The Church in Color, Pt. 2: How Do We Do Better?

Though our nation has been shaken, the dust is beginning to settle. The news has moved on to other stories, and our social media feeds are starting to look “normal” again. 

But should it?

Just because we stop hearing about something doesn’t mean the struggle is over. By no means must we devote every bit of our time and energy to a single manifestation of sin in the world. But we as the church have a duty to act, and a long road ahead of us when it comes to racial reconciliation. 

In my last post I asked a question: as white Christians, how can we help our brothers and sisters of color, who face obstacles we will likely never encounter? This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are a few steps we can take.


There seems to be no faster way to silence a mostly white room than to bring up race. It’s an uncomfortable and sometimes divisive topic. There’s ugliness in our history that we don’t like to admit. So two approaches emerge: the first, and possibly easiest, is silence. Just don’t say anything, and nothing you say can be wrong, right? Change topics and pretend the issue isn’t there. The second is to dominate the conversation. If you talk loud enough and long enough, maybe no one will have the guts to contradict you.  

Friends, neither is helpful. The conversation needs to be had if there is to be justice for our friends of color. And as much as we might like to, we don’t know everything. The news can’t tell us the whole story. We need to begin a dialogue rather than choose between monologue or silence. We must be silent only long enough to listen, and speak only to acknowledge their pain and call out injustice.

Some of my white brothers and sisters in Christ feel that they are being silenced. We’re all free to speak, our brothers and sisters of color are simply asking you to listen first. Walk in their shoes. Admit that their experiences are valid even (and especially) when they don’t match yours. Because far too much of the time, they don’t. 


I’ll be the first to admit that this part isn’t always fun. Getting honest with yourself is hard. But anytime we want to grow, self-examination is absolutely necessary.

Chances are, most of us don’t consider ourselves to be racist in any way, shape or form; certainly almost no one is racist intentionally. Maybe we have friends or even family members of color. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean we are exempt from hidden biases and prejudices. Ask yourself the hard questions: do I make assumptions when I meet a person of color? Are those assumptions fair?  How have I been content to benefit from systemic racism, and what can I do about it? Do I keep silent when I see people of color (or anyone for that matter) treated unfairly? 

It’s okay if you ask these questions and don’t like the answer. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It means that, like everyone with a pulse, you have learning and growing to do. 

Repent and Do Good

It’s possible that after taking a hard look at your own attitudes and biases, you find areas of failure and the need to improve. Thankfully, because of Christ, our sins and failures are not fatal. He calls His people to repentance innumerable times in scripture, and when He does, He is faithful to forgive. Lean on His strength to move forward in a way that pleases Him and honors the dignity with which He created every one of us.

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