My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Mark 11:17
God loves variety. If you don’t believe me, take a look at a National Geographic magazine. Look at the variety of people God has made around the world. God doesn’t make clones. There will never – ever – be another you.
Since God loves variety, our churches should too. He wants people from all tribes, all nations, and all languages to know Him. Heaven will include people from every ethnic group in the world (Revelation 7:9). Our congregations should reflect the diversity of Heaven. Jesus says in Mark 11:17, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
God made it easy for Saddleback Church to reflect the diversity of Heaven. He put us in California. Ten million California residents are immigrants – including 25 percent of all the CEOs in the state!
Reaching our community means mirroring its diversity. We speak 67 different languages at Saddleback Church. We have 13 different Mandarin small groups alone! The diversity of our church amazes me each and every weekend.
Not every church is located in a community that reflects the kind of diversity found in Orange County, but every church can reflect the diversity of its community. For years it has been said that the most segregated hour in America is 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. God never intended it to be that way.
Does your church reflect the diversity of your community? The thing to know is, it starts with you. The Bible says, “Show respect for all people; love your brothers and sisters in God's family.” (1 Peter 2:1) There’s no place for bigotry among God’s family. Racism is a sin. It’s that simple.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.