The following post is taken from a featured interview published online by Exponential on October 28, 2013.
Recently, Exponential sat down to talk with Mosaix Global Network Executive Director Mark DeYmaz to learn about the Second National Multi-Ethnic Church Conference
in Long Beach, Calif., including potential takeaways for church
planters attending the conference with hopes of launching multi-ethnic
congregations. The upcoming gathering (one week away Nov. 5-6) marks the
second year for the Multi-Ethnic Church Conference, the first held in
November 2010. This year, the speaker lineup includes John Perkins, Choco De Jesus, Soong-Chan Rah, David Anderson, Eugene Cho and many more.
Mark, tell us the basics. How many tracks, workshops, sessions?
The conference features 15 tracks (including one track which will
be translated into Spanish and French on site); 60 total workshops; five
plenary sessions plus an additional worship service for the city of
Long Beach on Wednesday night following the conference; and 68 speakers
(19 plenary, most of who will also lead a workshop).
How many people are you estimating being on site?
As of today, we have just crossed 800 in registrations. We were
hoping for 600, maybe 700 at the outside. The tremendous response with
still more than a week to go has us considering what to do if in fact
the conference in essence sells out.
It’s been three years since Mosaix hosted the National
Multi-Ethnic Church Conference. This upcoming gathering will be the
second one. What made you say, “We need to do this again”?
The first conference was an overwhelming success, and looking back
is now recognized as marking the midway point in the pioneer stage of
the multi-ethnic church movement. Coming out of it, there was a natural
assumption that we would make it an annual event. However, the movement
needed more time to develop. Consequently, Mosaix returned in 2011 and
2012 to grassroots organizing by creating web-based resources,
publishing its first eBook, hosting two national retreats in the
United States and a national conference in Sydney, Australia. In
partnership with Mosaix, Leadership Network launched a two-year learning
community focused on the multi-ethnic church involving 12 churches and
30 leaders. With growing interest, receptivity and practitioners
engaged, we determined like a ship approaching land to do another
sounding in 2013–thus, the second National Multi-ethnic Church
Looking back at the first conference in 2010, do you find
that more leaders are interested in planting and growing multi-ethnic
Absolutely. No question about it. Increasingly, local church
pastors and planters, network and denominational leaders, organizations
and evangelical conference organizers, alike, are recognizing the
biblical mandate of the multi-ethnic local church and are beginning
to adjust and engage. Coupled with changing demographics, they are
recognizing that they must (at the very least) reflect the communities
in which they exist not only to survive but to thrive in an increasingly
diverse society. Most importantly, they are recognizing how the
systemic segregation of the local church unintentionally undermines the
very credibility of our message: God’s love for all people on earth as
it is in heaven. Indeed, the future of gospel impact and penetration in
this country depends upon passionate individuals and churches getting
How will this upcoming conference differ from 2010′s gathering?
In 2010 we provided eight tracks. This year, we have practically
doubled these to include new discussions on Community Engagement,
Overcoming the Racial Divide, Engaging Hip-Hop Culture, Multi-ethnic
Student Ministry and more.
Is there a topic focus or theme this year? On what specific messages will the conference focus?
This year’s theme is For the Sake of the Gospel. We wanted
to remind observers that the multi-ethnic church movement is rooted (as
is a healthy multi-ethnic church) in New Testament theology and
ecclesiology. Its primary aim is to reconcile individuals to God through
faith in Jesus Christ by presenting a credible witness of God’s love
for all people in and through the local church, and to reconcile the
local church, itself, to the principles and practices of first-century
churches in which diverse believers of Jewish and Gentile cultural
heritage walked, worked and worshipped God together as one in response
to and for the sake of the Gospel.
For church planters attending the Multi-Ethnic Church
Conference, what are some potential takeaways you believe will be
eye-opening for planters wanting to launch multi-ethnic churches?
1. I believe this conference will significantly advance the
movement by exponentially advancing relational connections among leaders
of like minds, leading to synergistic advancement of our collective
cause, and increased collaboration across the country.
2. I think this conference will hasten the soon-coming arrival of
the early adopter stage of the movement, which will begin when 20
percent of churches have at least 20 percent of diversity within their
attending membership. At present, that percentage is 13.7 percent across
the board; 14.4 percent in Protestant evangelical churches. We are on
track then to achieve this goal by 2020, or perhaps sooner given what
will come out of this conference.
3. The conference will help networks and denominations understand
that the oft-asked question of church planters–”Who’s your target
audience?”–is biblical only insofar as it addresses evangelism,
discipleship and leadership development. In other words, there is no
biblical precedent, license, freedom or mandate to target a single
demographic for church planting, growth and development. When the Homogeneous Unit Principle
is no longer misunderstood, it will no longer be misapplied. The
systemic segregation of the local church can be dismantled, resulting
in local churches on earth reflecting God’s love for people from every
nation, tribe and tongue, not only across the ocean, but across the
Mark, why do you believe the Multi-Ethnic Church Conference is needed?
Check this out: We’re the only conference that exists that doesn’t
someday want to exist, get it? That is, we are trying to work ourselves,
in a sense, out of a job! In other words, when local churches,
evangelical conferences, networks and denominations, Christian colleges
and seminaries, etc., all reflect in real and tangible ways unity and
diversity–the mystery of Christ as detailed by Paul in Ephesians 3–there
will not be a need for a conference (I pray) calling special attention
to what should otherwise be just who we are, the Body of Christ. Until
such a day, I suppose, we’ll have to keep on leading out on the subject.
And this we will continue to do until again we convene the 3rd National
Multi-Ethnic Church Conference in 2016.
Tell us a little about the Mosaix Network and how leaders can be involved?
Mosaix is a relational network of local church pastors and
planters, researchers, educators and ministry leaders alike that exists
to catalyze the growing movement toward multi-ethnic/economically
diverse churches throughout North America and beyond.
On Nov. 5 and 6, new membership packages and benefits will be
announced. Through such collaboration and partnership, Mosaix generates
sustainable income to advance its mission and vision: the collective
voice of growing numbers of ministry leaders focused on advancing a
credible witness of the gospel in an increasingly diverse and cynical
How are you praying for the conference?
That God will do for His name’s sake, for the sake of the Gospel,
exceedingly abundantly beyond whatever else we might imagine possible.
How can the Exponential community pray for you and the conference?
Wow! Thanks for asking. May I request what Paul requested of the multi-ethnic church at Ephesus:
“Pray also for me, that
whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make
known this message, the mystery of the gospel for which I am an
ambassador … Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” For
the conference, pray for those in attendance, that they will feel
encouraged (they/we are not crazy); equipped; and empowered through this