"The First Steps Toward Racial Reconciliation" – Influence Magazine

The First Steps Toward Racial Reconciliation

by Chris Railey

Over the weeks and months of sharing with you online every week regarding topics like church multiplication, leadership development and vision casting, I’ve thanked God for my platform to touch the Church in any way possible. But lately, God has been speaking to me about my responsibility on this platform. Before I begin, I want to thank every one of you who read and share my column.

Today, I want to share from my heart. This is an area in which God has been leading me on a journey over the last year, maybe a little more. The topic that has been churning up inside me is race in America and in the Church.

I don’t have to tell you that I get a little nervous about this topic. There has been so much written on it, so many opinions expressed about it, and so many arguments waged over it. I don’t seriously consider that I can settle the issues in 1,200 words or less. I won’t even be able to scratch the surface.

I do want you to know that I have not been looking at this problem in a vacuum. I have reached out to many faith leaders from different backgrounds who have different perspectives than myself on this. And many of these ideas were further developed when I had the great opportunity to speak to the National Black Fellowship of the Assemblies of God earlier this year.

To provide some context for my own journey, I was raised in the Church, raised to love God, raised to love His people, and also raised to love all people, regardless of nationality, race, economic status or gender. I pastored in various settings, but it was in planting a multiethnic church in a community of rich diversity that I saw the most vibrant expression of God’s grace in the world.

But even now as I look back, I realize that in many ways I was absolutely clueless about the real problems of race in this country. Sometimes we believe we have the right answer because we think we have all the information. But when we find out that we have an incomplete picture, we need to go back and reevaluate our opinions…