'Black' Church & 'White' Church

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“White Water Fountains” & “Black Water Fountains” would be considered offensive terms in our society, however ‘White Church’ & ‘Black Church’  is a cultural norm. As a black evangelist for over 10 years that preaches 90% of the time in what most would call ‘white churches’ I have been asked by pastors on many occasions of how to bridge this seemingly great divide between the black and white community. Though prejudices exist with all people groups, there seems to be a strikingly obvious divide between blacks and whites. In recent years, I have been bold in asking ministry leaders and others what we could do about this especially within our churches. 

“True racial reconciliation happens through the Gospel. When we as a people are reconciled to God through the power of the cross then we will then in turn be reconciled one to another.”

The article below references the reconciling one to another. I believe there are ways that those who attend predominately ‘white churches’ can equip themselves with an understanding that will help them as they reach the black population of their community. 

I have considered writing many articles upon this subject however Pastor Isaac of Capitol Hill Baptist does such an amazing job on the topic that I did not feel it necessary to re-invent the wheel on this specific issue. Though I do not know much concerning his ministry, I would say most of his points on how many black people feel within white churches are SPOT ON! 


I realize some may view my thoughts as negativity, but if we say we are constantly growing in our walk with the Lord then maybe we should take note that this is an area God might choose to grow us in! My overall goal for voicing these matters is not just to see everyone’s church be more diverse for ‘diversity sake’ but to make sure that our churches are as Christ like as possible therefore if they are diverse than…well, they are diverse. We all have more we can learn upon this very important topic, and in the coming days I would like to use my voice to help bridge some understanding upon these matters. 

👇🏾 PLEASE SEE ARTICLE BELOW 👇🏾

Pastor Isaac Adams, “WHY WHITE CHURCHES ARE HARD FOR BLACK PEOPLE” https://www.9marks.org/article/why-white-churches-are-hard-for-black-people/?fbclid=IwAR37LmZAXw--I-P5zV0iQhADLQPpd8zsgMRoVudTvpKyrBQJmNq5Ry_k69w


Why I am an Evangelist?

WHY I AM AN EVANGELIST

It is not my desire to answer for every evangelist in the world, but I want to be clear to any reader as to why I personally believe God has called me to the ministry of The Evangelist.

I have very good friends and mentors (surprisingly enough) who disagree with my premise here, and we are still ministry partners with great fellowship. This is not a litmus test for fellowship, however I do believe both sides of the argument can be more gracious to the other.

I BELIEVE WE ALL CAN AGREE HERE…

Evangelist by definition is a “proclaimer of the Gospel.”

Evangelist is a legitimate gift to the local church in Eph. 4.

The Gospel is the Death, Burial, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 15:3,4)

The Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation. (Rom. 1:16)

The Gospel must be stood upon strongly. ( I Cor. 15:1)

We must be reminded often of the Gospel. (I Cor. 15:2)

GENERALIZED LABELS

Evangelist = Traveling Preacher

Pastor = Stationary Preacher

Missionary= Supported Preacher

RESULT OF LABELS

In our Westernized mindset we like labels and we like things to fit into nice boxes with titles. Questions to consider…What do we call a Pastor Emeritus who travels and preaches a marriage conference? What do we call that pastor who preaches a friend’s Teen Camp? What do we call the Field Rep of a mission board who preaches a revival? Generally ‘the title’ given depends on their mode of transportation and what they are preaching on. We have to acknowledge that this is a pretty shallow standard. Semantics is not the point of this argument. I’m just asking why, if a person is obviously being used of God to help the body of Christ…must we become overwhelmingly defensive if we do not fully grasp which “box” he fits into?

WHY THE EVANGELIST TITLE IS AVOIDED BY MANY

The reality is that many evangelist have “burned’ pastors and churches. Instead of helping the church of God, they have actually hurt the mission of the pastor. This truly breaks my heart. In all fairness though, there have been unfortunate examples of pastors who have hurt the church and not helped the cause of Christ because of foolish decisions as well. My only counsel is please don’t disparage any office because of the MAN or a MAN.

Evangelist do dumb things…Pastors do dumb things…the Apostles did dumb things…however the office was never in jeopardy, only the character of the individual. Many churches have been hurt by the office of the evangelist, therefore, it causes me to sometimes think of other angles of how to present myself, but I will no longer flee from an office that I believe is Biblical and helpful to the body of Christ. Although on behalf of evangelists, I do sincerely apologize to those churches that have been hurt by the ignorance of one claiming to be an evangelist in the past.

THE STEREOTYPES OF EVANGELIST

Hell-fire Brimstone…Blow in, Blow up, Blow out,…Rip your face off preaching…all of these titles have become synonymous with the evangelist. Personally I do not like to be described in this way. Although I do not apologize for strong preaching, because part of proclaiming the Gospel is the condemning and showing the ugliness of sin and what it causes, and I will cry out against it. HOWEVER, that is only one part of the Good News. There is still the Resurrection, a person does not have to stay in that condemned state…victory has been provided through Jesus Christ. The common stereotype can be debunked if the evangelist’s message coincides with a life given to the complete Gospel.

THE MESSAGE OF THE EVANGELIST?

I believe my primary focus centers around the preaching of the Gospel, BUT please do not limit the Gospel’s Applications. The arguments are often made that Evangelist (especially itinerant evangelist) just parade around the country preaching and that has nothing to do with the primary call. I can disagree and agree with that statement depending on context.

There are some ‘evangelist’ who view this ministry as a popularity contest or a means to continue a livelihood that they feel compelled to follow because of a previous model thereby resulting in arrogance behind the pulpit, badgering pastors and ministry leaders to maintain a livelihood. Some have simply become demanding human beings under the guise of being in Ephesians 4 BEFORE the pastor. I would like to publicly say, that this behavior is wrong, and it grieves me at my core. However, there are many who still do travel across the country with a spirit of humility with a Gospel Centered Message which is defined below.

I am asked “Adrian, why preach revivals, teen camps, VBS, missions conferences, instead of ONLY evangelistic events ONLY Friend Days, Love Your Neighbor Days etc..?” First I would say, I truly would love to schedule more solely evangelistic events however I do not feel I am short changing the Gospel by not preaching every message SOLELY upon the topic of Salvation by grace.

Let us not limit the power of the Gospel by viewing it only unilaterally.

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IS THIS SIMPLY SEMANTICS?

You may say, “Adrian, this is simply a semantical word game!” I would emphatically say this is a MINDSET. This is why by nature I “avoid” certain topics. I beg God to make sure I am more “Gospel-y” then “Issue-y.” Do I preach upon issues? Yes, those that surround the Gospel.

For clarified understanding, I must give an example, therefore I will reiterate that this is MY conscious and MY reasoning of what I determine to preach on. I do not go to a church and preach on music philosophy, the intricacies of divorce and remarriage, or other matters that should be handled by the pastor. I have opinions on all, but that is NOT my message or job. The Pastor is the overseer of that flock and my job is already defined. Though it may be viewed on my part as cowardice, I find absolute liberty and security in faithfully executing what God has prescribed for me to do.