The Thing We Need Most in This Moment | Spark Talks Week 3

While we’re all trying to make sense of a world screaming at us through ads and news feeds, it’s easy to miss that there are human beings on the other end of all those messages—each with their own worries, doubts, fears, and hopes. If we want to make a change in this moment, it starts with finding ways to connect with real people.

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    We've all been forced to pause, reset
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    and reclaim our futures in light of the chaos of 2020.
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    There's always darkness and adventure
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    when you're not sure where you're going.
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    Join us for Crossroads Weekend Spark Talks
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    and hear from people who will challenge you
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    with new ideas to ignite your life.
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    - Bible fact for you.: The Bible wasn't written by one person,.
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    It turns out to be a collection
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    of hundreds of people's stories
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    and interactions with God told over thousands of years.
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    Why is that?
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    Well, it's because of this:
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    If you want to understand who God is,
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    you have to get outside your own bubble
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    and beyond your own perspective.
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    That's the heart behind the series that we're in right now,
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    one of the most popular of the year every year.
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    It's called Spark Talks.
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    Hey, my name is Kyle, one of the teaching pastors at Crossroads
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    and I'm so excited for you to get to experience today.
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    In our country we have a race problem.
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    The problem being that I see the world
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    from my point of view and you see it from yours,
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    and this creates a distance between us.
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    Today we're going to try to bridge some of that gap.
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    We're going to hear from different people
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    on their experience of race,
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    starting with our senior pastor, Brian Tome.
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    - Race.
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    It's something we're sensitive about,
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    it's something we're passionate about,
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    it's something that many of us are tired talking about,
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    maybe especially many white males are.
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    But we're going to talk about it again today.
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    Why are we going to talk about it again today?
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    Because we're trying to spark your life.
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    We're trying to get something going the other direction.
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    We're trying to help us with the real things
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    that are happening in our world.
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    And whether we like it or not,
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    the race discussion is continuing, it's ongoing.
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    And whether you realize it or not, the race discussion
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    is actually woven throughout the entire Bible.
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    And so the more you understand the Bible,
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    the more you understand how your life operates
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    and the more you understand that God has
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    a lot to say about race, no matter what our background is.
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    For much of my life, I've stuck my head in the sand
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    around race because everybody in my culture
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    was like me, a monoculture.
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    I grew up in an upper middle class white neighborhood.
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    I went to an upper middle class white high school.
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    I went to college
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    and lived in a house with a bunch of white people.
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    I went and started a church with a bunch of white people,
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    one Asian, that was about it.
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    And then over the years from 1996 on
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    to where we are right now in 2020,
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    Crossroads is grown in diversity,
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    grown in different skin tones,
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    grown with a myriad of different people who are coming.
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    And it is amazing and it's beautiful
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    and it's frustrating and it's difficult
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    and it's important because it's in the Bible.
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    What do you mean it's in the Bible?
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    Well, let's give us some examples here.
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    The first mention of race, I believe,
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    that we see in the Bible, or the most significant
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    is when Moses is leading the nation of Israel
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    out of bondage to Egypt.
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    It says the Book of Exodus that he brought a mixed multitude.
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    It's a mixed multitude, different people,
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    which would have likely meant and included
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    different skin tones.
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    Moses marries a Cushite, Zipporah the Cushite,
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    The land of Cush is in Africa.
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    It is universally understood
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    that Moses marries a black woman.
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    And I don't hear any scholars saying that Moses was black.
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    Here we have it.
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    And it's also, by the way, it's apparently not a big deal
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    because for most of you, I just told you that
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    and you never heard of that before.
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    We also see as we come into the New Testament
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    Philip goes and he runs to the Ethiopian eunuch
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    and they have an interaction in the Book of Acts.
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    People from different races who were talking
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    and it's going okay and it's fine.
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    In the Book of Revelation it says that
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    at the final judgment we will all come before God,
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    every tongue, every tribe, every nation.
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    This means all different kind of skin tones,
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    all different nationalities,
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    all different sorts of dialects.
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    In fact, in the Book of Acts, the first miracle
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    that happens when the Holy Spirit comes upon people,
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    when Jesus leaves the earth, the Holy Spirit
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    comes upon people and the first crazy thing that happens
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    is people start speaking tongues,
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    a language they've never learned.
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    That is so they can talk about who Jesus is
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    to people who don't look like them
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    and have a different nationality and have a different tongue.
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    God gives the supernatural ability for languages
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    so that we can communicate to different people.
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    And this is where we are today.
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    We have different cultures and different skin tones
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    that have a hard time communicating to one another.
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    Now there are some of us who have a pale skin tone
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    and grew up in a predominantly African-American neighborhood
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    and there's no cultural disconnect at all.
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    You're white, but it's not hard speaking into that culture.
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    Others of us have a darker skin tone and we maybe grew up
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    in a stereotypical upper middle class neighborhood
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    and there's no cultural disconnect.
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    There's maybe a face or skin color that looks different,
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    but there's no cultural disconnect here.
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    The difficulty is whenever we talk race,
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    talking it with people who have a different cultural context
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    and us always judging one another
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    or reading into what someone is really thinking
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    when they say what they're saying
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    or what someone's really thinking when they tell us.
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    And this is our problem,
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    we all think that we're experts on race,
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    we all think that our views are informed, and we all think
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    that we have the ability to judge somebody else.
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    And we know their intent and we know --
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    "I heard you say that, but really what you meant was --"
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    "No one who would say that
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    could ever possibly understand the issues."
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    "Nobody who has your background could ever --"
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    And we're like this.
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    We all had this defensiveness.
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    We all have this insecurity.
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    We all have a sense of judgmentalism to one degree or another.
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    And all I want to say today is could we just open our minds?
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    Could we open our hearts?
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    Could we open our ears and let's hear from people
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    who have a story to tell,
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    who know the same God and follow Him with vigor.
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    And maybe we can actually create not just a better world,
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    but maybe a better life for ourselves.
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    That's what I'm excited about today.
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    God, would You please do something in these talks
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    and through all of these people's words.
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    Help us to become more one. We want to be one.
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    Help that happen today. Jesus, I pray. Amen.
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    - My name is Kyla Woods.
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    I am a journalist, broadcast host, and entrepreneur,
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    and I'm an activist.
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    And you might think, "Whoa, she's not an activist.
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    That's the lady from TV."
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    Well, I am an activist.
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    And at this time, we all need to be activists.
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    Being an activist is seeing something that's wrong
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    and wanting to make it right and so you act.
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    For me working in traditional media up until 2016,
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    that's over 10 years of a broadcast media career.
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    I knew that God was calling me to do something greater
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    and to use my voice in a different way.
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    And so fast forward to now, and God has been doing just that.
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    As we've seen protests,
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    as we've seen this movement toward racial justice,
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    God has called me to use my voice in my platform in that fight
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    and to help audiences understand that I too am Brianna Taylor,
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    that my black husband is George Floyd.
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    And that the two of us as black people
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    could have easily been Ahmad Aubrey.
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    And that is important to understand,
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    that relational understanding of seeing me on your screen,
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    smiling and happy and maybe sometimes funny,
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    but also understanding at the same time that
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    I could have easily been any of those three people:
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    Brianna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey,
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    and that on the wrong day, given the wrong circumstance,
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    at the end of the day,
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    I would have just been seen as being black.
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    In hindsight, I realize that
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    God has always been preparing me for a moment like this,
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    and He even planted the seed back in high school.
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    So I went to Speedway High School, home of the Indy 500,
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    where it was a predominantly white community,
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    and I was the only black girl in a lot of things.
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    First black cheerleading captain,
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    first black student council president.
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    And God used me in several different ways
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    to make an impact and use my voice even at a young age.
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    And so going into college,
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    I went to college at Ball State University,
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    which is north of Indianapolis,
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    chirp, chirp to the Cardinals out there.
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    And my freshman roommate, who was a white girl named Maggie,
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    we had gone to high school together,
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    but this was the first time that
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    she'd really been up close and personal
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    with a black person and with the black experience.
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    And so with that came a lot of questions
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    and a lot of opportunities for me to educate her
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    on everything that relates to being black:
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    hair, culture, food, body image.
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    There were a number of things that I was able
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    to really help her have a better understanding
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    when it came to the black community.
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    And that purpose came full circle just recently.
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    A couple of weeks ago she sent me a message
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    and she talked about those moments that we had together,
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    those conversations that we had.
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    We even called them black person fact of the day,
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    just to kind of, you know, make it a little bit lighthearted.
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    But it was important and it was integral
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    to even how she relates to this current movement
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    and moment that we're seeing in our country.
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    And also has impacted the way she educates her children
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    around racial justice and the importance
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    of them understanding black culture
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    and also the diversity of their friendships.
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    And again, that's confirmation that God has given me
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    to know that I have served a purpose
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    and that truthfully, I've been fighting this fight
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    And maybe I was an activist even back then.
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    That's why it's important for us to use our voices
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    and use our platforms.
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    With any platform comes
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    a significant amount of responsibility.
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    And that's something I've always been keenly aware of
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    and I've always been responsible for: my platform,
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    my voice, and how I use it and how I lend it
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    to causes like what we're seeing right now.
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    So it's important for all of us to lean into conversations,
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    to lean into how we can all be activists,
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    how we can all use our voice in whatever our industry is
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    and whatever our platform happens to be.
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    So it can be frustrating trying to figure out
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    what to do in this moment.
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    It seems really, really big, feels overwhelming at times.
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    Recently, I woke up in the middle of the night
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    and I heard God very, very clearly say to me,
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    "You've been working to change minds
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    when it comes to racial justice
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    and I'm preparing you to change lives
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    when it comes to racial justice."
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    And that moment for me was transcendent.
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    It was like nothing I've ever experienced before in my life.
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    And it was confirming.
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    It was once again God saying to me,
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    "I've prepared you for this.
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    I've planted seeds along the way, along your journey.
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    And those seeds need to blossom right now.
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    And they need -- you need to see a harvest
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    and you need to act.
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    And you need to to be a part of this movement
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    in a way that is unique to what I've called you to do."
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    And I think God is saying that to you as well.
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    I think God is asking you to use your platform,
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    to use your voice.
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    We've seen within this movement a lot of statements released,
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    a lot of social media posts.
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    Maybe you've posted something on social media,
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    but we have to see more action.
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    How can you use your mind and your heart
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    to do what God has called you to do and to act?
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    How can you go to your company and ask them to be more inclusive?
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    What can you say to your CEO or to your board
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    where there's not one black person
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    or one person of color involved or at the table?
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    Or maybe they have a seat at the table,
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    but they don't have a voice at the table.
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    What can you do to advocate for change there?
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    How can you advocate for change in a community cause
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    that you've been supporting,
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    maybe you've donated your money to,
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    but you want to see some change there
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    and you want to see some inclusivity there.
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    How can you bring your voice to that cause?
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    The thing is, all of us have a voice,
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    all of us have a platform, and all of us have a unique purpose. God has called us to it and He's prepared us
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    and He's given us the tools and now is the time to use them.
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    - As we're hearing, God's heart
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    is always towards reconciliation and unity.
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    A couple of weeks ago, our church took an important step
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    with 60 other churches in the Cincinnati area.
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    We got together and did a prayer walk praying
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    for unity, reconciliation, justice, and an end to racism.
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    It was amazing.
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    Now, that said that. Did it solve the problem?
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    No, of course not,, but it got us moving.
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    See, it turns out that God is more able
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    to steer a moving ship than He is one stuck at the harbor.
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    I don't know where you feel stuck in your life,
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    maybe stuck in your finances,
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    maybe stuck in your relationship,
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    maybe stuck in your physical health.
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    But get moving and watch God start to steer your life.
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    You know when it comes your money it is the same.
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    A lot of us feel stalled or stuck in our finances.
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    And I'm telling you to take a step in movement towards God,
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    God will begin to direct your life in more powerful ways
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    than you ever thought possible.
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    That's my story, my wife's story,
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    and thousands of other givers at Crossroads.
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    We'd love to invite you to take a step
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    at trusting God with your money by giving.
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    You can go to Crossroads.net/give
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    or you can text Crossroads to 313131.
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    Let's continue on with Spark Talks.
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    - Welcome to the perfect storm of 2020.
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    Between the pandemic and the racial reckoning in our country,
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    it's a challenging time.
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    And yet this time, I believe, belongs to leaders.
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    You're the kind of leader that God wants to use in this moment.
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    I'm Chuck Mingo. I'm a teaching pastor at Crossroads
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    and the founder of Undivided.
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    And I want to talk to you about what I've been learning
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    in the midst of the great reset, the perfect storm of 2020.
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    One of the things that I've been reading over and over again,
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    surprisingly, are words that were written in 1859
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    by Charles Dickens,
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    the first paragraph of his novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
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    That dichotomy between light and dark
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    and wisdom and foolishness and all that
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    feels like our world, right?
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    One day we're here, one day we're here.
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    One day things are spiking. One day they're not.
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    I mean, it's a crazy time to live in.
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    I believe there's a pandemic underneath the pandemic,
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    the erosion of trust.
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    There's been erosion of trust at every level.
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    There's certainly an erosion of institutional trust.
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    Do you believe what the government is telling you
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    or are you rebelling against
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    what the government is telling you?
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    Do you trust in the authorities that we have
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    or are you skeptical of the authorities that we have?
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    You can draw that along whatever lines you want to.
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    There's an erosion of trust at the institutional level.
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    There's also though an erosion of trust at the personal level.
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    For the last seven months,
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    we've been training each other to keep distance.
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    And I understand why, but I also know that
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    that does something to our psyche in terms of relational trust.
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    And then finally, I believe there's an erosion of trust
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    at the existential level.
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    I am asking big questions.
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    Are you asking any big questions?
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    God, what are you up to?
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    Some of you may be asking: God, are you even there?
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    Right?
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    This is a time where the erosion of trust is real.
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    And in a moment like this,
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    what people need are trustworthy leaders.
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    They need trustworthy guides.
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    I believe that you're called to be one of those for people
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    and in relationship with other people.
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    The way that you do that is through empathy and authority.
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    Every trustworthy guide has empathy and authority.
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    Empathy is when a leader can look at people,
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    specifically people who see the world
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    differently from them and say, "I understand.
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    I'm leaning in."
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    And authority, is when a leader can look at people
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    and say, "I don't have all the answers,
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    but I have a direction. Come follow me."
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    Jesus was this kind of leader.
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    He had full empathy, but He also operated in authority.
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    So we grow our empathy by being with Jesus, in fact,
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    it's important that we start there,
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    because if I'm not with Jesus,
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    then I don't have anything to offer as a leader.
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    What God wants to give you to give to other people
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    happens when you prioritize time with Him.
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    But we also grow in our empathy by being with people,
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    and specifically being with people who think differently
  • 00:17:32
    and see the world differently than you do.
  • 00:17:34
    Right now the division in our country
  • 00:17:36
    is probably as bad as it's ever been.
  • 00:17:38
    We may be, as some experts have said,
  • 00:17:40
    more divided than we were at the time of the Civil War.
  • 00:17:43
    But I believe that God is calling you and I
  • 00:17:46
    to be people who engage with empathy
  • 00:17:48
    with people who are different from us.
  • 00:17:50
    Are you allowing enough space in your life
  • 00:17:53
    to hear from people whose pain or perspective
  • 00:17:56
    leads them to a different conclusion than you
  • 00:17:59
    on the issues that are happening in our country?
  • 00:18:02
    We all have the, yeah, buts.
  • 00:18:04
    We all hear them all the time.
  • 00:18:06
    I have a lot of people who say to me,
  • 00:18:08
    "I know that it was wrong, what happened in Minneapolis.
  • 00:18:10
    Yeah, but what about black on black crime?"
  • 00:18:13
    "I know that what we're facing
  • 00:18:15
    in our country right now is difficult,
  • 00:18:17
    yeah, but what about police officers?
  • 00:18:19
    And what would what do we need to do
  • 00:18:20
    to care for police officers in this time
  • 00:18:22
    because they're under fire."
  • 00:18:23
    We all have those, and you know what I'm learning?
  • 00:18:26
    Lean in, lean in on the, yeah, buts, because
  • 00:18:30
    there's something for me to learn from people
  • 00:18:31
    who are seeing the reality different than I am right now.
  • 00:18:34
    Are you making space for that?
  • 00:18:36
    Because when we do, we grow in empathy.
  • 00:18:40
    We grow in our empathy by being with Jesus.
  • 00:18:41
    Are you giving Jesus enough time
  • 00:18:44
    to really deeply connect to your heart,
  • 00:18:47
    to be re-calibrated in your identity,
  • 00:18:49
    to be re-calibrated in your love for other people?
  • 00:18:51
    Are you giving enough time to dissenters
  • 00:18:54
    and people who see this differently than you?
  • 00:18:57
    That's how we grow an empathy
  • 00:18:59
    and people need that from leaders like you.
  • 00:19:02
    But we also grow as leaders when we are operating in our authority.
  • 00:19:07
    God wants to grow your authority.
  • 00:19:09
    Jesus was full, He had perfect character.
  • 00:19:11
    That's why He was able to operate with authority.
  • 00:19:13
    Because you know what? He had moral authority.
  • 00:19:15
    And God wants to grow your moral authority
  • 00:19:17
    by growing your character.
  • 00:19:20
    A great analogy that I heard from a teacher, Pete Scazzero.
  • 00:19:23
    He talked about the difference between
  • 00:19:25
    stone cladding and load-bearing stone.
  • 00:19:27
    I didn't know what this was.
  • 00:19:28
    But basically, if you think about it being a master Mason
  • 00:19:31
    takes a really long time.
  • 00:19:33
    People who work with stone are incredibly talented
  • 00:19:35
    and incredibly rare.
  • 00:19:37
    It takes about 10 to 12 years to become a master mason.
  • 00:19:40
    And so in the construction industry,
  • 00:19:42
    they found a way to speed up the process
  • 00:19:44
    and give people what they want.
  • 00:19:45
    We've got to give the people what they want. Right?
  • 00:19:47
    And so the way they do that is something called stone cladding.
  • 00:20:24
    Actually, you will be more empathic
  • 00:20:27
    if you have actually gone through difficulty.
  • 00:20:30
    You will be more empathic of people
  • 00:20:31
    who sit in a different place than you on an issue
  • 00:20:33
    if you've allowed God to develop your character.
  • 00:20:35
    He wants to do this for you.
  • 00:20:37
    So the question I would ask you is: talk to God and ask Him,
  • 00:20:41
    "God, what are you establishing in me in this season?
  • 00:20:45
    How are you helping me better bear the load
  • 00:20:48
    of other people by growing my character?"
  • 00:20:52
    And then finally, we grow our authority
  • 00:20:55
    by simply doing the work of leadership.
  • 00:20:58
    2 Timothy 4:5, Paul is writing to his mentee Timothy
  • 00:21:02
    and he says:
  • 00:21:12
    See, I'm excited to talk to you as an influencer
  • 00:21:14
    because if you're a person who is open to Jesus,
  • 00:21:16
    if you have said yes to Jesus, then I want you to know
  • 00:21:19
    you have a specific ministry in this moment in our country.
  • 00:21:23
    2 Corinthians 5:18 says:
  • 00:21:33
    We've been given the task of being people
  • 00:21:35
    who represent God's ability to reconcile broken man to Himself,
  • 00:21:40
    by the way that we show up and reconcile
  • 00:21:42
    broken relationships between other people,
  • 00:21:45
    between people that we may have brokenness with.
  • 00:21:47
    God has given you a ministry and the way that you do this
  • 00:21:50
    is you've just got to get involved.
  • 00:21:52
    Let me tell you something, it is impossible to get it right
  • 00:21:56
    when you're talking about race all the time.
  • 00:21:58
    I do this. This is my passion.
  • 00:22:00
    I started a movement called Undivided.
  • 00:22:01
    We got thousands of people engaged in cross racial conversations.
  • 00:22:05
    This is what I care about.
  • 00:22:06
    It's also my life: I'm married to a Latinx woman.
  • 00:22:09
    My boys and my daughter, they are biracial children.
  • 00:22:12
    I live this every day, but I don't get it right.
  • 00:22:16
    I say the wrong thing sometimes,
  • 00:22:17
    I think the wrong things sometimes,
  • 00:22:19
    I do the wrong things sometimes.
  • 00:22:21
    But here's the saving grace for all of us:
  • 00:22:24
    People don't need you to be perfect
  • 00:22:27
    in the race conversation.
  • 00:22:28
    We don't need you to be perfect right now
  • 00:22:30
    as we step into this moment.
  • 00:22:32
    But you're call to be a practitioner.
  • 00:22:34
    I'm called to engage.
  • 00:22:35
    We are Christians. This is the work we do.
  • 00:22:38
    We're in the business of hope.
  • 00:22:40
    We're in the business of running toward the things
  • 00:22:42
    that everybody else wants to run away from.
  • 00:22:44
    We've been given the Ministry of Reconciliation.
  • 00:22:48
    So I want to encourage you,
  • 00:22:50
    you don't have to be perfect, but be a practitioner.
  • 00:22:55
    So in the midst of this crazy, perfect storm,
  • 00:22:58
    where is Jesus getting your attention right now?
  • 00:23:00
    As you're hearing me talk, I wonder,
  • 00:23:02
    is He calling you to spend more time with Him?
  • 00:23:04
    Is it about being with Jesus?
  • 00:23:05
    Maybe that's where you need to focus.
  • 00:23:07
    Or is it being with people,
  • 00:23:10
    specifically people who might invite dissent,
  • 00:23:12
    people who might see this differently than you?
  • 00:23:13
    Maybe that's where God is calling you to lean in in this moment.
  • 00:23:16
    Maybe God is growing your character.
  • 00:23:18
    There are places in your life that have been stone cladding,
  • 00:23:20
    but He's turning them into load-bearing stone.
  • 00:23:22
    Or maybe you've just got to do the work
  • 00:23:25
    and recognize you're not going to be perfect,
  • 00:23:27
    but you're committed to be a practitioner in this space.
  • 00:23:30
    This moment belongs to leaders and I believe
  • 00:23:33
    you're the kind of leader that God wants to use.
  • 00:23:48
    - I'm here with Carl Kuhl,
  • 00:23:49
    Senior Pastor of Mosaic Church in Elkridge, Maryland,
  • 00:23:52
    a friend of mine.
  • 00:23:54
    Carl, I'm just glad you're with me today.
  • 00:23:55
    - I'm excited to be here, man. Thanks for having me.
  • 00:23:57
    - 2020, what a year.
  • 00:24:00
    - Give me what are the three words that come to mind
  • 00:24:02
    when you think about 2020 so far?
  • 00:24:04
    - Number one probably says more about me than 2020:
  • 00:24:07
    Anger, uncertainty.
  • 00:24:10
    And this isn't one word, but what's next?
  • 00:24:13
    - As a leader, you know, we talked about this whole idea
  • 00:24:15
    that leaders want to lead with empathy and authority.
  • 00:24:19
    How's that playing out for you?
  • 00:24:20
    Where are you growing in your empathy in the midst of this?
  • 00:24:23
    - Well, I'm growing as a leader in many different ways,
  • 00:24:26
    and I hope empathy is one of them.
  • 00:24:29
    The verse that God has really been highlighting to me
  • 00:24:32
    is when Jesus says woe to you when all men speak well of you.
  • 00:24:36
    Because really in today's culture,
  • 00:24:38
    there's two ways to do that in my experience,
  • 00:24:41
    to have everybody speak well of you.
  • 00:24:43
    One is to say absolutely nothing and go into hiding
  • 00:24:45
    and ignore everything
  • 00:24:47
    and the other is just to exist in your own echo chamber.
  • 00:24:50
    - You know, your own Facebook world
  • 00:24:52
    or your own political view or whatever it is. And it's only when we step out of that,
  • 00:24:58
    or at least I'll speak for myself.
  • 00:25:00
    It's only when I step out of that that my empathy grows.
  • 00:25:04
    - Otherwise, my empathy is decreasing,
  • 00:25:07
    but the cost of that is people will criticize.
  • 00:25:12
    - Yeah, because what you're saying is
  • 00:25:13
    one of the metrics of success is am I getting critique?
  • 00:25:17
    - Am I getting pushback, right?
  • 00:25:19
    - Yes. And just because you're getting critique
  • 00:25:21
    doesn't mean you're doing the right things.
  • 00:25:22
    - That's right.
  • 00:25:23
    - But not getting critique
  • 00:25:24
    does show you're doing the wrong thing.
  • 00:25:25
    - It's one of the reasons why I love our friendship
  • 00:25:27
    and relationship is because I feel like
  • 00:25:29
    we just get a chance to talk.
  • 00:25:30
    We get a chance to bring our perspectives,
  • 00:25:32
    our differences.
  • 00:25:33
    And I'm learning a lot from our relationship.
  • 00:25:36
    You know, we had a great conversation about Black Lives Matter.
  • 00:25:38
    - Yeah.
  • 00:25:39
    - And just, you know, how to think about that.
  • 00:25:41
    And, you know, there are things about Black Lives Matter
  • 00:25:43
    that absolutely do not line up with what I would believe
  • 00:25:45
    as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus.
  • 00:25:47
    And so, you know, we had that conversation
  • 00:25:49
    about like saying those three words versus not,
  • 00:25:53
    - How do you say that three words without endorsing
  • 00:25:55
    everything some people take those three words to mean.
  • 00:25:58
    - That's exactly right.
  • 00:25:59
    And so, again, it goes back to your thing around
  • 00:26:01
    if I'm getting critiqued then that means I'm engaged.
  • 00:26:04
    And you know, where I landed on that was I said,
  • 00:26:06
    "Hey, you know, I think that I don't want
  • 00:26:08
    to lose the lament Black Lives Matter because
  • 00:26:11
    I think it's a prophetic lament in this moment.
  • 00:26:14
    And that doesn't have to be connected to everything
  • 00:26:17
    that an organization called Black Lives Matter stands for.
  • 00:26:19
    And that's a real tension.
  • 00:26:20
    And I mean, even saying that there's going be
  • 00:26:21
    people who disagree and people who push back.
  • 00:26:23
    - Remind me what you said about the co-belligerents,
  • 00:26:26
    because that was a thing you hit on in our conversation
  • 00:26:29
    about that phrase Black Lives Matter that was helpful to me.
  • 00:26:32
    - Exactly. Yes.
  • 00:26:33
    So Francis Schaffer is a theologian.
  • 00:26:35
    He's actually from Philly.
  • 00:26:36
    I didn't know that at the time, but he's from Philly like me.
  • 00:26:39
    So he must have the right answers if he's from Philadelphia.
  • 00:26:41
    But no, so he talked about this idea of co-belligerency
  • 00:26:44
    that as people who are aligned to Jesus,
  • 00:26:47
    we may find that there are fights we get into,
  • 00:26:49
    whether you call it a racial justice fight
  • 00:26:52
    or a fight around, you know,
  • 00:26:53
    abortion would be an example of this too
  • 00:26:54
    where we might not agree with everything
  • 00:26:57
    that someone believes that's aligning on that,
  • 00:26:59
    but we can be co-belligerents for that cause.
  • 00:27:02
    And so how to think about that?
  • 00:27:03
    You know, I also think about that when I wrestle
  • 00:27:05
    with do I show up at protests or not?
  • 00:27:08
    And at leastfrom my perspective, when I'm in Cincinnati,
  • 00:27:11
    I'm saying to myself, "This is my city.
  • 00:27:13
    God has called me to be a pastor in this city.
  • 00:27:16
    I think I should be present where there's pain in my city."
  • 00:27:19
    And Jesus was never concerned about
  • 00:27:22
    people identifying Him as hanging with the wrong crowd.
  • 00:27:24
    That happened all the time. Right?
  • 00:27:26
    He was called a wine -- a drunkard and a person
  • 00:27:28
    who hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors.
  • 00:27:30
    But there was something about His presence that was important.
  • 00:27:33
    And so I have to embrace that and recognize
  • 00:27:36
    me showing up at a protest doesn't mean
  • 00:27:37
    I'm endorsing everything that said there.
  • 00:27:39
    But it does mean that as a person of Jesus,
  • 00:27:41
    I want to be present, I want to be close to where pain is
  • 00:27:44
    because I believe that's where Jesus would be.
  • 00:27:46
    So it makes me think about
  • 00:27:47
    this whole conversation of cancel culture,
  • 00:27:50
    because that's that's a big thing right now.
  • 00:27:51
    And you just actually talked about that at your church.
  • 00:27:53
    So school us. What are you thinking?
  • 00:27:55
    What are you wrestling with as it relates to cancel culture?
  • 00:27:57
    - Well, it hit home for us in Maryland because
  • 00:28:01
    in downtown Baltimore, there is a statue of Christopher Columbus.
  • 00:28:05
    And a group of people in the night showed up there.
  • 00:28:08
    I don't know how they got it down
  • 00:28:09
    because it was like multiple tons in weight.
  • 00:28:12
    So I don't even know how this happened.
  • 00:28:13
    They ripped down the statue.
  • 00:28:14
    They threw it in the harbor.
  • 00:28:16
    So we filmed in front of the base
  • 00:28:18
    that used to have a statue on it and, you know,
  • 00:28:21
    did a teaser for the sermon and said,
  • 00:28:23
    "Hey, we're going to talk about cancel culture today."
  • 00:28:26
    Here's the thing, Paul says, "I am the worst of sinners."
  • 00:28:32
    That's what the apostle Paul says in the scriptures.
  • 00:28:35
    And I used to think, OK, that makes sense
  • 00:28:37
    because his professional job was to kill Christians.
  • 00:28:40
    I can't think of something worse than that. Right?
  • 00:28:43
    - Right.
  • 00:28:44
    - But that's not what he's referring to because
  • 00:28:46
    he doesn't say I was the worst of sinners.
  • 00:28:49
    He says I am the worst of sinners right now.
  • 00:28:53
    I want to do good and I don't.
  • 00:28:57
    And I think the danger of cancel culture
  • 00:29:00
    is a danger all of us always fall into,
  • 00:29:03
    now it just has a name and it has a current application.
  • 00:29:07
    It's wanting to draw a line between me
  • 00:29:09
    and people who are worse than I am
  • 00:29:11
    and people who did something I don't like.
  • 00:29:13
    It's really drawing a line and saying,
  • 00:29:16
    "My sin is OK and that sin isn't."
  • 00:29:19
    And listen, I'm not even saying --
  • 00:29:20
    you know, I got emails on the sermon on both sides.
  • 00:29:23
    "I can't believe you endorse it."
  • 00:29:24
    "I can't believe you're against it."
  • 00:29:25
    I didn't say in the sermon one way or another
  • 00:29:27
    what we should do with the statute.
  • 00:29:28
    I think if Christians are arguing over statues,
  • 00:29:31
    that goes really bad really quick when the people of God do that.
  • 00:29:34
    - But if you're going to cancel somebody, cancel me.
  • 00:29:39
    - Yeah.
  • 00:29:40
    - Because I'm the worst of sinners.
  • 00:29:43
    Cancel me because my sin is worse.
  • 00:29:46
    Whatever you're canceling them for, I'm worse.
  • 00:29:49
    And you also have to fast forward 100 years.
  • 00:29:52
    What are people going to want to cancel us for?
  • 00:29:54
    - For driving a gas powered car, for eating meat?
  • 00:29:58
    You know, I don't know.
  • 00:29:59
    - But if you're cancel somebody, cancel me.
  • 00:30:02
    - That's such a good word.
  • 00:30:04
    - I want to live, which is why I'm part of the church,
  • 00:30:07
    in a culture of grace, in a culture of endless second chances.
  • 00:30:12
    I think the unique thing that gains
  • 00:30:14
    a Christian authority to speak into our culture,
  • 00:30:17
    whether it's about race or anything is how broken I am.
  • 00:30:21
    If I come in as the powerful voice
  • 00:30:23
    that wants to tell everybody how it is that doesn't work.
  • 00:30:27
    Responding to power with power, it's going to fall apart.
  • 00:30:30
    - We have to respond with humility and the ability to listen.
  • 00:30:34
    - Yeah.
  • 00:30:35
    Man, I don't know if you ever thought about being a pastor,
  • 00:30:39
    you might want to think about that.
  • 00:30:40
    There might be a future for you in that.
  • 00:30:42
    - What else are you learning this year?
  • 00:30:43
    - Yeah, another scripture that's really come alive for me is,
  • 00:30:46
    I think it's Paul. I should know.
  • 00:30:50
    He wrote in the Bible be quick to listen and slow to speak.
  • 00:30:55
    And I've taken some heat on --
  • 00:30:56
    - Hold on. Just you know, it's interesting.
  • 00:30:59
    There are things in the Bible that we know and we read.
  • 00:31:04
    Might that be the most profound scripture
  • 00:31:06
    that we could apply in this moment?
  • 00:31:08
    I'm just wondering, short of Christ died for your sins.
  • 00:31:12
    - Might that be, say that again. Be quick to listen.
  • 00:31:15
    - Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
  • 00:31:19
    But a lot of people push back against that
  • 00:31:21
    because the people we watch on cable news,
  • 00:31:23
    the people who follow on Twitter,
  • 00:31:24
    they are really good off the cuff.
  • 00:31:26
    - That's right.
  • 00:31:27
    - I mean, you don't finish your sentence
  • 00:31:28
    and they've got a comeback that's really articulate.
  • 00:31:31
    And that's not who I am.
  • 00:31:33
    And some people say silence is complicity.
  • 00:31:35
    And I kind of agree with that.
  • 00:31:38
    But let me get my thoughts together before you say I'm silent.
  • 00:31:40
    - That's right.
  • 00:31:41
    - Because if I, Carl, am quick to speak, I'm quick to misspeak.
  • 00:31:45
    So I've got a question. I want to be blunt with me.
  • 00:31:48
    - OK?
  • 00:31:50
    - You're a black pastor, I'm a white pastor
  • 00:31:53
    of primarily a white church, as you've seen.
  • 00:31:55
    - Yes.
  • 00:31:56
    - What would you say to me, and be blunt, as advice?
  • 00:32:00
    - What I would say is stay uncomfortable.
  • 00:32:02
    I would say stay uncomfortable.
  • 00:32:03
    I can't imagine how uncomfortable this moment must be.
  • 00:32:08
    I know, I mean, I say this to Brian, our pastor at Crossroads.
  • 00:32:11
    I say, "Brian, I know that when you talk about race
  • 00:32:14
    and when I talk about race, we hear from different people.
  • 00:32:17
    But the people you hear from write bigger checks."
  • 00:32:20
    It's just the reality of leadership.
  • 00:32:22
    And I would encourage you with the same thing.
  • 00:32:25
    Stay uncomfortable.
  • 00:32:27
    I do believe there is a reckoning happening
  • 00:32:30
    and the church has to be a part of it.
  • 00:32:31
    I believe God's calling us to repentance.
  • 00:32:33
    But, man, if we can stay
  • 00:32:34
    in that uncomfortable space long enough,
  • 00:32:37
    I believe that you being in this conversation
  • 00:32:39
    as a white leader of a predominantly white church is critical,
  • 00:32:43
    is critical for the broader church to move forward.
  • 00:32:47
    And God has put you in that position, Carl.
  • 00:32:50
    And that's why I love being your friend
  • 00:32:52
    and it's why I want to be a person who you can
  • 00:32:54
    ask the questions to and engage, because
  • 00:32:56
    I see your influence and, man,
  • 00:32:57
    I want to see your influence maximized in this moment
  • 00:33:00
    because God has put you exactly where He wants you to be
  • 00:33:03
    for such a time as this.
  • 00:33:05
    - That's a good word.
  • 00:33:06
    Here's my follow up.
  • 00:33:07
    - All right.
  • 00:33:08
    - How long is this discomfort going to last?
  • 00:33:12
    - And here's my blunt answer.
  • 00:33:13
    - It's been 400 years for my people.
  • 00:33:15
    - It's been 400 years of discomfort. Right? 1619.
  • 00:33:19
    It's been 400 years.
  • 00:33:21
    Even if it takes 40 years,
  • 00:33:24
    even if it's a multigenerational effort
  • 00:33:25
    that is really hard and really difficult,
  • 00:33:28
    it is so worth it. It is so worth it.
  • 00:33:30
    And you and I both know, we know where the story ends.
  • 00:33:34
    This is the beauty for me.
  • 00:33:35
    The story ends in Revelations
  • 00:33:37
    with every tribe, language, nation and tongue.
  • 00:33:40
    There is a distinction in heaven, right?
  • 00:33:42
    - We don't all become the same race in heaven.
  • 00:33:43
    - We don't all become the same race in heaven.
  • 00:33:45
    There is a distinction and that distinction
  • 00:33:47
    is ultimately where this is going.
  • 00:33:49
    So I don't know how long it's going to be uncomfortable,
  • 00:33:51
    but I do know one day it's going to be really sweet.
  • 00:33:54
    - And we're playing for that, we're playing for the long game.
  • 00:34:08
    - Though we live in a world that's far from perfect,
  • 00:34:11
    there is a God who wants justice and reconciliation.
  • 00:34:14
    And we sing these songs right now as an anthem
  • 00:34:17
    to a God we can trust.
  • 00:44:36
    - I hope you found those talks helpful
  • 00:44:38
    and motivating for your life.
  • 00:44:39
    At Crossroads, we want to help you more than just once a week,
  • 00:44:42
    want to help you throughout your week.
  • 00:44:44
    If you want to receive encouraging, inspiring texts
  • 00:44:47
    throughout your week, you can text Spark to 313131.
  • 00:44:50
    We also believe that your kids were designed
  • 00:44:53
    to live an adventurous life and we make videos for them
  • 00:44:56
    every week in a language that is specifically designed for them.
  • 00:45:00
    If you want to see those, we have one for older kids
  • 00:45:02
    and one for younger kids.
  • 00:45:03
    Every week you can go to Crossroads.net/KidsClub.
  • 00:45:07
    We'll see you next time for more Spark Talks.
  • 00:45:11
    - Thanks for watching.
  • 00:45:12
    My name is Lena Schuler
  • 00:45:13
    and I'm the Crossroads Anywhere Community Pastor.
  • 00:45:15
    And we're glad to have you watching today
  • 00:45:17
    from anywhere that you are.
  • 00:45:19
    If you're brand new to Crossroads,
  • 00:45:20
    we actually created a 30 day trial just for you
  • 00:45:23
    to go to the next step on your spiritual adventure.
  • 00:45:26
    You can head to Crossroads.net and sign up for that today.
  • 00:45:29
    And we'll see you back next week.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. What’s one thing unique to you that you love about yourself? Maybe it’s your sense of humor, that famous meal you love to cook, or your smile. Don’t hold back — we won’t judge. Share that thing with the group and why you picked it.

  2. God desires for us all to make an impact in the world around us. Take a minute to think of themes in your life. What passion has he given you? What platforms or opportunities to act do you have to make a difference? Share with the group what that might look like.

  3. Going through difficulty prepares us as leaders, so going through this season, could mean that we are maturing into the leaders God wants us to be. Where is God asking you to lead? And how might this season be growing you in empathy and authority to be the leader in that space?

  4. Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, it’s a long one. We live in a world of broken relationships. What’s one way that God is asking you to take a step in reconciliation?

  5. Read Colossians 4:2-6. Take this time to pray for one another, the Church, and our country and world. Ask for wisdom in this time of uncertainty.

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Aug 15, 2020

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