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Jamaal Williams and Timothy Paul Jones: Should You Pursue a Multiethnic Church? It’s Complicated

Image courtesy of Dr. Jamaal Williams and Dr. Timothy Paul Jones

Dr. Jamaal Williams serves as lead pastor of Sojourn Church Midtown in Louisville, Kentucky, and as president of the Harbor Network. He regularly consults with churches on leadership issues related to building healthy multiethnic churches. 

Dr. Timothy Paul Jones teaches apologetics at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and serves as a preaching pastor at Sojourn Church Midtown. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books, including “Finding God in a Galaxy Far, Far Away” and “Christian History Made Easy.”

Jamaal and Timothy’s new book is, “In Church As It Is in Heaven: Cultivating a Multiethnic Kingdom Culture.

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Key Questions for Jamaal Williams and Timothy Paul Jones

-Why does the desire church leaders have for diversity not match reality? 

-How are you creating spaces at your church where people can empathize with and challenge one another? 

-What are some errors churches make when trying to foster multiethnic, multicultural congregations?

-Why is pursuing diversity costly, and why is it worth pursuing?

Key Quotes From Jamaal Williams

“Should we pursue the multiethnic church and multiethnic churches? The answer, I think, is it’s complicated. Some churches should and some churches shouldn’t, But overall, every church should pursue what we call a ‘multiethnic kingdom culture.’”

“One of the things that we’re really trying to focus on is how do we get to…help churches to become churches where any person can bring their glory, their honor from their culture into a church, and it contributes to the church, rather than they assimilate into that church and to that culture?”

“If we’re just saying this main culture is the one that’s kind of setting the agenda and everyone is expecting to assimilate to it, you know, Black and brown people don’t want to be a part of that.”

“Everyone is bringing a culture, and typically white cultures tend to swallow up and dominate, especially in our context, Black and brown cultures, if [white people] are the majority.”