I wanted to send out an update about how the leadership of GENESIS has been processing the events of recent weeks. By no means is this intended to be a commentary on all that is happening; rather, we wanted to pass along a few steps that we will take in the coming days and weeks.
First, and most importantly, we are listening. The cries of those who have lived under the burden and weight of racism and racial injustice are real. These cries are not new, but what needs to be new is that we listen with a compassionate and empathetic ear.
Our listening will be multifaceted; listening to the hurts and hearts of those who endure the pain of racism, and listening to God. Heaven is not silent. The Word of God is not silent. Our aim is to take care to not react impulsively or purely emotionally because we know any steps taken that have not been bathed in prayer will not lead to lasting transformation. Rather, we desire to listen well in order to take steps that will keep us in line with the Spirit of God. Where He is moving is exactly where we want to be.
Second, we have a lot to unlearn. We can not learn what we need to until we first unlearn what is not healthy, helpful, or consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unlearning begins with inviting the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts to see if there are misguided ideas, beliefs, perceptions, biases, preferences, and racism within our own hearts. We squirm at the thought of these things existing within us, but regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us feel, we all must take this step.
Sin is both deceptive and destructive. We must ask the Spirit of God to shine a light on any areas of our hearts and minds where repentance is needed. If we are unwilling to take this step, we will miss what God seeks to teach us. Please, join me in this self-evaluation so that we can all begin to learn afresh how to effectively and compassionately minister to those who are hurting.
Third, we will engage in conversation. It is not lost on me that almost our entire leadership team (elders, deacons, and staff) is Caucasian. Just because our leadership has not experienced racism or racial injustice firsthand does not permit us to be silent as we witness injustice towards those whom God loves deeply. If we are going to see the gospel bring healing and hope to those that are hurting, we must engage with those who can teach us about racism, racial inequality, and injustice. We are actively pursuing conversations with men and women from the black community so that we can grow and mature to have a growing gospel witness and help serve as agents of reconciliation.
Lastly, from my heart, I am sorry. I’m sorry that I have not done a better job in leading our community to care deeply about the things that break the heart of God. Racism, racial inequality, and injustice is deplorable to God; therefore I am asking that God would align all of our hearts with His heart so that ALL people might come to know the One True Hope that is Jesus Christ.
Jesus alone is the answer for sin.
Jesus alone is the way towards reconciliation; with God and one another.
Jesus alone is the hope of the world.
It’s in Him that we will continue to put all of our trust!
Grateful to be learning and growing with you in helping ALL people walk with God!