Racism in the United States remains an intractable problem. As hard as we have tried, we cannot legislate or gavel it away. Why? Because racism is an issue of the heart. Therefore, racial reconciliation is an opportunity for the Gospel-preaching Church to do what it does best–change hearts and minds through the power of the Gospel. If we can move the needle on this intractable problem, our cities will take notice (Matt 5:16).
In this episode, Dr. Rob Pochek, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, Virginia, gives several practical strategies for leading the conversation on racial reconciliation in your city. Here are some of those ideas:
- Start by befriending the leaders of churches predominantly populated by a different race than your church.
- Plan a “fellowship table” or meal with a previously planned set of questions designed to elicit needed conversation between races.
- Intentionally serve your community with members of churches described in #1.
- Plan a joint community event with churches described in #1 similar to the one described in the episode.
- Plan a forum/town hall event on the topic and invite the community.
- The Church must regain its credibility in this area. Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America.
- Church leaders must lead by example by intentionally establishing relationships with pastors and individuals of other races.
- White leaders need to ask non-white leaders for their opinion about wording of resolutions and for their ideas about moving the needle on this issue rather than assuming they know how to solve the problem.
- The Southern Baptist Convention (FBC Park Street is an SBC Church) is taking positive strides in this area. The SBC recently voted to withdraw fellowship from an explicitly racist church and recently launched the SBC Leadership Diversity Initiative.