Recently, someone shared with me how they used to get angry when hearing about negative social incidents involving their race. However, this person said he now feels more compassion and understanding toward other racial groups after attending Come Together, our racial unity event we hosted.
In April, the church journeyed through a series called “The Culture of Heaven: A Biblical Perspective on Diversity.”
THE SERMON SERIES ENCOURAGED BELIEVERS TO MODEL HOW PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT RACIAL, CULTURAL OR ETHNIC GROUPS CAN LOVE AND SERVE EACH OTHER.
The four-week series concluded with four additional weeks of people meeting in Come Together dialogue groups to talk in a deeper way about the messages.
Feedback from the groups included people making new cross cultural relationships, cultural lessons being learned and even some conflict ensued about issues which can contribute to forging meaningful relationships. One of the ten groups spontaneously decided to continue meeting and inviting others to be a part of their community. Another group decided to occasionally visit churches of other minority racial groups. Almost all the groups communicated a desire to do more to increase racial and ethic unity in some way.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says we have been given the ministry of reconciliation.
THIS MEANS WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SERVE AS AMBASSADORS BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.
This also means we are called as ambassadors between people groups. We can represent God to the world when people see believers love, respect and honor each other; especially those who are different from us in ways such as race or ethnicity.
Because I have developed racially diverse relationships throughout my adult life, I have had experiences of people around me saying God has convicted them of a prejudiced or racist attitude toward some other person or group of people. In all these cases I never spoke about diversity, but it seemed that my presence among people outside my own race had a meaningful impact on those around me. If we can be present among people who don’t look like us it creates an opportunity for God to do a work of unifying people.
LET’S KEEP COMING TOGETHER.
As we continue to move forward, I encourage you to find places where you can be a Kingdom Ambassador. Whether it means inviting your neighbors over for dinner or engaging with someone different than you at work, we have the ability to bring Kingdom culture into every sphere we’re in.
By Vincent Carpenter – Adult Pastor