Next Steps from Leadership Forum, 26 January 2015

Four times a year we gather in a Leadership Forum at Eastbrook Church to discuss key topics to help us move forward together in ministry. This year, we begin our Leadership Forum series with by addressing the challenging topic of how the gospel transforms racial divisions in our world and city. In a city known as one of the most segregated cities in the United States, we want to live into the dream of God for a multi-ethnic people rooted in the reconciling gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was a gift to have Bishop Walter Harvey of Parklawn Assembly of God join us for this discussion. At the end of the night we recommended a series of next steps and I wanted to make those available to a wider audience via my blog.

Next Steps: What Do I Do Now?

#1 Get with God
• Acknowledge and repent of any sin (see Psalm 51; Daniel 9:4-19)
• Lament over our nation (see Lamentations)
• Pray as Christ prayed (see John 17)

#2 Know and Apply what the Bible Teaches
• Read Genesis 12:1-3 in light of God’s multiethnic mission
• Read Ephesians with attention to chapter 2 on the new humanity in Jesus of Jews and Gentiles brought together
• Read Galatians in light of the situation that Paul describes in chapters 1 and 2

#3 Understand the Background
• Read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Read The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
• Watch the movies Selma or 12 Years a Slave
• Watch the PBS miniseries The Making of Milwaukee to understand the history of our own setting

#4 Learn from Experts and Leaders with Experience
• Visit Thabiti Anyabwile’s blog at the Gospel Coalition web-site
• Read Gracism: The Art of Inclusion by David T. Anderson
• Read Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith

#5 Have Honest Dialogue and Build Friendships
• Ask someone who is of a different ethnicity about their family and life story
• Share a cross-cultural meal over a holiday where everyone brings a dish from their respective backgrounds and talks about a family or cultural tradition

#6 Continue to ask, ‘how can I be part of the solution?’, and Do Something
• Get involved here at Eastbrook
• Discover ways to get involved in our city
• Response card: if you have question, comments, and ideas about what next steps Eastbrook should take – please fill out a connection card

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