Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Diversity & Cascarones

One of the things we've preached the entire tenure of River Stone is the importance of diversity. They say that Sunday mornings are the most segregated time of the week. In church planting classes, they teach you to target a specific demographic, and they call it the homogeneous theory. It's easier to go after one type of person. The fastest growing churches in America are evidence of this - people of largely the same race, socio-economic status, and lifestyle. While it's hard to be critical of anyone reaching a specific group of people with the Good News of Jesus, it seems that this is not necessarily the way Jesus built his Church. Phrases like "every tribe and tongue"and "neither Greek nor Jew" stick out to me. I remember Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well - a race detested by the Jews. I remember the story of the Good Samaritan - one that is all to real in our day and time. We have a tendency to stick with our own and to hang out with people who are like us and validate our particular style of life. Churches sometimes remedy the homogeneous theory by reaching out to different neighborhoods and starting mission churches to reach those different from them. Again, it's hard to be critical, but is that really what heaven's going to look like? Though every tribe and tongue will be represented, will we have different sections for every race? Will we look down our noses at the people who are different than us? Will we take credit for ministering to those less fortunate even though we paid somebody else to do the work or we spent a week in a particular place? Or, follow me here, should every church have all types of people every week?

We are not a big church, and if you evaluate us strictly on a numerical scale, we're not that successful of a church, but I love this place. I love our church because of Cascarones. We had a wonderful Easter Celebration this year, and it was a wonderful time of celebrating babies, families, life, and most importantly the Risen Savior, Jesus. We had a packed house, and the Spirit was so wonderful among our people, and then it happened. A Cascarones fight broke out. Cascarones are dyed eggs that have been gutted and replaced with confetti. They are a Mexican Easter tradition, and kids from our church assaulted each other and us with their confetti eggs. We were planning a traditional Easter Egg Hunt after church, but the super cold weather interrupted those plans. So, our spontaneous celebration with Cascarones replaced it, and it made me appreciate the diversity in our church. As I've walked down the sidewalk in front of the facility where our church meets, and I still see the confetti spread all over it, I'm thankful that I even know what Cascarones are. Last year, I had no idea. I'm thankful that our church is not made up of people like me. We are people of different tribes, different tongues, different status, different places in our faith, we're just different, and that's what I love about us.

So, our church would probably be bigger if it was homogeneous, but if I have a choice, I'll continue to choose smaller and more diverse. May God continue to bring us people not like us. To Him be the glory in every tribe and tongue.


Blogger Holly said...

I have a huge headache to prove the cultural custom that exploded (literally) on my head at River Stone that day!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Thanks Devin!!!!

1:12 PM  

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