Sorry I am sending this to you a day later than I said I would, but I am having Dana forward to all of you the links I promised featuring conversations about race in the church, led by spiritual brothers. The conversations originate with our sister church in Portland, Oregon, and are facilitated/moderated by Steve Johnson.
The first link I would recommend watching is “Honest Conversations about Race” which features Steve Johnson with two outstanding African American leaders, Frank and Scott Davis. They do a great job of presenting racial issues through the eyes of African American brothers and sisters.
The Second conversation is entitled “White Man to White Man” and is a discussion among Steve Johnson, Alex Hunter (Northview), and other white brothers regarding what they are learning, coming to better understand about what brothers and sisters of color in the church feel and deal with, and, where they feel necessary are planning to change.
Please take the time to watch both these videos, even if you have to do it in segments (each video is an hour to an hour 1/2). The point is not to encourage everyone to agree with everything that is said, but rather to help inform and increase our understanding of where others are coming from on this issue, in order that we might become an even closer and more unified body!
Having watched the videos, I encourage you as family groups, community groups, or otherwise, to discuss what you got out of them in small group settings and conversations. And I would strongly emphasize the importance of making sure these discussions involve brothers and sisters of differing racial backgrounds. It is important that brothers and sisters of color and white brothers and sisters hear, humbly listen, and humbly learn from one another. Remember JAMES 1:19-20 and PHILIPPIANS 2:1-8.
Questions to consider after watching the videos:
1. How does Frank Davis’ explanation of racism mesh with how you have traditionally defined its meaning? If different, how has considering his explanation changed (if at all) your understanding of racism and how it might affect the church?
2. After watching these videos, what impacted you, stood out to you, etc? What have you learned about how disciples of a different race might think and view things? What do you feel needs to change and what role do you feel you play in being a part of that change?
3. What are the fears you have delving deeper into the topic of race in our church? How might we address such fears and what do you believe Jesus wants you to do moving forward? (1 John 4:18).
Thank you, Brothers and Sisters! I love you and am so excited about how God is continuing to edify us and make us into the shining stars the world needs to light the dark sky on this and other issues!
Honest Conversations about Race: Steve Johnson, Frank Davis, Scott Davis