Former NFL player Derwin Gray returns to the podcast to talk about what’s behind the pushback to racial diversity in the church, explain what the NFL taught him about building a multi-ethnic team, and what leaders need to do to build a truly diverse, multi-ethnic organization.
Welcome to Episode 429 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey shares some continued thoughts on race, culture, and the Church.
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Insights From Derwin
1. The marriage of the church and government isn’t working well in the US
In the process of leading a multi-ethnic church, Derwin has learned that with many white evangelical Americans, if you talk about America in any disparaging way (even if it’s historical and factual), it’s an affront to Jesus.
To have a helpful conversation with them about being a multi-ethnic church, he has to first explain that he loves America too, and remind them that following Jesus is more important than being an American.
2. If you want to know if a church is multi-ethnic, look at who makes the decisions
A lot of churches will be considered “diverse” because no one ethnicity is more than 80% of its attendees. Derwin has a better way to tell if an organization is truly multiethnic or not: Look at who makes the decisions. If the decision-makers are all (or almost all) one race, it’s not a multi-ethnic church.
3. Your first steps towards building a multi-ethnic church or organization
Derwin recommends 3 steps to lead a more multi-ethnic organization:
- Sit down in a quiet place and pray, “Spirit of God, help me to see my prejudice and blind spots.” If you aren’t a believer, spend some time in meditation and ask, “Where are my prejudices and where are my blind spots?”
- Seek out friends of a different race than yours to learn from and connect deeply with.
- Read Derwin’s book, Building A Multiethnic Church. Carey emphasized this point, stating that the principles in the book also apply to businesses and non-profits.
Quotes from Episode 429
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Amy Edmondson
Harvard Business School Professor and renowned business expert, Amy Edmondson, talks about the growing link between psychological safety at work and the results that high-performing teams accomplish.
She details what psychological safety is, how to create a psychologically-safe workplace, and what to do if you don’t have one.
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