After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! – Revelation 7:9-10
Look Like Heaven is designed to encourage cross-cultural interchange among SBTC churches each year in the month of July. We encourage you to consider participating in this interchange with another ethnicity.
- choir or praise team swap
- worship pastor swap
- pastor swap
- combined revival or worship service
- share a meal with a pastor of another ethnicity
- combined fellowship with food that reflects each other’s culture
Strategies for a Church to Look Like Heaven
- DEMOGRAPHICS – Study the demographics of the community that surrounds your church. Look at the previous, current, and projected demographics. Go to the elementary school and catch a glimpse of the future ethnic makeup of your community. You will want to strategize not only based on the current demographics, but also plan for the future. Please fill out the Demographics Request Form if you would like the SBTC to run a report of the demographics of the area around your church.
- VISION – Cast a vision of the desire for your church to Look Like Heaven. The church members and staff need to be included in the transition that will take place within the life of the church. This can be done through a sermon series that addresses the biblical reasons for going through this process. Use this series to also address fears that people may have about diversifying the congregation.
- MARKETING – Refresh your digital and print communications in order to reflect the cultural change in your church. This can come through pictures that represent the demographic makeup of your community, a slogan that advertises the change in the life of your church, or even a page on your website explaining your church’s vision.
- LAUNCH – Kick off this refocus with a community outreach event. Show the love of Christ towards your community and share the new vision of your church with them.
- STAFF – After studying the community, strive to build a staff that reflects that of your community. This will obviously not happen overnight, but as positions open up, bring some diversity to your staff so that the community can connect with them. Once you have added a new staff member, allow time for them to speak or preach, so that they have some intentional time in front of the church family.
- WORSHIP STYLE – Embrace the idea of musical diversity in your church. Bring in singers and musicians that can help diversify your worship style. If your community is bi-lingual, add in some verses or whole songs in another language. Many traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs are arranged in different styles and languages. Remind your church of the true meaning and purpose of worship as you incorporate these new styles of music.
- VOLUNTEERS – The greeters, ushers, and even volunteers should also reflect this change. These will be the faces that are seen when visitors first come in the door.
- EVENTS – After studying the culture of your community, host events that appeal to them.
- BUILD RELATIONSHIPS – Small groups, Sunday morning bible study and fellowships can all be used to build close relationships with new members. These relationships will help the new members not only come to the church but help them stay at the church.
Download and use the 1Cross app to assist you in sharing the gospel with people in your community who may not speak English, or English is their second language. Available on Android phones, iPhones, and Windows Phones
- Breaking Down Walls: A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife – Glen Kehrein and Raleigh Washington
- Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church – Mark DeYmaz
- The Color of Church – Rodney M. Woo
- The Emotionally Healthy Church, Expanded Edition: A Strategy for Discipleship that Actually Changes Lives – Peter Scazzero, Leighton Ford and Warren Bird
- A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church – Gerardo Marti
- One Body, One Spirit – Principles of Successful Multiracial Churches – George Yancy
- There’s More Than One Color in the Pew – Tony Mathews