In the post below, are pictures from a recent meeting with some pastors who began with just a single ethnic group but have purposely expanded their outreach to other nationalities.
Take pastors John and Elizabeth Ip for example. They came from Hong Kong several years ago, leaving a church of nearly 2000 congregants, to take a tiny Chinese congregation in Seattle instead of early retirement. The building they acquired had been a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple, reeking with the odor of incense that had been burning around the shrines inside! They and their members tore out the shrines and transformed the building into a beautiful church. There are many Asians in their community, and though they began ministry to Chinese, they have been reaching out to Vietnamese, Filipinos, and others. They have just resigned to finally retire having built a solid foundation for a multi-ethnic church.
Pastor Mark Hick's church began many years ago as a typical Anglo-American church. But the surrounding neighborhoods have evolved and there are over 100 languages spoken within a ten mile radius! The church still has some Anglo-Americans, but also African Americans and people from a number of countries.
In nearby Renton, Pastor Nate Mullen launched his church in a warehouse with a mostly Afro-American congregation. Now they too are becoming multi-cultural. While not more than 6 miles away, Luis and Ruth Solero pastor a multi-ethnic church that had it's beginnings in their garage with a small group of Filipinos. They have moved from place to place finding ever larger venues as their church has grown.
Pastors Daniel and Mabel Magalei were called to pastor a Samoan church fourteen years ago. They have witnessed their congregation grow into a multi-ethnic church. They have now outgrown their facilities and are looking for property to build a new church!
I believe these churches reflect just a little idea of what heaven will be like! People from every tribe, language, and race will be worshiping together forever!