This whole thing started because, for decades, I’ve been bugging God with all of the questions I’ve been sharing here this month. Where IS everybody, God? Are other people wondering the same things I’m wondering? Why doesn’t anyone talk about these things? I kept bugging Him, telling Him He should get someone out there to talk about it. Someone who could provide a safe place, where people could ask their questions without feeling shamed or embarrassed or judged.
I drummed my fingers on tabletops, fidgeted in my seat, clicked through blog posts, waiting to see that God had answered my prayers.
At least not in the places I was looking.
Then, one evening, while I was driving down the highway and the sun was melting into the horizon, and I was —yet again — pestering God with my race questions, I realized I needed to stop waiting for Him to pick someone else. Apparently, the job was mine, even though I hadn’t applied.
I tried to write 31 Dreamy Days, all about chasing your God-sized dream, and hoping I could promote the retreat in April. But, each time I tried that tactic, the door gently closed in my face. Door locked. Lights out. No go.
So, after hitting “publish” on the very first post in this series, I wanted to disappear into the center of the earth. Instead, I released the whole thing to God and, as it turns out, He knew what He was doing.
Throughout all of these decades, my biggest question has remained the same: Why is the American church divided so clearly along racial lines? Of all the organizations, institutions, communities, and movements on earth, you would think the Christian church would have this one figured out, right? I can’t figure out why we can’t do better.
It’s true there are some churches out there who seem to be doing it. But not without struggle. Not without pain. And, often, while congregations may look racially, ethnically, and/or culturally mixed, the leadership remains homogenous.
I’ve been trying to figure it out, and it seems there are many layers. Many obstacles. Many roadblocks to overcome. But I am not without hope. Some people say it’s not worth it. They say we’ve come so far already, and this just is what it is. Let’s live with it and be happy, they say.
I’m not convinced. I believe we can do better.
Over the next two days, let’s talk about some of the things that stand in our way. Today, to get us started, I’m wondering if you could do me a favor? If you know of, or if you attend a church in which one racial, ethnic, or cultural group does not make up more than 80% of the congregation, please leave a link to that church’s website or, if the church doesn’t have a website, please leave the name of the church in the comments.
And tell me what you think. Can we do better, or is this as good as it gets?