This blog post is co-authored by Chris Brooks and Matt Erickson.
As I watched things unfold in Ferguson recently, I felt a surging of different thoughts and feelings within me. There was a mixture of sadness and fear, anger and helplessness, and my mind raced to come to terms with what this means not only for our nation but for the church. I’m a pastor of a multiethnic church in Milwaukee. Our church has been a community that is diverse ethnically, socio-economically, politically, and in other ways. As I sat and watched the events and all that has followed since, I wondered, “what is required of the people of God when such difficult and painful things grip our nation?”
As I have reflected since that painful evening last week, I have reached some preliminary conclusions. Let me suggest the following things we need to do as Christians, and a few action steps specifically for church leaders in light of the events of this past week and the ongoing national dialog.
1. Humble yourself: A posture of humility allows you to hear God’s voice above the political commentators and the ungodly opinions of this fallen world. In this situation, humility means that we are willing to step beyond our own desires, fears, and pride to consider things from God’s perspective and desires.
2. Think theologically: This is not just a social issue, this is a theological issue. God created all of humankind in His image, yet not all are necessarily treated as “image bearers.” This should cause unrest and lead to repentance within our Churches and Christian Institutions.Read More »
Last week, some of our staff at Eastbrook Church spent time reflecting on diversity, multi-ethnicity, and the international perspective within God’s plans for His people within the Scripture. We read some portions of the Bible aloud, then reflected together on what we were seeing there. What follows are the unedited notes from that time together.
Isaiah 66:18-2118 “And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come[a] and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory. 19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans[b] and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels. 21 And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
I blogged through the pre-conference sessions on the multi-ethnic church for Exponential 2013 that I attended over the past few days. You can access all the sessions here:
– Session 1: Mark DeYmaz on theology of multi-ethnic ministry
– Session 2: Pastor Wilfredo ‘Choco’ de Jesus on his church in Chicago
– Session 3: Rich Wilkerson, Sr., on his church in Miami
– Session 4: Byron Davis on the generations and multi-ethnic ministry
– Session 5: Mark DeYmaz on best practices of multi-ethnic ministry
Mark DeYmaz led another session of the pre-conference here at Exponential 2013. This was a bit more practical than his first session which was more on theological foundations for multi-ethnic church. You can read my notes below [You can read notes from Mark’s previous session here.]:
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Byron Davis of Epic Life Project led us through the fourth session of the pre-conference on multi-ethnic church at Exponential 2013. It was a very engaging discussion of the generations, the changing shape of America, and the need for pastors to view themselves as community leaders, not just preaching leaders.
My notes are here:
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The third session from the multi-ethnic church pre-conference session was led by Rich Wilkerson, Sr., of Trinity Church in Miami. Rich brought a lot of passion and stories into this session so it was hard to take in-depth notes on it. But here are the note from that session:Read More »
The second speaker in our pre-conference session was Pastor Wilfredo ‘Choco’ de Jesus of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago. He spoke with him via Skype because he was selected as one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people this year.
Here are my brief notes from that conversation:
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