I thought it was great that though we were doing a series at my church called “Just Walk Across the Room” based on a same-titled book by Bill Hybels (senior pastor of Willowcreek Church in the Chicago area), my lead-pastor found time to include race in the talk which is rarely mentioned in my church. “Just Walk Across the Room” is about personal evangelism without “Bible-bashing” and how most Christians personal stories are too long, involve too much Christian-ese, too vague and fuzzy, or too boring.
With all the racial issues in the country, it is nice to recognize that such issues also exist inside the church; it’s not perfect. And walking across the room might just be what is needed for some blacks and whites to get to know each other and befriend each other and break down some walls. So he talked about white people needing to get out of their comfortable white circles. All the blacks (in their minds) were excited by this and thinking “Ja, ja!!” (like “yes” or “yeah”). I believe this was happening because when he was done telling the white people what should be happening outside the church (though he should have said in the church, too, but the context was befriending non-Christians) he said, “And for all the black people who are thinking “Ja! You tell him, pastor!! They need to hear that!” I have a message for you, too. This resulted in uproarious laughter. It’s the kind of laughter that says “how did you know?” or “you got me!” So he also put a challenge to the black people saying there are many white people who want to have black friends but don’t know how to initiate. Maybe you should think about initiating friendships with some of these people. And he began to describe some of the student stereotypes of whites who would like to befriend black people and everyone started laughing.
It wasn’t the focus of the sermon but it was nice.