Diversity Poll Results

July 8, 2011 by
Diversity Poll Results

We recently explored church diversity with Scott Williams’ new book of the same name and asked what your church is doing to address diversity. Multiple answers were encouraged and the most common answer was the 43% of churches that express diversity in their photos and materials. It’s good to be aware of that, though hopefully your church matches the photos.

Next came the 37% that have diversity in worship styles. This is a big one. It’s so easy for us to take our personal preference and equate it to what’s good and right. Suddenly we close our hearts to something God wants to use just because it’s not our kind of music. In short: Get over yourself. Diversity in worship is a good way to help our congregations as a whole get over ourselves and embrace all kinds of different styles.

Then we have 30% of churches that have diverse leadership, show diversity on the platform and actively recruit minority leaders. It’s encouraging that a big chunk of churches are taking this real step to embrace diversity and make people feel welcome.

And 10% are quoting Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day. Hopefully the low number here represents what a weak step this is toward diversity. But if your church is struggling with this issue, baby steps still count!

(And there’s none of you who tie bonus pay to diversity benchmarks. I included that one because Scott Williams specifically talks about it in his book. But I’m curious if churches have any ‘bonus pay’ for their pastors. )

But were not quite done yet. While the above reflects a lot of churches doing their best to embrace diversity, a full third of churches reported that they’re doing nothing to address diversity. Ouch.

This poll has a pretty small sample size, so we probably shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from it, but it’s good to continue the discussion on church diversity. According to the stats, 93% of churches are racially segregated, so we have a lot of work to do.

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Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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