In the face of changing demographics in America, many African Americans find themselves becoming a minority-minority, or shrinking minority. For instance, in the west where I live, Asian and Latino populations are increasing dramatically as a result of immigration and soaring birth rates. The U.S. black population has shrunk from about 17% to 12% as we enter the second decade of the third millennium. The white population has shrunk to 72% while the Latino/Hispanic population has risen to over 16%.
While encouraging economic data says that a huge number of African Americans (some claim a majority) have attained middle class and reflect middle class education levels, there is still the threat of being further isolated or left behind by emerging minority groups that are growing rapidly.
More than ever, the African American community needs incarnational church plants that empower persons, work for the renewal of all creation and create a stable and enduring identity for this foundational portion of American society.
The CRC and RCA, working together in our Church Multiplication Initiative are well poised to engage an interested group of current and potential black leaders to join our reformed circle. We also have the growing capacity to equip leaders to serve today’s church plants, and empower leaders through good coaching, inclusive cluster networks and even link leaders to resources like Black and Reformed to increase our capacity to expand and excel in African American Church ministry.
1. We might well consider intentionally moving more of our black leaders into ongoing places in our tables of conversation for church planting.
2. We might seriously consider adopting non-affiliated black churches that want to be Reformed.
3. We might want to set some numeric goals to this end to spur us on to love and good deeds with an end in mind with regard to growing in Black/African-American ministries.