I was hoping it would be for the body of Christ in general and not just ministry leaders. Thanks for affirming that.

Thanks again for reading! Well done!

Jennifer said...

Diversity was one of my favorite things about our church in Woodbridge, VA. It was my first experience living in an area that actually HAD diversity and I loved that it extended into all aspects of my life. I've missed that since we've moved away.