Mark DeYmaz is the founding pastor of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, a multi-ethnic and economically diverse church where significant percentages of Black and White Americans, together with men and women from more than 30 nations, walk, work and worship God together as one. Mark and his wife, Linda, have four children.
Throughout history, the church has been an agent of change in culture. Why do you feel we’ve moved away from that role recently?
How would you respond to a pastor who is concerned about watering down the gospel by engaging social justice issues?
What does economic transformation have to do with the gospel? Was Jesus concerned with it?
“Intrinsic to our understanding of the church in America is this concept that the church should inform culture rather than culture inform the church. While I certainly believe that, the problem is the church is not informing culture and culture is not listening to the church—not even looking to the church for leadership.”
“The culture is demanding and is in great need of not only spiritual transformation, but transformation along justice lines…and likewise it’s in great need of economic redemption.”
“If the church is going to get ahead of culture…and be heard and respected by an increasingly diverse and cynical society, we can no longer simply play only in a spiritual sandbox. We’ve also got to be in the justice space and the economic space of local communities.”
“The African American churches—particularly in the urban centers of our society—have operated not only proclaiming spiritual truth, but truths of justice, economic transformation. And the white church needs to understand and catch up to that.”
“You have some types that are all about the gospel…and sometimes you want to look those folks in the eye and you want to ask them a question: ‘Hey, in all your gospel, where’s the justice?’ Then you have your justice types…sometimes you want to look and ask them: ‘Where’s the Jesus? Where’s the church in all your justice?’”
“Reconciliation, repentance, or corporate repentance, justice, these things are not peripheral to the gospel, they’re intrinsic to the gospel.”
“We’re actually undermining the gospel by not being engaged in the issues of our local communities in advancing biblical justice and economic transformation.”
“The systemic segregation of the American church today is undermining the…gospel.”
“In Matthew 5:16, Jesus did not say ‘Let them hear your good theology. Let them see your big church full of people who look just like you.’ He did not say, ‘Let them hear your good words.’ He said, ‘Let them see your good works.’”
“We are way past sharing four spiritual laws on the beach. People don’t need the words. They need the works.”
“The greater the diversity of your church, the greater your influence in the community.”