As I longed to be at this conference last week, it occurred to me that this wasn’t a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) It was more about FOLIT (Fear of Leaving It There.)
I can only try to imagine the depth of emotion in having a Come to Jesus event about race and white supremacy/fear in the church context. I’ve been a part of such conversations before. But this sounded different. You would almost feel it in the comments of participants and in the quotes from keynoters:
“Don’t ignore the body in the room.” Soong-Chan Rah on the need to lament in church
“We cultivate comfort in the church. We need to cultivate discomfort and grow courage. We conflate comfort and gospel.”
“We are not seeing the de-Christianization of America. We are seeing the de-Europanization of Christianity in America.”
“The most significant evangelical/spiritual movement in U.S. history was when First Generation African-Americans moved north after the Civil War and started churches.”
[Note: I’m sure these are not exact quotations. But you get the gist.]
One of my personal pet peeves is when we church people go to classes, training sessions, conferences, and retreats and learn amazing things, but then we go home smarter but without any lasting impact. The impact of this conference is yet to be seen, but my hope – as one who was not there – is that we will:
- Lament for the Sake of the Gospel.
- Repent for the Sake of the Gospel.
- Notice for the Sake of the Gospel.
- Speak Up in Love for the Sake of the Gospel.
- Be Willing to Set Aside Our Own Privilege for the Sake of the Gospel.
Healing prayers to all who attended disGrace and are now pondering its impact.
Photo by Irene Pak Lee from the disGrace Conference at Montreat Conference Center last week.