Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions The Church Is NOT Supposed to Be Segregated

The Church Is NOT Supposed to Be Segregated

I’m just going to say it flat out, the Lord’s church should NOT be segregated. The church isn’t supposed to be segregated by skin color, age, economics or anything else. But far too often we choose to segregate ourselves into separate congregations and even into separate and distinct groups within the same congregation. Here are a few thoughts on resolving the problem of segregation in the church.

What the Church Is Supposed to Be

The church is made up of all those who belong to Jesus Christ. Therefore, a local congregation of the church ought to be made up of all those who belong to Jesus Christ who live in that vicinity. Congregations ought to be as diverse as the communities in which they are located. There is absolutely no biblical reason for a diverse community to have a congregation that is made up of just older people, just younger people, just white people, just black people, just poor people or just rich people.

Furthermore, there is no biblical reason that within a congregation Christians should always be segregated into groups: singles, young marrieds, college-age, 50+, teens, recovering addicts, etc. There can certainly be benefits to occasionally breaking up into groups such as these, as people are at different stages of life, but too much of this can be detrimental to the very fabric of the church.

Jesus came to tear down walls of separation (Ephesians 2:14). He came to make us into one family, in which “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female” (Galatians 3:28). The apostle Paul spent most of his ministry trying to bring people together, in spite of their racial and cultural differences. He chastised separating from one another (Galatians 2:11-14). He told older Christians and younger Christians to teach each other and learn from each other (Titus 2:1-8; 1 Timothy 4:12).

God’s design for the church is about togetherness, not segregation.

It’s About Identity

As I see it, one of our biggest problems is personal identity. Too often, our identity is all wrapped up in carnal matters. Our identity is wrapped up in our age, our hobbies, our profession, our race, our nationality or maybe even our experiences. Because our identity is wrapped up in these carnal things, we identify primarily with others who share that identity.

When we make a big deal about identifying as a millennial, we naturally identify with others “in our group.” Those who do not share our identity are not necessarily our enemies, we just don’t consider them “one of us.” How we identify ourselves, therefore, is of the great importance. Do you primarily identify yourself as a black person, a white person, a baby-boomer, a Dallas Cowboys fan, an outdoorsman or what? What is your identity?

As Christians, our primary identity should come from being “in Christ.” Peter wrote:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

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My name is Wes McAdams and I am simply a Christian. I do not belong to a man-made religious or denominational body; I was added by God to the blood purchased church. If that was good enough for Paul, Peter, and Philip, it is certainly good enough for me! I do not have a creed; I simply follow the Bible–the inspired Word of God. I make absolutely no claims to perfection (or even goodness). All that I am and have is due to the grace of God! Because of God’s rich grace, I am husband to a beautiful wife, Hollee, and the father to two wonderful boys, Malachi and Noah. I am the preaching minister for the Baker Heights church of Christ in Abilene, Texas.