How can the church respond to racism? Here are some practical action steps.
1) Acknowledge it. Clearly take the position that yes, America has made progress since the days of slavery and the Jim Crow laws, but it still has a long way to go and there are still institutional, cultural and political remnants of that part of our history. The first step in overcoming racism is to recognize it still exists.
2) Preach about it. On a Sunday morning declare from the pulpit with biblical foundation that racism—of any color and from any racial or ethnic group—is a sin before God. If you’re not a pastor, share the message from whatever platform you’ve been given, large or small.
3) Promote reconciliation. Be active in bringing unity through intentional exposure, dialogue and partnerships with diverse elements in your community, even if it means reaching across town. Find common spiritual and social ground and present a picture to the world of a unified body that acknowledges and affirms diversity. Calls for equality and justice should transcend theological, racial and ethnic differences.
4) Take the lead. The church must be at the forefront in calling for peace, addressing concerns and uniting the community. At the end of the day, this is about community, families, neighborhoods and the spiritual health of a region.
5) Exchange pulpits. If you are a pastor, make an intentional effort to invite fellow ministers of other races to preach in your place on Sunday mornings. By doing this, you convey a message of kingdom collaboration and racial harmony not in the spirit of political correctness, but in the spirit of Pentecost, speaking the language of redemption, renewal and reconciliation.
6) Gather the gatekeepers. You’d be surprised at how magnetic a church can be for city officials, judges, state representatives, etc., when they’re invited. Ask community leaders of every race to be part of discussing biblical solutions to help your community.
7) Pray as one voice. Gather a multi-ethnic group of committed intercessors to pray regularly for every social sphere and issue that affects the races represented in your community. Expose the enemy’s plans for division, and declare God’s peace and blessing over the region.