In this episode of the podcast, Levi and Jennie Lusko tell you firsthand about the backlash they received when they decided to take a stand for racial reconciliation. Levi talks about the moment he realized the stage he preaches from was used for a KKK rally in the early 20th Century.
Then, Albert Tate and Nicole Martin join the conversation for an open, honest discussion about how race is still a factor in their lives and ministry, and what white leaders can do about it.
Welcome to Episode 352 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about some character rules we should follow in light of this episode’s conversation.
Levi Lusko Instagram | Jennie Lusko Instagram | Levi Lusko Twitter | Jennie Lusko Twitter | Website
Albert Tate Instagram | Albert Tate Twitter | Website
Nicole Martin Instagram | Nicole Martin Twitter | Website
As we all know, COVID-19 disrupted how people relate with one another, and in many ways accelerated the Church’s need to engage with people online. But as we all know, that complicates things. Many leaders have lost visibility into who’s engaging with their church and how they can serve them.
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5 INSIGHTS FROM LEVI, JENNIE, ALBERT AND NICOLE
1. Racism in the church is a much bigger deal than you think
Levi and Jennie Lusko were shocked by how many hateful comments they received just by saying, “Until black lives matter, all lives don’t matter.” Levi has learned that the response he received is a sign of a major underground issue for the church. These comments from Christians all over the country are the tip of a very large iceberg of racism in American Christianity.
Barna’s research backs this point up, as well. There is a massive disconnect between black and white Christians in America, and if we want to move forward, we need to attack the larger issue of racism in the American church first.
2. Moderate Whites can a bigger danger to racial reconciliation than the raging racists
In his Letters From A Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The biggest opposition to this movement and this vision of reconciliation is not the raging racist, but the moderate white Christian who’s indifferent and stays silent.” Wow.
The movement of racial justice is more likely to be shut down and stopped by quiet Christians rather than outspoken racists. So that begs the question, how will you proceed? If you want to help, take a stand against racism. At family dinners, in your hiring processes, at your church, etc. Wherever racism shows up, fight it. The church has been silent too long.
3. The fear of loss is real
Nicole told a story of one of her recent green room experiences where a highly influential pastor admitted to her that he couldn’t afford to speak out about race in the church. If he were to speak out, he would be immediately removed from his pulpit and lose some of his top donors. His fear was stopping him from speaking out, and Nicole is afraid that this is the story for MANY white pastors around the world.
This issue of racism in America is bigger than your job. It’s bigger than your top donor. You need to inspect what it is holding you back from speaking up more, and bring that to Christ today.
4. Saying “Black Lives Matter” is a statement of value, not an affiliation with the organization
So many white people are concerned that if they say “black lives matter,” they’re aligning themselves with a specific organization. Albert argues that it’s actually a statement of value. You are saying that your black brothers and sisters matter, and that the world needs to function like they do. After all, theologically speaking, the statement “black lives matter” is 100% biblical and accurate.
Kay Warren is a great person to follow about this. She has actively been stating that black lives matter and is receiving a lot of criticism for it. But, she says, “I’m willing to risk being misunderstood by some in order that I might be seen as an advocate and a friend to my brothers and sisters that are hurting.”
5. If you miss racial reconciliation, you will miss the next generation
This shouldn’t be your primary motivation to fight for racial reconciliation, but another reason that your church needs to jump into the conversation about racial reconciliation is that it’s a MASSIVE value for the next generation. If you look at the videos of the protests happening around the country, the protestors are mostly young people; most of them aren’t even black. If you want to reach the next generation, you need to get racial reconciliation right.
Quotes from Episode 352
20 years from now, when we look back on this moment and our kids look back on this moment, we will be remembered more about how we responded to the racial reconciliation conversation than even what we did about COVID. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet
There hasn't ever been anything that has gripped my heart and caused me personal repentance and personal grief than grieving with those who have been grieving for the whole of our country and Black Americans. @jennielusko Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
WANT MORE ON LEADING THROUGH CRISIS?
The world is experiencing a series of unprecedented challenges, and you’re leading in the midst of it all.
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Next Episode: Dr. Henry Cloud
Clinical psychologist, leadership expert and NYT bestselling author, Dr. Henry Cloud returns to the podcast to give a virtual master class on how to handle the stress, anxiety and overwhelm of a year like 2020. He gives practical strategies on preventing burnout, getting and staying healthier, preparing for the long run, how to battle back against negative thoughts and how to stop taking failure personally.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 353.