Love of Neighbor and its Challenge to Racial Reconciliation

Pastors and Church Leaders,

The tragic events from Charlottesville and the harsh debate that has followed in the days after have no doubt caused many of you heavy hearts, sorrow, and exhaustion. I'm thankful for the many, many pastors who are lamenting and seeking to continue to press in on important conversations that require a Jesus-centered response. 

Without a doubt, many of you are in pastoral ministry because you long to care well for people and you want to see them grow in their love for God and neighbor. Times like this can be both encouraging as pastors when we can give thanksgiving to our good Father for the growth we see in ourselves, the people we serve, and our communities. It can also be heavy as we continue to sit in tension, division, and hostility. 

For many, we hoped the tension would eventually die down, but it is becoming more clear that to be a faithful pastor in the 21st century means a significant part of your vocation will be remaining in tension, peacemaking, and pressing into unity at a time where the culture is leaning away from each other in hostility. Reconciliation is hard work and it is quite costly to those who seek to engage in it.

Attached is an excellent article that was written by a dear friend and professor at Gordon-Cornwell, Dr. Patrick's Smith. I encourage you to take the time to read it as I imagine it will encourage your efforts.

In addition, know we are here for you. The Surge Network is made up of many pastors who have been seeking to press into racial reconciliation for over a decade and consider it an honor to journey with other pastors and congregations seeking to press into this. If you are needing support, resources, encouragement, or anything at all please don't hesitate to reach out.

I am praying for our pastors to have wisdom, grace, patience, courage, and above all great love. God loves His sheep in your care and his Spirit will guide you as you journey with them into greater depths of the love of God and neighbor.

May the Church live more and more faithfully into the unity we have in Jesus. Thank you for all you give to the Bride.

Love of Neighbor and its Challenge to Racial Reconciliation by Patrick T. Smith

Dennae Pierre
Executive Director
The Surge Network