Multiplication Center

Mark DeYmaz on Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church

June 20, 2013

Dr. 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. He is also the author of Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church (Jossey-Bass, 2007) and Real Community Transformation (Leadia, 2012). His latest book Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church (Zondervan, 2013) addresses seven common challenges facing leaders of multi-ethnic churches. In the following interview, Mark tells us more about the ideas in this book.

What prompted you to write this book?

Over the last ten years, the percentage of multi-ethnic churches in the United States has nearly doubled: from 7.5% to 13.7%. More specifically, 14.4% of Protestant Evangelical congregations are now multi-ethnic; and these percentages are on the rise. More and more churches and pastors, then, are embracing the biblical mandate, and taking intentional steps to plant, grow or otherwise develop healthy multi-ethnic churches. I wrote this book to provide these practitioners personal encouragement, practical advice, and competent coaching, in order to help them minimize mistakes and overcome the obstacles for the sake of the Gospel.

What is the most challenging concept in your book?

There are two: first, the very real, unique, personal and spiritual costs of embracing this calling; second, what the homogeneous unit principle is and is not, understanding how it has been misunderstood and misapplied to church planting and growth for nearly fifty years, and how it can and should be applied biblically to win the lost without segregating the church (a concept I call Graduated Inclusion).

How does your book address these issues?

Through real-life stories and practical illustrations, the book provides an up-close-and-personal look inside the real-time challenges of multi-ethnic church ministry and leadership in a way that is both encouraging and empowering to those in the trenches. Beyond my own insights, and those of my colleague of more than ten years, Dr. Harry Li, I’ve provided sidebar instruction featuring fifteen other, effective, multi-ethnic church leaders from the United States and Australia, as well as study questions at the end of each chapter for staff and/or congregational development.

What’s your favorite section from the book?

Some of the bizarre stories we tell of encounters with some who have found their way to Mosaic through the years as part of our chapter on Spiritual Challenges. I mean, where else can you read about a woman flashing the worship leader in the middle of a set?!

How is this book different from your first book, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church?

Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church is widely recognized as a theological and practical primer for those new to the concept or newly engaged in multi-ethnic church ministry: it explains why you should and how you can pursue the dream for the sake of the Gospel. Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church is written for those further along in the journey, i.e., early adopters who are already deep in the woods and looking to follow the well-marked trails of pioneers who have gone before them, to avoid being bogged down in the tangled brush.

Is there anything else readers should know about this book?

Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church was originally published in 2010 as Ethnic Blends. The book was re-titled and re-covered in the spring of 2013 in order to better explain its purpose and content. In addition, the book features a new foreword by Matt Chandler, and new afterword by Dr. John M. Perkins weighing in on the coming integration of the local church for the sake of the Gospel in an increasingly diverse and cynical socie

Leading a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church is available in both paperback and ebook formats.


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