When we see a culturally and racially diverse church here on earth, it is one of the closest pictures of what Heaven is going to look like. Consider what Revelation 7:9-10 says:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
Although we as a Church have fallen short of this harmonious and racially diverse mission, I believe that it’s never too late for churches, pastors, and ministers to reach out to their communities and to foster diversity within their own staff, elder boards, and congregations.
With this goal in mind, I started a ministry in 2007 called Dream of Destiny. The name was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech he delivered in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Referring to the white brothers and sisters who had joined the freedom demonstration, he said,
“…for many of our white brothers and sisters, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”
Dr. King’s words still ring true today. In order to foster racial diversity within churches across the United States and the world, we cannot walk alone. Hand in hand, we must construct positive bridges in relationships and communities. We must mentor and disciple young people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as preachers and leaders in the Christian Church, Churches of Christ, and Bible Colleges. We must take steps to diversify our platforms, staff, and elder boards.
I know this is possible! As the senior pastor of one of the more racially diverse congregations in America, Shepherd Church in Los Angeles, I’ve seen firsthand how Christian churches and colleges can reflect the colorful landscape of believers around the world. Let us be proactive in the sharing of ideas and strategies to help fulfill our God-given destinies in accordance with the Great Commission. Will you join us? Will you help us make this dream a reality?
Founder of Dream of Destiny, Senior Pastor of Shepherd Church
Dudley Rutherford is the founder of Dream of Destiny and the senior pastor of Shepherd Church, a 12,000-member congregation that has been called “the most racially diverse church in Los Angeles” by the city’s mayor. Dudley is passionate about boldly sharing the truth, hope, and salvation that is found in Jesus Christ with all people.
Dudley is the author of Compelled: The Irresistible Call to Share Your Faith, Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge; God Has an App for That; Unleashed: The Church Turning the World Upside Down; Romancing Royalty; and Proverbs in a Haystack. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Ozark Christian College and his Master’s Degree in Church Growth from Hope International University. Dudley also obtained an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from St. Charles University. He has had the distinction of speaking for several professional sports teams and has been a featured chapel speaker for the World Series. Dudley and his beautiful wife, Renee, have three children and reside in Porter Ranch (Los Angeles).
For more information about Dudley, please visit LiftUpJesus.com.
Lisa McGloiry is a passionate and creative visionary and leader who directed communications, marketing, and public relations for corporate, faith-based, and non-profit entities for over 25 years. Before joining Dream of Destiny, Lisa served as the Communications Director at Shepherd Church.
Lisa is excited to advance the Dream of Destiny initiative because she believes that breaking down racial barriers in America starts by following the “Jesus Model” — having conversations, learning the life stories of others, embracing differences, showing empathy to those who hurt, confronting social injustices, and serving those in need. Dream of Destiny is committed to fostering true diversity and inclusion by adopting these same principles.
Lisa graduated with an undergraduate degree in legal studies at the University of Maryland (UC) before earning her Juris Doctor from Concord Law School, Purdue University Global in 2005. In her spare time, Lisa is a conference speaker and communications consultant. Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her husband Michael, stepson Blair, and little dog Charlie. Lisa loves music, Salsa dancing, jogging, animals, and all things purple.
For more information about Dream of Destiny, or to have Lisa speak at your organization, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org