Survival Lesson #7: GET UP THE STAIRCASE, THEN DESTROY IT.
“Naturally, many other skills-wilderness survival, leadership, even basic first aid-will be necessary in any encounter with the living dead.” – Brooks (xiv)
When being chased by the walking dead, always evaluate your surroundings. You must become adapt at learning what aspects of your environment you can destroy to impede your pursuers. It’s a delicate balance of escape, pacing and strategy. Always be mindful to never box yourself in. Dead-ends almost always live up to their names.
With the western church we have virtually found ourselves at a dead end. “The reality of the situation is that Western, white culture dominates American culture and, in turn, dominates American evangelicalism” (Rah The Next Evangelicalism p.200). In our globalized world, the church must begin to look like a globalized church. Diversity is needed both in leadership and in mission. One key place to begin this change is by rethinking (strategically) the ethnicity of church leadership. The literal face of Christianity must change. In order to have a multicultural church, you must have a multicultural staff. This is not a mere token change, but a strategic one. Our church [leadership and laity] should be a reflection of the neighborhood we find ourselves in. To reach the community, we need to look and speak like the community. “A church uniquely expresses herself as she matches her deep hunger with the needs of the neighborhood” (Woodward Creating a Missional Culture p.174). For the church to truly be an expression of God’s kingdom, it must look as diverse as God’s global kingdom.
Secondly, for diversity to happen, I, as a church leader must be willing to step into situations of submission engaging with those outside of my ethnic group. For too long in the West, has church (and other arenas of power) been dominated (or oppressive) by white leadership. Submission is both an act of reconciliation and also posture for learning. To rethink leadership in this way, I must seek out cross-cultural mentors. I have much to learn and see the value of being under the authority of others from diverse backgrounds and experiences. As a leader, my commitment to submission greatly impacts the ethos of the church I pastor. The faith we represent is not one of perceived power and influence, but one of humility, grace, brokenness, and healing. We must also learn in this way that submission is the chief posture for the people who carry the Gospel into the world; the heart of our church beings and ends in this simple truth…