In 1963, Dr. King lamented that the most segregated hour of Christian America happens in our churches on Sunday mornings. This is still true today.
Just 23% of evangelical churches have at least 20% racial or ethnic minorities in their attending membership.
Only 11% of mainline Protestant churches meet this threshold for diversity.
This is in America, where nearly 4 in 10 citizens identify with a race or ethnic group other than white, and people of color account for nearly all of our country's population growth over the last decade. It is estimated that by year 2045, our country's white population will no longer be in the majority. These changing demographics make it especially important that our churches change to better reflect our cities and neighborhoods.
We believe the multiethnic church is uniquely equipped to join God in redeeming the Church from cultural blindness, unhealthy conflict, and racial division.
Unfortunately, the practical steps toward diversity and biblical unity can be difficult to nail down. There are no existing leadership pipelines or church-planting movements that specifically serve pastors of color to lead multiethnic churches. And, there's no "how-to" guide for existing churches to join in this work. The Radiant Family of Churches aims to change all that.
We are building a movement to plant multiethnic churches led by people of color, as well as to help existing churches pursue intentional diversity.
Practically, this looks like: (1) establishing a church leadership pipeline for people of color, and (2) creating a curriculum to train planters and pastors in how to build intentionally diverse churches.
We are building a program to identify, assess, and train pastors of color, and support them as they plant intentionally diverse churches. Prospective planters will spend anywhere from 12-24 months in training through Radiant Church’s residency program, which includes three distinct phases: Discover, Develop, and Deploy.
Through this process, new planters will be immersed in various ministry situations; fine tune their gifts and strengths; identify growth areas and address their weaknesses; and develop core competencies related to their ministry goals. Our hope is that every leader who engages this process will finish with clarity of calling, and a refined passion for multiethnic church-planting that is shared by their family.
We know that diversity and biblical unity are close to God's heart, but how do we get there?
There are many resources on the importance of the multiethnic church -- what it is and why we need it. But, there are almost no resources for pastors/church planters on how to create intentional diversity in the church. We are creating one of the first "how-to" guides to address this gap in training.
This novel curriculum will first exist as a companion to our immersive residency program, and then later be made available for other pastors. It will will be created in a digital format to be accessible online through interactive modules, which include: preaching, worship, conflict resolution, hiring, and building teams within the multiethnic context, among others. The curriculum is being developed by Philip Pinckney and a team from Radiant Church to be available by Summer 2021.
“This residency equipped and prepared us to plant – from casting vision, to communicating vision, to developing systems – all the things needed to build a multiethnic, multigenerational, diverse church. The whole process was full of opportunities to see something different, something new, and put language behind some things I had been feeling and praying through for a long time. My family is so proud to have been a part of this residency, and we are excited about the work God is doing through Radiant to plant more intentionally diverse churches.”
– RaShan Frost, lead pastor/planter of The Bridge Church in Charleston
This initial funding is needed to (1) procure the physical space needed for a training center for residencies, (2) publish and produce the curriculum for online consumption, and (3) create accurate assessment tools to gauge a leader's ability for service in the multiethnic church.
Our residency program is immersive and time-consuming, so residents will unlikely have time for outside employment, and some may be moving temporarily from out of state. Therefore, ongoing funding is needed to hire, house, train, and provide at least a part-time salary to residents.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Checks can be mailed to: PO Box 41096, North Charleston, SC 29423