Archives For Racial Reconciliation

What does a multi-ethnic church really look like?

I get asked this question a lot at Crossroads, namely because we teach and vision-cast a lot about our desire to be a multi-ethnic church, which I usually follow-up by saying we still have a long way to go.  We are three and a half years into a 5-year-plan where becoming a multi-ethnic congregation was one of our goals.  Sociologists say that a multi-ethnic congregation can be defined as when the dominant group is not larger than 80% of the total population.  On our best day, if you include our kids and teens (where the majority of our people of color* are), we might barely fit the 80/20 rule — so does this mean we’ve met our goal in becoming a true multi-ethnic church?

*People of Color is the contemporary term used in academic conversations about race in America.  “Non-white” is not a good term because it forces people of color to identify themselves in relation to the standard of whiteness rather than in relation to themselves.  It is not to be confused with the historical racial slur “colored.”

This is where I follow-up by saying we still have a long way to go!  It’s relatively easy to become multi-colored, but this is very different than being truly multi-cultural.  A true multi-ethnic church is probably beyond the reach of most people, which is why you see so few of them and so few real efforts to become one.  So, beyond the 80/20 principle, what does a true multi-ethnic church really look like?

Trust and Safety

I’ll start with this one because if it goes misunderstood, the rest of the identifiers won’t matter (and probably won’t happen).  A person of color needs to be able to lament, emote, pray, and petition the Lord and their church community about the challenges of oppression they face on a daily basis.  They need to be able to do this without being judged or corrected by the white population. Continue Reading…

Email our mailbag at choppinituppodcast@gmail.com with comments and questions that we’ll read on the air.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/choppinituppod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/choppinituppodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/choppinituppodcast/

Tyler’s blog: TylerPSpeaks.com

Noah’s blog: AtACrossroads.net

(Producer) Kyle’s music: soundcloud.com/servantscorner

You can subscribe to episodes on Podbean or can listen and subscribe on iTunes.

Recreation of Martin Luther King’s cell in Birmingham Jail at the National Civil Rights Museum

Who are you in this letter?

The white clergy opposing Dr. King?  The white moderate?  The white church sitting idly behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows?  The black indifference?  The black violent nationalist?  The small group of white clergy standing by Dr. King, being ridiculed by white culture because of it? 

Who do you want to be? 

 

Read the full letter here.

(Written to 8 white clergymen who published an open letter in Birmingham saying that social injustices existed but argued that the battle against racial segregation should be fought solely in the courts, not the streets.  Dr. King’s letter was written in the margins of newspaper scraps, the only paper given to him in jail.)

 

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. Continue Reading…

Email our mailbag at choppinituppodcast@gmail.com with comments and questions that we’ll read on the air.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/choppinituppod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/choppinituppodcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/choppinituppodcast/

Tyler’s blog: TylerPSpeaks.com

Noah’s blog: AtACrossroads.net

(Producer) Kyle’s music: soundcloud.com/servantscorner

You can subscribe to episodes on Podbean or can listen and subscribe on iTunes.

Discussing white privilege in an effort to bring unity and reconciliation is like walking on a high wire coated with random landmines.  You say the wrong thing, the wrong trigger word, and BOOM: end of conversation.

I’m going to try my best to navigate this wire, please bear with me with grace.

Why this is important

Imagine a population of color, who has always been the numerical minority, who feels that those in the dominant majority (in this case: white skin) relieves a person of certain stressors and thus provides them with certain advantages.

But, that white population who is the majority doesn’t see a difference.

The minority feels there is a difference.

The majority doesn’t.

Off the bat, can you crystallize the conflict and tension on both sides?

The majority thinks the minority needs to stop complaining, or to stop making things up, or to take responsibility.  The majority thinks that the very conversation about the minority having more stress and resistance in life is an excuse to blame someone else for their problems and not try, and the conversation gets categorized accordingly.  In addition, the majority often feels like they are being accused or attacked.

Meanwhile, the minority Continue Reading…