Is there a diversity dividend? Yes, according to an elite panel of business leaders at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. In the BBC’s report on the discussion, chief business correspondent Linda Yueh cites the following evidence to support the panelists’ advocacy for diversity:

  • Boards of directors with greater diversity generate more dividends.
  • Numerous studies show that adding women to the labor force increases national output, or gross domestic product.
  • An MIT study found that changing from all-male or all-female workforces to equal numbers of both sexes could raise revenues by around 40 percent.

Walgreens CEO Randy Lewis’s book No Greatness Without Goodness: How a Father’s Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement advances this “profit-from-diversity” narrative by demonstrating how Walgreens increased profits and reduced staff turnover by hiring more employees with disabilities and other special needs. As creative companies like Apple and Google have also found, this profit-motive is proving more powerful at building diverse workforces than enforced quotas, threatening legislation, or guilting companies into action.

So why aren’t we using the profit-motive to build more racially diverse churches and to increase racial diversity in our Christian lives?

More Excellent Way

The majority of the post-Ferguson conversation and writing has focused on quotas, legislation, rehashing the past, and guilting people and churches into change. Surely we can build a much more positive case for biblical diversity by demonstrating the future spiritual profit we can enjoy in our lives, families, and churches.

As I describe in my book The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World, after years of inaction, fear, and even prejudice, I only began to pursue more diversity in my life when I began to experience the rich spiritual profit of racial diversity through increased contact with African American Christians. Although there’s something deep within us that says, The more people are like me, and the more people like me I can gather around me, the happier I’ll be, I came to experience the exact opposite. The more I listened, talked, and walked with people of different races, ethnicities, and cultures, the more joy I experienced.

Before I make the profit-motive case for diversity, let me be crystal clear: I’m not talking about moral diversity—the idea that all moralities are equal and valid. Neither am I talking about the kind of multiculturalism that calls us to accept everyone’s beliefs and practices regardless of whether they align with biblical values. I’m talking primarily about racial diversity, but much of what I say will also apply to the kind of cultural and ethnic diversity that does not contradict scriptural standards.

Click on over to The Gospel Coalition Website for the rest of this article, including ten ways in which biblical diversity in the local church produces much more profit than uniformity does.