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