From May 19 2020 moving on into June 2020 has been challenging for societies all around the world to make sense of life. As Christian church leaders of African descent in white suburban America, we cannot afford to follow nor lead without special wisdom and careful, thoughtful strategy based on Biblical principles. I have found a few great resources that will help us discuss and frame our Christian calling as leaders to understand hate, love, racism, justice, mercy, truth, and grace, etc., in the context of next steps. Where are the successful role models and related resources that can quickly scale our leadership just for these times? We must rise to the occasion quickly and lead bravely to inspire thorough and comprehensive immersion in Christian values, as portrayed in the life of Christ, for ourselves, our congregation and our community, with the wisdom of God Himself.
The resources below have been coming to help us prepare as an African-American church in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood. We must be prepared to face our community with some level of consensus that speaks clearly of who we are as Christ followers who truly understand our society and the next steps to be taken. These few resources are just the beginning, but they all have helped me tremendously in developing perspective. I hope that we can discuss these items -- along with others that you find -- and openly debrief into a successful Christian Leadership Collaboration within our church to address the needs of a society in utter chaos.
- Pastor Jimmy provided these two scriptures for us to ponder the four key pillars of complete Christian faith: Justice, Mercy, Righteousness and Truth. Where do I fall short? Where do different church organizations fall short? Are we all STILL falling short? Study these and all the other resources for us to establish a brave, new strategic alignment with these four pillars at ANF.
Psalm 89:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Lovingkindness and [a]truth go before You.
Isaiah 16:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness,
And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David;
Moreover, he will seek justice
And be prompt in righteousness.
2. These two books written by Ms. Pearl, a black woman, describe her turbulent, but successful experiences in building relationships across racial and cultural differences. Let's learn and discuss the principles that attracted other races to support and love her. Make notes as you read.
3. This is a short sermon by Sheldon Bryan of the Milwaukee Central SDA Church that discusses a perspective from Jesus Himself -- 19 minutes. Let's discuss this perspective and design an ANF approach that helps us frame strategy for our congregation and community.
4. This black Naperville man attends KKK rallies. Why does he do this? What happened to the KKK leader and what principle(s) did he present to explain what happened? Let's discuss the principles and apply what makes sense as Christian church leaders at ANF. Click the play button to view.
5. What is in the heart of man that would make him do that? This 'It Is Written' video provides a tremendous reflection on a small piece of history with the key underlying question. Let us remember that the forces of evil are at work even more as we approach Christ's second coming. There is an urgency to share and live the gospel, intentionally seeking to break down barriers that are so ingrained based on the history of our society. If we trust God's power there is only one question that remains: What can we design to reverse this ugliness one person at a time using principles that work at least some of the time with God's guiding touch?
Let discuss the heart of man and what God has already done and apply principles that God can stand behind. See the video and the key question used. Sometimes, I am just proud of the SDA organization. May God help us to see the positives that are happening in the midst of chaos. Even white Christian law enforcement officers and others are out praying with and protecting protesters.
Here's the 'It is Written' Video. Click the play button to view.
6. Pastor Sara Conner -- Jamaican Perspective -- How to Stand Up!!!
7a. Hate speech and the psychologically subtle dehumanization of humanity: Embedded in culture? Has it touched me? Please keep in mind that these articles were both written in October 2018.
Click here to view the article above with key scriptural references included.
7b. Hate speech and culture continued: