I’m not sure I’ve ever been as insecure addressing my church as I was after the events in Ferguson a little more than a year ago. My own emotions ran the gamut from anger to apathy, disbelief and defensiveness. I needed help—help from my black brothers and sisters in our church to better understand the racial tensions, not just in our city, but in our nation.
It’s safe to say I’m not the only one who needs help here. Where can we turn?
Thousands of articles, ideas, and opinions are shared every minute of every day. Our social media channels are full of noise and discord. Often the best material remains hidden in obscurity, while the most banal goes viral.
But on the night of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting, New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson shared his own array of thoughts and emotions. In a single Facebook post, he put eloquent words to the experience of thousands in our country and beyond. On one of those rare occasions, substance and reach aligned: 860,000+ likes, 470,000+ shares, 86,000+ comments.
A year removed from the events of Ferguson, I sat down with Watson to discuss his new book, Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race—and Getting Free From the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us (Tyndale, 2015). In it, he amplifies his original post with personal experience, cultural awareness, and biblical truth.
Thanks to The Gospel Coalition and Tyndale, that conversation occurred at 7:30 p.m. CST on November 24, the one-year anniversary of the grand jury decision. Whether you’re a pastor, ministry leader, or church member, I hope you will take the time to watch this interview.
In our world there is a lot of pain, confusion, and even awkwardness around topics of race and culture. If we’re honest, it can be even more strained within our churches. So watch the discussion and consider how we might empathize with one another and engage in real, Spirit-filled friendships with brothers and sisters who don’t share our skin color.