“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:3-5
I’m a white pastor of a diverse church.
I’ve had people tell me they appreciate what our church is doing, but they would never commit to it themselves—because I’m white. It doesn’t make me angry when it happens, because I understand the context where I live and pastor. There is no doubt a sacrifice involved when people of color choose our church family!
But I am so glad when they do.
Not only for my sake, but for the sake of the entire body. I haven’t earned the right to be anyone’s pastor. I am just one small part of the body of Christ. I’m not the most important Christian in the room on Sunday mornings. God’s heart for the church is bigger than me and it’s bigger than you.
We are better together.
I think that is the simple message of Paul’s words above. No one in God’s church is better than anyone else. None of us have earned more stripes. None of us ought to think too much about our own importance, especially the pastor. Instead, we are one body in Christ. We are individually members one of another.
We have a shared identity in Christ.
But we don’t lose the rest of our identity in the process. We bring it all to the family table. I’m a white pastor. I bring strengths and weaknesses to the table. My Christian life is better for what everyone else brings to the table. And everyone else benefits from God’s grace through me.
Our little church is only three years old.
But in that short time, God has taught me so much about suffering, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and dependence on Christ. Most of these things have been learned through relationships with and proximity to people of color.
I have so much to learn… will you come and teach me?
If you’d like to learn more about Christ Fellowship, visit www.onehornlake.org – we are a family, but we are always adopting.