During this series, we will be discussing how the gospel calls us to the world of racial justice and reconciliation. On February 20, we heard from Jeanette Yep about how the gospel's call for the Church to be a truly multiethnic community. This guide will give you a chance to take the conversation further.
Before you start, take some time to read or review our Conversations on Racism Discussion Tips. This short guide provides some important principles for having a good discussion on a very sensitive topic.
What is your favorite food that comes from a cultural background different than your own?
Have you ever had an experience where you felt racially or ethnically “out of place”? What did that feel like, and what did you learn from it?
Read Genesis 1:26-30 and Genesis 2:15. One of God’s first commandments to humanity was, what Jeannette called, the cultural mandate. She defines it as, “The charge given to each of us to care for and develop the potential of God’s world in all its many facets. Man and woman are given ‘joint custody’ to care for and cultivate the potential of the natural and social world.”
- Have you ever considered this as one of your callings as an apprentice of Jesus? Why or why not?
- How do you think this call interacts with God’s vision for a multiethnic church?
In her sermon, Jeanette said; “The ‘creation mandate’ is not a license to consume and toss, to plunder and pillage the earth’s resources like many of us in the global north do. Rather, we are answerable to God for how we live in the world, for the well-being of our neighbors and for the rest of the natural world. We aren’t commanded to produce more children, exploit people or the environment. Rather we are called to create, to be creative and to care."
- How can Reunion do this better?
- What are some ways you can personally practice creation care and whole life stewardship?
Read Revelation 21:26. Jeannette also shared this quote, “The consummation of God’s purposes through his work on the cross will not be a homogenized humanity but human diversity in unity.” How do we better live this relationship between diversity and unity in our lives?
The final challenge of the sermon was to do more than simply say we value diversity, and do more than say we want to be, “a local expression of the kingdom that aims to reflect the demographic make-up of our community.” We can’t simply say it! Rather we must alter our lives to intentionally work towards that end.
- How can we inertially work towards that end in our own lives?
- How do we make sure we aren’t just saying we value diversity, but are orienting our lives to this truth and working towards this reality?
What are some ways you can personally embrace the discomfort of difference so that you can learn and value other cultures?
What can we do as a church community to help people from different cultures feel better welcomed, appreciated, and heard?
- Book: David C. Thomas & Kerr Inkson, Cultural Intelligence: Living and Working Globally
- Book: Alejandro Mandes, Embracing the New Samaria: Opening Our Eyes to Our Multiethnic Future
- Book: Efrem Smith, The Post-Black and Post-White Church: Becoming the Beloved Community in a Multi-Ethnic World
- Article: Korie Little Edwards, The Multiethnic Church Movement Hasn’t Lived up to Its Promise
- Article: Mark DeYmaz, The Multi-Ethnic Church: A Historical Challenge
- Resource: Cultural Self-assessment Questionnaire