Our nation and commonwealth are in a great state of unrest. Given the recent injustices demonstrated toward George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery there has been a national outcry of public grief and protest.
What should followers of Christ and church leaders do in times like these?
Here are four Scripture-driven directives that will be helpful and not harmful:
- Call out to God: Jeremiah 33:3 tells us, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” As a leader, I am not only concerned with doing the right thing but also doing the right thing at the right time and in the right way. Christian leaders desire to be helpful and not hurtful. God has told us to look to Him and He will show us what we must do. Leaders will always find that when we call out to God, with all our heart, that He generously gives wisdom for each situation, grace for our mistakes and missteps, and favor with those we are called to serve.
- Call out to the Church Family: 1 Timothy 2:1-2 gives guidance to leaders that is relevant to this moment in history. Paul urges, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” I was with one of our great rural Kentucky Baptist churches this past Sunday when I heard a godly pastor in deep brokenness call on his people to pray to God. While we are grateful for the role of our elected officials, we must acknowledge that the real power comes from the throne room of heaven. We must pray and lead God’s people to pray.
- Call out to your Friends and Make New Friends: Proverbs 18:24 teaches, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” This is the time to call out to or make new friends in the African American community, knowing that a friend who shows himself friendly will always show up in difficult days. We often think our friends know we are standing with them. However, there are times when they need to hear it anew. This is that time. Call and ask your African American brothers and sisters how they are doing, how their family is doing, how you can pray for them and how you can serve them. The body of Christ can show a watching world how biblical race relations can lead the way in a morally confused society.
- Call out to the Lost: 1 Corinthians 16:9 serves as a timely reminder for today. Paul wrote, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” Especially when our nation is in chaos, we must remember that we are a good news people with a good news message. The lady who prepares the donuts in your convenience store needs to hear it. Your friends on social media need to hear to it. Those with whom you are in conversation today need to hear it. Christ came to save sinners and whoever will repent and believe will be saved. We must help a lost world by modeling love for one another and by proclaiming the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as the answer to fallen humanities deepest need.
Pray for me today as I seek to lead well during this time. I will pray for you.
TODD GRAY is executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.