Sunday mornings are the most segregated time of the week. This was an observation made by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr — and it is still largely true today.
But it is becoming less true in some churches — mostly in large, evangelical mega-churches.
Time magazine has a great article this week about “The Color of Faith”. The primary focus of the article is on Willow Creek and Bill Hybels. Definitely worth reading… after you do, come back and et me know your thoughts.
Some of my thoughts?
I am impressed by Hybels and Willow Creek (and churches like them)… but there is more work to do. Despite all the talk of “racial reconciliation” (and reconciliation generally) within the church the past 20 years, there has been less action than one would hope. In fact, I have had many Christians tell me that the goal of real relational reconciliation (whether in the macro sense or micro sense) is just idealism and not an important issue for every church and every Christian.
I couldn’t disagree more.
In fact, I am not sure that a church that does not seek reconciliation can honestly call themselves a church in any meaningful sense of the word. And the same can be said if individual Christians.
Reconciliation is central to the Gospel and the heart of Jesus. The unity of his children (which is impossible lacking reconciliation) is the primary witness of the church. Jesus has invited us to be ambassadors of the ministry of reconciliation — both to God and to each other. It is no more optional than any other area of obedience to Jesus.
As Hybels is quoted in the article saying:
“[Seeking reconciliation is] part of who we are, and if it can’t be part of who you are, you probably need to find a church that doesn’t talk about this issue.”
I also think the ministry of reconciliation is central to what it means to be missional. This is why “promoting reconciliation” is the first priority of The Global PEACE Plan.