The Browncroft Elder Board has been doing work around issues of race and reconciliation over the last year. In light of what was taking place in our country and community, it was the feeling of many on the board that we needed to spend some time on these issues.
What does the Bible say about these matters? How has the church — even our church — engaged them? Are the racial divisions in our larger society reflected in our church? How is this a discipleship issue and how can we better bring it into the discipleship practices of our church?
One result of these conversations is a special page on our website that we announced on Sunday. If you have not had a look at this racial reconciliation page, I encourage you to click over to it using the button below.
It’s important to highlight that this is part of a journey, not a destination in and of itself. This will be a dynamic page, and we hope its statements and resources will be helpful to members of our congregation as we pursue our own paths of discipleship on this difficult subject.
We know this issue is not new, and we acknowledge that the church has been complacent in the past. In fact, the evil of slavery in America was often supported by churches and justified by the misuse of Scripture. And despite gains in the Civil Rights era, racism and prejudice still exist in our culture and within the church. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., acknowledged the brokenness of our culture, yet he exhibited hope and committed himself to the work of reconciliation. Progress has been made, but each generation must take up the continuing task of this work.
Again this is a journey. We want to grow as a multi-ethnic church, but the goal is more than this. Our goal is Gospel reconciliation and a greater commitment to biblical justice in the ministries of our church. This will require more time in God’s Word, more open and honest discussion, prayer, repentance, and evaluation of our ministry practices.
This past September a work group from the board brought forth recommendations that our staff have been working on since. This includes staff training, a small group curriculum Pastor Roger Breedlove and I are creating together, new training for ministries doing work in the city, and greater commitment to racial diversity in staff hiring and congregational leadership.
This issue is not too big for God. We look to His leadership as we seek not to follow our culture but to help lead it in the way we live and love.
Stay tuned for updates on these initiatives and related additions to come on our racial reconciliation webpage. Again, please review this page and join us in our efforts. In particular, please be praying for our congregation and community.