Episode 011: The Church and Race

For this week’s podcast, we’re joined by Pastor Derwin Gray of Transformation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina for a conversation on race, diversity, and leading multiethnic churches.
 

 

Episode 011 – SHOW NOTES – Derwin Gray – The Church and Race

 

We believe that the church is God’s primary vehicle to transform the world, and for us, being multiethnic is intrinsic to the Gospel…

 

Theology is for ecclesiology… God wants a family… and this message isn’t preached… we’ve stripped the Bible of its context and we wonder why we struggle with discipleship…

 

A homogenous church would have been unthinkable to the Apostle Paul… God’s fulfilling his covenant with Abraham must be a front burner issue or we are going to have an underdeveloped view of the gospel…

 

When racism is rarely preached in a church, you can believe that a lot of racism is [present] in that church…

 

I have a pretty good name in Charlotte, and I thought, “If I get treated this way, imagine how people who don’t have my privilege will get treated, constantly…”

 

I think the church is the answer… our Sermon on the Mount ethic needs to shape how we live and move and breathe…

 

We as the church must become a classroom to teach the world what love looks like…

 

Here’s the thing: we haven’t been taught how to do this… we need churches that know how to do this to teach other churches how to do it…

 

You can’t cultivate a multiethnic church if you don’t lead a multiethnic life…

 

You can’t be a consumer and play on a team, but you can be a consumer and be in the church… in the church we’re actually designing our services for you to consume, and so no wonder we struggle with it!

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • Do you believe that the gospel speaks to racial issues? Why or why not?
  • Is your church homogeneous? Why?
  • What can you and your church do to begin to move towards a greater engagement with racial issues and greater ethnic diversity?

 

 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Derwin Gray – The HD Leader

Special Episode: Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation on DACA

“Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation on DACA”

 

Show Notes

This is important because I’m the pastor of a lot of DACA kids… this is not a political point to me… these are real people that we know… they are human beings with real stories…

Often times when these public issues get discussed, we’re tempted to say we need less emotion and more reason… but emotions are an important key in understanding where people are coming from…

When someone exhibits a lot of emotion over something, it shows that it is something they are very concerned about… which makes it an opportunity for empathy…

[As an immigrant], there is a feeling of fear that is hard to shake… there is a sense of vulnerability here even when you do this the right way…

We believe in safe borders and in the rule of law… I believe in safe, legal immigration because its best for human beings… we need to figure out a way to make immigration safe and legal…

The story of the people of God is a story of immigration… to be the people of God is to be waiting for home… there is a very real theological dimension of this… if we can’t feel that human desire [for home], then I need to check my heart…

“So you love the poor? Then tell me what their names are…” this needs to be able to be named… it needs to be situated in the lives of people…

Christians have a unique ability to be empathetic to those who have been displaced because of the story of our Scriptures…

We need to be a prophetic voice to the political system… I’m calling on Congress and on our President and on our state and local officials to make sure this legislation is done well… we need to let the morality of Jesus to overrule political divisiveness…

There’s a price to pay [as a pastor] for this… anytime I bring up immigration from the pulpit, I get scathing rebukes from people because it has become so politicized…

If a pastor will get up and be compassionate and really welcome diverse viewpoints, you’ll see there are truths in all of the camps…

For me, this cannot be some theoretical discussion… pastors, whatever you do, just get to know these people… we need to be compassionate and help them win…

The kingship of Jesus Christ shapes everything… we don’t want to answer these issues through the prism of our politics… we want to let the surprising and shocking kingdom of God confront us and challenge us and cause us to rethink our positions…

Practically, you can get involved in this… there are immigration attorneys that are willing to do pro bono work… we want to help families go through a legal process… they just need someone to walk alongside them…

If we don’t know their names, we have failed the people in our church…

Resources

Evangelical Immigration Table
Christian Community Development Association