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1 – To See 20% of local churches achieve 20% diversity by 2020.
At our most recent national conference (November 2019), long-awaited new statistics concerning the progress of the Multiethnic Church Movement were shared by sociologist, Dr. Michael O. Emerson. In his plenary talk, Dr. Emerson, one of the nation’s leading scholars on race relations and religion, explained: “We’ve been tracking multiracial congregations in the United States since 1998… We did a national representative study in 1998, 2007, 2012, and now just as of two weeks ago 2019.” Telling conference attendees they were “…the first general audience in the entire world to see these (new) results,” he noted that in the early 2000s Mosaix “put out a really bold claim” suggesting that 20 percent of congregations would be at least 20 percent of different racial groups by 2020.” He then addressed, in part, whether or not this goal had been achieved.
First, he shared trajectory development of All Congregations, All Faiths (not just Christian).
- In 1998, only 6% of these could be described as having at least 20% racial or ethnic diversity in their attending membership.
- As of 2019, 16% of all congregations across all faiths groups could be so described.
Next, he more specifically discussed the findings in relation to different kinds of churches within U.S. Christendom. What percent of congregations within three broad classifications now meet (at a minimum) the 20% threshold?
- Catholic Congregations: 24% racial diversity (2019)… up from 17% (2006)
- Mainline Protestant: 11% (2019)… up from 1% (2006), having previously reached 12% (2012)
- Evangelical Churches: 23% (2019), up 7% (1998) having reached 15% (2012)
Concerning the growth of multiracial/multiethnic churches within Evangelicalism, Dr. Emerson said, “The growing proportion of evangelical multiracial churches, I think, is the big story… It’s more than tripled in these twenty years. By the way, as a sociologist who studies these things and watches how social change happens there’s no way ever I could have even imagined that would be possible; so it’s the work of God.”
Later, reflecting on the past twenty years, Dr. Emerson said,“…we have much to celebrate, truly. If the goal was to reach 20% in these churches by 2020, at least within the Christian church that has been done…. But now we need to have a bigger and even richer goal.” He challenged the collective Movement to “…move from being toddlers to teenagers and to even adults…” in the coming years, and to use its increasing demographic diversity to work for “..true justice, true reconciliation, and true unity, addressing major issues like white privilege.”
2 – To see Evangelical Churches reach 35% and Mainline Churches reach 20% diversity by 2030.
3 – To see the concept of disruption (as first outlined in the book, Disruption: Repurposing the Church to Redeem the Community and further developed in the book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics) establish as normative in the American Church by 2040.
Additional information for a deeper dive into Mosaix.
History of the Movement
Development Strategy & Rationale