Addressing racism and injustice is messy and difficult to talk about, and it’s natural to either avoid the conversation altogether or scratch the surface by using hashtags on social media and think you’ve done your part as a church.
But often, our silence as a church is perceived compliance.
In today’s episode of the Think Orange podcast, we’re joined with Tasha Morrison, founder of Be The Bridge, an organization at the forefront of racial reconciliation. Together, we discuss what our role is in relieving the tension in a racially-divided country.
Dave introduces the podcast and today’s guest, Tasha Morrison, founder of Be The Bridge (:12)
Dave introduces podcast producer, Kevin Jennings (1:22)
Kevin shares how today’s podcast may be uncomfortable for some to hear, but it’s important (3:15)
Dave talks about today’s podcast sponsor, Sometimes It Takes A Party (5:06)
Tasha explains the mission of her organization, which equips churches and other organizations to help people address racial reconciliation (7:00)
Tasha talks about how people have had more awareness of racial tension in the last two to three years (7:55)
Tasha shares how it’s important for people to move from awareness of racism to acknowledgment of it (8:39)
Jesus is the only hope for racial reconciliation. As the church, as the body of Christ, we carry that hope. But right now, we’re part of the problem (8:50)
When the world is in pain and our country is divided, the church should speak life into this issue (9:50)
Justice and worship are not exclusive from one another (10:28)
When a system is broken, we should be the ones to speak truth into the situation and not ignore it (11:31)
Tasha and Dave discuss how not addressing race relations is an excuse (12:01)
Justice is part of the essence of who God is. He was the ultimate justice (13:17)
If you teach love, you have to care about your neighbor; you have to care about their pain (14:00)
Tasha talks about the proper response to racism and hate crimes on social media (15:54)
If the church has a problem addressing white supremacy and hate crimes related to race, there is a bigger issue at hand (17:58)
Tasha shares how she would like the church and friends to respond during tough racial situations (18:09)
How are we discipling the members of our church? (19:20)
Simply saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t speak unity (20:41)
Ask yourself, “What would I want someone else to do if I were in this situation?” (21:26)
Our awareness of these issues shouldn’t lead us into shame and guilt. Our awareness should lead us into conviction and action (22:42)
Tasha shares how we can become unified and talks about Be The Bridge (23:37)
When we have diversity in our lives, we’re more richly blessed (24:57)
Tasha says when we sit down with someone who is different than we are, we begin to develop empathy (25:24)
The greatest thing you can do is listen (26:40)
Tasha shares how a church can be intentional about bringing diversity into their churches (27:26)
Tasha discusses how the work of diversity is different than the work of racial reconciliation (28:13)
Ask yourself, “Why do I want diversity?” (28:50)
Diversity is just the first step (29:26)
Does your church look like your community? (29:43)
It’s not completely about you inviting people in, but you going out (33:46)
Dave says racial reconciliation is about asking the right questions (34:28)
We’re supposed to be the answer and there is no answer coming from the church but silence (35:18)
Tasha talks about how she started having conversations that ultimately led to Be The Bridge (36:12)
This work of racial reconciliation starts with you. Look through your social media and see what’s missing. Start having conversations (37:29)
Tasha talks about implicit biases (42:34)
Dave shares his story of racism he experienced when he was in school (46:05)
Tasha says we could be a lot further in our country if we addressed the need for racial reconciliation (47:15)
It’s time for the church to lead in hope and courage (52:46)
Dave gives closing remarks (53:44)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Free e-book from Reggie Joiner: Sometimes It Takes A Party
Blog: Orange Leaders – a blog with strategies, tips and ideas from leaders influencing the faith and character of the next generation
Tasha is a fellow abolitionist, bridge-builder, engager and a leading voice in the fight against human trafficking. Having worked with youth and serving as a Children’s & the Next Gen Director, she’s developed an untamed passion for social justice issues across the globe. Tasha has challenged others to tap into their God-Given gifts by finding confidence in how God has wired them.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
1. Start having conversations.
Expand your inner circle by talking to people who look different than you. Talk to your kids about why diversity is so important — because it’s a true reflection of God’s people and what it will be like in heaven.
2. Lead courageously.
We serve a God of justice and the church should be a source of hope and an example to those looking to us for answers.
3. Be intentional.
Diversity starts with you. Start incorporating different cultural influences into your services and keep an eye out for ways you can diversify your staff and congregation.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
How and when can we start a conversation about race relations in our church?
When we look at our board of leaders, does it reflect the members of our community? If not, how can we make this happen?
In what ways can we make our church and our services feel more inviting and comforting to the various ethnicities in our community?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.