Christian Race Fatigue

Posted in Racial Identity, Racial Reconciliation, Reading for Reconciliation, Social Justice, Supper Club, Tip Sheets, Writing on by Linda – Be the first to comment

to recocile peopleI’m Tired Too

Recently on Facebook, I saw a post from the ministry of a well-known international television evangelist. It read: “I’m tired of hearing about race! If you’ve been to the cross, we’re brothers and sisters.”

Brother, I’m tired of hearing about it too. Every time we turn on the news we’re hearing about some sort of race crime—some perpetrated by the very establishment that have been hired to serve and protect all citizens regardless of color.

As a mother and a Christ follower, I’m tired of seeing that kind of thing happen in the world.

The Knee Jerk Response

Yes, we are all one in Christ but have we taken it to the level that Christ prayed about in John 17:21… “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Here’s a question I want to ask that TV evangelist: How has the world’s idea of race and racism changed because of our oneness? Is our oneness so strong that the world is turning to Christ. I don’t think so; not yet.

I hear a lot of rhetoric. Lots of scriptures tossed around. John 17:21. Galatians 3:28. Ephesians 2:13-16. And on and on. But I still feel that we’ve not moved past Rodney King’s plea, “Can we all get along?”

The media has a way of gnawing on a bone of news until we are so tired of hearing it that we get numb. That’s not news-casting. That’s social Novocaine.

When we Christians get tired of race talk, we go straight to the ‘cumbayah’ platitudes and nothing ‘God’ happens.

Start Doing Something

I’m so tired of hearing about race that I’m ready to do something about it so that this conversation stops coming up. As for me and my house, I’m going to keep talking and writing about racial reconciliation until that change happens.

The world might talk about it one way. They’ll say, let’s make up a new law or reform the existing ones. That’s a good move. But we as believers need to talk about and address race in another way. A way that does not lead to this race fatigue. A way that draws unbelievers to Christ in big and small ways. A way that fulfills MLK’s Dream and Jesus’s Prayer. A way that eradicates even the last vestiges of racism, classism, and sexism inside the very Church itself. Because unfortunately even though Christ removed the “dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesins 2:14) of skin color, class, and gender we are still separated. In some cases, we’re in the same ‘multi-ethnic’ church but miles apart.

We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. We’re the bridge builders. The justice people. We are God’s children. Let’s start doing something.

“The Integrated Church”

Posted in Book reviews on by Linda – 2 Comments

The Authentic Church book coverThe Integrated Church: Authentic Multicultural Ministry
by Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts

I remember the first time I walked into an all-white church and felt unwelcome. An usher approached me as I began my stroll down the plush red carpet. He leaned close and told me, in a quiet helpful tone,  that I might feel more comfortable in the ‘black’ church across the way. That was in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1990. That was not of God. That was racism.

Thankfully today, those days of blatant racism in the church are are fewer and farther apart. But Christians are still hanging out in the comfort zones. I’m grateful for women like Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts who don’t tolerate comfy Christianity. In her new book, The Integrated Church, Tracey uses an easy-to-read, conversational style to challenge those who are comfortable with mono-cultural church.

The Integrated Church is practical and real, offering insights into how any church can have an active and sustainable multicultural ministry. This is evident in the four elements for building a multicultural strategy that Tracey explores. Pastors and lay people alike will find The Integrated Church helpful. Tracey’s insights into multicultural ministry are interwoven with quotes, anecdotes, and scriptures.

I think many church-going folk expect church to be comfortable and easy, tied up in a tidy package of assimilated sameness. That makes for good cinema but not real Jesus-ordained church. As Tracey points out, ministry building involves conflict. In fact, conflict is inevitable (albeit combat is optional).

“Implementing a multicultural strategy must be gradual and there must be an anticipation of the challenges that are bound to occur.”

She goes on to illustrate the crucial roles that the multicultural leadership must play in driving the formation of the ministry. Prayer, she adds, is also key in the journey to form authentic multicultural ministry.

I found that many of the principles in the book were things I’d heard, read, or written before. Blame that on too many racial reconciliation ministry books on my shelf, I suppose. All in all, The Integrated Church is worth a read. A good resource for group and individual study exploring multicultural ministry for the first time.

Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts is a writer, educator, and consultant who speaks nationally on subjects related to identity, faith, and purpose within the multicultural context. With wit and transparency, the author of the upcoming book, The Integrated Church: Authentic Multicultural Ministry, effectively challenges church leaders and laypersons who seek authenticity and relevance in ministry. A Louisville, KY native, Lewis-Giggetts resides in a suburb of Philadelphia with her husband, William.

The Integrated Church is available at http://www.nph.com/nphweb/html/bhol/index.jsp

Visit Tracey Online
ISBN: 9780834127241
Format: Paperback
Available: 6th September 2011