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Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church: Mandate, Commitments and Practices of a Diverse Congregation Hardcover – October 26, 2007
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Q&A with Mark DeYmaz, Author of Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church
Q. What is the big idea of your book?
A. Local churches should increasingly embrace ethnic and economic diversity for the sake of the Gospel.
Q. What prompted you to write your book?
A. An increasingly diverse and cynical society is no longer finding credible the message of God's love for all people as preached from segregated pulpits and pews. For too long segregation along the lines of race and class has been promoted as a strategy for planting, growing and developing local churches. While pragmatic, this strategy is not biblical and unintentionally undermines the very Gospel we preach.
Q. What is the most challenging concept in your book?
A. That the multi-ethnic church is not optional, but biblically mandated in the New Testament for the sake of the Gospel: envisioned by Christ (John 17:20-23); described by Luke (Acts 11:19-27); prescribed by Paul (Ephesians).
Q. How does your book improve leaders' lives?
A. By challenging and correcting long-held, erroneous, assumptions concerning the segregation of the local church, this book equips and empowers leaders to be more biblical and relevant in the 21st century for the sake of the Gospel.
Q. What's your favorite sentence/quote from your book?
A. "Jesus taught us to pray, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' So if the kingdom of heaven is not segregated, then why on earth is the local church?"
Q. If leaders only have time to read one chapter of your book right now, which one would you recommend and why?
A. Chapter 3: The Pauline Mystery. This chapter will completely rework the reader's understanding of Paul's letter to the Ephesians in an exegetically sound way.
Q. Step out of your role as author -- if you were recommending your book to a friend, what would you tell them?
A. This book will help you understand and articulate what it is you've been feeling for a long time: that diverse people ought to be able to walk, work, and worship God together as one in and through the local church.
“We cannot ignore the topic of multi-ethnic churches as we live in a multi-ethnic world. Mark DeYmaz writes [with] practical insight, not from theory but from leading an extremely strategic multi-ethnic church that is paving the way for so many others.”
--Dan Kimball, senior pastor, Vintage Faith Church, Santa Cruz, California, and author, They Like Jesus But Not the Church
“Mark DeYmaz has provided the body of Christ with the answer to one of its most embarrassing dilemmas: Sunday segregation. Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church is a very biblical plan for church leaders committed to building a church that looks like the world in which they minister.”--Miles McPherson, senior pastor, The Rock Church, San Diego, California
“This book unpacks theological and practical principles for local churches interested in truly serving their neighboring communities in an increasingly diverse America. It paves the way for the future of the local church and the next generations of its leaders.”--D. J. Chuang, director, Asian American Church Research at Leadership Network and executive director at L2 Foundation
“Drawing from his invaluable experience as a multi-ethnic church pastor, Mark DeYmaz writes with keen practical insight and foresight. For those committed to building multi-ethnic churches for Christ in an increasingly diverse culture, this is a must read.”--Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, professor, Christian Theology and Theology of Culture, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Portland, Oregon
“Here’s the book many of us have been looking for—a book that lays a solid biblical foundation for the multi-ethnic church and includes the building plans! Whether seeking to plant a multi-ethnic church or transform a homogenous congregation, this book will inspire and show the way.”--Jonathan Seda,senior pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Dover, Delaware
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Top Customer Reviews
The threefold combination of Jesus, Antioch and Paul are uniquely designed in Deymaz's work to assist the reader from the priestly prayer of Jesus to a real-time church with all its ethnic issues and the theological teachings of Paul (who was a master at intellectual argument). This method of thought helped the reader to grasp the principle in Jesus, the practice in the church and the doctrinal understanding behind it all. I would add that it fits uniquely into Jesus statement at he is the `way, truth and life' for a multi-ethnic church environment. Deymanz's own church consists of thirty nations which has to be the filter he interprets scripture through. Although I found no contradiction to classical interpretation, it left me thinking about churches where only two or three nations are represented? Even so, the first section was a good foundation for what follows.
Section two changes pace and style to a practical application of the biblical foundation. He suggests that multi-ethnicity in church has to be intentional and therefore does not happen by accident - or according to how the Spirit leads - which is usually an excuse for inaction.Read more ›
Mark DeYmaz has the credentials to write this book: pastor of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, a multi-ethnic and economically diverse church where men and women from more than thirty nations currently worship God together. And he writes it unlike so much of what has recently been penned on the topic. He artfully integrates theory/theology and methodology/practice.
He unites these twin themes around seven core commitments of a multi-ethnic church: embrace dependence, take intentional steps, empower diverse leadership, develop cross-cultural relationships, pursue cross-cultural competence, promote a spirit of inclusion, and mobilize for impact.
Pastor Miles McPherson has said it well. "Mark DeYmaz has provided the body of Christ with the answer to one of its most embarrassing dilemmas: Sunday segregation. Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church is a very biblical plan for church leaders committed to building a church that looks like the world in which they minister."
Church leaders already along the path and those no where yet near the path all need this book. It's challenging exhortations, biblical explanations, and practical implementations are invaluable.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of
Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction.
His points go beyond ethnicity, but are poignant for the health of any church.
Part 1 is a must-read as it focuses on where multi-ethnicity is stressed in the Bible. Part 2 has more practical applications which is a great starting point. Part 3 is the weakest part of the book, sharing stories of churches where the practical applications of part two are played out. Though the stories are unique, they get a bit redundant.
All in all, very good read.
It is unique because it does not focus on issues of racial reconciliation. It does not focus on issues of cultural anthropology and sociology. This book starts with theology and finishes with practice.
Many of us have started multi-ethnic churches because it was the `right thing to do' - and it is the right thing to do. Many of us have started multi-ethnic churches out of a sense of calling or leading from God. What Mark has done is show that this sense of calling corresponds to a mandate from God that is thoroughly biblical. It is the heartbeat of God.
Mark does not ignore issues of power or the very real stench of systemic racism within the church. He challenges these issues head on. It is neither the untested musings of a seminary theologian nor the pragmatic response of a frustrated practitioner. This is a book written from the perspective of deep theological insights and strong exegesis backed by years of practical involvement in multi-ethnic ministry. This book is theology in practice.
As such there are stories and examples that inspire any in multi-ethnic ministry and resonate for others involved in similar ministries. This book is not a how-to book although there are basic principles and guidelines in the second section of the book. These simply reflect the difficult path that you walk down when you are involved in multi-ethnic church.
This book rightly challenges all of us who are involved in the local church.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Political correctness hits the church . . . again. DeYmaz's point that racism is totally out of place in the church is well taken. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Greek1
Good material. I highly recommend the book: the blended church by dehner maurer. Practical steps to break down racism in the churchPublished on November 14, 2013 by dehner
this was one of the text books needed for a class in theology. However, when I began reading I enjoyed the chapters seemed to just run together. Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by Connie Cameron
Challenges the credibility of present day segregated Church in America and elsewhere and gives a strong Biblically exegetical argument for churches to begin working to be... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by David McCauley
This book is well written. I enjoyed the whole book, especially the examples provided. I hope many people read this one and pass it to people they know, especially to those who... Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Rafael E. Estrella
Deymaz's thesis is that multi-ethnic churches should not be focused on racial reconciliation but "must be focused on reconciling men and women to Jesus Christ and, consequently, on... Read morePublished on February 26, 2011 by Ramon Mayo
This book makes a very important and challenging contribution to contemporary thinking about church life and health. Read morePublished on December 8, 2009 by John Gibbs