Mark was the one speaker at the conference that I was really looking forward to hearing from. Perhaps my expectations got too high. I was disappointed with his session.
I think the biggest disappointment was that he presented information rather than really engaged the group. Maybe it was just that it was after lunch. He just seemed to be riding a hobby horse, and he took way too long develop his main ideas. Even his main ideas were somewhat cliché for me. I’ve heard all these things before.
One of the other things was just that he spent so much time identifying things that we (pastors and leaders) can do on our own. I felt like he was trying to spoon fed the carnivores. He should have thrown some steaks in front of us and let us gnaw.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy hearing things I’ve heard before or that I don’t like the simple things. An earlier speaker, Francis Chan, did not introduce anything I hadn’t heard before, but he said it in such an amazing way. Mark simply was not as effective or as engaging – in my opinion.
It is hard for me to put my finger on my issue with the multi-ethnic presentations that I have heard over the years. It seems to me like these guys have an unconscious condescension toward those who are not multi-ethnic. I’ve heard it in all arenas – church, politics, business. It just feels as if they are calling us to force something. I don’t know how to do it better; but it just sounds weird to me.
Don’t get me wrong. Our church is wonderfully diverse. We love this. We continue to adapt and make it more so. In our little church of 45-60, we have an extremely, beautiful diverse group of skin tones, countries of origin and cultural identities. We do it just because in Christ, we don’t see the divisions.
We just are diverse. I feel like when you make the race issue and issue, it becomes MORE of an issue. We choose to simply believe race does not exist.
You can watch the video here.