Faith Over Fear: Speaking Out as a White Woman with Courtney Reissig

by | Apr 3, 2024

Austin and Isaac were pleased to welcome Courtney Reissig to the studio today. Courtney is an accomplished author who has also been writing for us for years. We talked with her about her burden to speak out on racial matters and overcoming her own self-consciousness to do so. We hope you’re encouraged by her example and our conversation together.

Episode Captions

Grace and peace, friends. Welcome back to United We Pray. Austin Suter, Isaac Adams, joined today by Courtney Reisig. How are you, sister? I’m good. How are you? It’s really great to have you here. I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to be here. I’m glad we’re saying your last name correctly. Oh, You know, this is, we’re already winning on this podcast. You winning, yeah. It’s totally, yeah. it, was it correct? It was perfect. You can only go up from here. Excellent. So Courtney is a writer and Bible teacher who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. She’s the proud mom of four sons, happy wife to Daniel, and the author of three books, The Accidental Feminist, Glory in the Ordinary, and Teach Me to Feel, Worshipping Through the Psalms in Every Season. You can also find her writing in places like Risen Motherhood and United We Pray. I was looking back through, you’ve been writing for us for like four years at this point. I think. Corning was one of the first, right? Like even probably before you were editing, I was like, will you please write something for this like, Yeah, I don’t remember how we met. I don’t know how we got connected. I don’t remember either. But yeah, I have been writing for a long time. Yeah, well, some of my favorite stuff on the website. Amen. Amen. I’m a big, like, I only think people’s writing goes up, but you and Austin’s first pieces for the website are still some of my favorites. Both of you, like, your first pieces. What was my first piece? I don’t remember. It was a bad, I mean, maybe some of the stuff we’re talking about today. It’s that When I Recognize Race series we do where we talk about people’s kind of tipping points in this conversation. You talked about that podcast you listened to when you were running that just broke you down. And it was just so powerful. And talking about how race has particularly affected black women in the medical world. And yeah. Speaking of Courtney’s writing, one thing I want to add, talking about race, I wrote most of this book. I didn’t write every single word because Courtney also contributed this book. Austin (02:46.82) The section where we talk about talking about race with your kids where we hear from a lot of wise parents whose kids are older than mine so Courtney I just love that your name which I know now how to say pronounce is in here and We’re grateful for your longtime friendship and partnership with this ministry for real. So I’ll do it’s good work. Bless you. Oh, this isn’t in here I don’t know if you can talk about any writing projects you’re working on right now. I can talk about it now Okay, so I’m working on a book on the gospel of John And so I love the Gospel of John. I’ve loved the Gospel of John for a really long time and taught a Bible study on it, done some writing on it. And so it’s on belief and how Jesus is someone to believe in when everything else around us is unbelievable. It’s kind of reflections on the unchanging Savior from the Gospel of John. That’s great. That sounds like a good read. Excellent. Wonderful. Courtney, what brings you to Birmingham? I’m speaking at a church here tonight and tomorrow. and a women’s retreat. Great. Yeah. Great. So I get to come to this great city in Birmingham. We’re glad to have you. Glad to have you. So we mentioned how long you’ve been writing for us, but just as as a white woman who grew up in the South, what sort of first got you thinking and talking about race? So I think my mom, my mom, I lived in Detroit when I was little. My mom’s from the Detroit area. She’s from Michigan. And so she was around during the riots in Detroit. And so there’s just a lot of things that she was aware of. And so I remember her talking about those things and talking about race from a perspective of hearing and listening to people of color. And so I also grew up in Texas. I grew up in the Dallas area. And then I primarily grew up around a lot of Hispanic people because it’s Texas. And so I grew up hearing a lot of Spanish and a lot of English and then went to a high school, a large public high school that had a lot of diversity. And so I think I just had some people around me that looked different than me. That was just kind of the world I lived in. But I think when I got saved in college, I went to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. That’s where I first, the first church I joined as a believer, as an adult. And at the time, John Piper had been doing a lot of work with racial harmony in the city. Bethlehem is in the city. And so had encouraged people to move to the city. Austin (05:07.94) and had hired some African -American pastors, had tried to change the worship to reflect the city. And so that just kind of opened my eyes to more conversations that reflect the gospel and how we talk about race. And so that was just really big and that I moved into the inner city after I graduated from college. And so that just kind of like, the Lord just put me in places where I was in some minority spaces. And then also I… I’m a woman in theological spaces. I’m primarily a minority as just a female. And so I think just that experience of being going to seminary and being a minority, a gender minority, I think has kind of helped me to tend to be in spaces where I’m the only woman in the room. Like right now. Like right now. Here we are. Well, you’re doing a great job. Awesome. So you mentioned this and you were getting into this. Any other ways? So you don’t just talk about race in the abstract. And it’s one thing to do that. But any other ways? you’re trying to, that was kind of your history. Any present ways maybe that you’re trying to build lines, build relationships across racial lines or anything like that? Yeah, so I live in Little Rock, Arkansas now, and Little Rock was the hub of desegregation. So Central High School, my kids are in Little Rock School District. Central High School is the biggest high school in the district still, and is just a few miles from my house. I can drive, I drive past it all the time. The high school that was this, like the National Guard had to infiltrate to try to make kids go to school there. So I, the Little Rock Public Schools have never recovered. I mean, we’re years later. And so we live with the effects of that in our district every day. And so my kids are in a public school. They are, they are in a really, part of where we live in the city, they’re in a school that’s really diverse. And so there’s a lot of, a lot of, there’s a, I can’t remember how many languages, but we have like a world fest every year where it’s every country represented in the school has a booth. And so there’s just, there’s dozens upon dozens of flags representing the different schools. So my kids, even right now during Ramadan, which is when we’re recording, it’s Ramadan, my kids have kids in their class who can’t eat lunch with them and go sit in them. So there’s a lot of things that they have to experience where people look different than them, talk different than them. And so we have those conversations all the time because, Austin (07:25.988) It’s the school we live in. And Little Rock, probably like many southern cities, is probably 50 -50, like 50 % African American and 50 % white. And so the neighborhoods we live in don’t reflect that as much. And the schools don’t reflect it as much. So I think for us, is we try to have friendships with people in our neighborhood. We try to be friends with people even if they look like us or don’t look like us. And so… We’ve tried to foster some of that. But then for me personally, trying to read more, to read from people of color or to read about our history and to really pay attention to what the history both of our city and then also of our country. So reading, I think reading has helped me the most probably. One of the things you’ve written about in some of your articles for us is the importance of modeling those kind of multi -ethnic friendships for the sake of your kids. Because it’s one thing to go to school in a diverse setting, but if you’re not actually in relationship, it’s only doing so much. Would you be willing to share some of the things you’ve done to model that for your kids? Yeah. So some of it has been organic. So my kids, because they go to a school that has people that don’t always look like them, they’ve made friends with kids who don’t look like them. And so trying to just continue to foster those friendships, inviting those people over. And one thing we did, so my middle son’s best friend, he had best friends who were twins, they recently moved away because his dad’s a pastor of a black church in town. And so on his anniversary, Sunday one year, we went to hear him, we went to his anniversary service. So in the black church, anniversary services are a big deal, we found out. And so we were really good friends with his families. I’d walk with the mom, like we would hang out a lot. And so I learned a lot. And so we went to… One thing we did, we went to the black church that Sunday to celebrate his anniversary. Um, and we were the only white family there. I think there are other, a couple other white people, cause they invited some like senators and things like that, but trying to do things like that. I think, um, other things we’ve tried to do is, um, if there’s like an MLK parade, try to go to MLK day, that things like that. Um, one church does a service on MLK day. So things trying to incorporate those types of things. Um, but really for us, it’s if those friendships have happened organically. Austin (09:47.684) to try to foster that. And then, yeah, go to worship with them sometimes. Go to the different things that their families do. And yeah. Yeah, that’s great. Not a trick question. Not a trap question either. I mean, were your boys, like, when you went to the Black Church, were they like, what? OK, so yes, they were. And were you like that? Were you like? And then we were like honored guests because we were our friend. And Charlie Gates was preaching. Oh, my God. Yeah, I know. So that was also like, it was really exciting. And our friend was a friend. We loved hearing our friend preach to like I had. He had invited me to teach their Bible study one time. So I came and did their Bible study. And so he and I would do stuff overlap. But we and Daniel and him, like I remember during Covid, they would get together, especially during like George Floyd stuff like Daniel and him like sat on the front lawn and talked through things and just things like that were just really helpful. But we went to the church and we were unaware. So they had everyone stand for the reading of the word, which I love, but our church at the time didn’t do that. And so we are standing and then we sat down and we didn’t realize everyone else knew the cue was to stay standing. And by the time we realized that we were like, we’re not going to stand up now because it would be awkward. But like there’s six of us and we’re white. And so we were like, don’t look the Bible here. So I mean, there is that. But then when we left, I mean, the worship was different than what we were accustomed to. And so like having to, the boys were like, oh, this is, I mean, just the whole, like everything about the expression. And I remember when I taught their Bible study, I told my friend, I said, I don’t teach like you. He’s like, that’s okay, that’s the whole point. So, cause I was like, I’m not gonna start singing in the middle of, at the end of, and he was like, that’s the whole point. But when we left church, one of the boys said, which still sticks with me, one of the boys said, so do our friends go to black churches and we go to white churches? Is that kind of how it works? And I was like, oh Like, I mean kids are just honest. The next question I was going to ask was have you been surprised that the questions are kids have asked you about race? Oh I mean, yeah, and like sometimes they just make observations. Which you talk about so helpfully in here too. So if you’ve not read Talking About Race, Austin (12:05.188) and Courtney’s section in there. I think that parenting section is worth its own weight in gold. Well, Thank you. Yeah, they do ask those types of questions. I mean, it allowed us to… So every MLK day, we listen to Dr. King’s speech and we talk about it. And I told them, I said, my husband and I were like, I mean, that’s not what we would want. We would want for us all to worship together. But because of the way our country is, it’s made it very hard for… particularly our African -American friends to feel like they could come worship with us. And so trying to put it on the burden on like what the history of our country has made it such that our services are so segregated. And so I think that that, of course, it made like kids are really observant. They’re gonna say whatever they see. They’re gonna say whatever they hear. And so trying to not shy away from them. But yeah, I mean, they sometimes they make observations all the time. Like, why is his skin so dark? I mean, just things like that. Or why is their hair like that? And to just be able to say, do not freak out. Because I think if we freak out, then they think that they’re never going to want to talk to us about more serious things. Shame enters the picture. It does. It’s a shameful thing to do. Yeah, and that’s just a general parenting principle across the board. But yeah, those observations, I think, are, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that’s great. Good. Over the years, I’ve just really appreciated your clarity and your boldness and how you think through these things and talk about what is really a controversial issue that folks don’t like talking about. Do you have any self -consciousness or self -doubt as a white woman speaking out on these issues? Oh, yeah, I have a ton of it because I’m white. Like, I come from a place of privilege. So I think that’s the biggest thing is like I experience the privilege. I have the privilege of I’m white. I don’t have. I haven’t lived a lot of the experiences and so I feel fearful to wade into the waters largely because I’m like I’m gonna say the wrong thing or I’m gonna ask the wrong question or I’m gonna make an assumption about something that’s not true and I mean those are things like so much of our lives we don’t want to talk about things shame and fear like you said shame shame keeps us from talking about important things and so Austin (14:27.876) For me, particularly during COVID with George Floyd and a lot of the things that were happening, I intentionally would talk to my friends of color, even when I felt afraid to. To be like, if I bring it up, it’s gonna be uncomfortable. Instead of just saying, I would just send a text saying, I’m praying for you, or like, hey, let’s talk about this, or how are you feeling today? And just that alone, getting over the hurdle, and this is true across the board. If a friend is suffering or walking through, grief, the first thing we want to do is like, I don’t want to bring it up because it would be awkward. But that’s actually the hardest. We have to get over that hump to care for people. And so for me, yes, I feel a lot of fear, interpretation about it. But I think in reading and paying attention has helped me to have confidence to talk about it because I think literacy is just really important across the board. So like biblical literacy is important because it helps us know what’s true and what’s not true when someone’s talking about the Bible. But just being able to read broadly helps us know what’s true historically and helps us know what we’re waiting into. So because the world I’m kind of in regarding race the most probably is education because my kids are in school and public school. And so the more you know about that, the more you can speak honestly. And then also as a white woman recognizing that we aren’t given privilege just so we can ignore the realities of this world. And so. Having to understand that I’ve been given a privilege for the sake of others, that that’s why I have privilege. It’s not for me to live in the suburbs, in like a holy hut, I live in the suburbs, but like to live out there and pretend like race issues aren’t a problem. It’s for me to use my voice for the people who look like me, who are afraid to learn about it, but maybe they’ll listen to me if I talk about it. And then to be able to platform people who don’t look like me because I have credibility to. One Courtney, one thing you’ve mentioned it a couple of times now reading broadly. You’ve talked about how you’ve worked through that and how the Lord has led you through that self -consciousness or even that fear. And I think I’m just glad we’re just naming words and realities like shame and fear. That’s what so much of talking about race is about and like, and the enemy plays on that. And he plays on it big time in the church and fears divide fear. Yeah. So we can talk about that for days, but you’ve mentioned reading a couple of times, anything. Austin (16:56.004) I promise these aren’t pop quiz questions, but anything you’re reading right now or you’re like, here are Courtney’s top three race reads. Okay, so the Warned the Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson, was like, I mean, I probably read it like seven or eight years ago. But it was, I still to this day, I’m like, I did not know. And I still remember, that and um I’m drawing a blank. Brian Stevenson. Just Mercy. Just Mercy. Okay, those two. Yeah. Austin and I just heard a lecture from Brian Stevenson. Yes. Okay, so. The sermon. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The sermon. So those two books, I read them within a year of each other, sometime in the same year. And I remember thinking, I didn’t know. And I live in the South. And so I think reading, especially The Warmth of Other Suns, reading that and seeing people that I love. 50 years ago would have lived this experience in the city that I live in. And I think that was just utterly transformative for me to be like, I, and as a, as a believer to just be like, we can’t not know this. And so those two are really big. I read another book. I’m drawing a blank. It’s, um, The one, it’s about South Africa. And I can’t remember it. Austin (18:26.5) Yeah, we can check on that. Cry the beloved country. Oh my gosh. Yes. Cry the beloved country. I read that one too. Alan Payton. Yes. OK. So that one, Not About America. Yes, but so good. So good. And so like reading a fictional account of it was just to those three. And I’ve read other things like other fictional accounts. So I think but those those three I read I remember in a year period. And so those are, I think Warmth of the Suns and Just Mercy are probably good primers for like non -Christian books, obviously. Obviously, I think talking about race is really helpful, but I think you’ve got to get a good history on it before you learn how to talk about it. So I think there’s like a process. I think Color of Compromise was really helpful. Yeah, so I think those are really good. And then there’s more now. I mean, obviously, like there have been a lot that have come out in the last couple of years. Yeah. Yeah. So and I have talked about and been relieved by and even we kind of we have another episode. I’m sure we can link to it in the show notes of just like we have we like we are not lone voices in the wilderness. Like there’s a stack of like minded. This is how we want to have the conversation and speak to all sorts of sides around it. There’s a certain perspective and tone and posture we’re trying to have a certain framework. that we would say is biblical, hopeful, helpful, and clear. Right. And I think I also read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which kind of helps you walk through the medical side of like that she was experimented on. I think Christine. We got to put her when I recognize race and the shortness. Yeah. As a woman, I think as a woman, when you realize like these are the things that I walk through when I go to the doctor all the time and they exist because someone else was experimented on. I think it’s really helpful. And thanks for putting talking about race on your list. It is good. No, it is. It is. This is where… No, I mean, it’s good. It’s important. I’m Awesome. Bless you, sis. In thinking about sort of controversial public conversations, I can’t think of one that feels more chaotic than race. Because as white folks, we’re told by some folks that silence is violence. And if you don’t speak out, you’re complicit. And we’re told by other folks that… Austin (20:40.932) We shouldn’t speak out, we should let minorities speak for themselves and not sort of impose our own narrative or thoughts. In sorting through that, I think you’ve done a really good job of speaking out, but speaking out in a way that isn’t paternalistic. And it’s clearly informed. You’ve done the reading, you have the relationships. How would you encourage folks, white folks, to speak out? I would say that you have to do the work of reading and paying attention first. And I really do think I… I mean, from the time I got to Bethlehem when I was like 21 years old, I mean, it’s like a 20 year process of like reading and paying attention. So I think doing the work of reading and paying attention, but also I think not letting fear keep you. I do think there’s a lot and not neglecting bridge building. So like there’s gonna be some people listening who are like, I live in like a rural part of Minnesota and I don’t know a single African -American. I mean, that’s different than like if you live in or Little Rock, where you could find people. You could put yourself in spaces where I do think both doing the work of reading and doing the work of relationship building is really important. And then not being afraid. I think if you’re in majority culture, you’ve been given privilege for a reason. That’s why you have it. You have not been given privilege so you can keep your… And I keep your life the way it is. And I think sometimes the reason why it’s so fraught with tension is because people don’t want their life to change. And which I get that change is hard. But I think that we are we’ve been given freely so that we can also freely give. One thing the word fear keeps coming up and just even looking at Second Timothy for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love and self -control. And I just think of that often. It was just like. as Christians, we are going to bolden, there is a cockiness that God does not favor, but there is a boldness when we’re filled with the Spirit that he has created us to embody and to carry out for the sake of others like you were talking about. So I think that’s really helpful. Okay, so that’s on speaking out. We’ve talked about reading. Any other ways you’re working on listening, asking questions, or how would you encourage white folks to speak from a perspective that’s informed by? Austin (23:06.084) So you talked about you’ve got to do the work, you’ve got to have the relationships. Any other things you would add to that or click, double click on there? Yeah, I think I think also knowing what where your context is to help like so I think in America, every city probably has a story of race. So I’ve done a lot of the story of race that I’ve paid attention to in my context is education related because I live in Little Rock and my kids are in the education system there. And so I think knowing where you’re at and knowing the history, because it’s striking. I listened to a podcast called Nice White Parents. You all ever listen to it? No. But the title is intriguing. I think it’s by Serial Productions. And they did, they chronicled the education system in one school in Brooklyn, I think. So then that changes the narrative of like the only issues in schools related to race are in the South and not in liberal cities. And so it was really interesting. And it also, I was like, I listened to it. I had a friend listen to it. Our kids are in public school, my husband and listened to it together, because I listened to it again. And you see the things in your own heart picked up. Like, we just did a tour of a middle school and I was like, I still respond this way. Like, I still respond with those thoughts of what people have when you walk into a school of like, is it safe, is the question. And usually when people mean is it safe, are there kids who look like my kids here? That’s what they mean. And they don’t mean to mean it that way. And I think that’s the other thing is I think sometimes when we’re talking, it’s so fraught with tension is that we think it’s always malicious. And I think sometimes it’s just ignorance and it’s still wrong. But when people hear someone talk about race and they’re like, I’m not a racist. I’ve never said a racist thing or thought a racist thing. And perhaps that’s true, but it’s you’re swimming in a sea of a culture that was born in racism. And so because of that, you’re going to have biases you don’t even know exist. And so having to learn to pay attention to that and in listening and reading, you start to see those biases come out. And I think it’s part of being a Christian. Like we are, we are all shaped by our culture, not just about race, but everything. And so as a believer, we have to be thinking, how are we shaped by Christ, which is above culture. And so, Austin (25:31.172) All of us bring our cultural baggage to the table and we have to always be paying attention to that so that we can fight that and be more, we have far more in common with each other, all of us do, than I do with the white mom at the soccer field. If she’s not a believer. Who’s not a believer. Yeah, I mean, she’s a believer, we’re all the same, but like, yeah. Austin (25:51.924) What would you say to the white person who is convicted on this topic and feels they should be speaking out but is afraid to? I love that verse. I mean, the verse of like, God has not given you a spirit of fear. And I love how it’s like, but power and self -control. That is so, yeah. I’ve not made that connection. Because you think like, I had it made until you were reading it. But like, so some of us struggle with the fear that we don’t have anything to say. And so we need to see that we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit. Like we know what to say. He’s given us the word to say. Some of us need to hear, that he’s given us self -control. You know? So like, so I think there’s some of us that have to think, ah, well, what side do you land on? I mean, I know it’s highly in on I’m usually lack self -control. So like having to, to realize that if you’re trusting in Christ, you have the Holy spirit forever in dwelling you. And so there’s nothing that you can say that, that is not, that is not like made powerful through him. Like there’s nothing, there’s nothing. And if you say something wrong, And that’s what repentance is for. And so what a beautiful testimony of the gospel is if you say something wrong, you can say, I said something wrong and I am sorry. Will you forgive me and tell me how I can say something differently next time? So I think our fear is because we don’t actually believe that it’s true, that the gospel is true, that it really has transformed us and that we really are indwell by the spirit and we really have been given everything we need for life and godliness. And then just knowing what spectrum you fall on, what side of the spectrum. Yeah, that’s good. I really like the I’ve even thought about those words in the preaches chapter two, but uh, like what these like, oh yeah, like why power love and self -control? Yeah, these three things and not power love and patience or whatever. Yeah, which is all true obviously, but I just think yeah, like my tendency to be oh now I’ve got power. Yeah. Yeah, and he gave you self -control. Yeah, and love. Right, and love. Yeah. Yeah. I wonder too if it’s because fear does really crazy things to people. You know, like you think about like what so much of why people respond the way they do about race is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of whatever. And so I think knowing that fear makes us do crazy things, God knows all things. And so he’s like, these are some of the things you’re gonna struggle with to believe is true when I’m telling you that perfect love casts out all fear. Well, and I’m preaching, I mean, you’re just, I’m preaching through Mark right now. And we’re now at the section where Jesus come in the temple, he’s just cleansed the temple. Austin (28:19.736) And the pharaohs and the religious leaders are like, we have got to kill this man. Like we have this is we have got to get rid of him. But it keeps Mark keeps saying, but they feared the people. So they’re like, but they feared the people, but they feared the people. So they don’t keep they. Yeah. And he’s just like, yeah, fear will make you bloodthirsty and crazy. And you will you could you will kill the son of God out of fear. And yeah. And all those types of things. There’s a random interjection just because we’ve been talking about St. Second Timothy. and mark now and you talked about john earlier courtney gets three books of the by this is not related to race corny gets three books of the bible to pick for the rest of her life that’s all she gets what books are you picking i know it feels like you’re doing violence to scripture i know but like come on like i pick the psalms yep um I would pick… John. Yep. Um, and what would I pick then? I don’t I really like Isaiah right now, but I feel like I need, I don’t know, maybe, probably feels like Exodus, but this is hard. It’s like picking your favorite kid. It is. But I would pick, yeah, I think I’d pick, okay, so if you’re only gonna get three for the rest of your life, John, the Psalms, and maybe Isaiah, because you just need a lot of comfort, because that’s what you’re gonna get. So, yeah. Great, excellent. Well, praise God you don’t have to do that. Yeah, I know. Get the whole Bible forever. Unless we ask you about it on a podcast. It is. It’s always hard to pick. In thinking about sort of the white evangelical circles we find ourselves in, what’s what’s one change you’d like to see or one hope you have sort of moving into even in even in this election year? Oh, well, the election year, I would like to see us just move real fast through it. Oh, amen. Austin (30:10.404) What would I like to see? I would like to see us listen better. That’s good. I mean, I think it, I mean for myself too, I mean I think I can be equally like, what’s wrong with these people? You know? So I think I’d want to listen better and understand. Because understanding what drives things, like is it fear? And what fear is driving it, then what hope can we offer people who are afraid? I want to be patient. I just always think like how, patient God is with people. And how he, Exile 103 talks about how he remembers that we’re dust and how he’s, and you think all throughout scripture, he’s a good father who is merciful and gracious and slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love. And like, those are all the things that I’m not, particularly with really tension filled conversations. And I would like to see myself be like that, be patient and gracious and understanding. But then I’d also, I think the thing that makes, unbelievers look at the church and say I don’t want any part of it is when we respond not like Christ and not patient and gracious and I would like to see us look like Christ and not look like the world and so and I think Christians the reason why I think in politics the loudest voices cater to the evangelicals acting a certain way is because they give us what we want and that’s how we act and so I think Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we said enough is enough and we acted like Christ? It didn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on. We’re going to be in heaven together. So who cares if you’re Republican or Democrat? It matters that you’re trusting in Christ and that you can worship together. And yeah, I think I think for us, we’ve had to think about that in church transition time, like maybe we land on a different political spectrum than the majority of the people we’re talking to or the churches that we’re looking at. And so trying to say like. My heart tendency is to be like, I want to go to church with people who are going to vote like me. That’s my heart tendency. I don’t have to deal with the nonsense. I just want to go and be in a space where we can talk about race easily. But rather, instead of being like, but I’m going to be in heaven with those people over here. And so I want to learn how to live in unity with people, regardless of where they land on things that aren’t, that don’t, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you voted. So I think that that, yeah. That’s great. Austin (32:31.268) We typically close these episodes out. Thank you so much for coming. Thank you for being here, for taking time out of… You had a trip. You had a full trip. You didn’t have to come do this. So thank you. This is great though. Thank you for stopping by. Isaac, do you want to open us in prayer? Yeah. And then I can go and Gordie, you can close. Sure. That sounds great. Excellent. We’re go to… Because we have the Psalms, the writer who has written a book on the Psalms, why don’t we start with a prayer that God has given us and then I’ll open us up. Okay. Father, we do thank you that we could talk with our sister. Lord, we thank you for her travels here. I pray you bless her ministry here this weekend. Lord, give her words to speak to the sister she’s addressing. And Father, we thank you for this prayer that we have. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. Lord, we thank you for your remembrance of us. Father, we thank you that you know that we are like dust and yet we are beloved dust in your sight. And Father, yeah, even as a black man, I wanna be praying for my white brothers and sisters, Lord, that this conversation would engender a spirit of love and of power and of self -control and that it would push against a spirit of fear, Lord, that, yeah, that Satan so often uses to keep us. from relationship with one another, to keep us from loving one another, to keep us from unity. Father, the fear of looking stupid, the fear of losing our agenda and our way and our sense of comfortable. Lord, give us love. I pray for my white brothers and sisters that you give them love, power and self -control. I pray for my black brothers and sisters that you give them love. power and self control for our Latino brothers and sisters that you give them love power and self control for our Asian brothers and sisters that you give them love power and self control give us your church love power and self control in Jesus name amen amen Lord as we’ve been considering our hard history and the difficulties that persist there is much to lament and mourn and Austin (34:48.964) much even to fear. But we know that your love casts out all fear. And so we pray for believers that we would boldly and wisely and winsomely, but boldly lean into these conversations, trusting your spirit at work in our brothers and sisters and in us to help them go better than they’ve gone in the past. And through that, to help us love each other better, to know each other and know how to love each other. so that our churches can look more like heaven. In praise of Jesus’ name. Austin (35:24.42) you are doing a good work both in Birmingham. Lord, I ask that you would cast out fear for our white brothers and sisters who are afraid to speak up, that you would give them pathways to reading and learning. Lord, we want to see the Church reflect the Kingdom, we want to see the Church reflect the world that you’ve made, and we want brothers and sisters to be united. because of what you have done, because we’re united to Christ and we are all sharing in His blood. So we want to see a beautiful reflection of that. So we want to see it in our lifetime. So we ask that you would do it, that you would build unity, that you would build bridges, that you would build walls of patience and listening and care, and that you would continue to establish the work of our hands as we listen and care for one another as you have cared for us in Christ. And we ask this all in Christ’s name, amen. Amen, amen. Thank you for joining us, sis. Thank you. Great to have you. I’m glad to here. And thanks so much for listening. Grace and peace.

LINKS & SHOW NOTES:

To learn more about United? We Pray, follow us on Twitter and keep exploring our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Recent POdcasts

Biblical Theology: Genesis

Biblical Theology: Genesis

We are kicking off our Bible Study or Biblical Theology series with the book of Genesis. Adrianna Anderson brings her expertise as a Bible scholar to help us look at Scripture to see God's plan for diversity and ethnic harmony. There is so much in Scripture on this...

read more
Multi-Ethnic Ministry in London

Multi-Ethnic Ministry in London

What does multi-ethnic ministry look like in different contexts? Pastor Yannick Christos-Wahab joins us to talk about his church in London. We hear about similarities and differences between the UK and the US, and Yannick gives us a positive vision for being salt and...

read more
What if My Church Doesn’t Care?

What if My Church Doesn’t Care?

Isaac and Austin sit down for the second installment in our FAQ series with a question we often get on the road - "what if my church doesn't care about ethnic unity?" We talk through scenarios when someone might want to leave their church, but spend most of the...

read more

Upcoming Events

Isaac-Adams-United-We-Pray-speaking-at-an-event

Click Here to View Now

Recent Articles

Presidents’ Day and Godly Authority

Presidents’ Day and Godly Authority

On Monday, our nation observed Presidents’ Day. This holiday gives us an opportunity to honor the role and office of President in our country. It also serves as an opportunity to reflect how we as Christians can pray for those who represent us as citizen servants in...

read more
Anthropology and Antisemitism

Anthropology and Antisemitism

Antisemitism is back in the news. Multiple presidents of prominent universities were recently summoned to Congress to testify about a rise in antisemitic incidents on their campuses. Their refusal to answer questions about whether antisemitism violates school policies...

read more
Dear White Woman

Dear White Woman

I don’t run at night or before the sun comes up. I wonder if you don’t either. While my husband can strap on a headlamp and reflectors and hit the neighborhood running, I have to be more cautious—even in the suburbs. Common sense tells women that running in the dark...

read more

Author

  • United? We Pray

    United? We Pray is a ministry to help Christians pray and think about racial strife. We want to encourage Christians amid the strife to rely upon God in prayer. So our prayers can be informed, we strive to learn and write about race, racism and its effects, and theology. We aim to be biblical, beneficial, and clear in all our efforts. While we’re burdened for all racial strife, we focus on racial strife between Christians because of the unique privilege and stewardship God has given his people: to bear witness to Him and to love all people, especially one another (Gal. 6:10).

All Podcast Episodes

Stay Connected