From Dr. David Ireland, Pastor of a 6,000-Member, Multicultural Church, a Primer for Embracing the Relationships God Wants People to Enjoy
NEW JERSEY – Oct. 29, 2012 – With the world and the Christian church sharply dividing along racial and cultural lines, Dr. David Ireland—pastor, diversity consultant, author and “reconciler”—passionately believes people committed to developing cross-cultural friendships can affect global change. In his important new book, The Skin You Live In, Ireland confronts the barriers to cross-cultural relationships and gives practical tools for becoming “racially attractive” and creating the friendships God wants for His people.
“Global reconciliation starts with individuals who assume personal responsibility for change,” said Ireland, pastor of the 6,000-member Christ Church—New Jersey, with more than 40 nationalities represented. “I am convinced that if every Christian took personal ownership of the call to become a reconciler, we could change the world.”
And it’s a world in need of change, as The Skin You Live In shows. Consider these facts about U.S. churches:
only 3 percent of U.S. churches have at least 11 percent of the congregation from different races than the majority.
79 percent of Christian churches identify and gather along mono-racial lines.
In Evangelical churches, 94 percent of adherents are born in the United States compared to 6 percent foreign born.
In The Skin You Live In, available now from NavPress, Ireland encourages people to get out of their comfort zones and reach across cultural lines. And he offers simple yet profound keys to develop friendships with people of other races:
Share common interests
Be warm and inviting
Offer mutual respect
Respond with kindness
Laced with engaging stories, backed up with pertinent facts and culminating in exhortation and encouragement, The Skin You Live In draws from Ireland’s personal commitment in his own family to living cross-culturally. It benefits from his scholarship; Ireland’s doctoral dissertation focused on interracial relationships in multiracial churches. Plus, his professional experience comes into play, not only as the pastor of large, multicultural church but in his role as a diversity consultant to the National Basketball Association.
“Dr. Ireland’s unique knowledge of how human beings learn to build trust across cultural lines helps incoming NBA rookies develop cross-cultural skills, which then helps them better connect with fellow players,” said Purvis Short, who directs the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program. “Through The Skin You Live In, he will coach you in how to better connect with the diverse people in your professional and personal worlds.”
The Skin You Live In: Building Friendships Across Cultural Lines establishes the practical and biblical mandate for cross-cultural understanding and relationships. And it offers the tools to identify and break each individual’s barriers to reaching across racial lines and developing mutually meaningful and enjoyable friendships.
For more information, visit: TheSkinYouLiveIn.com