I have been reading a book called Bus Ride to Justice by Fred Gray, a lawyer for Rosa Parks, who was arrested on December 1st, 1955 for sitting where she was NOT supposed to sit. As you know, African Americans were supposed to sit in the back of the bus during that time and save the seats in the front for the "White" people. When the courts finally ruled that segregation on city buses was unconstitutional, it was the one case that truly began the civil rights movement in America.
On page 97 of his book, Fred Gray writes, "A pebble cast in the segregated waters of Montgomery, Alabama, created a human rights tidal wave that changed America and eventually washed up on the shores of such far away places as the Bahamas, China, South Africa, and the Soviet Union. And it all started on a bus.”
But there is ONE GLARING problem -- that tidal wave never hit the CHURCH in AMERICA.
It was in 1963, which was almost 50 years ago, that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said 11:00 a.m. is still the most segregated hour in America. Here we are some 47 years later and that statement, even is Los Angeles, is still true. An article in the Jan. 11, 2010 issue of Time Magazine states that 93 percent of the churches in America are still primarily segregated. Less than 8 % of churches are diverse. How is this possible?
The 5 Star Initiative is simply to get churches to be more intentional about diversity… getting our churches to ACCEPT the great commission to reach "all nations." And I know is sounds simplistic, and I am sorry if you do not agree, but if we could just start by diversifying our platform and our stages, we could see immediate change within our churches today. Finding ways to include people of all cultures in our worship teams, in our praise teams and in our choirs; being intentional about representing all nationalities with who makes the announcements, who conducts the baptisms, and who leads the congregation in prayer. All of this would have a HUGE ripple effect on those who are first-time visitors, those who will look to the stage and see that this is a church that accepts people from all walks of life.
I've seen the difference in the church I serve, and I think you'd see the difference in your church as well. It is time that the Church of 2010 reflects the church of Revelation 7:9-10.
Watch the above video. Go to http://www.dreamofdestiny.com/ and sign up to be a part of the 5 star Initiative.