Home Podcast Jamaal Williams and Timothy Paul Jones: Should You Pursue a Multiethnic Church?...

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

“If a community is majority Black and brown, then we need to learn from that community and do everything we can to make adjustments so that people can have a church in their neighborhood that they can go to.”

“The key is starting with and getting your leaders on board so that Black and brown people have a safe place to come, and people have actually done the work so that they’re not, in an unintentional way, actually harming Black and brown people looking for refuge.”

“There’s going to be spiritual warfare. In this country, this is a stronghold, and we’re learning how to talk through these things together. So we need to be patient with each other and gracious, we need to teach what we believe, we need to celebrate when we see it working, and we need to not tolerate behavior that is racist or hateful or unhelpful. And we need to all be able to repent and to receive each other’s repentance.”

“You know you are kind of tokenizing a person even before you hire them if you’re not doing your due diligence and you just see, if we get this person, this will make us look better in this way, but you don’t intend to actually give them authority and responsibility.”

“It is costly. And as a Black man specifically—I’m going to talk in a very specific way, as a Black or brown person going into a majority white space with the hopes of making it multiethnic—it’s a calling. It’s cost me a lot.”

“If it’s not a calling, you shouldn’t do it, because multiethnic churches have multiethnic problems.”

“It’s been a hard process. And the Lord’s had to do a lot in me, and it’s his sustaining power that keeps me. Now, why is it worth it? One, it’s biblical. And I think that this is close to God’s heart if it can be done in a healthy way.”

“I’ve learned so much about Jesus from worshiping and getting to know people of different ethnicities and how they worship Jesus and how they read the Bible and see things differently that I would not see.”

Key Quotes From Timothy Paul Jones

“There is a tendency among some people to support or to promote and to celebrate multiethnicity for its own sake. And so it’s important that we aren’t doing it for its own sake…We celebrate it because we want to recognize and to celebrate the diverse beauty of God’s design and God’s plan.”

“It sets us free so that we can ask ourselves the better questions, which is, who is in my neighborhood that is not in my church? And what are the barriers that are keeping them from being here?”

“Many [white] people that are even well-intended people, they just don’t even know they have a culture. They just assume that the way I feel about things is the neutral default, and they don’t recognize it’s culturally shaped, it’s ethnically shaped, it is class shaped.”

“One of the huge challenges in a majority white context is helping people to recognize, I have a culture, I have a cultural background of some sort.”