Living the Good News of Reconciliation – Let’s Rebuild the Church
John Perkins was born in 1930 in the Deep South. The object of violent racism, he was beaten nearly to death in 1970 in a Mississippi jail. He had every reason to respond with bitterness and rage. Instead, he responded with love and forgiveness.
A much sought-after speaker on issues related to race and reconciliation, John has ministered among the poor for nearly 50 years. He is the author of several books including his recently released autobiography Love Is the Final Fight.
What He Said … Let’s Rebuild the Church
The church has been captivated by a church-growth strategy that says people are more likely to come to a church where most of the other people are like them. So pastors in the suburbs catered their services and programs to middle class “seekers.” Which means the poor aren’t members of our big churches.
If the gospel of reconciliation is going to interrupt the brokenness in society, our churches are going to have to rethink their strategy. When I read the Bible, I always bring the problems of my community to God and ask when in history God’s people have had to face a similar challenge. As I look at our situation today and the problems we face, I hear God speaking to the church in the words that he spoke through his prophets after the exile. Coming out of our cultural captivity, I hear God saying that this is a time for rebuilding the church and remembering what it really means to be Christ’s body in the world.
This Week’s Key Study Passage: Zechariah 8
– Adapted from Welcoming Justice (IVP, 2009).
Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, show me what it means to have authentic relationships within your diverse body of believers; give me deeper insights into my prejudices; make me a catalyst for peace and reconciliation.