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7 Challenges To Cultural Diversity in the Church
Episode 33214th June 2021 • Everyday Disciple Podcast • Caesar Kalinowski
00:00:00 00:31:56

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Experiencing a diverse group of believers walking with and worshiping God together as a family is a beautiful thing. However, there will be obstacles to overcome for this to become a common reality. In this episode, Caesar walks through 7 challenges to greater cultural diversity that are facing the Church. Some of these are age-old; some of them are unique based on society today. In This Episode You’ll Learn:
  • Diversity is not just about skin color or race.
  • God has a diverse family–and not just on Sunday!
  • Why the restoration of relationships is key to diversity in the Church.
  • Steps to living a more diverse cultural experience together.
Get started here… cultural diversity in the church From this episode: “The Bible teaches that we've been given the ministry of reconciliation. Reconciliation is meant to repair relationships that are broken. It's about restoration. So when we talk about cultural diversity in the church and as the church–as God's family–that's what we're talking about. We're talking about a restoration to the way God created us to be and hopes for us to be together.
Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.
Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Join us on Facebook and take part in the discussion! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of this page or right below. Also, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them. Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #332 Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living. Free Discipleship and Missional Resources   Join us on Facebook

Transcripts

Caesar:

So we talk about a cultural diversity.

Caesar:

In the church as the church, as God's family, that's what we're talking about.

Caesar:

We're talking about a restoration to the way God created us to be in hopes for us to be God is restoring all things back to the way he created them to be people, places, things, this whole topic.

Caesar:

The thing behind the thing with cultural diversity in the church is that until we work on.

Caesar:

Restoration and reconciliation of relationships with others, especially those who are different than us.

Caesar:

We will never have a culturally diverse expression of the church in unity.

Caesar:

This is all about relationship.

Caesar:

This isn't about, well, I seek to understand I don't, I tasted it.

Caesar:

I don't like it.

Caesar:

I don't like your songs.

Caesar:

This is too long for me.

Caesar:

You don't parent your kids the way I prefer to.

Caesar:

I don't want to have you around this all gets sort of subsumed in.

Caesar:

Are we about the restoration of all things?

Caesar:

The purpose of the gospel, making disciples in every language in tongue and tribe, and that's who we are.

Caesar:

That's what we get to be about.

Caesar:

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple podcast where you'll learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

Caesar:

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle, this is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors.

Caesar:

Probably forgot to tell you.

Caesar:

And now here's your host Caesar Kalinowski Hey, how's it going today?

Caesar:

Hope your week and your day is going awesome.

Caesar:

Mine is, it's been a really busy last few days coming off the road.

Caesar:

I was doing some training with a beautiful community in North Carolina.

Caesar:

Doing some story of God training and come off the road of that.

Caesar:

But you know, it is when you travel or vacation or whatever, you come back and you're busier than ever.

Caesar:

And that's how it's been this week.

Caesar:

There's been a lot of coaching and all, but you know what, right now I'm getting do my favorite thing and that's be with you and do another edition of the Everyday Disciple Podcast.

Caesar:

Hey, last week on the podcast, I debuted a new segment that I called something to think about in that brand new sort of dealio.

Caesar:

I talked about God's real name and that God's name is not God.

Caesar:

Did you catch that?

Caesar:

Did you listen last week?

Caesar:

And it's right at the end of the episode, did you catch that?

Caesar:

What did you think of that segment?

Caesar:

If you heard it?

Caesar:

I would love to know.

Caesar:

Is it something fun?

Caesar:

Is it valuable to you?

Caesar:

Should I do more of these.

Caesar:

I'd really like to know if you'd hop into the Facebook group, if you're already a member.

Caesar:

Great.

Caesar:

Let me know.

Caesar:

Hey, something to think about was great.

Caesar:

Horrible.

Caesar:

Don't do anymore.

Caesar:

I love it.

Caesar:

Do it every episode or, you know, whatever you think.

Caesar:

And if you've not yet joined us in the Facebook group, please do so you can go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash.

Caesar:

Facebook, it'll take you right to the group or when you're in Facebook, just search for Everyday Disciple Podcast and you'll find it.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

And I also want to invite you to be sure to subscribe on whatever platform you like or dig.

Caesar:

And if you want to see there is a growing list of ways.

Caesar:

Cool ways to listen to podcasts.

Caesar:

These days you can go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash subscribe.

Caesar:

And we've got a, a little easy list.

Caesar:

You can click on and check out all the new ways there are.

Caesar:

All right now, before I get started today, I just want to, once again, invite you to jump on a phone call with me, or maybe a zoom call and we can get to know each other a little bit better if you're interested in learning.

Caesar:

A full framework for discipleship and mission.

Caesar:

In your context for your family, for your church, for your Missional Community and growing in your gospel fluency.

Caesar:

That's what we do.

Caesar:

That's what Tina and I do as a couple with couples in cohorts with other people on the same journey as you, if you'd like to learn a little bit more about that, you can go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash.

Caesar:

Coaching.

Caesar:

There's a little bit of information there and a really short little form that you can fill out and we can set up a call.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

I love to do that.

Caesar:

Tell you more about it and see if we might build, help you on your disciple-making journey.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Let's dive into what I want to talk about today.

Caesar:

Experiencing a diverse group of believers walking with and worshiping God together as a family.

Caesar:

That's a beautiful thing.

Caesar:

I don't know if you've ever experienced that.

Caesar:

However, there are obstacles.

Caesar:

To this becoming a more common reality today or maybe forever.

Caesar:

And usually when this is talked about or addressed in the church, you know, having a greater cultural diversity I've experienced it, the conversation of diversity generally focuses on just on race or ethnicity.

Caesar:

But as we get started talking about some common challenges to experiencing greater diversity as a church, I just want to point out that diversity is not just about skin color.

Caesar:

Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes and all that.

Caesar:

We have different ages, maybe diversity, some churches, some Missional, many small groups that are really young.

Caesar:

Some are really older.

Caesar:

All of her men, women's communities and groups married or single people with kids or no kids.

Caesar:

Eight year, age and stage of life.

Caesar:

Maybe your have, maybe you're doing your first job or maybe you're running a company or perhaps you've already retired or you've an empty-nester or you've got babies, or right.

Caesar:

There's all of this economic levels.

Caesar:

There's diversity in that, which is for a long time, been a pretty big marker of separation in culture.

Caesar:

Maybe you'll have homeless people.

Caesar:

In your community, part of your church or part of your Missional Community, sexual orientation, political views in affiliation, your education levels.

Caesar:

There's all kinds of, of things that make us diverse.

Caesar:

It's not just race and our ethnicity or our accent or whatever.

Caesar:

So let that sort of percolate a little bit in your hearts.

Caesar:

Just as we get started talking about being a much more culturally diverse.

Caesar:

Church, uh, more culturally diverse family as I'm going to suggest, but here's the thing when leaders have discussed this exactly bring together a culturally diverse group of people into a church community, the issues at hand.

Caesar:

And the ones that are usually addressed seemed to me to always be about what the members of a local church will do when they're at the church service together on Sunday morning, what the music will be like, do we jump around and stage or in the aisles, do we play Oregon or acoustic guitars?

Caesar:

We all bang on tambourines.

Caesar:

Rarely.

Caesar:

Is the church seen as a family with the desire to live together as a family on mission together throughout the week.

Caesar:

And in everyday life, we just have this sort of myopic focus.

Caesar:

On that Sunday gathering for hour and a half.

Caesar:

And how do we make that more blended, more diverse, more culturally, you know, different and wide ranging and all that.

Caesar:

Check this out, Ephesians two 19.

Caesar:

So you are not foreigners or guests, but rather you are children of the city of the holy ones with all the rights as family members of the household of God.

Caesar:

This reality of us being knit together as one family of God in everyday life is not talked about.

Caesar:

And the challenges that this shared life may encounter.

Caesar:

Again, when we want to look at being a culturally diverse church, we want to look at being a culturally diverse family.

Caesar:

And today I want to address both our gathered experience.

Caesar:

As the church as a family and our day to day lives as the one universal church, I want to have a little fuller discussion and remember the goal is not homogeny where we all start to look and sound exactly the same way, dress the same way and prefer all the same things.

Caesar:

The goal is to experience and display the full diversity that the vastness of humanity reflects.

Caesar:

As co heirs of God's image bearing and our collective identity.

Caesar:

That's the goal.

Caesar:

You look at that.

Caesar:

I want to just talk about seven common challenges that we may encounter as we seek greater cultural diversity.

Caesar:

As the family gathered in our homes.

Caesar:

On Sunday mornings in our church buildings at work and just as the church, as a family and let each of these challenges as we go through them, address your heart personally, and where maybe you might be living with unbelief or pride or selfishness.

Caesar:

I know I have to do this.

Caesar:

I think we all could probably use a good dose of that.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

So here's the seven common challenges that we might run into when trying to be more culturally diverse as the church.

Caesar:

Again, both gathered and scattered.

Caesar:

First one is personal there's personal challenges to this.

Caesar:

We often come with great prejudices that were prejudice means judgment in advance clue.

Caesar:

It's pre judging other people or groups based on our own ill, conceived expectations of them.

Caesar:

And usually our complete lack of meaningful interaction with them.

Caesar:

That personal sort of prejudice.

Caesar:

Is going to be, uh, it's going to be a challenge.

Caesar:

It really will be to coming together and being a diverse family and our personal feelings for self comfort.

Caesar:

We often will think, think, oh, this is hard for me.

Caesar:

I feel uncomfortable around others that are different from me.

Caesar:

You know, not so much sitting in silence in rows with them.

Caesar:

I can handle that, but doing life with them, having them in my home, all boy, see, there's lots of polls out there and surveys and all, but.

Caesar:

Would you like to have a more culturally diverse church and everybody raises their hand?

Caesar:

Yeah, I would.

Caesar:

And what they mean is church service, but the church is people and there's really only one church, even though we have worked real hard to separate and divide and name things and congregate things and yeah, you know what I'm saying?

Caesar:

But there's really only one church.

Caesar:

And so when people are asked, would you like a more culturally diverse church?

Caesar:

They usually mean, oh yeah.

Caesar:

Like, it'd be great to have more people of color or different ethnicity or whatever in our services.

Caesar:

What about your homes?

Caesar:

What about in your life?

Caesar:

What about playing with your kids?

Caesar:

What about everything you see, there's going to be personal issues that are gonna become challenges.

Caesar:

Here's the next thing to think about?

Caesar:

We have learned preferences.

Caesar:

You know, the way we've always done things or the way we grew up doing things forever is very different between different cultures.

Caesar:

And I'm talking about both at, you know, our church services and in our homes, our learned preference can often get in the way.

Caesar:

That's not the way we do it.

Caesar:

That's just not how we've always done it.

Caesar:

And to that, I want to say so what, so what, remember the goal is not homogeny.

Caesar:

That we'd all start to sort of swallow hard and just love all the same things that learned preferences, just that.

Caesar:

And you can look across people that are from the same background as you, and sense of ethnicity and your race and all of that.

Caesar:

Even in one city and see very wide ranging learned preferences that only serve to separate regardless of race or age and stage of life or any of that.

Caesar:

That's going to be a challenge that we're going to need to address and let the gospel speak into our learned preferences.

Caesar:

Is are we going to let that get in the way of what God wants to do and wants us to be as his family?

Caesar:

Here's the third thing we're going to have theological and spiritual challenges.

Caesar:

We don't believe exactly the same things.

Caesar:

That's we're going to find that out pretty quick.

Caesar:

That's going to require work questions.

Caesar:

Like what is the gospel?

Caesar:

What is salvation all about or heaven or how, how does discipleship happen?

Caesar:

We're we're gonna wrestle with those things.

Caesar:

Trust me, the old church has been, and people from different countries from different.

Caesar:

Swatches.

Caesar:

Let's say a family life in the church have very different views and all these things, their theological spiritual understanding can be very, very different than ours.

Caesar:

As I've been privileged to travel around the world and work in ministry in over 30 countries, it is startling on how different our perspectives on spiritual and theological issues can be.

Caesar:

Will you, uh, require everyone in your life to believe the exact same things theologically that you do before you'll hang out with them and do life together, or will you choose to grappled together contend with one another to find the fullest expression of truth.

Caesar:

As a, as a share of our God-given diversity in experiences can bring us.

Caesar:

That's that's how we get there.

Caesar:

Remember, there is a diversity that God himself has created for a purpose to teach us.

Caesar:

Like we require this diversity to fully understand him and express his glory.

Caesar:

It's both.

Caesar:

I wonder what lack I have, because I've probably been mostly part of a church of people who are like me.

Caesar:

And I attract as a speaker or a pastor or leader, people who were a lot like me.

Caesar:

I wonder what I lack because of that.

Caesar:

Have you ever thought about that?

Caesar:

Here's the fourth challenge that I've kind of been thinking about to cultural diversity in the church?

Caesar:

It's philosophical differences, philosophical challenge here.

Caesar:

Uh, our worldview and priorities will probably differ.

Caesar:

From other people that were raised very differently than us, or from other segments of culture or life or different races, our politics may differ for all kinds of different reasons.

Caesar:

Actually, not just because of the city we grew up in or the color of our skin.

Caesar:

See our different worldviews will frame reality.

Caesar:

And solve problems differently or seek to solve those problems differently.

Caesar:

There will be philosophical really the way we see the world differences, but what our richness to mine to go after, to dig into, instead of fearing it, as I think about avoiding that, I think why would we, why would I not want to have people bump up against my worldview and challenge that.

Caesar:

That we might understand God, better understand the world he's made and how he plans to glorify himself in and through all things and all people.

Caesar:

Why wouldn't I want that challenged.

Caesar:

See, here's the thing.

Caesar:

If you feel like you're worldview is right and you're certain of it, then you have nothing to fear.

Caesar:

If you feel like it's still a bit squishy and you might be growing well, then you have something to embrace, but either way, this doesn't have to be a challenge, but it certainly could be, as you can probably guess.

Caesar:

And here's number five.

Caesar:

It's just practical stuff at our church gatherings.

Caesar:

And as we do life together with people that are all different than us in ages and stages and colors and preferences and backgrounds and all that.

Caesar:

It's just practical things.

Caesar:

Like how long will a church service be?

Caesar:

When, what time do we start?

Caesar:

The thing?

Caesar:

What day do we do that?

Caesar:

On what?

Caesar:

When will it end?

Caesar:

What language or languages do we need to include to make everybody feel at home?

Caesar:

And hear things in their heart language.

Caesar:

And how about in our homes, if we're going to be a family, a diverse family, practical things, like when do we hang out?

Caesar:

How often when we eat, what do we eat?

Caesar:

How do we raise our kids?

Caesar:

That might be real different?

Caesar:

What do we talk about?

Caesar:

What are we, you know, all that stuff, right?

Caesar:

Just practical mechanics of life together could be very, very different bedtimes work.

Caesar:

Hours ethic, you know, all that stuff.

Caesar:

There's going to be some real practical challenges that we'll need to bear with one another and seek to embrace on behalf of loving each other.

Caesar:

Well, not like, well, it just doesn't work for me.

Caesar:

So that whole consumeristic church mentality that we've some ways inherited, but then of course we're just as guilty of propagating further.

Caesar:

Oh, usually excludes people just maybe on this practical level, like, oh, I, you know, I don't, there's no way I'm going to.

Caesar:

A church service that late in the morning, or there's no way.

Caesar:

We don't know.

Caesar:

We never go past the lunch.

Caesar:

I got to eat my lunch on time.

Caesar:

You know, we got to get out of the church service by, you know, by, by 1230 or, uh, no, that's too late.

Caesar:

Cause then the restaurants are full.

Caesar:

That's why I go to the early service.

Caesar:

I want to get ahead of everybody.

Caesar:

Make sure we get in there early and not tip anybody, you know?

Caesar:

Like, are we really that stuck?

Caesar:

And consumeristic that, even when we gather it's.

Caesar:

It's all based on that.

Caesar:

Will we be willing to loosen up a little and experienced that, or even maybe move things around?

Caesar:

I don't know.

Caesar:

And the same in our homes, are we willing to do things differently inside, outside front yard, back yard, grilled, not grilled boiled steamed.

Caesar:

I, you get my point.

Caesar:

Let's look at some of those practical things and say, you know, that our family is let's not let those divide us.

Caesar:

Here's number six, maybe number six, challenges we might have to think about or face as we seek greater cultural diversity as a church.

Caesar:

And that's, there's a cross cultural aspect of this.

Caesar:

Meaning our experience in society is different.

Caesar:

It's when we say cross-cultural, it's kind of cross societal as well.

Caesar:

Our experiences in society are very different based on what side of the tracks you've been raised on your race, your, the income level you have or were raised with.

Caesar:

I can remember how different as I got older people I met in high school lived, then we lived.

Caesar:

You know, when you're a little kid, it kind of, you live in your neighborhood.

Caesar:

You're not perceiving most of that, but as I got older and as I moved out of our neighborhood, that I mostly grew up into different neighborhoods.

Caesar:

And then I saw people who had a lot more resources than us and I, you know, was invited to their homes and all that you go, whoa, life is pretty different.

Caesar:

Cross societal.

Caesar:

We experienced life differently.

Caesar:

We also experienced what the media tells me about me and you differently.

Caesar:

You ever think about that ever think about that neighbor or person from work who is very different than you, you pick the category.

Caesar:

Do you ever think that maybe they don't listen to the same news station you listen to or look at the same websites you do, or maybe what the media tells them about themselves is very different than what the media tells you about.

Caesar:

You.

Caesar:

See, some people that were going to seek to now embrace as family, his brothers and sisters may not understand us.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

We think, oh, I don't understand them.

Caesar:

I, this is awkward.

Caesar:

They are going to also have that same feeling.

Caesar:

Think about it.

Caesar:

If you grow up as a minority in a city, and now people are trying to embrace you.

Caesar:

And you've always been taught to fear them.

Caesar:

Or you for whatever reason have just cause they're very different or you have always felt less than, or completely different than them.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Those kinds of things will be barriers.

Caesar:

And they're not going to be solved through, well, let's all start watching the same news station every night and that'll level that out or let's make sure we don't watch this, you know?

Caesar:

No, it's gonna be pretty much all of these actually so far are going to be through time together.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Through patients through an intentionality to love others as we love ourselves.

Caesar:

And that kind of leads to number seven here, which is there's relational challenges.

Caesar:

There just is.

Caesar:

And maybe that maybe this number seven relational challenges might just encompass all of them, really like what a friendships look like.

Caesar:

How do our family times look and feel?

Caesar:

How does family even interact?

Caesar:

Not everybody was raised with the same family values and rhythms, not even within the same race or religion or age and stage when there's such a diversity there.

Caesar:

How much time do we spend together when we hang out?

Caesar:

Is it, is it real metered?

Caesar:

Is it scheduled like crazy or does it go all day?

Caesar:

I can remember going to the best wedding ceremony that Tina and I ever did.

Caesar:

It was over in Europe and it was a hybrid Romanian Astonian wedding.

Caesar:

And it went all day.

Caesar:

I think it was eight or 10 hours.

Caesar:

It was amazing.

Caesar:

And some of you hear that right away and go, like, I can never do that.

Caesar:

Well, you could, if you love people, like as much as we love them, that was the best thing like that wedding ceremony we'd ever experienced and celebration relational challenges are going to be real.

Caesar:

How do you hang together?

Caesar:

How often, what do you do for fun?

Caesar:

How do you celebrate what's appropriate celebration?

Caesar:

What's that look like I can't even them all, because there's going to be a lot of relational differences.

Caesar:

But how interesting is that?

Caesar:

Here's an analogy that I kind of use in my own heart is when it comes to food, my mom growing up, she really liked everything.

Caesar:

She just had a wide range of food.

Caesar:

My father, it was as narrow as like, we could pretty much guess by the night of the week, what we were going to be eating, because that's what he wanted my mom to make it wasn't because of her.

Caesar:

Broad love of food.

Caesar:

It was because of his narrow love.

Caesar:

Well, I ended up inheriting my mom's tastes for food and Tina's the same way.

Caesar:

And so our kids, we love all the foods.

Caesar:

We will try everything.

Caesar:

When we go on vacation or into another city, we purposely try to get off the beaten path, not go to any chain restaurants and find some local neighborhood, hide away, little small thing, and try the weirdest funnest.

Caesar:

What did grandma make?

Caesar:

How did she make it?

Caesar:

That's what I want to try that diversity.

Caesar:

For us, it's fun that diversity represents all the ways God has made food and flavor and color and texture.

Caesar:

We're the same way.

Caesar:

I longed to understand that better.

Caesar:

I long for people to bear with me.

Caesar:

It's this isn't this isn't one way I long for people to bear with me, I'd understand all that.

Caesar:

And those differences and nuances and flavors and tastes and fun and celebration and all that.

Caesar:

From their perspective.

Caesar:

I want that I really do.

Caesar:

And I want them to be patient with me as well.

Caesar:

So if you're hearing this and you're not just like me or not the same color or race or age and stage or ethnicity or income level or whatever, would you bear with me to let your life be known and your preferences known and help me understand why you love these things.

Caesar:

So we can have a true relationship.

Caesar:

I want you to.

Caesar:

Scripture teaches us that as the church, our ministry and message is one of reconciliation, right.

Caesar:

Reconciliation.

Caesar:

And that we're reconciliation.

Caesar:

It comes from like the 13 hundreds.

Caesar:

It's really old meaning to make good again, or to repair reconciliation is meant to repair relationships that are broken it's about restoration.

Caesar:

So when we talk about a cultural diversity, In the church as the church, as God's family, that's what we're talking about.

Caesar:

We're talking about a restoration to the way God created us to be in hopes for us to be all pre babble with different languages and a scattering out of differences.

Caesar:

God is restoring all things back to the way he created them to be people, places, things, this whole topic.

Caesar:

The thing behind the thing with cultural diversity in the church.

Caesar:

Is that until we work on restoration and reconciliation of relationships with others, especially those who are different than us, we will never have a culturally diverse expression of the church in unity.

Caesar:

We just won't, that's really the thing behind the thing.

Caesar:

This is all about relationship.

Caesar:

This isn't about, well, I see you understand.

Caesar:

I D I tasted it.

Caesar:

I don't like it.

Caesar:

I don't like your songs.

Caesar:

This is too long for me.

Caesar:

You don't parent your kids the way I prefer to.

Caesar:

I don't want to have you around this all gets sort of stuck.

Caesar:

I assumed in our, we about the restoration of all things, the purpose of the gospel.

Caesar:

Making disciples of disciples in every language in tongue and tribe.

Caesar:

And then that's who we are.

Caesar:

That's what we get to be about.

Caesar:

And there will always be different congregations of different types of people spread around the world.

Caesar:

But as our world's becoming much more cross pollinated and mixed all, let's let that die.

Caesar:

And let's embrace this restoration, this reconciliation that God's all about.

Caesar:

I want to close with a passage from revelation seven years.

Caesar:

We'd kind of wrap up the podcast today.

Caesar:

This, this, this passage gives us great hope and the answer for how we'll ultimately overcome our differences and experience all that God has for us as well.

Caesar:

People, this is revelation seven.

Caesar:

I'm going to start reading from verse nine.

Caesar:

It's beautiful.

Caesar:

Our revelations, a bit of a weird book, right?

Caesar:

But this is a picture.

Caesar:

Remember this isn't a textbook.

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This is a picture.

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Almost like an allegory, but this is, this is what the writer's saying.

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This is behold right in front of me.

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I saw a vast multitude of people.

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And enormous multitude, so huge that no one could count made up of people from every nation, tribe, people, group and language.

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They were all in glistening, white robes standing before the throne and before the lamb with Palm branches in their hands.

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And they shout it out with like one passionate voice salvation belongs to our God seated on the throne and to the lamb salvation.

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That's a word about restoration.

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Picks up in verse 11.

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This is all the angels were standing in a circle around the throne with the elders and the four living creatures and got to read back further to know who those are.

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So all the angels are standing around a circle and they all fell on their knees before the throne and worshiped God singing, amen, praise and glory, wisdom, and Thanksgiving honor power in might belong to our God forever and ever.

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Amen.

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And then he goes, oh, that's interesting.

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He goes on.

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He says, then one of the elders asked me.

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Who are these in the glistening white robes and where have they come from?

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And I answered all my Lord.

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You must know.

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And then he said to me, they are the ones who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.

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The it's about Jesus.

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That's how we get to that picture, this great diversity.

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He goes on, they've washed their robes in the blood of the lamb and have emerged from the midst of great pressure and great ordeal.

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For this reason they are before the throne of God ministering to him as priest day and night within this sanctuary and the enthroned one, Jesus spreads over them, his tabernacle shelter.

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So he's the one protecting all of this.

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Their souls will be completely satisfied for the lamb at the center of the throne continuously shepherds them unto life.

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And this is speaking of the fullness of life that everything God intended guiding them to everlasting fountains of life.

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It's beautiful.

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It's powerful.

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I want to taste of that here today.

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I want a bigger taste of that.

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We've seen it emerge in Ephesians before.

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When the church was first birth and we've seen it in little fits and starts throughout history.

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As the, as the church family let's embrace all that God has for us as his multi-ethnic racially diverse, very, very different children as we together embrace Jesus and his kingdom that has come you with me.

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I hope so.

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I know this is deep in all of our hearts that we would like this.

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I hope it is, but there will be these challenges.

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Hey, if you're interested in learning a fuller framework of discipleship and how the gospel speaks into everything in all of life.

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I would love to be able to walk with you and tell you a little bit about the coaching and mentorship that Tina and I offer.

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If you, if you want to find out more, just check out Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash coaching, and we can hop on a zoom call and I could tell you more and, and see if we could serve you in all of this.

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Okay.

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Well, as we wrap up, I want to leave you with the big three takeaways from today's topic.

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And you can get a printable PDF of the big three as a free download by going to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash big three.

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Here's my big three for this week.

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Diversity in the church is not an inevitability, which should be clear from history.

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It's something that takes place and grows through our intentionality, but most of us already live in a pretty diverse community.

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If we choose to acknowledge and celebrate all the differences that God has already brought together.

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Authentic life-giving relationships with others different than ourselves.

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It takes humility.

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We'll have to lay down our pride in any fears we have and be willing to include, learn from, and even follow others.

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Here's number two, don't miss this cultural and ethnic diversity is a beautiful picture of what God is like.

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Yeah.

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That's what the world's needing to see.

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All humans are created in God's own, super diverse image, including you.

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God loves everyone as much as he loves you and loves me.

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Jesus died for the sins of everyone, regardless of their age, skin color, ethnic background or their opinions.

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We can discover more of what God is like when we embrace the differences in others and look for their unique divine reflection of God.

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And number three, how to kind of put some rubber on the road here, start by embracing the wide range of cultural and experiential differences that already exist within your community.

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Wherever you're living.

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There is so much to learn from one another.

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And it's there if we want it, if we choose it, but this'll take intentionality, like I've already said, let others with different backgrounds and opinions, challenge your thoughts and your beliefs and preferences.

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Learn to bear with one another in ways that reflect the love of God that you've received.

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Start looking for regular outward focused activities as a community to build new relationships of trust with a diverse mix of people.

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Don't just holy huddle.

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Don't just navel gaze.

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Don't just look at each other.

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And don't expect others to automatically love and understand you either.

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They're learning to stay humble, be patient and trust the holy spirit to guide you in all of this, he will.

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I promise you, this is what he's accomplishing.

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This is where it's all heading.

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Let's be a part of that, not a blockage to that.

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Okay.

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Well, time's up for today.

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I hope that's encouraging.

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I hope that's helpful.

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Please join me next week, where I'm going to have a question for you who has the loudest voice and influence in your life today?

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It may not be who you think it is or who you want it to be.

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We'll have a good look at that together.

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Can't wait, I'll talk to you soon.

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Thanks for joining us today for more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit Everyday Disciple.

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com.