Being clear on your “WHY” is imperative when your vision is to cultivate a multi-ethnic ministry!  For almost a decade I’ve worked with Russ Siders as his coach as he has led Sunrise Community Church, a multi-ethnic church.  Today the ethnic breakdown is as follows:

  • 40% Anglo
  • 45% Hispanic (both English and Spanish speakers)
  • 15% African American and other ethnicities

Here is what he shared about his “Why.”

…the call to foster multicultural communities is rooted in something deeper than current social trends. For me, the story of the Antioch Church in Acts 11 is instructive and inspiring. You have a community of disciples started by Greek speaking Jews, but reaching into every stratus of the society, to Jews and Gentiles, to free and slave, to those with power and those with none. And it is there, as the gospel is lived out in this context, that Acts 11:26 says the disciples were first called Christians, “little Christ-ones.” This name supposedly came from outside the movement, and while it may at first have been a pejorative term, it was, if nothing else, a recognition that something unique was happening, something that could only be accomplished by the power of Jesus, the one whom Ephesians 2 says is our peace, destroying the dividing wall of hostility.

Russ Siders – Lead Pastor, Sunrise Community Church

  • I am collaborating with Russ to discuss some of his learnings from 20+ years of multi-ethnic ministry in a FaceBook LIVE event on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 @ 9am PST/noon EST.  We will build on some of the information shared here.  Hope you can join us!

Finally, I asked Martin Mora, who serves alongside Russ Siders as the Worship Arts Director at Sunrise Community Church in Tulare, CA – why he believes multi-ethnic ministry is vital to the work he does at Sunrise and the broader region in his denomination.  Martin is an exceptional leader who seamlessly crosses cultures and has years of experience in multi-ethnic ministry.  Watch and listen to Martin as he explains his “Why” – CLICK HERE.

Next week we will address the second question: How will you create a culture of diversity?




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