Lonely and displaced. That’s how I sometimes feel as an African American leader who is called to serve within the white evangelical culture. I know the feeling all too well when dialoging with seminarians, participating in Christian conferences, writing for Christian publications, or even attending predominately white and multicultural churches. Too often, this experience reveals the laments of my sisters and brothers of color who see the physical banners which read, “Come as you are…” and yet understand that the invisible subheading demands, “and be like us.” I want to come as I am, period. As minority leaders of faith, we don’t want to assimilate into the white culture. We simply want to be as God created us in His image with value, dignity, purpose, and not have our racial or ethnic differences viewed as a threat to the “normal way” of doing things.
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