Dealing with racism in ministry: Bernice King from #OC19

Orange Conference 2019 was an incredible experience. The speakers were great, and included a surprise guest I was not expecting. Bernice King (daughter of Dr Martin Luther King Jr) joined Reggie Joiner and some others in a panel discussion. Their topic? Dealing with the issue of racism in ministry.

Here are the notes that I took during that session. Race is important. Racism exists. But having difficult, real discussions will help all parties involved.

Thoughts from Bernice King

  • Be intentional about knowing people
    • Even if you don’t know their story
      • It’s about following Jesus for real
        • Jesus didn’t spend much time in the temple
        • He connected with people outside of church
      • Be intentional about connecting with people from different: cultures, race, religion
        • Do it in their places
        • Eat their food
        • Get to know them and who they are
          • What they think
          • What they experience
    • How do we not pass prejudice to the next generation?
      • Look in the mirror, explore your own feelings and prejudice
      • Every white ancestor was not a slave owner
      • Every black ancestor was not a slave
        • But some white ancestors were slave owners
        • Some black ancestors were slaves
      • The next generation may be able to teach us
        • They see human more than they see color
  • Have the hard conversations with people that are different
    • If we can have those conversations, things can change
    • Light doesn’t have a place with light. Light has a place with darkness, to dispel the darkness
  • Beam of darkness doesn’t exist. Beam of light does. Be a beam of light in the darkness.

So what do you think about racism in ministry? How do you have those difficult discussions? Leave a comment and let us know.

About the Author

Ron is happily married to his best friend, and dad to the best daughter you could imagine. As a teacher and children's pastor, he has over 20 years experience of teaching, leading, writing, creating and consulting. He has written for churches, contributed to several collaborative publications, and written a #1 Best Selling Devotional, Got Fruit? on Amazon. His blog is consistantly listed in the Top 40 Children's Ministry Blogs and Websites. Don't hesitate to ask if you think he could help you and your ministry in any way.

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