7 signs your church is working for racial reconciliation
I have the amazing privilege of pastoring a church with over 73 nations represented. For 28 years we have sought to be a church that offers a sneak preview of what’s to come when Jesus fully and finally reigns. When it comes to racial reconciliation/justice, we have worked especially hard (while not always succeeding) to reflect the power of the reconciling gospel.
I wanted to capture a few signs of what it means to be in a church working for reconciliation. All too often diversity obscures (and even perpetuates the status quo of racial fragmentation) the vision of reconciliation described in the New Testament. Diversity is a good thing, but it doesn’t go far enough. Jesus died not so we would simply experience an aesthetic multiethnic experience, but that through his death and resurrection, we would be the new people of God. Here’s some of the signs that flow from our context in Queens.
How do you know you’re in a church working for reconciliation:
1) You talk about history, specifically the history of racism in the United States
2) Those in power (highest levels of leadership) reflect the ethnic/racial demographic in a church.
3) The gospel that is preached is not simply about personal salvation, but about becoming the new people of God
4) The church works towards addressing systemic and symptomatic issues pertaining to justice and mercy
5) The church doesn’t adhere to “colorblindness.” We see color and celebrate it.
6) We intentionally move towards others from different backgrounds, seeking to experience the gifts of God in that culture, ethnicity, etc.
7) Repentance and forgiveness permeate the church community