I'm Better Than You

It’s a heart issue and a sin issue when our hearts are filled with bigotry, hatred, or the elitism mentality, which thinks, “I’m better than you” because of the color of my skin or where I live.

I’m better than you.

Those words jumped off the page at me when I read Scott Williams‘ new book Church Diversity: Sunday The Most Segregated Day of the Week.  Of course we don’t say those words out loud, but how often do we say them with our actions or by our passivity or inactivity?

As church leaders, we have a responsibility to address the issues of segregation that plague our churches.  Do we care?  Are we even aware?  Do we turn a blind eye?  Do we dismiss it as irrelevant?

The word “leadership,” if taken seriously, comes with a great deal of responsibility. If you place the word “Christian” in front of the word leadership, you take leadership to a whole “nutha” level. When it comes to the subject of church diversity, most Christian leaders are absent. The term “absent” isn’t used to be critical; it’s just a reality that many Christian leaders will play it safe when it comes to this issue. Leaders are stuck in the chasm known as “comfortable familiarity” and therefore, make the issue of church diversity one of those “someone else’s” backyard issues. The truth is it’s not someone else’s backyard, it’s my backyard, your back- yard, and the backyard of anyone who calls himself or herself a follower of Christ.

Are you stuck in “comfortable familiarity”?

What are you going to do about it?


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  • Sara Schaffer May 2, 2011  

    To get out of my “comfortable familiarity” I sleep less and read more. I start conversations with strangers. I talk less and listen more. And I’m determined to grow up with God’s help! (Heb 6:1&3) Yes, let’s forget about trying to be better than one another and lead this broken world to true life in Jesus Christ.

  • Jan Owen May 2, 2011  

    Jenni, I’d say that while this was not my intention, working in churches around the globe has certainly gotten me out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned FOR SURE something I only had a glimpse of before – that we need different perspectives – from both genders for example, from different races and cultures, from different places in our own country and from different ages and even experiences. The moment leadership teams all look alike (I could make an ugly comment here but won’t) or come from one place in life is the moment you have a leadership problem. So for me, working in other cultures has made me very appreciative of all God is doing in so many places through so many people – all of whom are very very different than me!

  • Lindsey May 3, 2011  

    I think one of the beautiful things that the Lord has blessed me with is being an African American female because as a result I have often found myself in environments where I am an “other” or the one and only. As a result I am pretty much comfortable in every environment because I really only had the option to adapt.

    Being from New England, church segregation was not as big an issue necessarily because there were so few churches that people did not have the option of being only with people who made them comfortable. That being said, when my family started attending the church that we have been a part of for 27 years, we were the only family of color. Somebody has to be the first. Somebody has to step up and earn authority so that diversity becomes an issue because in my experience single race churches really are not always even aware that there really is an issue. Churches have to make an effort to have diverse staffs and people in leadership because churches will reflect the leadership often. However, me as a person of color, has to push past any discomfort I may feel and serve and be visible where I am at because if I don’t, then others may never feel comfortable coming to my church.

    The reality is this: Heaven will be multiracial and multiethnic. If I have to be a bit uncomfortable on earth in the process of helping to establish diversity in the here and now, then that is okay.