“The church is not just what we do on Wednesday and Sunday, but how do we really live our faith and become the change agents in the world?”, shares LaKesha Womack, church growth consultant and founder of the Rethinking Church Project. Today, LaKesha ...
“The church is not just what we do on Wednesday and Sunday, but how do we really live our faith and become the change agents in the world?”, shares LaKesha Womack, church growth consultant and founder of the Rethinking Church Project. Today, LaKesha joins host D-Rich to talk about the future of the Black church in the Black community. Later, they are joined by several ministers and pastors who contribute their own observations from their communities.
The Black church was an extraordinarily important fixture in the Black community during the Civil Rights Era. Recently Gallup released poll results that revealed that church membership in the US has fallen below 50% for the first time. While 66% of American adults born before 1946 belong to a church, only 36% of millennials do as well. It is often said that Sunday at 11AM is the most segregated hour in America. The Black church was initially started because of slavery and the widely held belief that going to church created better slaves. For a long time, Black people were not able to hold any leadership positions within the church and had to be overseen by white ministers. Church is still largely segregated due to the way Black people were treated historically.
It's important to recognize that no church is perfect. Unfortunately, some churches create toxic environments that are not about connecting with God, but instead focus on prosperity preaching and pastoral salvation. This can be especially problematic for Black churches, given their history and the potential for discomfort within a polarized society.
When Black churches fail to consider this history and its implications, it can lead to people feeling disconnected and ultimately stopping attendance altogether. This trend is particularly evident among Millennials and Gen Z, who display declines in religiosity.
To encourage young Black people to attend church, it's critical to be intentional about the environment you're creating. This means creating a space where they can actually have a spiritual encounter, rather than feeling like they're just being sold a message of prosperity or salvation. By being mindful of these issues, Black churches can help to build a stronger connection with their community and create a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all.
• “The church is not just what we do on Wednesday and Sunday, but how we really live our faith? And live it in a way that does not make you feel like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to forsake the world,’ but how do we impact the world and how do we become the change agents in the world?” (7:13-7:29 | LaKesha)
• “The reality is a lot of people are still going to church. They're just not going to your church.” (10:48-10:53 | LaKesha)
• “A lot of people really need to take some time to examine the history and not just assume that we don't worship together because of color, but it was actually because of culture and the way that we were treated.” (17:10-17:21 | LaKesha)
• “Black women are the backbone of the Black church, even though most churches are led by Black men.” (20:28-20:36 | LaKesha)
Connect with LaKesha Womack:
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