Why is Sunday the most segregated day of the week?

 In Be The People TV, Race Relations

Christians are often asked about the lack of diversity in various churches. With great embarrassment, many of us acknowledge that our places of worship are segregated on Sunday mornings. Non-believers and some Christians too point to this as evidence of racism? But is this really true or could there be a more innocent explanation for the patterns we observe?

I believe that there is something more at work than racism. Let’s face it! Blacks and whites often have different tastes in music, different styles of preaching, different forms of worship, and different ideas about how long a church service should last. We have different preferences because we have different cultures, although some of us are truly multicultural and we move easily in different sitting. I’ve observed more interactive worship styles at black churches. In black churches, the congregants often punctuate the pastor’s sermons with frequent “amens” and spontaneous acts of applause, praise, and worship. In white churches, I have attended congregants are usually more sedate and passive. Frequently, services at white churches end within an hour. Usually, they are never more than 90 minutes. On the other hand, Sunday services at some black churches can last 2 to 3 hours. Often there’s an expectation that the most devout members of the church will attend evening as well as morning services. Pastors are not so quick to attribute the patterns we observe to racism. Shortly after I arrived in Nashville, I asked a black pastor if he thought racism was behind the segregated congregations we hear so much about. No, he replied. “A long as there are cultural differences between the races, there will be a need and a demand for separate worship services.” Diversity is wonderful because the body of Christ is rich and diverse. Rather than perceiving segregated worship services as a serious malady, we can choose to see this as evidence of the freedom and independence that we have in Christ.

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