Sermon quotes on diversity & inclusion

Maya Angelou

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

Max de Pree

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.

Leadership is an Art


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves – in Man… For no man seeks to hear his own echo, or to find his reflection in the glass.

T.F. Hodge

Hating skin color is contempt for God’s divine creative imagination. Honoring it is appreciation for conscious, beautiful-love-inspired diversity.

Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice

Too often “diversity” becomes a cheap form of coalition building by essentially silencing difference, as in interreligious efforts that presume all religions are basically the same. An authentic way to work together in a pluralistic world is not to silence our differences but to truthfully share the convictions by which we see the world and to seek the common ground where that leads us.

Taken from Reconciling All Things by Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice. ©2008 by Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Bryan Loritts

I’m tired of recommending young minority leaders to serve on white church staffs, and watching them get used as tokens to show how “serious” the church is about diversity, only to see it end very badly. I’m tired of the silence of other minority leaders who, in their pursuit of climbing Mount Significance, are scared to speak the truth for fear of not being invited to some conference, missing out on a book deal, and not having their brand established or extended.

More on Leaving White Evangelicalism: A Response by Bryan Loritts,” Christianity Today web site, posted October 17, 2017.

Toni Morrison

I am working for a world in which diversity is seen as a source of celebration rather than a cause for alarm.

Soong-Chan Rah

American Christianity is becoming diverse at a rate faster than American society at large.

Many Colors, Moody Publishers, 2010.

Soong-Chan Rah

Individuals from diverse cultural and denominational traditions have vastly differing expectations about the Sunday worship service. For some, it is too formal in its use of hymns, liturgy, and the church calendar. For others, the service is too informal for its use of contemporary worship instruments, lack of vestments, and more casual approach to the liturgy. It is impossible to please everyone all the time in a multiethnic church—or any kind of church, for that matter. The one place that consistently provides the place of connection and community is the meal that follows the Sunday worship service.

Many Colors, Moody Publishers, 2010.

Soong-Chan Rah

We must recognize, however, that this calling to be a diverse community that truly represents the kingdom of God requires great sacrifice. The deeply seated demonic power of racism cannot be overthrown without great cost.

Many Colors, Moody Publishers, 2010.

Theodore Roosevelt

In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans.

David W. Swanson

The segregation within white Christianity is not fundamentally a diversity problem: it’s a discipleship problem. Addressing white Christianity’s lack of diversity without first reckoning with our discipleship would be like redecorating a house built on a failing foundation. Before white churches pursue racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity as the solution to our segregation, we must first address the discipleship that led to our segregation in the first place.

Rediscipling the White Church, InterVarsity Press, 2020.

David W. Swanson

More than any other religious group, white evangelicals believe that increasing cultural diversity in the United States is a negative development—this despite the fact that the majority of new immigrants are Christians.

Rediscipling the White Church, InterVarsity Press, 2020.

David W. Swanson

Most mainline denominations have intentionally pursued racial diversity for decades, yet the scholar Jennifer Harvey notes that segregation remains the norm in these congregations. So, if “the premise of diversity is that difference is to be celebrated and embraced, separate worship must mean we are still resistant to difference somehow and hold negative views of those whose racial identities are distinct from our own.”

Quoted in Rediscipling the White Church, InterVarsity Press, 2020.

David W. Swanson

hough some denominations are racially diverse, the individual congregations within them are overwhelmingly not. Using a sociological definition, no more than 12 to 14 percent of American congregations are racially mixed.

Rediscipling the White Church, InterVarsity Press, 2020.

Albert Tate

Diversity is not an opportunity to fight, it’s an invitation to celebrate.

Leo Tolstoy

“I think… if it is true that

there are as many minds as there

are heads, then there are as many

kinds of love as there are hearts.”

Anna Karenina

Desmond Tutu

Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people?

Randy Woodley

God has planned since the beginning of time to cultivate diversity among human beings. When people tried to circumvent His plan, God intervened by creating many languages. … [God] is a God of innovation and extravagance, diversity and lavishness. God is the artist who formed the planet Saturn and its beautiful surrounding rings. He is the humorist who formed the giraffe and the narwhale, the armadillo and the platypus. God is the designer who set the constellations in place, who causes roses to bloom and who enables bees to make honey. We are not threatened by the stars that tower overhead or by a blooming rose or by the taste of honey in our tea. Should we be so surprised to find that God also created such diversity in human beings—all distinct and all equal—or that He insists that every culture be unique in its own right?

Living in Color (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Books, 2001)

Robert Benchley

There may be said to be two classes of people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world into two classes, and those who do not.

Of All Things, 1921

Brenda Salter McNeil

It was the reception of the Holy Spirit that first offered the church hope of a social and spiritual community composed of people from “every tribe and nation” and unified by the centrality of Christ.

Taken from Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil (c) 2020 by Brenda Salter McNeil. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

Timothy Keller

Nearly every racial minority in the US understands Euro-white culture pretty well, but we whites are far more ignorant of how the cultures of others operate.

Taken from The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best by Irwyn L. Ince Jr Copyright (c) 2021by Irwyn L. Ince Jr. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

Dorothy Sayers

The Power—the Spirit—is thus a social power, working to bring all minds into its own unity, sometimes by similarity and at other times by contrast. There is a diversity of gifts, but the same spirit.

The Mind of the Maker, Harper Collins 1941, 1987, 121.


Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Diversity & Inclusion. 

Follow us on social media: