On Sunday, guest speaker Anthony Hendricks spoke for Cultural Awareness Sunday at Gateway.
First, he and Pastor Ed discussed the survey results and pointed out some things.
Anthony Hendricks' opinion is that if you're not engaged, you don't necessarily see the poor race relations in this country.
The majority culture doesn't have to be a minority and enter another culture to succeed.
We live in a "racialized society" -- race matters profoundly.
To understand another culture, sit with them at the dinner table, and ask the hard questions.
In Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17, he prayed for us today. And he prayed that we would be one. Then the world will know that Christ loves them.
The culture is setting the tone, rather than the church. We've been trying to legislate an issue that's a heart issue.
Why is worshiping Jesus still segregated?
The enemy has done a tremendous job of dividing us. The church should act as a thermostat in the culture, not as a thermometer.
From there, he looked at Acts 10, and Peter's major cross-cultural "Ah-ha!" moment. He listed six "Be" vitamins that we need to take to make Christ's body look good.
1) First, we must Be Prayerful.
Peter and Cornelius were both praying. If we're going to bring the body of Christ together, it must begin with prayer.
He dared us: Pray and ask God to open your heart in this area.
And remember: Prayer also involves intently listening.
2) We must Be Open.
Be open to God doing something different in you.
Peter prayed an oxymoron: "No, Lord."
Most people are open to every other issue in their lives but this one. Where else should we talk about race than in church?
Be open to new relationships and to getting uncomfortable.
3) We must Be Humble.
We should be ready to learn. Other cultures can teach us a lot. But we need to exhibit some humility.
4) We must Be Aware.
In Acts 10, Peter finally gets it that God accepts all men everywhere.
Be aware: Race matters in this country.
So what do I do as a believer in Christ?
Be aware: Racial inequality is a reality in minority cultures.
Believers should have compassion.
We fear what we don't know. White privilege is about not having to wonder if it's about race.
Experience life with them.
In Acts 10, Peter is now aware of his own race issues.
5) Be Blessed!
When you start really getting into multiethnic ministries, the Holy Spirit will start blessing your socks off!
Jesus is the only one who can change hearts.
The culture is waiting on us. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation!
How are you doing in your ministry of reconciliation?
We need to be intentional about this.
We might as well practice for heaven! We need many styles of worship and music.
6) We've got to Be Ready.
In Acts 11, Peter gets criticized immediately.
Not all believers are ready for this.
Be ready for the religious folk.
Be ready to not be understood.
Be ready to be offended.
Be ready to continue this amazing work in the minority.
Gateway, I've been thinking a lot about this message, and I'd like to talk about it! I'm going to put some of my own thoughts in the comments.
What do you think?
How can Gateway incorporate these principles as we build our facility?
Do you have ideas for how Gateway, as a body, can be more culturally aware and have the spirit of love and unity that Jesus called us to?