[ Justice • Prayer • Evangelism ]  

The #ReimagineFORUM  Coaching Session with Gail Dudley 

Gail served on the CIty/Community Team of the Mission America Coalition and describes herself as "I am at the intersection of people, prayer, and politics."


  • Why is it important for Christian leaders to begin a journey of rethinking ministry in your focus-area?

From COVID19 to ongoing hashtags of Black and Brown people, especially Black males being murdered, it is time to rethink ministry when it comes to people, prayer, and politics. One must understand the possible reach, especially when doing ministry online (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Zoom), which has quickly increased and reaching a worldwide audience, leaders, and pastors have to be ready to engage in the conversations around the current climate. Economics. Race. Employment. Education. Health. Etc. We have to know the makeup of the people groups, pray, and understand the dynamics of politics. Additionally, we must understanding where we cannot reach people especial during this time of #GeorgeFloyd and #BreonnaTaylor. Black people are exhausted. White America must understand their privilege and stop making excuses and either stand with us or be against Black people in America. This has to be a common thread in your church makeup if one desires to thrive. 

  • Why will a "reimagine-journey" be difficult and potentially dangerous to the status quo?

The “Traditional” model of ministry can become a distraction for reimagining your journey. The original ministry By-Laws, policies, and procedures solidify the status quo; however, it will limit forward motion. One must take account of each mental tape and begin to erase those tapes replacing them with concrete and intentional steps to move forward. Answer the question, “What do you see?” See what the possibilities are. See evangelism. See prayer reaching wide and deep. See advocacy taking place when it comes to injustices. See Jesus calling you to a greater work. 




  • Agree/Disagree ~ We live in an extraordinary world:  Globalization. Immigration. #BlackLivesMatter. Gender reclassification. Marriage Redefined.. #MeToo. The rise of White Supremacy. Terrorism. Unpredictable Weather. The impact of the Industrial Revolution gives way to the Technological Age.  . . . This a time of epic change that requires the Church to rethink how we apply biblical truth to the traditions-programs-models-systems that format everything we do.


I agree that we live in an atmosphere that is rapidly changing look at where we are today. We have COVID19 and #BlackLiveMatter shoulder to shoulder. We cannot ignore the current climate. The mental tapes that may have some of us stuck in a cycle of religiosity and an old mindset. We must ask, “How would Jesus lead us in a time such as this?” The systemic racism that is causing a greater divide can be decreased if we were to step into our appointed roles and speak the truth in love and have mercy. Opportunities for racial justice, education, diversity, unity, and relationships are before us. It is time to dig deep within the scriptures and lean into the biblical truths and unlearn those




  • What does it actually mean to "reimagine?" Please unpack the word as you understand it and the components of a reimagining process.

Think differently. Romans 12: 2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” 

  • What roadblocks or resistance, barriers and boundaries, inhibit or prevent leaders from pursuing a discerning assessment when they commence a journey to reimagine ministry?

Having two millennial children, I have the opportunity to hear their heart when it comes to a journey of reimagining ministry. Roadblocks they mentioned are leaders unwilling to build relationships with their age group and accepting where we are in this current climate. Assimilation is not the answer. We must understand differences and the disparities between Black and White people in America. They become offended when they believe they are being talked down to or asked to be a part of and then not valuing what they bring to the table.  Life is changing, and as leaders, we have to take a step back and ask what can we do through small groups, Zoom studies, Digital downloads, etc. to capture the attention of this demographic who have either become disenfranchised or too busy with life to enter a brick and mortar for 60 plus minutes once per week. Ask, what’s needed to evangelize and disciple this group of people effectively. Include youth and young adults to your boards and committees, and allow their voices to be heard and valued. Looking at the protest, instead of condemning, join in and ask relevant questions while being intentional to learn what’s going on in the world today and hear the heart cry of Black and Brown people in America. 



  • "Where do I begin?Where do you recommend a leader looks first to ensure they commence a truly Spirit-led, Scripture-fed journey?

I would encourage people to apprise themselves of the often-hidden influences and displays of white fragility, micro-aggression, and implicit bias documented well by authors such as:

  1. I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown
  2. A Credible Witness: Reflections on Power, Evangelism and Race, Brenda Salter McNeil
  3. Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice, Brenda Salter McNeil
  4. White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White, Daniel Hill
  5. Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart,Christena Cleveland
  6. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo
  7. Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just, Timothy Keller
  8. Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, Soong-Chan Rah
  9. Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity, David W. Swanson
  10. How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide, Crystal Marie Fleming



  • Who are the thought leaders the Holy Spirit is using to help the Church reimagine?

There are many thought leaders today. Too many to count. However, stop reaching for those you see and hear every day and begin listening to those who are on the ground. I call it ground zero. 


  • How does your ministry help Christian leaders equip those they serve to begin the reimagine-journey?

Contact me for a a workshop or one-on-one coaching session and let’s begin to unlearn those tapes. Gail has 25 plus years of diversity training as a certified trainer from the Points of Light Foundation. Additionally, Gail has over 100 hours of prayer formational training from Ashland Theological Seminary. Instagram & Twitter: @GailDudley and Facebook.com/GailSpeaks 



  • Additional coaching insights to share? Questions we must pursue?

When you step into the shoes of another and look through their lenses, what do you see? 




  • Please write a prayer that sets us onto a reimagining journey . . .

Lord, hear our prayer. 



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  • "The Missing Piece?"

    Gail Dudley

    They don’t call me the audacious advocate for nothing. As I intentionally visit various neighborhoods, I always keep an eye out for identifying factors and start crafting potential solutions in my mind.

    One community that holds a special place in my heart is my parents’ neighborhood on the near east side of Columbus, Ohio. It’s where I spent my formative years and where I’ve witnessed significant changes over time. I can vividly recall walking home from Pilgrim Elementary School at the age of five or six, my head held high, confidently acknowledging the adults on their porches. I was raised with the ingrained habit of responding with “Yes, Ma’am,” “No, Ma’am,” “Yes, Sir,” and “No, Sir.” This manner of speaking is so deeply rooted in me that, at the age of fifty-eight, I often provide those quick responses without taking into account today’s preferred pronouns. Allow me to pause here for a moment to offer my heartfelt apology. I’m actively working on improving myself, and I kindly ask for your understanding and patience as I strive to do better. Your grace in this journey of my growth is greatly appreciated.

    Anyway, those adults who were out on their porches would ask about our day, inquire about our teachers and principals by name, and hold us accountable. If any of us displayed a disrespectful attitude, they were quick to correct us. And if we crossed the line, by the time we reach the doorsteps of our home, our parents or guardians would send us back down the street to apologize. Those were indeed the “good old days.”

    But now, I ask myself and others, how many of us truly know the administration, staff, and teachers at our local school district? Regrettably, I cannot claim to have that level of familiarity. Could this be the missing piece in the puzzle of revitalizing our neighborhoods, bring about unity, and create spaces for community engagement that bring in essential resources, offer voter education, host town halls, and provide opportunities for employment, trade skills, higher education, and so much more regardless of social economic status, skin color, and educational level?

    I frequently encounter individuals who inquire, “Gail, why do you invest so much care and effort into advocacy and community, and how do you manage not to become discouraged when there is a lack in immediate change?” It’s a valid question, and the answer lies in recognizing an unhealthy disconnect that has become a crippling ailment. I’m afraid it’s like a debilitating disease that has allowed cracks within our community. This disconnect has allowed rifts to form, fostering an environment where hostility festers, ultimately leading to destruction. That’s precisely why I care — because it’s ingrained in my DNA, and I am resolute in my determination to find solutions that uplift rather than tear down.

    So, where can we start?

    I’m grateful that you’ve read this far because it indicates that you might be the one to initiate change within your community. It doesn’t require hours upon hours each day or week; even dedicating just an hour here and there can set your community in motion.

    Below, you’ll find five initial steps to begin:

    · Resource Identification: Discover and compile a list of all available resources within your community.

    · Volunteer Alignment: Engage in volunteer work with an organization that resonates with your interests and priorities.

    · Community Conversation Host: Facilitate discussions within a small group to address local community issues and events.

    · Support Through Donations: Contribute to an organization of your choice through financial donations.

    · Social Media Sharing: Promote community initiatives and causes by sharing them on your social media platforms.

    Need someone to come alongside of you to speak to your community group, serve on a panel, or help build your volunteer recruitment, readiness, and retention? Contact me today by visiting www.GailDudley.com and click the speaking tab.

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