Thursday, 26 May 2011

Good to Grow: David Anderson and relevance in diversity

I first met Dr David Anderson on a visit to the USA. As a noted black leader he speaks with authority on the topic of diversity - his testimony of commitment to building a diverse church can be found in his book ‘Gracism’. I was delighted to welcome him to speak at a conference we put on at King’s at a pivotal movement for us as we grappled with the issue of being a multiracial, multi-cultural church. He kindly agreed to read Good to Grow and commented:

‘Steve Tibbert’s intentional leadership in building a diverse and culturally relevant church that is not just good but great is more than obvious, it’s contagious. I consider it a privilege to have experienced Steve’s leadership and mission focused community at Kings. I fully commend his work to you as biblical and practical.’

Here are some quotes from Good to Grow on the topic of diversity:
‘We try to ensure that the musicians and singers on the platform reflect the diversity of the congregation which they lead in worship.’

‘The process of recognizing black leaders can take longer, because we can misread the qualities of cross-cultural leaders.’

‘For many in the white community, our home is our castle. I go in with my nuclear family and I close my front door. If you want to do friendship with me you’ve got to get your diary out. So we email round ‘Need to get together: I can do Friday in four weeks’ time’ . . . ‘I can’t make that’ . . . ‘OK, find a day you can make.’ If someone just turns up at my door it can be: ‘What are you doing here? I’ve got things to do today – don’t cut across my agenda. I’m busy . . . ‘

For many in the black community, it’s family and friendship – there are aunts and uncles, cousins everywhere and if anyone turns up, everyone is fed. All are welcomed and the whole day rearranged if necessary. You can stay to midnight and beyond, while I, being white, go to bed at 10 p.m.’