I’m very excited to interview my friend Derwin Gray! Derwin is a pastor, writer, ex-NFL football player, and the founder of Transformation Church—a multiethinic mega-church in North and South Carolina. Derwin is also the author of the recently released The High-Definition Leader, which challenges pastors and leaders to see the importance of multiethnic communities.
Derwin, thanks for letting me ask you some questions on my blog!
PS: Why don’t you first give us a brief summary of your new book, The High Definition Leader?
DG: I wrote The High-Definition Leader because Jesus is calling local churches in America and the world to be communities of unifiers and reconcilers, not dividers. Jesus’ epic work through his sinless life, atoning death, resurrection, and ascension, and the sending of the Spirit, was so that God could have an ethnically diverse family of Jews and Gentiles. This new family called the church becomes a picture of God’s family in eternity on earth (Rev. 5:9-12).
My book will equip pastors and leaders to embody the Apostle’ ministry of reconciliation. Preeminent New Testament scholar, Scot McKnight says this about the local church: “God’s desire is for us to experience multi-ethnic fellowship now in the local church as it will be for eternity. God’s heart is total reconciliation.”
PS: Can you give us some statistics about the racial and/or socio-economic homogeny that exists in the American church today?
DG: Only 13.7% of churches in America are consider multiethnic. This means that 86.3 % of churches are homogenous. Sociologist Dr. Michael Emerson consider a local church multiethnic if one ethnicity does not make up 80% of the congregation. Local churches are ten times more segregated than the neighborhoods they are in and they are twenty times more segregated than the schools than the nearby schools.
This lack of gospel-diversity reproduce inequality, encourage oppression, strengthen ethnic division, heighten political separation, and causes the church to lose credibility.