The Impacts of Diversity on a Religious Institution – Nu Leadership Series

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.”
Proverbs 3:7

How far should a church go to follow an era of heightened view on diversity and multiculturalism? Should a religious leader try to be politically correct with his or her congregation? Some leaders feel that diversity is a satanic snare for modern-day churches. Society requires that the church be tolerant of others.

Can diversity be disruptive as well as destructive to an organization? Diversity should not mean changing the very nature of an organization. Clearly, going against your core values will never generate positive results. For example, the Episcopal Church allowing gay ministers is more about cultural change than diversity. Unfortunately, this institution has struggled to deal with it.

Clearly, some causes may be worth fight for in an organization. For example, the Boy Scouts continue be bombarded with stern opposition because of its core values. But, don’t blame diversity of any cultural windfalls. There is a difference between diverse opinions and diversity.

Cultural changes are plaguing our mainstream institutions as well as our leadership. You can’t ignore it. Johnson-Reece, author of Developing an Inclusive Marketing Strategy, maintains that organizations must align themselves to much more culturally-diverse populations.

On the contrary, this does not mean give up the ship. Clearly, Paul lived in evil times. The early church was undergoing tremendous change with the addition of Gentiles in the congregation. This brought diversity.

However, Paul kept the people grounded in the core values of Christianity. Likewise, religious institutions must indeed to be open to people of all ways of life, but it should never go against their core values.

Reference:

Johnson-Reece, Nicole (2004). Developing an Inclusive Marketing Strategy: organizations that value diversity in their workplace and support them with a focus marketing strategy will be industry leaders, Franchising World.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green

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