Christian Converser: What is Diversity within the Church?

First published on Christian Converser

We attempt herein to incorporate our idea of what is important for the Church as a whole. What matters a great deal to the Church as a whole is for it to include members of a wide range of backgrounds. This is essentially what diversity in the context of society is about and that is the important consideration for a Church that is reflective of greater society. Hitherto there have been a range of theological beliefs and practices applying within churches, some of which have tended to produce congregations that are not diverse, because of prescriptive beliefs within these Churches about the type of people they are interested in having as members. For example, churches are often organised along majority or minority ethnic lines, where it is rare to find ethnic diversity within a church. This may not be consciously organised to be discriminatory to a particular ethnic grouping, but the theology that is employed within a particular church may consciously or unconsciously favour particular non-ethnic characteristics in society that coincidentally parallel an ethnic characteristic.