In church planting, one of the most important things you can do as you consider how to build a church in a given area is to know that area. Where is that area in conjunction with the rest of the city geographically? What is the racial breakdown of the people within that area? What is the median age and income for the area? These questions for example can help you understand what you’re getting into as you prepare to build a church congregation. We firmly believe that the church should represent its racial, generational, and economic diversity. We want South City to look like the rest of our community. We can’t truly be a church of the community if our focus is to reach only one group of people. This will take intentionality and is honestly one of the main reasons we wanted to have a new name for our new vision. We wanted South City to be known for how well we love our community and the diversity of our people.

The early church was a diverse church. At the time of Pentecost, Jewish believers from around the known world came to Jerusalem to celebrate and while there, they had no idea that the Lord would move on this little band of Jesus followers called disciples by sending His Holy Spirit in power. Peter then preaches that amazing message and 3000 people come to know Christ and give their lives to the Lord in baptism. That group of just over 3000 people were from various backgrounds, were from different races, colors and nations and yet the Holy Spirit of God reversed the curse of Babel and allowed everyone present to understand this message of Christ in his own language. It was an incredible miracle indeed, but it was also a message to us that God longs for His church to be diverse and that all nations should and would hear the gospel of Jesus. Click here for Drew’s message on this topic in ACTS from 7/16/17.

Sadly, someone has said that “the most segregated time in our nation is at 11am on Sunday morning”. Though I believe that quote is correct, I think it breaks God’s heart. The church, the very people he gave His life for, have chosen to gather around certain commonalities and traditions like race, and denomination often unique to a certain race, and somehow the enemy of God has blinded us to this tragedy and we haven’t had the courage to be intentional enough to change it. At South City, we want every person to feel loved and special. We want people from our community to know that we not only want to serve them in special programs and service days, but we long to walk life with them in community and faith. Black and white, Hispanic and Asian, young and old, rich and poor, sinner and saint. This is the church of Jesus, brought together by His blood shed on the cross and the grace He offers to us all because of it.

Little Rock has a dark and broken history of segregation and racism and I believe God is healing us and preparing us to be a light to the nations on what His church can be together when we can find our common ground and purpose in our identity in Christ together over the color of our skin or the differences of our cultures.

Racial Breakdown in Southwest Little Rock
Black or African American      63%
White                                      22%
Hispanic or Latino                  12%
Asian                                      .04%
+2 or More Races                   2%

Eph. 2:14-16 (ESV)
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

South City Church exists to love God and ALL people by becoming authentic disciples who make disciples for the glory of God and the good of the city.

Drew Cline
Lead Pastor
South City Church