Build a Bridge
This journey has taken me to places that are meeting in places constantly different than ourselves.
12k people community on social media engaging in conversation daily.
God is doing work in our churches but this work first begins in our hearts.
Dr, Bernice King
This issue of racial reconciliation is something the church holds the keys to.
We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. If we are going to overcome this dark time, we have to be out front in showing the way in the right spirit. God gave us a command to love our enemies. We have to raise the standard and show people how to be like Christ. We are called to be christ in the culture. We must first get our heart in order.
Get out of your churches and get out of your communities. Take the courageous steps that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ took when He met with the woman at the well.
The white community does not know us. Only through the eyes of tv and media and that is not us. Get to know us. Leave the community and connect with someone that does not look like you. Hang out in their world. Men hate each other because they fear each other
“I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Your goal is to win over people not win people over. Listen to understand. Refuse to have to be right. Start from maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m ignorant. Or maybe I just need a little more information. Part of healing is allowing people to get stuff out.
We will never all agree. At the end of the day, we can find win/win solutions. Is there some place where we can find something to agree and forge a common path together?
If reconciliation is the goal then our tactics have to be consistent with that goal.
White people don’t feel like they are invited to the part and black people don’t feel like white people want to come. TD Jakes
We forget that this country lost a leader, but you lost your dad as a 5-year-old.
What killed my father was not hate, it was indifference and apathy and absence of the people of God and the Spirit of God.
Keep Forgiving – Jud Wilhite
Forgiveness: It’s easier to talk about than to actually practice.
Punching the wall. This became a defining moment. Embarrassed that he lost control. Is this the person I’m becoming. Is this who I”m going to be. I need to do some soul work. In a lot of years of ministry, he began to carry wounds. Harbor bitterness is people leaving the church, staff quitting, friends going to another church who say not to take it personally. How else should I take it, because I”m putting all I’ve got in this.
If you start holding onto a grudge long enough, it begins to take a hold of you. A seed of bitterness that get’s planted and begins to grow.
You don’t have to be in ministry long to have an opportunity to hold onto bitterness.
How you deal with your ministry pass actually determines how successful you will be in your ministry future.
Eph 4:26-27 Anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Bitterness, hurt, and anger. Starts with a foothold and becomes a stronghold.
The devil wants to get a foothold in your church. Let God transform the pain and the hurt of you begin to transfer that pain and hurt. Your heart beings to shut down towards others. You start to secretly enjoy it when other churches go through drama or difficulty. You engage in gossip and enjoy it because your heart is getting hard. It’s not that you are running hard in ministry, it’s that you are caring a weight that you don’t need to carry.
You’ve got to stand in your second chance.
Mix Tapes – Get a jam-box with two cassettes. Master side and record side. We all have our mixtapes. We have the majority of the thoughts we had today are the same as the day before. What kind of mixtape are you playing? The old you is gone the new you has come in Christ. New creation in Him. In Christ you are free.
You are somebody because Jesus died for you. You do not need more followers, more accomplishments, your life all together, all you have to do is claim the fact that you have a second chance in Jesus Christ. Some of you have been followers of Jesus for a while but you are still living in condemnation. How do you know? Your thoughts. You are still praying for forgiveness about the same thing you’ve been praying for 1000 times. Reach down and undo the chains. Jud carries a 28-year sobriety coin because it reminds me of not who I was but about who I am today. Forgiven. Renewed. Reminds me that no matter how much someone has hurt me in my life, I have infinitely offended God more yet He forgives me. It doesn’t matter what happens today because I’m still doing better than I deserve.
Instead of being about the mission, we get distracted on our own hurt and pain and become selfish about it.
You’ve got to give a second chance.
Players gonna play, hatters gonna hate. What’s my response? I’ve got to shake that off.
When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Write down all the names of those who have hurt you over the years. Not offend but hurt. Just under 10 names. Realized it was not that many. We often get hurt by a few people and project it onto everyone else. Most people have been pretty good to us and have shown kindness to us. Few have damaged our hearts. Projecting onto everyone what a few have done. More forward towards healing. Not the pace that you are running at but the weight you are carrying. What are you carrying? What do you need to forgive? Because the work you do is too important.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
You don’t give up when things get hard or you don’t go your way.
I lead a church and don’t agree with everything we do. Get over it and get on mission.
Don’t get discouraged because it’s hard or you don’t feel talented enough. Don’t give up when you can’t see the dream any more. Don’t give up when you see that your friends are happier than you, especially on social media, because they are not. Christ has redeemed you. You have a calling and it matters. In Christ you are not a victim, you are a victor. More than a conquerer, not what happened to you but what Christ is doing through you in faith. Not just your familiars you are forgiven and free. Step into it, walk in. Be free and be empowered to make an eternal difference. Don’t let bitterness way you down and cause you to give up, what you are doing is too important.
Redefine our audience – Lecrea
We want to get to know your perspective. Sam Colier
Voice in the community, advocate for change. Through music and writings.
More than anything I’m trying to be the best Lecrae that I can be.
If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.
You are created by the creator of all humanity and His acceptance is all you need. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. This is me, and that’s who I need to consistently be.
Rejection from Christians has lead Lecrae down this path
No one deserves the amount of praise celebrities gets.
As somebody who grew up the way I grew up…I longed for acceptance. I longed for a sense I was on the right trajectory.
Jesus wasn’t a conservative or a liberal, they both hated and killed him. Success is not what I do in comparison to you, success is what I do in comparison to what I was created to do. I had to come to grips with the fact that running my race was going to be painful.
The gates of Hell will not prevail. Gates were made to keep people out. We are supposed to be out there loving people and being gracious to other people. Jesus got in trouble with the crowd He hung out with. We need to make people who are not in the church a priority.
A man telling the story about how he killed a bear. It became about him telling the story and not about him actually killing bears.
What ends up happening is that people realize that you’re a real person, when you spend time with them. When we are salt in our neighborhoods, people can taste it. Our identity is wrapped up in being right instead of thinking about Who’s righteous for us.
Do more than just talk about it – Doug Fields
Does what I’m doing matter? Have you put your heart into what you are doing and then wonder, did it make any difference?
When we are “for the neighbors”…we do more than just talk about it.
“Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31
Jesus was super clear, He said love your neighbors. Message and method. Do as I have done.
If Jesus did it, then we should do it. If we don’t do it, the ones who follow Jesus won’t do it. What gives you credibility as a leader isn’t what you say, it’s what you do. If you love teaching, fabulous but no one remembers what you are teaching anyway. What you want them to remember is the way you communicated to them but they never do. What they say is, “I remember that time, we were at Denny’s and I spilt ice tea on you.” Or I remember that time my aunt was dying and you came to the hospital.
Jesus was not in a hurry.
Jesus actually seemed to frustrate others at the pace he lived his other.
Jesus in the synagog with the official. Mark 5
Jesus will you heal my child and Jesus says yes. Jesus stops them on the way to the house and says, “Who touched me?” That’s a weird question to ask in a crowd. If I were the the dad, I’d be like why did we stop? Come on we got to go, you got to heal my child.” Peter was like “I would never touch you.”
His sense of purpose and timing frustrated otter people because he wasn’t in hurry.
Lazarus. Jesus wouldn’t have done a good job on your church’s pastoral staff.
Jesus also called other people to slow down. Martha.
Ministry is a race and speed is our drug of choice. We want to grow the biggest yet this was not Jesus’ style. Less run and more walk. Less race and more face to face. Jesus modeled unhurried ways for us. He had a lot to do.
Being neighborly takes time.
Slow Yourself Down. Not a lazy life. Not that you don’t work hard. Just less speed and more Jesus. Less activity and more love.
The greatest command is not to get more things done. It’s to love Him and to love others.
We need to stop honoring business. It is a badge of brokenness. Busy people are broken somewhere. There is a symptom not being dealt with. Business moves into our character. We don’t listen well. We don’t relax. Even at the grocery store we are running Grocery store algorithms and competing in our minds because hurry is a part of our life.
Busy is the enemy of neighborly.
Jesus spent time with messy people.
People in the church are weird.
Jesus spent time with the immoral woman. Luke 7:39
Jesus spent time with people of questionable character. Matthew 9:10
Jesus spent time with notorious sinners. Luke 19:6-7
Chubby bunny became choking your buddy.
Jesus was neighborly with messy people. Get some messy friends. Are you doing life with anyone that has church people questioning you because church people are scared of messy people. Messy people are not the enemies. When you hang out with them you begin to understand grace a little deeper. Do for one what you wish you can do for everyone. You might not be able to have 12 messy friends but you can have one, without motive.
Jesus expected God’s power to show up.
We have become so robotic and skilled in what we do that we don’t depend on God’s power. We just get so used to doing ministry, so busy and overwhelmed, that we stop expecting God’s power to show up. So we are limited to our own power. Guilty of shallow and small pre-service prayers. Don’t you want some things in your ministry that you just can’t explain outside of God’s power. That’s what Jesus did, He expected God to show up. Jesus turning water into wine.
John 9 when Jesus heals the blind guy. He spits. To make a mud pie, you need a lot of spit. He puts it on the guys’ eyes and says, go and wash…which is a nice thing to say after you spit on someone. He said go and wash and the guy came back seeing. Somewhere after the “Go” God’s power showed up. What’s this mean for you? GO with confidence and expectations that God’s power is going to show up! This free’s you up. You don’t have to quantify the results. Do in faith and God is pleased. The challenge is to lead like Jesus led. There’s just too much at stake to go back the same you were when you came. As for me, I’ll go back and be neighborly.