Scroll down for note from PT
Please make sure you watch the video above before reading this note. A video for your whole group to watch is linked to at the bottom of this message.
After debriefing with some leaders, we realized that we threw a huge curve ball at you without warning. We are so sorry about this. Leading these types of conversations well takes a lot of experience and training. You, as facilitators, are not expected to teach or defend this week's sermon. Even though this note comes after some of you have already met, we wanted to send a conversation guide for you to use. If you feel like you'd like to re-address this with your group using this guide, please go ahead.
This topic may be simply too difficult for some people to discuss in a life group setting. You may feel that it may be the wisest choice for your group to table this conversation. If this is the case, that is totally ok! Feel free to let your group know and to expect an upcoming opportunity to engage in a more well suited environment.
Before you begin your conversation, watch the second video that you will see linked to BELOW this message. You can either share your screen and watch it together, or send it to your group via text or email.
Here is our conversation guide:
1. First, if you have not personally connected with the people of color in your group to see how they are doing, make sure you do so. When you speak to them make sure you communicate that there is NO expectation for them to teach the group or speak on the topic unless they feel comfortable doing so. If the group is largely white, acknowledge it, and that this may put them in an awkward position.
2. When your group begins, lay the following ground work (We suggest simply reading the points below)
- Life Groups have always been a safe place for us to learn together as we unpack what we are being taught at The Journey. It is not a class or a topical debate group. So for that reason we will be sticking to self-reflective statements around the 6 Action Points Pastor Tom presented in his sermon. It may be tempting to bring up topics that you've been reading about on the news, but let's stay focused on what this Life Group is about: unpacking the sermon and talking about what God is teaching us.
- In small groups, it's common and easy to begin statements with "When people...", "Sometimes, when you...". There isn't anything necessarily wrong with this, but it does distance yourself from the topic at hand. It's more of an observer stance. So around the topic of racial injustice, please think and use personal "I" and "Myself" language when speaking. Such as: "I used to think and am now learning...", "I'm being challenged to...". You can only speak for yourself. What you have to share about how God is teaching you is valuable no mater what!
- If you are having a particularly hard time with what is happening in our country, or would like to begin or continue learning about racial injustice, there will be an opportunity to do this in the near future at The Journey. So stay tuned.
3. Copy and paste Pastor Tom's 7 points in the "Group Chat" of your zoom call.
WHAT WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW
Adopt a posture of humility, teachability and compassion.
Educate Yourself – You don’t know what you don’t know.
Reach out, listen to and show compassion to your friends of color.
Teach your white friends about what you are learning.
Teach our children to break the cycle of racism.
Get involved in movements that promote equity and justness.
4. Talk through each one. Some prompting questions could be:
- "Before we take a look at each of these one at a time, was there one that stuck out to you, and why?"
- For each question, simply read it out loud, and ask questions such as:
"How have you been learning more about this?"
"How could not doing this well dishonor God?"
"How could doing this well show the Gospel?"
We are beyond grateful for the leadership and love you pour out to your Life Group. Please reach out to Maureen and let her know how your group discussion went this week. We are committed to continuing to equip you and we're so sorry if this week was a cause for any anxiety.
Pastor Tom and The Journey Staff