🎙LEAD LIVE: Live conversations for ministry leaders, by ministry leaders!

The deadly virus of Racism has been around for centuries and the church has yet to develop immunity. Dr. King’s dream of a cure still isn’t a reality. How can the Church vaccinate racism in this modern era? What steps can the church take to become a catalyst for reconciliation when so many are so discouraged? Dr. Pang Foua Rhodes and Rev. Kelvin Walker join Clint and Josh to discuss racism and the church.

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This episode first aired on Facebook LIVE, Periscope, and YouTube LIVE May 18, 2020.

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Show Notes:

LEAD Live: Dr. Pang Foua Rhodes & Dr. Kelvin Walker


  • 2:15- Intro Dr. Pang Foua Rhodes
  • 3:03- Intro Dr. Kelvin Walker
  • 3:55- How do you start the conversation on racism in the church?
  • 4:22- “I wish people were just more curious” (Pang)
  • 5:10- “Be comfortable with the discomfort of the topic, and be ok with asking questions. Be comfortable with asking why I feel a certain way.” (Kelvin)
  • 6:04- How do white pastors respond to national/systemic racism and race-related incidents?
  • 7:40- Acknowledge that you noticed the terrible thing that has happened, “How is it impacting you?”
  • 9:12- Continue to remind your congregation that racism is against the heart and spirit of God, and it is condemned across the board in our church.
  • 10:10- Importance of whole-body being cared for when tragic things happen
  • 11:32- Any expression on a minorities part of being upset gets accusation of overreaction
  • 14:15- Every time one of these situations happens, it brings up a place of PTSD for many minorities
  • 15:40- It takes time for minorities to become present to how they feel about a situation, that they might not have the capacity to care for the majority person
  • 16:45- The worst question: “Aren’t you overreacting?”
  • 18:52- “When will it be ok for me, as a 54-year old black male, to walk through a grocery store and not be followed suspiciously?” (Kelvin)
  • 20:09- Constantly trying to prove myself to everyone around me (Pang)
  • 21:55- “It’s not just a sense of not belonging, but asking the question why do other people think that I don’t belong?” (Pang)
  • 22:20- “There is a sense of, ‘Ok, I am here, but is it safe for me to be me here?’” (Kelvin)
  • 24:15- Blind spots in the church
    • Pang- “Our reliance on systematic theology devalues the reliance on collective, lived out experiences of God’s people. The western value of formal, systematic education does not fit reality very often. Telling people to learn in a specific way, and from a specific racial background, is already a barrier for ¾ of the world.”
    • Kelvin- “For a long time, I thought that anything theologically sound had to come from white theologians and scholars.”
  • 29:50- Are we seeing more minority theologians as the church becomes more global?
    • Kelvin- “There have already been a lot of minority theologians, but we cannot just have more, we need to be open and receptive to the minority theologians”
    • Pang- “The CMA is already global and has influence all over the world, but we still seem to push folks to learn things our way, do theology our way.”
  • 32:25- Assimilation culture
  • 34:45- How do you navigate the waters desiring rapid kingdom advancement and yet slowing down to appreciate the diversity that God has given us?
  • 39:45- Importance of being aware of the racism that lies in your own heart, regardless of what racial situation you are living in
  • 41:12- Difficulty dealing with the anger that is generated when you see racism, and the importance of getting to a place of Lament.
  • 43:30- How do we start engaging with this topic on a practical level?
  • 44:08- Importance of asking for someone’s story, not so that you can tell them what you are thinking, but so that you can empathize with them and lament with them. (Kelvin)
  • 45:10- Daniel confessed on behalf of his people, and owned the problems that his culture had. In the same way, owning up to the majorities’ faults will humble your heart and build up the relationship. (Pang)
  • 46:30- How to become aware of sins committed by others in your majority culture, even before your time
  • 47:30- Look to Nehemiah, who was born after the exile, and yet he still laments and asks forgiveness for his people’s sins (Kelvin)
  • 48:30- Generational sins can include racism (Pang)
  • 51:50- “When you cry with me, I don’t have to take care of you. We are just there, together, lamenting.”
  • 52:10- The importance of sitting with people who are suffering loss, sitting with them for as long as it takes.
  • 53:50- “We often end up putting the victim on trial, rather than sitting with them in their lament.”
  • 54:35- Problem of imperialism and colonialism being cemented in our worldwide evangelistic efforts
  • 58:32- “One of the greatest dangers in evangelistic efforts is not having an awareness of what kind of person you are asking someone to become.”
  • 59:27- How can we help people grow in their understanding on how to not force your cultural version of Christianity on people?
  • 1:01:50- Importance of allowing music to reflect the culture that we are ministering too
  • 1:04:40- Non-White resources to follow up on
    • Kelvin-
      • Brian Loritts
      • Brenda Salter McNeal
      • “Wide Awake” – Brian Hill
      • “Divided by Faith” -Michael O. Emerson, Christian Smith
      • Corey Edwards- “The Elusive Dream”
      • “Letters from Birmingham Jail” -Martin Luther King Jr.
      • “Beyond Colorblind” -Sarah Shin
      • “The New Jim Crow” – Michelle Alexander
      • Esau McCauley (Theologian)
    • Pang-
      • The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Captivity by Soon-Chan Rah
  • 1:13:01- Final Thoughts
    • Pang- See me for who I am, for who God created me to be.
    • Kelvin- For those who think that this is just some ‘social gospel’, this is the gospel at its heart and core. We are called to love justice, help the poor, love those who are other than you. We are called to make injustice right, to speak up against racism and injustice. This is not a political thing, it is a biblical thing that we are called to be a part of.

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