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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)

2003 Conversations

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations

One church, many colors

Scott Temple has served as director of Intercultural Ministries of the Assemblies of God since April 2003. Prior to becoming director of Intercultural Ministries, Temple was senior pastor of Park Crest Assembly of God in Springfield, Mo., for five years. He recently spoke with Staff Writer Isaac Olivarez about diversity in the church.

PE: Many people think Intercultural Ministries only deals with various ethnic groups. It’s much more than that, isn’t it?

TEMPLE: Intercultural Ministries focuses on bringing the gospel to distinct people groups. For instance, the Deaf culture in the United States is a distinct people group. American Sign Language is the third-most used language in this country behind English and Spanish, yet only about 5 percent of people who speak this language go to church.

PE: How is Intercultural Ministries working to create an environment of diversity within the A/G?

TEMPLE: The Book of Revelation reveals that worship in heaven is fully diverse — all tribes, tongues and ethnicities. Jesus told us to pray that God’s will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven. Part of our responsibility is to set forth that vision and goal for our churches. The fastest-growing population in the United States is foreign-born immigrants. Nearly 35 million people living in the United States were born overseas. We thank God for our 400 U.S. Missions missionaries, but we need more because the work is great. As our churches open their arms to new immigrants, the demographics of our churches change.

PE: Why is it important to have diversity in the church?

TEMPLE: It’s the will of God. Our members and especially our children are increasingly seeing diversity throughout their communities in workplaces, neighborhoods and schools. If they don’t see the demographics in the church change, they will conclude the church is becoming irrelevant.

PE: What are some ways local churches can increase diversity?

TEMPLE: We must first have our theology right and be convinced by God’s Word that diversity is God’s will. Out of that conviction will come an atmosphere of openness and welcome, and then diversity will happen on its own. If people feel welcome, they will come. We have to be intentional in our prayer and in our outreach. That’s the vision, the commitment that every Assemblies of God church needs to have. In a climate of changing demographics, if the demographics of our churches don’t change as well, the church will eventually wither and die.

PE: What is on the horizon for Intercultural Ministries this year that will spur multicultural growth in the A/G?

TEMPLE: We recently formed the Samoan Assemblies of God Fellowship with nearly 70 congregations. Two years ago there were only four ethnic fellowship groups. Now there are 13. Last year we formed the African Fellowship with 70 delegates who were born in different countries throughout Africa. They formed the fellowship to strategically target recent African immigrants for evangelism and church planting and as an organization that welcomes the missionaries the African nations want to send to the United States. This is missions come full circle, and is proof the work our missionaries did in nations like Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania was effective.

PE: What can each person do to be more open to diversity and help foster that spirit within our local churches?

TEMPLE: Just find a way to be part of the solution. The church is God’s antidote for racism in the United States. It’s still a big problem. We still have great opportunities.

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