• About
  • Assessment
  • Resources
  • News
  • Blog
  • Contact

The face of America is changing and the changing demographics in the U.S. will impact its churches in profound ways. Diversity is about honoring the differences each of us brings to the table. By addressing diversity issues and personal biases, church leaders will improve their relationships with church members, enhancing their success.

The plan of God in the Great Commission is that all nations be reached with the gospel. This was seen in the first days at Pentecost and will be true in our future days in heaven, where every tongue, tribe, people and nation will worship together.

  • Our diversity makes us stronger and more strategic. We need leaders from all nations to reach all nations.
  • Our diversity is the only route to a clearer picture of God—no one culture can corner the market on how to view/worship our multicultural God.
  • Valuing our diversity helps us grow personally, relationally and corporately as we expand beyond engaging only with those who are like us—who hold our attitudes, preferences, values, practices and behaviors.

Unity in diversity: race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, class and geographic identity in Biblical perspective. A theological position paper by the Converge Biblical Diversity Ministry

What Is a Diversity Assessment?
It is a quantitative and qualitative examination of an organization’s cultural characteristics, including its norms, practices, attitudes and values to determine whether they help or hinder its vision and mission. This examination informs the organization whether its culture supports diversity and inclusion.

Why Is an Assessment Needed?
The church is facing unprecedented challenges involving diversity and inclusion. The face of America is changing and the changing demographics in the U.S. will impact its churches in profound ways.

  • More than 50% of U.S. children are children of color. It’s easy to predict who the church’s future members will be. Will Converge be ready to serve them?
  • We have an aging and declining white population and a rapidly increasing Latino population. How is Converge positioned to handle this change?
  • Churches are increasingly asked to respond to racism and privilege.
  • Converge needs to know if its organization is prepared to meet these challenges. It needs to know if its culture supports diversity and inclusion and what cultural competencies are needed. Churches must compete for members just like other organizations. Churches with robust initiatives for managing diversity will be more effective at attracting, developing, serving and retaining a diverse membership. To that end, a diversity assessment is needed.

    Pastor's Diversity Status of Survey Completion by Districts

    Our goal is to receive at least 60% survey responses from each district. The status bars indicate the percentage of churches in the district that have completed the survey.

    Northwest District Status:
      41% of 99 churches

    Southwest District Status:
      54% of 114 churches

    Heartland District Status:
      53% of 60 churches

    Great Lakes District Status:
      53% of 123 churches

    MidAmerica District Status:
      51% of 226 churches

    PacWest District Status:
      83% of 80 churches

    Rocky Mountain District Status:
      66% of 58 churches

    North Central District Status:
      45% of 258 churches

    MidAtlantic District Status:
      40% of 94 churches

    Northeast District Status:
      54% of 91 churches

    Southeast District Status:
      40% of 83 churches

    Diversity Status of Survey Completion by District Boards and Staff

    Northwest District Status:

    Southwest District Status:

    Heartland District Status:

    Great Lakes District Status:

    MidAmerica District Status:

    PacWest District Status:

    Rocky Mountain District Status:

    North Central District Status:

    MidAtlantic District Status:

    Northeast District Status:

    Southeast District Status:

    National Office Status:

Diversity Church - Vision 2016

Racial Diversity

Resources for Multicultural Ministries

One of the greatest struggles with fulfilling the Great Commission is that many people are not culturally aware. They see something different from what they are used to and, instead of attempting to increase their knowledge, they run away from it or mock it. It could be that they are scared of the unfamiliar and afraid to take the important step that God wants them to. The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19, states, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, commission means “an authorization or command to act in a prescribed manner or to perform prescribed acts.” God is not asking us to go and teach all nations; he is commanding us to do so. As Christians, it should be not only our goal but also our desire to follow God's commands. But how do we do so? There are a multitude of great diversity resources available for churches to use to help them become more culturally aware so that they can minister effectively to those that come from a different background than they do.

Bible Passages About Diversity and Inclusion

Read Verses

How to Minister Cross-Culturally

Talking Together as Christians, is designed to help ministries talk cross-culturally as a church. It also includes valuable information on how to effectively converse with people of different races and cultures, such as American Indians, Laotians, The Hmong, African Americans, European Americans and many more. The website has great resources that you may find extremely informative, including a strategic plan on each racial group. This resource should help you to effectively minister to and communicate with people of all nations.

  1. Talking Together As Christians About Tough Social Issues
  2. Cross-Culturally A Field Guide

Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity, by Edward Gilbreath Edward Gilbreath is an author, editor and speaker. He worked for the magazine Christianity Today and is the founding editor of urbanfaith.com, an online magazine about religion and culture. His book discusses the history and current state of racial reconciliation in evangelical churches. He records progress that has been made and discusses setbacks that have occurred. His words offer encouragement for black evangelicals feeling alone, clarity for white evangelicals who want to understand more deeply and fresh vision for all who want to move forward toward Christ’s prayer “that all of them may be one.” Learn more.

Three Steps to Bring Diversity into Your Church

Building a diverse and inclusive church will not happen overnight. However, there are several steps that can be taken today, and every day, to move towards this important goal. A blog post on Bible Insider, “3 Steps to Bring Diversity into Your Group,” outlines how a church can “be intentional,” “invite other expressions of praise” and “anticipate spiritual growth” to help create a more inviting environment for diverse groups. There are many more ways to help involve a more diverse community in church, but this post provides great, specific examples. No matter what stage of increasing diversity your church is at, the recommendations found in this resource can help by either serving as a start to your journey or a check-in for your efforts. Read post.

The Diversity Benefits Everyone Interview

DBE interviews prominent scholars and religious leaders from around the country and will be featuring these interviews to help Converge’s readers stay current on the most pressing diversity issues impacting the church.

This week Dr. Dwight Perry is interviewed. Rev. Dr. Dwight Perry is the Regional President and Executive Minister of Converge Great Lakes and is known and appreciated for his straight-talk approach to ministry. Prior to coming to the Converge Great Lakes, Dr. Perry served as a full time professor of pastoral studies at the Moody Bible Institute, a denominational executive with the Baptist General Conference and as a senior pastor and associate pastor in three different local churches in Illinois. He has published extensively in the area of practical theology. Dr. Perry speaks and consults on a number of topics across the country, including the area of racial and cultural diversity. He and his wife Dr. Cynthia Perry, a tenured professor in the College of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, have four adult children and four grandchildren. They live in Madison, Wisconsin. Download interview.

Diversity Assessment Prayer

This prayer was written for Converge by Dr. Charles Taylor (Diversity Assessment Consultant), seeking God’s guidance for the Diversity Assessment that his team is facilitating. He asks that each district pray this prayer to guide its assessment efforts. Download prayer.

Diversity Report Results

Over the past year, Converge’s district and national leadership worked together on a diversity assessment of our movement. As in everything we do, our objective in seeking diversity is to help more people meet, know and follow Jesus. We acknowledge our communities, country and world are changing. Converge needs to make adjustments to more effectively bridge spiritual, social, ethnic and cultural divides so prevalent in our society.

We see the tensions in the news, in the streets, in our relationships and even in our hearts. And we are as convinced as ever the answer to our society’s issues is found in the gospel and in personal transformation found in Jesus Christ. The opportunity for the church to shine as a beacon of hope has never been greater in our country, nor has the opportunity been greater to impact people from every tongue, tribe, people and nation.

We've published a summary of key findings and recommendations of the national Converge Diversity Study. Please take a few minutes to read the report. We invite you to join us on this journey—as we start and strengthen churches together worldwide.

Southeast District Completes Diversity Assessment

In early March, 2016, the Converge Southeast district became the first to complete the assessment. Dr. Joey Mimbs, interim executive minister of Converge Southeast, said the following about the assessment:

“I would like to thank Dr. Holland and Dr. Taylor for the excellent job they did Monday and Tuesday with the Diversity Assessment process. I have heard positive comments from the men who participated. I was very impressed with both men and the process. I am excited to see what we will learn as a district. I believe God will direct us in a path that will help us further the kingdom of God in a way that pleases him. President Ridout, thank you for making this Diversity Assessment a reality for Converge. I only have positive comments for any other district executive minister.”

In addition to interviewing the Southeast district’s interim executive minister and leading pastors, focus groups were also held with the district’s overseers board and staff. Pastors in each district are asked to complete an online survey that captures their attitudes about diversity and inclusion. To date about a third of Southeast district pastors have completed the national diversity survey. The goal is to get a minimum of 50% of pastors in every district to finish the survey. This data will give Converge the information it needs to answer the question: “Where do we stand as a faith-based organization when it comes to modeling diversity and inclusion?” The assessment will enable Converge to answer that question in a thoughtful and intentional manner, resulting in a roadmap on how to proceed as an organization.

We will post the status of each district’s completion rate as it is tabulated. Please encourage all of your pastors to complete the survey―it only takes about 15 minutes and no pastor will be identified. There are no right or wrong answers. All we ask is that you be completely candid and speak from your heart.

Diversity News from the Districts

Did you know? The Southeast district is perhaps Converge’s most diverse, with 60% of its churches non-Anglo.

Church plant in Tracy, California, focuses on Spanish speakers

Grace Church is located in Tracy, California, part of the PacWest district. Tracy has a large and growing Spanish-speaking community that has been receptive to hearing the gospel. Grace Church wanted to find a way to reach the Spanish-speaking community, so they added a Spanish pastor to the staff to assist in this endeavor. Now the two congregations work together to effectively minister to the city of Tracy. Read more.

Karen Congregation Joins Converge

On December 6, 2015, a congregation made up of over 750 Karen (Kah-Ren) people from Burma, voted unanimously to affiliate with Converge North Central district and the Karen Baptist Convention of USA. This congregation is hosted by Trinity Baptist Church, St. Paul Minnesota, pastored by Thera William Dwe, Thera Daniel Htoo and Thera Do GayNay Hser. Approximately 9000 Karen refugees have settled in Minnesota, which is now the largest Karen community in the U.S. Read more

Email your diversity news to: cataylor1st@charter.net

New Samaria

Your New Samaria: Hitting the Bullseye on the Wrong Target

Many years ago, when I actually played a little golf, I was with a group of first-time golfers. While on the tee I noticed one of the gentlemen in the foursome ahead was lining up his next shot for the green. He hit a great shot. The only problem...

Read More »

Results of the Converge Diversity Assessment

For the past year, Converge’s district and national leadership have been working together on a diversity assessment of our movement. As in everything we do, our objective in this endeavor is to help more people meet, know and follow Jesus. We...

Read More »
Skokie Valley Baptist Church

The Bumpy, Rewarding Road to Diversity

In the picturesque village of Wilmette, Illinois, you’ll find Skokie Valley Baptist Church. Wilmette is a Northshore suburb of Chicago bordering Lake Michigan. There are diverse...

Read More »
Living Grace Church, Great Falls, Montana

Merging Churches Bridge Racial Tension

Several years ago Andre and Peggy Murphy moved to Montana to pastor an existing church. Commissioned and sent by Dr. Robin Holland’s congregation at Living Hope Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado, the Murphys felt supported in taking the lead....

Read More »

Building bridges

These are amazing times that we are living in. As we work to better understand one another, let us not discount all of the progress that has brought us to this point in time. Our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and our reconciliation with...

Read More »

If you have questions or need additional information about the diversity assessment please contact our national director of Diversity: Robin.Holland@converge.org

    Point - September 2018

    Point Magazine

    Our official magazine, publishing captivating stories of God's work in our midst.

    Subscribe for free >