“In a multi-ethnic church nobody gets everything they want – but Christ fully gets us to be everything He wants us to be.”

Pastor and former NFL football player Derwin Gray sees the New Testament church as God built it and has a word for the American church – step in and embrace our differences!

“God wants us to bring wholly our redeemed selves to bear within the body of Christ. He wants me to be fully myself, and other ethnicities and social economic classes to be fully themselves, and we have a beautiful mosaic. But in order to do that you have to put down your preferences and pick up your crosses.”

A multi-ethnic church teaches you how to move from individualism and consumerism to we-ism.

Derwin points out that the transition can be very hard for the American church because of how we’ve been taught the Gospel. Yes, we were saved from our sins and we’re going to heaven to be with Christ, but we’re also saved from biases and prejudices and brought into a family.

“And when you’re part of a family it’s not about me. It’s about ‘we,’ for God’s glory.”

How can someone work towards reconciliation if they’re not in a position of leadership in their church?

Living unified in diversity may mean deferring to others on musical preferences in worship. It may mean eating food from a variety of different cultures and making an effort to understand their significance. It may mean having awkward conversations with those of other backgrounds that will break down prejudices and establish relationships instead.

We have to be willing to take that step. It can be done – and it will be glorious.

“This will paint a picture of the grandeur and the magnificence of God’s dream for His church, which is so much bigger than just little old Derwin Gray. I get to be a part of a story that reaches throughout eternity and boomerangs back into the present with power. I’m transformed to be a transformative agent.”

Living unified in diversity isn’t necessarily comfortable – but the church is not about our comfort.

“I’m not called to build the church I want to build. I’m called to build the church that’s according to the New Testament pattern. And what I see is Jews and Gentiles becoming one in Christ. What I see is Paul saying there is neither Jew nor Greek, free nor slave, male nor female, because we’re one in Christ.”

Derwin unpacks more principles for ethnic reconciliation in his book, .

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:14-16

Featured Songs: Soar by Meredith Andrews; Move (Keep Walkin’) by Toby Mac; Take Another Step by Steven Curtis Chapman

Highlight : The painful, beautiful mosaic of diversity

The role of the Gospel in ethnic reconciliation