The Post-Black & Post-White Church: Becoming the Beloved Community in a Multi-Ethnic World

by Efrem Smith. Jossey-Bass, 2012.

Combining the resources of both the multicultural and missional church movements, Efrem Smith discusses his experience planting a multicultural church in the Minneapolis area and then serving as a regional leader for the Evangelical Covenant denomination. He addresses the challenges faced by white churches in the US (crisis, captivity and comfort), and the need to reach out to the high percentage of unchurched among those of other cultural backgrounds. Smith draws on his own background in the black church and provides a helpful and accessible discussion of race and racism, highlighting the gifts of the black church and black theology. The ‘method’ Smith prescribes is ‘compassion, mercy and justice,’ using models of outreach from the missional church movement, including reaching out to immigrant communities. He also discusses the importance of white congregations recovering their own immigrant and ethnic roots. The book is aimed at church leaders who would create the ‘post-black and post-white church,’ and it concludes with chapters on leadership and self-care. Filled with encouraging stories, this book will be useful for congregational leaders serious about planting multicultural congregations or moving existing congregations toward multicultural inclusivity.