Weeds Grow Fast

“It’s time to get in the faces of some church leaders.”

When the Dream of Destiny Breakfast at the 2017 North American Christian Convention in Kansas City took place on Thursday, June 29th, keynote speaker Derwin Gray gave an inspiring message from Galatians 2. Gray, a former NFL safety, author and lead pastor of a mega, multi-ethnic church in the Charlotte, NC area, walked through the confrontation Paul had with Peter about his inconsistent approach to the all-inclusive nature of the Gospel. In so doing, Gray challenged those in attendance to display similar boldness within the churches of the Restoration Movement.

Derwin Gray speaks at this year’s breakfast at NACC.

“It’s time to get in the face of some leaders,” Gray exclaimed. “… respectfully, of course.” 

Gray was critical of the church growth Homogeneous Unit Principle (HUP) – a principle that encourages targeted church growth based on strategies that appeal to a specific audience (mono-ethnic, and within a specific socioeconomic strata).

“Weeds grow fast,” Gray noted. “I’m not interested in fast-growing churches.”

Gray says the allure of HUP and its potential for growing larger congregations faster makes it unlikely that church leaders will pursue intentional multi-ethnic ministry themselves. Thus his challenge was particularly aimed at the “people in the pews.”

If Gray is right, it will be up to those members of homogeneous congregations – those who understand the biblical mandate for multi-ethnic congregations and believe then that their church should intentionally go after “all people” – to rise up and respectfully but firmly call church leaders to a higher standard.

Nearly 70 people were attendance again for the annual breakfast, now in its 11th year. Gray concluded by casting a vision for an annual Dream of Destiny Breakfast that is overflowing with people who are not just passionate about multi-ethnic ministry but are keyed into spreading that message. As the culture becomes increasingly diverse, the church is recapturing the vision of the early church in Antioch. Those who “get it” need to take note of those in their sphere who don’t as yet – notably their church leaders. Next year, maybe those who attend will bring someone along who needs to catch the vision.

“This breakfast will be a small group if those in this room don’t start making some noise,” Gray said.

To listen to Derwin’s presentation, click below.


About Travis Hurley

Travis Hurley is a passionate communicator of the love of Christ for His church and our call to pursue that love with all that we are to all that we meet. He believes in the Dream of Destiny initiative, because he is convinced that visible unity – unity that the world can see crossing ethnic, socioeconomic and denominational lines – is a powerful testimony to the power of the Gospel of Jesus to reconcile people to Him and to each other.

A graduate of Ozark Christian College and Cincinnati Christian University, Travis has been preaching for more than twenty years, the majority of which was spent serving as the lead minister of a multi-ethnic congregation in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Trav’s passion for visible unity led to his pursuit of an M.Div., emphasizing pastoral leadership in a multi-ethnic setting.

Travis is completing a doctorate in multi-ethnic leadership while continuing to teach and consult on issues of unity and diversity in the body of Christ, and the evangelistic power of visible unity in Christian efforts toward community development.

Travis and his wife Dena have been married for over 20 years. They have four children, one son-in-law, and one grandchild.

For more information, or to have Travis come speak, please contact him at travishurley94@gmail.com.

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