Hearing happens when we’re able to recognize a sound.

Listening happens when we put in the effort to understand what it means.

It not only requires focus, but it also requires a commitment to encountering the experience, intent and emotion behind the words. And that commitment can be scary. Because if we’re exposed to that emotion and those ideas, we discover things we might be avoiding.

Seth Godin blog June 7, 2020

At this time in our history, listening to one another – really listening, is not just important; it is essential.

On both sides of the racial divide, the local church has a special and unique role to play in facilitating meaningful conversations.  I remember listening to Ray Bakke (founder of the Ray Bakke Center for Urban Transformation) many years ago, share that three institutions are ordained in society to govern, care for and give order – the family, the local church and government.  Each is strategically positioned to facilitate difficult conversations.  However, if the local church is left out of this strategy, the vision for reconciliation will never be achieved.  Why?  Because reconciliation is a spiritual issue!  No other institution in society is designed to address the spiritual issues of sin, repentance and forgiveness.

How can we as church leaders facilitate conversations around the gospel to bring light to the darkness?

A current member of our Leadership Collective – Brian Wilson, Lead Pastor of Access Church in Menifee, CA recently interviewed a panel of guests to allow his congregation to listen, truly listen to the issues that divide people based upon the color of their skin.  My prayer is that these exchanges help educate people on both sides of the racial divide.

Watch Part I of a two part series of this informative interview – CLICK HERE.

Questions for your reflection:

  1. How can our congregation be part of the solution?
  2. Who can we partner with to demonstrate and practice racial reconciliation?
  3. What can we do to sustain the process of racial reconciliation so that it is not perceived as an event?


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