Church leaders often advocate for more racial diversity in the Church. They argue that each church should mirror the demographics of its neighborhood or region.
But is diversity good for churches?
A lot of research suggests it is not.
Contrary to the assertions of the pop preachers, diversity destroys trust and dismantles community.
As two Michigan State researchers said:
...recent...work... has uncovered a community-diversity dialectic wherein the contextual conditions that foster respect for diversity run in opposition to those that foster sense of community. More specifically, within neighborhoods, residential integration provides opportunities for intergroup contact that are necessary to promote respect of diversity but may prevent the formation of dense interpersonal networks that are necessary to promote sense of community.
In other words, as diversity rises community diminishes.
Harvard researcher Robert Putnam conducted a colossal study on the issue of social capital. In 2007 he released his findings:
...inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, to give less to charity and work on community projects less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in from of the television.
Racial diversity is so destructive that it causes even close friend to become distrustful of one another.
Researchers in a Netherlands study added:
1) neighborhoods' ethnic diversity reduces individual trust in neighborhoods; 2) those with neighbors of a different ethnicity have less trust in neighborhoods and neighbors; 3) a substantial part of the effect of neighborhoods' ethnic diversity on individual trust can be explained by a higher propensity of having neighbors of a different ethnicity. We conclude that ethnic diversity can have a negative effect on individual trust.
Do churches want their members to distrust one another? Do they want less volunteering and more social agitation? Is their goal to collect less money from the collection plate?
Church should function efficiently and comfortably. Racial diversity destroys functionality by undermining trust and individual investment in the community.
Realistically speaking, multiculturalism and multiracialism are recipes for church disaster.