People Unlike Ourselves

In my weekly Friday Five interview for Leadership Journal, I had the privilege of chatting with Trillia Newbell, a prolific writer and author. One of the subjects she frequently writes about is race and the Church. I asked her how pastors and church leaders can promote racial diversity: Pastors and church leaders can begin by relating—whether through hospitality or guest speakers—to those unlike themselves. This will send a message to their congregations. People are watching to see what their leaders are doing, and though we can and should pursue others regardless of what our leadership does, the truth is we watch, learn, and emulate them. So if the pursuit of diversity is important to a leader or pastor, they need to actively pursue it themselves. They’ll be amazed by the effect on their church environment. via You can read the rest of the interview here:...

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Reflecting on Dr. King

I’m hoping today Americans will take time to reflect deeply on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I must confess that I knew very little of Dr. King growing up in the (largely) white suburbs of Chicago. Living in the Midwest, we strongly resisted racism. Our Christian faith pushed us to love everyone and see no such thing as color. My family always held all races in high regard and for that I’m deeply grateful.

Nevertheless, I lived in isolation from racial struggles. The only discussions on race consisted of assuming “they should just get over it,” and various levels of frustration on leaders like Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. My images of Dr. King was an incomplete, if not unflattering portrait.