Becoming a church for ALL people
    October 13 2011 by Buddy Overman, BSC Communications

    It’s hard to deny that North Carolina is becoming more and more culturally diverse. In recent decades the state has absorbed a tremendous influx of people from all over the United States and all corners of the globe. Many of them have put down permanent roots, forever changing the cultural landscape of North Carolina.

    Ken Tan, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) multicultural team leader, believes the cultural change is a great opportunity for churches to honor Jesus Christ by intentionally becoming multicultural. “Jesus commands us to make disciples of all people,” Tan said. “All means all. If we truly embrace that we will do it. That’s what Christ expects from us.”

    Tan knows more than anyone what it takes to make a church multicultural. He came to North Carolina from Georgia five years ago after serving with the North American Mission Board. While in Georgia, he helped lead a monocultural church through the successful transition of becoming multicultural.

    He understands that transitioning from a monocultural to a multicultural church is not easy, but for Tan, the reward is worth the effort. “Our churches should reflect the Kingdom of Heaven on earth,” he said. “If we start doing that we will experience a taste of heaven on earth.”

    Tan has been encouraged by an increased effort on the part of N.C. church leaders to reach the various people groups in their individual communities. “Multicultural was not in the vocabulary among church planters and leaders five years ago,” he said. “But now people are willing to try it.”

    Seeing people try multicultural ministry gets Tan excited. His infectious smile and high energy reveal the depth of passion he has for seeing churches reflect the cultural makeup of their communities.

    He will be sharing that passion with church leaders from all across the state at one of the 19 breakout sessions during the BSC annual meeting Nov. 7-8 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. Tan’s session, “How to Become a Church for ALL People,” will focus on starting or transitioning to a multicultural church.

    Joining Tan at the session will be former NFL player Derwin Gray. He is the founding pastor of Transformation Church in Fort Mill, S.C.; a multicultural church that has grown to nearly 1,500 members since Gray planted the church in January 2010.

    Together, Tan and Gray will share from their combined knowledge and years of experience about what it takes to become a multicultural church. They will highlight the keys to success and discuss the challenges of multicultural ministry and how to overcome them. It will be an opportunity for church leaders to learn from two successful multicultural leaders and to be challenged from God’s Word on why it is important to be a church for all people.

    “We will provide church leaders an opportunity to engage people who have done it,” Tan said. “They will leave knowing that if they want to transition their church from monocultural to multicultural, or plant a multicultural church, that the convention will be willing to come alongside them and provide resources.”

    Tan believes those resources will be in greater demand in the years to come as North Carolina moves closer to multicultural status. He wants church leaders across the state to be ready to make the transition.

    For more information contact Tan: (800) 395-5102, ext. 5641, or
    10/13/2011 7:03:00 AM by Buddy Overman, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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