In the wake of events this weekend in Charlottesville, we at YouthWorks are grieved by the hatred and violence fueled by white supremacy. We stand against racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms, especially as it impacts teenagers. In all of this, we must remember that love overcomes hate. We are called into conversation and dialogue with others—even about beliefs and behaviors we find morally and ethically abhorrent, and with those with whom we may not agree.
We actively pray to our all-loving God to give us eyes to see, ears to hear and courage to respond to those in our communities.
#Charlottesville, the Christian Response and Your Church’s Call
In this Christianity Today article, Ed Stetzer gave the following three response steps to those preaching from the pulpit, but they apply to us all. You can read the full article online.
Seek the face of God individually, and collectively.
When what we see grieves us, our first course of action should always be prayer. No amount of activism and tweeting can replace going before the One who can heal all the brokenness in this world. As church leaders, we pray alone, we pray in groups and equally importantly, we lead our congregations in prayer, encouraging each person to plead for those who are being hurt.
Condemn bigotry, hate and discrimination from the pulpit and through each ministry in the Church.
Because as we pray, we speak up. Our voice is necessary to remind those under our care and those listening from outside that when there is wrong in the world, we fight for what is right. Call this what it is and then call it wrong.
Reach out to those who are experiencing anxiety or fear as a result of the rhetoric of those who seek to instigate hate.
Our arms of love and solidarity are a powerful example of the One who stretched His arms wide for all of us. We preach the gospel, reminding those who are on the receiving end of hate that above all there is a God who loves them deeply, dearly and always.
Student Pastor, Stand Against Evil
Chase Snyder, a Youth Specialties blog author and pastor in Knoxville, Tenn., contributed this post after getting insight from peers into how to address this event on Sunday morning.
YouthWorks prays for and sends our support to those in Charlottesville, and in other areas of our country and world, experiencing the effects of hatred and fear. We hurt for you. We stand with you. We pray for you.