#RacialRec: Leaders Move Church Diversity Forward

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know one of the topics I frequently discuss is leadership. In short, leadership changes everything. Why? “Leaders move people from where they are to where they need to be (Scott Williams).” Sometimes we have no clue about what we are supposed to do. At other times, we know what to do but simply don’t know how to get there. In both situations, leaders enter our lives, help us navigate, and become our best selves.

Of course, for me as a Christian, there is no better example of leadership than Jesus. I read “Transforming Leadership: Jesus’ Way of Creating Vision, Shaping Values, & Empowering Change” by Leighton Ford this summer. It is hands down the best leadership book I have ever read, and I have read a lot of leadership books over the years. Ford presents Jesus as the best transformational leader because Jesus moved several people through his vision, communication, trust, and empowerment and today billions of people are still follow him.

Transformational leadership is what we need in the church if we are to make strides in the area of racial reconciliation. Unfortunately, we continually miss opportunities of real transformation as individuals and a church body because too many leaders are consumed with managing. If church leaders are only concerned with their day-to-day responsibilities, what happens on Sunday mornings, and maintaining their annual church calendars of activities with no consideration for what God desires in our present age, how He wants to reveal himself through us the to communities where we are called to serve, or how He continuously makes all things new in our lives, then we are not actually leading. Ford writes, “Managers are people who concentrate on doing things right, but leaders are concerned to do the right things (26).”

This is where Scott Williams makes the connection between leadership and church diversity. “The Road to Do the Right Thing Leadership sometimes begins with simply embracing the fact that you don’t have all the answers and realizing that God brings people across our paths to help this “do the right thing” principle spread the name of Jesus (59).” There is certainly humility that is needed. We must be willing to admit what we don’t know, and when God does bring people into our lives and our congregations to help us “do the right thing” in terms of racial and ethnic reconciliation, we must be willing to listen, learn, and take action.

Concerning leadership and church diversity, Scott Williams message is simple:

No diversity on the staff + no diversity on the platform = no diversity in the church (61).

As we discussed last week, getting diversity on the staff and on the platform is a leadership move to get people going in the right direction concerning racial reconciliation, because “the brutal facts are that as Christians we must be more concerned about spreading the gospel than we are about tradition and comfort…the brutal fact is that too often, if left on our own, we are sinful human beings and won’t do anything about it [diversity in the church] (63).”

The Apostle John wrote a great deal about putting our faith into action. We show our love for God, not simply by what we say, but also by what we do. In this same manner, we intentionally show our love for others. “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).”

Tomorrow I am going to introduce you to a “Do the Right Thing Leader” who is serving in a “Do the Right Thing Church.”

In the meantime, are you a do the right thing leader? Who are some of the do the right thing leaders you admire and why? If there is a way for us to connect with you or them, please share your social media information below.

© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2012 @sistasjourney #RacialRec

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