No Pastor Walks Alone
Like you, PastorServe is grieved by the murder of George Floyd. And like you, we want to respond in a manner that demonstrates long term commitment to change. At the launch of PastorServe, nearly twenty-one years ago, we made a commitment to serve the whole church, regardless of race, gender or economics. And to this end, we hired our first Black and Hispanic team members in 2003. Today, we have nearly a dozen non-white team members at PastorServe. We annually host a large multi-racial gathering of pastors. We have been serving the whole church for twenty years.
I am drawn to Micah 6:8 where the prophet summarized the entire law in three commandments.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
What does it mean to do justice, love kindness (mercy) and walk humbly with God? In this life, mercy means caring for people’s needs out a Gospel fueled compassion. Justice means standing for the oppressed that are unable to stand for themselves, speaking for those with no voice, fighting for those who have no strength and caring for those unable to care for themselves. Justice is laboring for what is fair, what is right, what brings peace and what visibly demonstrates respect for all people because all people have been created in the image of God. It is being advocates for those with less social power and less financial means. The gospel of Jesus Christ demands our head, our heart and our hand. We need to know, empathize and take action.
Systemic racism (also known as institutional racism) has precariously worked its way into every corner of culture, including the church. Systemic racism is difficult to detect because it is no longer about minorities being lynched from trees or men in white hoods in front of burning crosses. While we may be able to accurately identify and condemn examples of blatant prejudice, hate crimes, white supremacy and anti-immigration rhetoric, systemic racism is more subtle but equally lethal. It is more about education, employment, wealth, criminal justice, health care, housing and general opportunity. Systemic racism is an often undistinguishable way of thinking that can be found in schools, office buildings, hospital emergency rooms, police departments, court rooms and prison yards.
Centuries of racial injustice that have blown into every crack of societal strata cannot be repaired overnight. Confronting injustice takes the full body of believers, standing shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand to effectively confront the evil before us. Systemic racism is deeply intertwined within refugee and immigration issues, high interest payday loans, homelessness, the need for tutoring (particularly in the area of reading), the need for immigrants to learn English and the lack of healthy food options in the urban core.
Systemic racism begins early in life with black students suspended three times more than white students for the same infractions. Systemic racism is about life-altering decisions that are being made every day by people who would never consider themselves racist. It is about names like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Alonzo Smith, Ahmaud Arbery and now George Floyd. Names never forgotten in the black community. Systemic racism is revealed when job applicants with white-sounding names get called back 50% more often than applicants with black-sounding names, even when they have identical resumes.
As leaders of God’s people, we are called to boldly stand for the oppressed. We must be willing to walk into the muddy waters of injustice. We must ask God for the courage to stand against overt racism, systemic racism and ecclesiastical racism. PastorServe has been in these waters for two decades. We will continue to pursue justice, righteousness and peace.
Thank you for being a part of the PastorServe’s vision That No pastor would Walk Alone and our mission to Strengthen the Church by Serving Pastors. To reemphasize – NO pastor walks alone. Black, Hispanic, Asian, Haitian, White – NO Pastor walks alone. Male or female – NO Pastor walks alone. Thank you for making this a reality!!
Humbled at the Grace of Jesus,
Jimmy Dodd, Founder and CEO
Strengthen Your Church
Strengthening your church, for us, begins by serving you, the pastor!