Navigating White Evangelical Spaces

Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Jason Cook to share some of the unique relational dynamics of navigating white evangelical spaces as a black pastor. Between super-awkward questions, cringeworthy moments, and just downright painful interactions, Jason offers a glimpse into his own experience and encourages believers to grow in hospitality toward those outside their own cultures. The group discusses:

  • An introduction to Jason Cook (1:17)
  • Growing up in traditional black churches in the South (2:18)
  • Pivotal moments coming to faith (4:30)
  • Leading multi-ethnic churches in segregated cities (7:12)
  • Awkward moments as a black Christian in majority-white evangelicalism (13:07)
  • Navigating racial caricatures (17:08)
  • Painful experiences as a black Christian in majority-white evangelicalism (24:19)
  • The long suffering of black people in the American South (31:10)
  • Accepted as a black athlete; rejected as a black man (35:01)
  • Unearthing cultural prejudices (44:43)
  • Interracial marriage and biracial children (46:24)
  • Leading in a church when other leaders have completely different worldviews (54:07)
  • Civil rights, Right to Life, and communism (59:57)
  • Being yourself as a black man in largely white evangelicalism (1:08:02) 

Explore more from TGC on the topic of race.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How is it different for minorities to navigate predominantly white spaces verses how whites navigate these same spaces? What does this look like in the church?
  2. How can the church give space to other cultures to pursue the vision of a multi-ethnic church? What might keep a church from doing this?
  3. What are typical struggles churches face when moving toward multi-ethnic leadership? What gives rise to these struggles? How do churches support and submit to voices and cultures different to theirs?

Navigating White Evangelical Spaces

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