Aligning Your Head, Heart & Hands to Love All People – Mark DeYmaz

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Our guest, Mark DeYmaz is an accomplished author and pastor who helps churches develop a healthy culture of diversity to better reflect the Kingdom of God.

Podcast Transcription

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Jason Hamrock: I’m talking with Mark DeYmaz. Now Mark is the founder of Mosaic Global Network and he’s a pastor at Mosaic Church in Little Rock. He’s an author of several books including his latest book, The Coming Revolution In Church Economics and he has a very popular 8-week small group study called, Multi-ethnic Conversations that’s used by hundreds of churches around the country and no doubt, it’s really relevant in these days. So we’re going to dive deep into a very challenging subject that many churches are dealing with, the subject of creating a diverse church. You’re really going to learn a lot from Mark in this conversation, so check it out.

Jason Hamrock: Well, hey, I’m here with Mark. Mark, thanks for joining us.

Mark DeYmaz: Hey, great to be with you. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah, I’m excited about our conversation today. So, a couple of different things we’re going to hit on. You wrote a book, The Coming Revolution in Church Economics, I think about a year ago or so. So tell me, what caused you to write that book?

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah, well, again, it’s great being with you Jason. Thanks for Missional Marketing having me today. You know, we actually published that book with Baker in October of 2019. The Coming Revolution in Church Economics, subtitled Why Tithes and Offerings are No Longer Enough and What You Can Do About It. My colleague Harry Li and I, we’ve been together 18 years, we’re a multi-ethnic, economically diverse church. A church plant in 2001 in the urban center of Little Rock, Arkansas. At the time we planted, about 30% at or below poverty. 66% of kids in the home without fathers. Highest violent crime rate in the city. We planted what Christianity Today would call three years later, a big dream in Little Rock. Could diverse men and women will themselves to walk, work and worship God together as one, beyond color, class and culture. And that has now, can’t believe it’s almost 20 years, but that dream became a reality. And in that kind of environment, when you’re planting in the urban center, given the demographic statistics of our community, and the kind of church we were planting, you know, this kind only comes out through prayer and fasting, so to speak. It’s a very different kind of church. We quickly realized that the more people that joined our church, it cost us money. See, that’s not typically the way the American church thinks. The more people that join your church, you should make money right?  It brings in revenue in the form of tithes and offerings. Again, in the urban center where you have homeless people sitting next to a US  senator, taking communion from an undocumented immigrant. You know, black, white, asian, hispanic, the differences in class and cultural backgrounds,  we quickly learned that the more people who joined our church, it actually cost us money. And we realized early on that, if we were to solely rely on tithes and offerings to fund and advance our work, it would be me, maybe an assistant, and a janitor, you know, and about 100 people or something, you know. But to actually engage the community in terms of food and clothing distribution, working with kids who age out of foster care, the immigration crisis in our community, and on and on. To actively engage and to advance not only the gospel, but the common good, we were going to have to learn to generate additional revenue. And so, we got on that early on, and of course, you know, you’re like an 18 year or whatever overnight success, right? But we did get around to finally actually wrote the principles in a book, an e-book for Leadership Network in 2012. That became a chapter in a book I wrote for Thomas Nelson called The Disruption in 2017, that ultimately made its way into a full book in October 2019.  So, that’s kind of some of the back story.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah.

Mark DeYmaz: But, recognizing that along the way, certainly after 2010-2011, with stagnant and declining offerings, across the board, with shifts in generational approaches and attitudes towards giving, with the increasing burden on the middle class, the increasing diversification of our population and demographic, some of these sociological trends were draining the church of resource. And ultimately, positioning or pitching most churches in a mode like a pastor being the frog in the kettle, simply managing the client, as opposed to aggressively engage in the community. Held up because of the lack of funds, we realized it wasn’t just an urban, multi-ethnic church problem. It was a church-wide problem. And so, in the book, of course, we look ahead to things like automation taking away 12-22 percent of jobs by 2030, as predicted by Oxford University. We looked at the possibility, as is happening in the state of Pennsylvania, where counties begin to tax your church property as they’re all looking for revenue streams. Potentially the federal government taking away tax-exempt status for the local church. But, of course, who could have predicted that a virus would turn a 7-10 year revolution into about 7-10 months? And the entire country and churches, in terms of this issue, are scrambling right now.

Jason Hamrock: So, what’s that mean for churches in the future? And then, what are some other alternative ways where the churches can respond? How do they generate more revenue?

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah, well, obviously, there’s about 60,000 words on that question alone.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah.

Mark DeYmaz: in the book. But in a short way, just simply put, the first thing that pastors have to recognize is, like the subtitle says, tithes and offerings will not be enough to fund or sustain your work and your mission in the future. Those days are past, in our lifetime, and if you don’t understand that, like I said, then really you’re a pastor simply managing decline at the moment, and you don’t even know it. And churches that are larger, are propped up, of course, because of typically those large churches are, you know, have different revenue in terms of a lot of times they’re white, like the church I came from, 20 years ago, wealthy, suburban, upper-class, etc. PPP funds have helped you prop up. But again, demographic shifts are bringing change to this country. Some of those sociological factors we deal with in the first book are going to affect your church as well. People born before 1964 make up nearly 80% of all giving in the church. People born after 1965, only about 30%.  That number is going to shift.

Jason Hamrock: Right.

Mark DeYmaz: It’s not, just young people don’t have money. They don’t trust institutions. They don’t believe that giving money, in the same way that older people do, is how you affect systemic change. They also believe in volunteerism and product endorsement as equal to money. That’s going to hurt. The wealth gap. When you put, in general, if you put a white person, next to a black person, next to a Hispanic person, next to an Asian person, there’s wealth and income disparity – wealth gaps and income disparity between those people groups. So the old model: butts in a seat, and you try to attract 4 white people in general, of course, there’s many African-Americans far wealthier than I. But generally speaking, given historic income gaps and income inequality and wealth gaps, those four white people, in general, will make up different revenue than four white, Asian, Black, Hispanics, right? And so, you can’t look at it on numeric base as if it’s going to bring you revenue. So, for all these reasons, as well as, what we deal with in the second chapter, the theology of it. Which is about shifting your mindset as a pastor to understand tithes and offerings. Sure, we’re all about tithes and offerings. We’re all about teaching Financial Peace University and generosity, yes, but, it’s not going to be enough. You have to understand this from a sociological perspective, as well as a theological one, which we deal with 7 key theological principles in the second chapter to help you make that mind shift.

Mark DeYmaz: Real quick, for instance, one is on stewardship. Biblically speaking, good stewardship is not about managing what you have, which is typically how it’s approached in the American church. Good stewardship is about this, you gave me five. Here’s your five, and I made you five. You gave me two, here’s your two, and I made you two. One guy sat on his asset. He is called a wicked, lazy slave. So the American church is sitting on billions and billions of unused dollars in terms of assets. Buildings that sit empty from week to week. Land that is sitting there completely undeveloped. The church of 65 people with a two and a half million dollar endowment in the bank. Nobody is getting saved. The community is not being touched, but by golly, every one of those 65 people will tell you how proud they are of that two and a half million dollars, they have, in the bank. So we’re sitting on billions of dollars of assets simply managing decline. That’s not good stewardship. So we deal with theology. So sociologically, theologically, you’ve got to wrap your mind around this.

Mark DeYmaz: And then in terms of moving forward, we provide in the book, 7 promising practices, what we call them, directives to help you do that. And very specific to that question then, really, if you boil and strip these things down to the most basic level, you think about this. Can you rent your facility? Pick up revenue by becoming a benevolent owner. How do you monetize things you’re already doing? So, how do you leverage that coffee space? Instead of serving free coffee, you can still serve free coffee, but you sell products out of that space to pay for the free coffee, so the coffee is not being paid for out of tithes and offerings, but it’s being paid through smart business being generated by something you’re already doing, and so you’re recouping that. Instead of paying for a janitor company, create a janitor company, right, and put people to work, and employ people, and get on and make contracts and generate net profit that ends up paying for your cleaning service and you re-coop $30,000 dollars a year in your budget, right, in terms of tithes and offering. So, monetizing things you’re already doing.

Mark DeYmaz: And then, of course, starting new businesses. Most pastors do not know, or understand, that nonprofit companies, like a church can, in fact, start for- profit business enterprise as long as you play by the rules, you won’t lose your tax exempt status, generally speaking, you have to pay taxes on that business like any anybody else and you can’t pay dividends to a board of directors, so to speak. Net profit has to go back to the nonprofit’s budget. It’s a little more than that, but generally speaking, that’s why we say: get a good tax lawyer, accountant. But the point is: even by the rules of the IRS, you’re allowed to start for-profit business ventures and we’re saying at a base level, by becoming a benevolent owner in terms of leveraging facility and land that you own, monetizing existing services, and/or starting new businesses, are ways that you begin to generate on the for-profit side additional revenue to tithes and offerings. Let alone, creating a non-profit alongside your church, a separate non-profit to aggregate your justice and compassionate work, in the local community, whereby you can pick up local, state, federal grants and donations from other churches and resources. So, a combination of tithes and offerings, with grants and donations through a separate non-profit, and then, your for-profit business enterprise, as I just explained, this becomes, kind of, a multi-tiered, if you will, aspect to generating sustainable revenue for the church going forward.

Jason Hamrock: So, I think what you just said, and it’s so relevant to churches these days. And it’s not going to happen overnight. They should have been doing this years ago. But, a church really needs to be thinking this way in the future. And, for some of those churches go, yeah, we’re OK. I would have said well, back in February, if I told you back in February that a virus is going to cause your church to do a 180 and you’re no longer going to meet in person for the next year. They would have said, you’re nuts. But what happened? You know, so, I think it’s really good advice for churches. Get the book. Read the book and understand what you need to do and be prepared. Because we serve a lot of churches that are in this space and they are doing that. But I know they can be doing more and that’s going to help them stay healthy.

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah, if I could say something real quick about that. Yeah, it’s just like in, like in succession, if you’re a lead pastor, you don’t wait to the end of your career to think, how do I succeed. How do I pass this on? You’re already too late. If you’re a college football coach, you don’t wait till a kid is a senior in high school and think, boy, I better start recruiting. Right? You have to go way in advance of these things. And that’s the same way. You’re talking about churches that in one way or another are already generating revenue. The vast majority of those churches, in my opinion, based on my experience in talking with people, etc., the vast majority of those see those as, oh, isn’t this nice? You know, we have a preschool that’s that’s generating $50,000 a year of income for the church. And they see it as an anomaly or a one-off or something that’s nice. They don’t necessarily see it as something necessary, and/or that will be intrinsic to their funding streams down the road. And that’s what the book is helping to aggregate a movement, it’s a first in space. So, it’s literally creating the entire category of church economics. How do we leverage the assets of our church to bless the community, advance the gospel, common good, et cetera. But, at the same time, generate some measure of ROI, some measure of sustainable income, to help us fund and advance our mission in the future?

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff, man. Thank you for sharing. So let’s turn the corner. Let’s talk about Mosaic Global Network. So you’re the co-founder and president of this network. Tell me a little bit about what it is, and what you guys do.

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah, when I started the church in 2001, a multi-ethnic, economically diverse church in the urban center of Little Rock, I wasn’t the first person to do this. And in fact, I wrote an article for Christianity Today, a few years ago, that kind of traced the inklings of this movement all the way back to the 1940s. Think about Urbana as beginning as some of that conversation. In the 1960s, Circle Church in Chicago. The 80’s Seattle with Ken Hutcherson and others, Jim Cymbala, et cetera.  But in a sense, none of them would have seen themselves as a multi-ethnic church, this is a movement. It’s just who they were, right, and how they approached ministry. But, a book called Divided by Faith was written by Christian Smith and Michael Emerson in 2000. It really is the linchpin that moves, what is now a legitimate movement away from a 40-year forerunner stage, and launched a 20-year pioneer stage. Well, I came in right then at 2000-2001. Very few people actually thinking about this. Of course, in seminary, church planting and networks and denominations, talking to you about planting a homogeneous church, and who’s your target audience? Very limited in terms of who they’re going after. This was the prevailing thinking, as if it was biblical, which it’s not. But having said that, I got in 2000-2001 and started the church here, and very quickly was being told by people: It’ll never work. Diverse people, will not go to church together. Prominent leaders saying, that you know, people want to go to church with people who look and think like them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And so, it was a very discouraging time in the 2000s as people like us, where all of a sudden, there’s a little bit more momentum from a handful of people around the country. And of course, I didn’t know any of them at the time, but I was always hearing discouragement.

Mark DeYmaz: And so, I ran into Dr. George Yancey, an African-American Sociologist, co-author of the book, “United by Faith”, which came out in 2003. We met at a small conference. One thing led to another, and he suggested, as a sociologist, that this idea of a movement in terms of building healthy, multi-ethnic churches rooted in New Testament theology, because essentially every church in the New Testament was a multi-ethnic church, outside of Jerusalem. He said, that probably is more of a grassroots movement. And so, we then, formed Mosaic. Mosaic, but that wasn’t my name. I realized it was bigger than the Xs for multiplication and Gen X. So we created, in 2004, essentially, a switchboard. Where, I would run into people and they’d say, hey, I think there’s some guy in Cincinnati trying to do what you’re doing. And so, I would trace my way, and find my way, to that one guy in Cincinnati or that one woman over here, and so like a switchboard, we just started making connections. And one thing led to another. And literally, from 2004-2005, all the way to 2013… It was, even though we had done some regional events, we launched our national conference, a tri-annual event in 2010. All this stuff was percolating over ten years. Almost like an artist that wins a Grammy, saying, where did they come from? They’ve been playing the bars, in the back roads, in the alleys for ten years, right? That’s kind of how Mosaic was. Just trying to sell this vision. Writing for Outreach magazine, Beginning to publish books. Getting others to do the same and trying to galvanize this initial thinking from pioneers.

Mark DeYmaz: You know, pioneers are not the first to discover things, but they’re the first to recognize intrinsic value in things that others only take for granted and then they write the codes, if you will. The way, the playbook, so that the masses can follow. And that’s what we’ve literally just finished. A 20 year “pioneer stage”. We just moved into, statistically, the early adopter stage. And so, in the rise of “Black Lives Matter”, 2013-2014, Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, verdict, etc., that’s when our business, so to speak, took off. Because literally from 2000-2013, you’re sitting and you’re talking the rooms filled with pastors who largely have their arms crossed. Who really don’t necessarily see it, or get it, or don’t think about it. They’ll say just preach the gospel and all of this takes care of itself. And you’re like, well, how’s that working for us, right? So it took all that 10-15 years to, and then the tragedies of Trayvon Martin and others, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. These tragedies that gave rise to this idea of Black Lives Matter. And I’m not talking about the movement, but just this idea of our generation, of our era, civil rights and civil unrest. That’s when our phone began to ring and of course, over the last 5-6 years, it’s just continued to scale.

Mark DeYmaz: So Mosaic offers today a number of products and services that help churches with their multi-ethnicity, rooted in strong theology, cultural intelligence. How to aggregate social justice and community engagement in real ways through umbrella nonprofits and then, of course, what we’re talking about today, sustainable income.

Jason Hamrock: Hmm. So, what do you say to a church that’s wanting to become more multi-ethnic?

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah, well, again, I written 5 books on that subject, going back to 2007. But, the thing that’s important to understand, it always starts with a mind shift, right?  Just like I was talking economics. You have to begin to think differently. You know, that’s what Apple said, right? That’s their whole deal. Think differently. So, we have to think differently in terms of the economics and also in terms of the multi-ethnicity of the church. And, thinking differently begins with strong theology. Both in terms of economics as well as this. We have to recognize that every church in the New Testament outside of Jerusalem was multi-ethnic. Men and women, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, willing themselves to walk, work, worship God together is one. Why? To advance a credible gospel, right? Not just to talk about the gospel and God’s love for all people. To actually model and demonstrate that in a way that is credible. Christ lifted up. Drawing all people unto himself.

Mark DeYmaz: When I began to think about this from a theological standpoint in 1997. You know, I was raised Jesuit Catholic. So, I was very familiar with the, “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. Where? On earth, as it is in Heaven. In the late 90’s, when I was a part of a church of 5,000 white, Republican, suburbanites, just killing it, as a church, just doing such great work. One day, I looked around the room and I realized the only people of color in this church, are janitors. And something bothered me. So, when I went to the New Testament, I realized Christ taught us to pray that what’s going on up there ought to be going on down here. Revelation 7:9, Every nation, tribe, people, and tongue, making up the eternal body and bride of Christ.  But then, you had 92.5% of churches in America segregated by race, class and culture, something is not right with that picture, there’s a disconnect.

Mark DeYmaz: And so, I began asking myself the question, if the Kingdom of Heaven is not segregated, then why on earth is the local church? And so, that led me into research, and theology, and all of this is to say that it’s a credibility issue. We cannot continue. In an increasingly diverse and cynical society, especially one that’s as polarized as we are now, 20 years later, does not find credible, a message of God’s love for all people, when it’s preached and proclaimed from segregated pulpits and pews. It undermines the vision. You can’t keep proclaiming God loves everyone, when in fact, your church doesn’t. And you might say, oh yeah, well, we love. Our heart is for all people. Yeah, but your hands and your feet aren’t, right? The Bible says, in John, 1 John, He says, “If you say that you love God but you hate your brother, you’re a liar.”  Right? So it’s about loving God and loving our biblical neighbor, which is someone very different than us. By and large, the American church has the love God part down. What we struggle with, is tangible love for our neighbor. And that doesn’t mean helping the poor. That means you become poor. That means the community becomes as you are. So, it’s reflecting God’s love for all people, not just some people. Offering hope for all people, not just some people, in and through your church, in a tangible way. Through our worship, through our relationship, in terms of our walk, and then collectively as we engage the community. So, this is a biblical thing, it’s not just nice. It’s necessary. It’s not optional. It’s biblical. Christ envisioned the multi-ethnic church on the night before he died: John 17.  Luke describes it in action, the model church of the New Testament is not Jerusalem, it’s Antioch. Multiethnic, missional, multi-site, mega. It’s everything you want to be. And of course, Paul prescribes it throughout his life in writings in the Book of Romans, Ephesians, et cetera.

Jason Hamrock: Well, and it’s not enough just to acknowledge it. Churches have to talk about it, in my opinion, from the pulpit, and address it because if you don’t, you’re playing against it. You have to speak into it. So, explain, like right now, here we are, we’re in September. There’s this election happening in a couple of months. There’s all this division from a racial standpoint. There’s an upside down with all the COVID and everything, just our country seems to be a mess. What would you communicate to a church right now, how they can respond to all that’s happening? What should they do?

Mark DeYmaz: Well, the problem is with nearly, and this is tremendous progress by the way, but today 23% of evangelical churches are multi-racial, in the sense that they at least have 20% diversity in their attending membership. Now, that’s up from seven and a half percent 20 years ago, so there’s progress in that sense.  But the problem is, many of these remain structurally homogeneous. So in other words, if you have 20% diversity in your pews, but it’s otherwise an all white-led church, white structures, white understanding, et cetera, then that kind of gets your foot in the door, but there’s so much more than that, right, to building a healthy, multiethnic church. In July, I wrote an article for Christianity Today that outlines and defines what it is, and what it means, to be a healthy, multiethnic church. Why I say all that is, that majority culture churches right now are in a spot because you don’t have credibility to speak into this, and you don’t have cultural intelligence or cross-cultural intelligence really to step up and lead. And that’s not something that majority culture evangelical Christian pastors or churches, are used to being not in the forefront of the lead. Right. So if you again, this is a moment where you step back and you remind yourself of your mission and what it’s about, and you listen and you learn and you engage. And so, the mission of the church is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But it’s also the gospel of Paul, Romans 16:25, Gentile inclusion. To be an inclusive church, building on the credibility of the New Testament, we’re going to have to take intentional steps. We’re going to have to empower diverse leaders, develop cross-cultural relationships, promote a spirit of inclusion. And these things, as you well said, take time.  So the worst thing you can do is jump into this, and start speaking as if you’re leading, when you don’t have the capacity, the credibility or the context to do this.

Mark DeYmaz: You have to take a step back, and having said that, that requires humility and obedience. Philippians chapter 2, setting aside, emptying yourself, if you will, of any measure of power, position, and privilege that your collective church has, to come down, as Christ did, to lift others up. And not to think about your own people group, but for all people groups. And all that’s to say, if you’re a majority culture pastor listening to this, the number one thing…I’ve been in this space since 1997, and I can tell you if I was king for a day and I could wave a magic wand, I would tell every majority culture church in America, stop, call a timeout, don’t go on a march, don’t read a book with a staff, don’t post a hashtag on your Twitter account, stop everything and do cultural intelligence assessment and training. It’s called CQ Assessment and Training, it’s like an MRI on your body, it’s like a selfie, a snapshot right now of your staff and key lay leaders, your cultural intelligence. That is your your cross-cultural intelligence. What is your internal drive, your knowledge, your strategy, your action, where do you fall on ten cultural values? Let’s assess where things are right now, almost like a doctor. Get that CQ assessment and training. And then on the back side, once we identify areas of opportunity or weakness, we can write prescriptions, if you will, remedies to help you strengthen that in an intelligent way over time. The tool we use developed by the Cultural Intelligence Center has been taken by one hundred and fifty thousand people in one hundred and sixty five countries. It’s empirical data, and it is the thing, the primary thing, you could be doing right now as a baseline to advance and to improve your cultural intelligence over time.

Mark DeYmaz: As we go into this election, right? And of course we’ve been, as a multi-ethnic church, I got Democrats, Republicans. I’ve got black Republicans, I’ve got white Democrats, you name it, right, and they’re all in the same church. What we’ve learned to do, is not to elevate people, parties or platforms, but to pray for everyone. And to hold on to those around us in our church whom with whom we disagree in terms of people, parties or platforms, to not doubt their motivations. So in a sense, it’s like in broad brush and say not taking it personal. Politics have become so personal, not only for the country but in the church, that we see one another is the enemy. So in my church, just quickly, I have an African-American single woman, been a member of my church fifteen years, loves the Lord, Christ centered. She is, in terms of policy, she’s the Nancy Pelosi of our state, not in terms of a polarizing figure people like her in our state. But she’s been in state government twenty years, she’s the leader of the Senate on the Democratic side, and she’s running for the Second District House of Republicans at the US Capitol. If she wins, she’ll be the first African-American ever elected to Congress out of state of Arkansas. In that same church, is a white man named Ralph Hudson. He’s appointed by the Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who used to run the NRA. Ralph used to be a State House Representative, steeped in Republican politics. Our elder chairman is a Puerto Rican Social Security Judge.  That spans the demographics in terms of politics in our church.

Mark DeYmaz: A year ago at Easter, 2019, at the end of our Easter service, we had Ralph Hudson, obviously the white guy, with Joyce Elliott, the African-American woman. They take the mikes, they go up on the stage at the end of our Easter services, this is 2019, and they take the stage and they say, hi, I’m Joyce Elliot and I’m a Democrat. And Ralph says, Hi, I’m Ralph Hudson. I’m a Republican. And they almost in unison say, and we love God, we love this church, and we love each other. You don’t have to preach redemption in the power of Jesus Christ when you put that example up at the end, and we did that, of course, on purpose. Because what they’d tell you, if they were sitting on this call right now, is that that because they know of one another’s love for God in Christ, because they are in relationship with one another, because they attend the same church, right, they don’t doubt one another’s motivations in terms of advancing public policy, the common good, etc.. Now, what they do doubt and debate, if you will, is how to advance that. And in terms of fighting that out, you can fight that out in terms of public policy, of how you want your motivation to impact the community, the methods that you want to use, very different for Joyce, then very different than Ralph. But they don’t doubt where those motivations stem from, from a love of God, a love of people, love of the community. And so by not doubting motivations, but being willing to doubt or debate, if you will, at arm’s length those public policies is what helps us hold together. So, again, we don’t support people, parties or platforms, we pray for one another. It’s a tricky space to navigate, but it can be done. And pastors to take one position or the other, one side or the other, you’re moving your church into extremes. The future of the American church in terms of its original mission, peacemaking, representing Christ well in community, you are there to represent Christ to all people, not just some people. And you have to learn to navigate that middle, which is not compromise, it’s wisdom. There is nuance, and you have to learn to think and apply it in our day.

Jason Hamrock: That’s a lot to chew on. So what should a church do first? Go to the Mosaic Global Network website, and take those action steps?

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah, I mean, again, you’re Missional Marketing, right, so you’re in sales. I’m honestly not trying to sell something here, but yes, the first step that you need, if you’re listening to this and you’re a majority culture church, again, I’ve been doing this since 1997. Go to our website, look at the CQ Page, CQ Cultural Intelligence. You know what IQ is, you know what EQ is, CQ is cross-cultural intelligence. And yeah, just set up a phone call with me, or we’ll be glad to talk to you about what does that mean? What does that look like? The why, the how and the what of it all, the cost, but yes, this is the primary place to start. And trust me, I wouldn’t be doing it, if I didn’t think this was the primary place to start. And so we have that assessment, we have that tool, we have the capacity, our staff of six to run that department, if you will. But that is the primary starting point, because we cannot help you advance…I mean, I can help you. I’ve done that for many years. You know, you might bring me to your church and say, hey, what do you think? And I go, OK, here’s what I think, and I’m pretty accurate. You know, I’ve been doing it again for a long time. But nevertheless, it’s not empirical data, it’s just what Mark DeYmaz thinks, right, and Mark DeYmaz can make a pretty good educated guess for sure. But when you couple that with empirical data, and then the experience of our team, that’s where you can really say here’s exactly like an airport, you are here right now. That’s nobody’s guess, empirical data. You are here.  Now in the areas of strength, that’s great, let’s keep those going, keep going. In the areas of weakness, there’s opportunity for growth. Let’s write prescriptions, let’s help, let us show you how you can improve those. So that your organization, your church, can be more effective in reaching, with credibility, an increasingly diverse, painfully polarized, and cynical society.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah, fantastic. Mark, thank you so much, I appreciate your insight into this. And I’ll put a link on this podcast for you to get over to the website, and I encourage every church to take advantage of this next step. It’s one of those critical things, you know, that churches had to pivot during COVID.  Well, this is another one, you’ve got to make this move if you want to continue to reach people.

Mark DeYmaz: Yeah. You know, 100%, if I could say that. It’s you know, there’s obviously like that old movie, The Perfect Storm. We’ve had three storms, major storms, hit with hurricane force all in the last six months. And none of these storms are going to go away overnight, right, and so what are the storms? Well, of course, there’s the health, the pandemic of health. And then, of course, the economic fallout from that, right? And then, of course, the civil unrest related to all things color, class, culture, systemic inequities. Well, Mosaic’s global network now over twenty years or so, we have expertise. We’re not experts, by the way, anybody who tells you they’re an expert in multi-ethnic ministry, race, class, culture, do not listen to that person, OK? There are no experts in this, but there are some people further down the road who gained a measure of expertise. And that’s what Mosaic’s has for churches in the area of both race, class, and culture, as well as the economics piece, that’s our space. Two of those three storms, that’s where we’ve been living in terms of our organization and our life’s work for almost 20 years. So we are a little further down the road, more than happy to help, that’s what our mission and vision is.

Jason Hamrock: And like you said, it’s not going to go away any time soon. So, it is our future. Yeah. Thanks, Mark. I appreciate you so much.

Mark DeYmaz: You bet, great to be with you.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah, thanks.

Jason Hamrock: Amazing conversation. Thank you so much, Mark, and thank you for your dedication in this topic. Right. So church, I would suggest, and challenge you, to go learn. Go learn from what Mark has been learning over the past 15 plus years, and investigate, and articulate what it is you’re going to do to become a more diverse church. Your culture isn’t going to change overnight, we know that, it takes intentionality to make that change.

Jason Hamrock: Now, one area that we can help you with at Missional Marketing, is your website. Being very intentional about what you say, and in the images you show, in the videos you produce. If it’s time for a website refresh, talk to us first.  Not because we’re trying to sell you on a website, it really doesn’t matter if you use us or not. But more importantly, how you should build your next website, and what users are looking for, and what Google is looking for. So when you’re ready, we’re ready for that talk as well. Until next time.

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