SERIES: Chad Brennan
In this series of seven articles (~30 pages total) Chad Brennan, the Director of ReNew Partnerships, presents foundational principles for Christians who want to handle ethnic relations in a biblical and effective way.
In this talk ReNew Partnerships staff Chad Brennan and Richard Johnson share six common mindsets that can keep Christian college campuses from shining in the area of ethnic relations.
“Sadly, there was a time in our not-so-distant past when many Christian churches and organizations were clearly not open to ethnic diversity. So, having doors that are open to all is a step in the right direction–but, it is only the beginning of the journey. If we are really serious about building and sustaining multi-ethnic Christian churches and organizations we must be committed (with the Lord’s help and direction) to making the multitude of changes that are necessary to see that happen.”
“Through our own experiences (and mistakes) and work with Christians around the country, we have found that there are several common pitfalls that often trip people up with their efforts to build healthy multi-ethnic churches, campuses, and organizations. The pitfalls we will address: 1. Ethnic unity is a distraction from evangelism and discipleship. 2. Our goal is to be welcoming and allow unity to happen naturally. 3. Ethnic unity isn’t an issue in our post-racial society. 4. Everyone should be treated equally. We examine these pitfalls and discuss alternative, biblical approaches that lead to unity rather than division and frustration.”
“This is a chapel talk presented by Chad Brennan, the founding director of ReNew Partnerships, at George Fox University. In the talk he addresses the questions:
Why is it so important to pursue ethnic unity?
Should we just let ethnic unity happen naturally?
Is focusing on our ethnic differences counter productive?
In this 40 min sermon, Chad Brennan and Michaela Gregory talk about the dynamic power of biblical Christian community and the important principles we can learn from the Greek terms of agape, adelphos, basileia, and ethnos. Michaela shares a powerful story of how God taught her about agape and adelphos through an unexpected friendship with a white woman named Carrie.
“As America continues to become more ethnically-diverse, it is very likely that people of other ethnicities will move into your community. How should you try to connect with these new neighbors? Should you try to treat them just like you do people of your own ethnic group? Try to blend in with their cultural group? Try to be “color blind” to their cultural differences? This session explores these types of questions and helps trainees to understand the pros and cons of eight typical, cross-cultural mindsets. It emphasizes Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman in John 4 as a model of how we should interact with people of other ethnicities.”
This one page resource gives a brief summary of eight “megathemes” in the Bible based on the biblical Greek and Hebrew terms agape, adelphos, basileia, koinonia, mishpat, shalom, and tsedeq.
“ReNew’s online reporting system allows us to quickly and easily examine the data and disaggregate it by various groups on our campus. This has been invaluable for our leadership as we seek to grow in this area. I highly recommend this tool.”
The 20 questions in this quiz can help you get a quick, general sense of how much you know about God’s plan for the ethnos and His heart for ethnos relations.
Did you know that the Bible is filled with events that can help us learn about God’s plan for the “ethnos” (the biblical Greek word for nations or ethnic groups) and his heart for ethnic relations? The Ethnos Relations Timeline lists some of these events and the principles they can teach us.
“Why is it so difficult for people of different ethnicities to share in Christian community (churches, universities, small groups, youth groups, etc.) together? One of the primary reasons is our different cultural preferences. Dr. Emerson explains that each person has a deeply seated habitus or “all-encompassing set of preferred tastes, smells, feelings, emotions, and ways of doing things”. Habitus differences often cause a great deal of tension in multi-ethnic congregations as members struggle with how to answer questions like: How should we worship?, Train our children?, Conduct our church life?, Minister in the community? Each person’s habitus leads them to a different conclusion. This session provides a biblical and practical framework for understanding and working through habitus differences. Special emphasis is placed on Acts 15–a good example of how the early church leadership prayerfully worked through their habitus differences with the leading of the Holy Spirit.”
ReNew staff members Michaela Gregory and Chad Brennan interview Dr. Soong-Chan Rah regarding his book The Next Evangelicalism which was released in April 2009.
This e-learning session provides Christian college faculty members with a wealth of resources to address these key questions: 1. Why should we promote ethnic diversity on campus? 2. How can I help students of color to thrive in my classes? 3. How can I help faculty of color to thrive on our campus?
Chad shares about his background in “the mostly-white suburbs”, the Middle East, and Queens. He presents five types of obstacles that keep Christians divided by ethnicity: cultural differences, sociological, historical, political, and theological. He explains how the early church demonstrates that it is possible to overcome all of these obstacles through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.
This session helps Christian college students to gain a biblical and effective approach to ethnic relations for their time on campus and future life and ministry. It lays a foundation for viewing ethnic diversity through the lens of Scripture and for dealing with ethnicity-related challenges in a way that is Christ-honoring and which builds unity rather than division.
As Christians we are never called to sit on our hands and wait until everything “gets worked out” at Christ’s second coming. We are called to pray with Christ, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) and then roll up our sleeves and get to work helping to see it accomplished.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent [...]
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard [...]
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the [...]
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as [...]
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus Christ 1 Our trademark I am writing this article at the end of the 2008 Summer Olympics. [...]
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day [...]
“This session helps trainees see how the insider/outsider dynamic effects a variety of situations in a local congregation. It presents a framework for practicing “the Art of Inclusion” with the ethnic minorities and other groups in an organization that may be easily overlooked. It helps Christians understand how they can apply the biblical principles of showing favor to outsiders (1 Corinthians 12) and avoiding giving favoritism to insiders (James 2) in a way that promotes a healthy, unified community.”