Rooted: Five White Youth Leaders Talk Race Relations and Ministry with Teens

From our Editor-in-Chief, Charlotte Getz:

This was a really hard conversation. All five of us are white. We struggled to know what to say, to see our role as a part of the problem and a part of the solution when it comes to race relations. Who are we to talk with any real wisdom or experience about reconciliation with our black brothers and sisters? I, along with Dave Wright, Sarah Seibels, Andy Cornett, and Liz Edrington, recorded this episode on July 12th – the week following the shooting deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and five Dallas Police Officers. As a group, we were devastated, appalled, and feeling pretty helpless about each of these tragedies. We almost canceled the recording. But we realized several mutual concerns as leaders of youth: how do we bring students into the conversation about the immense racial tension going on in our country? How do we, leaders of predominantly white and affluent churches, teach our kids to become a force of reconciliation, rather than keep a safe distance (physically and emotionally) from the conflict? Most importantly, what does Jesus say about all of these things? We thought these questions and concerns were so critical that we decided as a group to humbly stumble through some potential ways forward. We hope this episode spurns some thoughts, ideas, and hope for you in your own ministries.