You may have heard the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” – so what if the birds in your circle are all the same? What if they all fly the same, eat the same foods and are birthed from the same environment? We need to expand our flock.

What’s the secret to unity? 

No two parts of the body are the same and each part has an important function that we need to survive. We can apply this analogy to ourselves too – we each have a unique character and specific role that adds value and significance to the bigger family of God. 

Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, I don’t need you.’ The head can’t say to the feet, I don’t need you.’ (1 Corinthians 12:20)


Having a diverse community in church is great but if we are not unified in trying to change social justice issues, both in our churches and our wider society, then what is the point? We need to be intentional in building genuine relationships with our brothers and sisters, so we can really begin to understand and relate to each other’s various cultures on a deeper level. 

1. Have those difficult conversations about race

When we speak about race, people tend to shy away and treat it as a taboo topic – or an extension of one’s political views and whether they truly think Black Lives Matter”. When individuals are given the opportunity to share their own experiences with racism, it opens the door to further conversations about the realities of a society that has a history of treating people of colour as less than. 

But the Lord said to Samuel, Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Even if the world tells us one thing, we should look beyond someone’s outer appearance and follow the guidance given to Samuel. Most of us carry such deep biases towards other racial groups that if not acknowledged, end up birthing sometimes quite ugly stereotypes. While we can ask for forgiveness, we can also just do better and appreciate that we are not the same – and that’s okay! Just think of it like this – we are all part of God’s expensive collection of fine china, carved with a different purpose in mind to create a hand-crafted masterpiece! By recognising each other’s differences, we can learn to rejoice in the outpouring of a creative God and celebrate the diversity in creation – after all that was His creative intention. 

2. Make space, make time

When it comes to planning church events, we should ask ourselves: are we planning this event with more than one culture in mind? Are we actively involving different ethnic groups in our initiatives? 

To ensure we keep an intercultural approach at the forefront of our initiatives, it should remain priority all year round by developing intercultural habits that connect us and show the love between one another. This might include: 

  • learning a new language; 
  • travelling to countries that use different cultural practices than your own; 
  • expanding your food range with cuisine from other cultures; 
  • engaging in different worship styles and musical genres. 

Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other.” (Hebrews 10:24 – 25

To better understand what makes a person who they are, join with them in their cultural celebrations and do life with them to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. 

3. Be willing to dismiss what you thought you knew

The way in which we communicate and do church” is no doubt heavily influenced by our individual cultures and traditions. How we each perceive the world as maybe a white single woman or a black married man or a South Asian mother of three may also influence how we interact with each other. Therefore, it is so important to show an interest in what others are passionate about and what makes us unique. 

Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had.” (Philippians 2:4 – 5

Even though it may seem easier to draw away from those who look different to you, instead of holding back, share what you know and acknowledge what you don’t understand – it’s okay not to hold all the answers. 

4. Don’t just look different, act differently

James reminds us that simply having faith in Jesus is meaningless if we treat each other as less than ourselves. We can pray and believe in advocating for social justice yet if we don’t speak up in times of injustice, we are doing God’s people a disservice. 

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favour some people over others?” (James 2:1)

Essentially, when one of us are discriminated against, we should all feel empathy and hurt. Equally, when one of us feel welcomed, we all should all feel joy for that person. 

If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honoured, all the parts are glad.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

We should make a conscious effort to invite those who would not usually step into our church; we should meet people where they are at – in their workplaces, social circles and homes. While you may not want to invite total strangers into your physical home (unless you feel led to do so!) it’s all about creating a safe space to share, be open, discuss and unite in difference. 

The journey to a unified UK church community should not be seen as an added burden or a political statement – it is God’s vision for the body of Christ to be a united front in the call for justice of any kind.