My church, Jesus the Recreator, is trying to build a diverse community in San Jose, California. Diverse not just racially, but also socio-economically. To me, the latter is the hard part. Personally, I have a much easier time socializing with other educated people regardless of race. Do you feel the same? In the secular non-profit world, I also see this clear class division. You either work directly with the poor, such as social work, or indirectly as a part of a think tank or foundation. The former generally don’t write papers or work on policy, and the latter don’t have friends among the poor.
If it’s hard to make friends outside of your socio-economic class, it’s even harder to build a whole church community. I know of only a few examples of current-day churches which have managed to do this: Mako and Ming’s church in Dorchester, Gary and Jodi’s church in Oakland, and Grace Fellowship Community Church in San Francisco. My impression is that it takes many years and an extraordinary level of commitment to develop this type of community. Do you know of other examples, and if you’ve been a part of such a church, what have been the key factors to making it work?