In previous posts, I have approached the concept of race relations from a theoretical point of view. However, in this post, I want to give you some practical ideas to help make the task ahead seem less daunting. When we work with congregations who ask us for the magic ingredient for reaching their community, we have just one word for them. If you want to know the secret to being relevant in your community, come closer and I will tell you. A little closer. The secret is RELATIONSHIPS!
John Maxwell once said about leadership, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Any hope we have of overcoming racial tension, any hope of seeing beyond color, is based on our ability to build authentic relationships. On to the task at hand: how do you develop a circle of trust? I believe there are five key elements.
“I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.” Isaiah 65:19
As I look at the landscape in our country today, especially when it comes to race in America, what I see is a sea of broken dreams. For those people who look at their life with regret and pain, this post is for you. Usually, I leave the good part for the clincher, but I want you to hear this upfront: God can restore your broken past, and He helps you overcome your broken dreams.
Tonto and the Lone Ranger were riding through a canyon together when all of a sudden both sides were filled with Indian warriors on horses, dressed for battle. The Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and asked, “What are we going to do?” Tonto replied, “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?” (In Search of Unity, Edward Dobson, pp. 20–27)
A funny illustration, but there is some scary truth contained here. The attitude of “I am with you until trouble comes” is destructive for race relations. What is causing the division?
I ran across a fantastic quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
This article appeared on The Light Breaks Through and has been published here with permission.
As you try to process all that is going on in our country, here are some thoughts. Do not let your opinion about the riots exploding around the country taint your opinion of what happened to George Floyd. Notice I called them riots and not protests.