Ask A Pastor Episodes
What Role Does the Church Play in Racial Reconciliation?
September 08, 2021 - 10 min
In this episode, we cover: 1. The term “racial reconciliation” and the ways that God’s Word has spoken to the reality of racial division but also, God’s deep commitment to the work of not just spiritual, but ethnic and racial reconciliation. 2. This history of racial division in the United States and the part racial reconciliation plays in healing this division. 3. The role the church plays starts with the right posture: not from a place of trying to achieve unity, but from a place of realizing and remembering that peace has already been achieved. 4. The church can pursue racial reconciliation by displaying the love of God to one another and to the world. Scripture referenced: Genesis 11 and 12; Matthew 28; Acts 2; Revelation 7; Ephesians 2 Rayshawn Graves is a pastor and writer from Richmond, Virginia.
Is Talking About Race a Distraction in the Church?
June 30, 2021 - 10 min
If you’ve been around the last few years, you know that our society has been having a national conversation about race and racism in America – again. But talking about race has done more to expose division than cause it – mostly because when it comes to the topic of race, most people where they stand or what they believe about the issue until the conversation is happening, and what we believe often rises to the surface during intense moments. Some people can’t understand why racism keeps coming up, while others can’t see how others can ignore something so obvious in our society. The church here in America hasn’t been excluded from this conversation. Talking about race- just like anything else- could cause a distraction or cause division in the church – but I don’t believe that it is either of those things. Here are three reasons why I think it’s important for churches to talk about race and racism: 1. Christians aren’t immune from causing or experiencing racism. 2. The church, both globally and in the US, has a history of being complicit in racism 3. If the church doesn’t talk about these topics, it may be ignoring a division subtly shaping and affecting its people, ultimately hindering peace. Rayshawn Graves is a pastor and writer from Richmond, Virginia.
How Important Is Diversity in a Church?
June 25, 2021 - 10 min
This question is not necessarily tricky, but there is no catch-all answer. Diversity is a big word that can include many realities. Diversity comes up a lot in our context in the United States because of various ages, stages of life, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and cultures. So how important is diversity in the church? Even though diversity is seen through our world and creation, it can be challenging to achieve when bringing people together who are different. If we could walk into every church in this country and see all kinds of people with different backgrounds and cultures worshipping Jesus together, that would be an amazing reality. In this episode, Rayshawn covers: 1. Historical divisions of the church in the United States. 2. How the church should approach diversity. Verses Referenced: Revelation 7:9-10; Psalm 104 Rayshawn Graves is a pastor and writer from Richmond, Virginia.
Why Should I Pray in Difficult Times?
June 14, 2021 - 8 min
You may notice that whenever something bad happens, one of the most popular things to say is, “I am praying for you.” These words and expressions can be meaningful at times. Still, recently this phrase has been interpreted to be the opposite and has become the cliche thing to say when we have nothing else to. So what is prayer? Is it distinct from action? Does it do anything? And why should we pray in difficult times? When followers of Jesus pray, as Jesus commands us to, our praying comes from a different place than good intentions or well-wishing for someone. Our prayers are not put out there for good measure; they are directed to someone greater than ourselves. Prayer is the reality that God is doing so much more around us and in us than we could ever know. In this episode, Rayshawn covers: 1. What prayer is, as we know it from God’s Word. 2. How to depend on God through prayer. Verses Referenced: Matthew 6 Rayshawn Graves is a pastor and writer from Richmond, Virginia.
How Do We Keep Peace with People in Such Divided Times?
June 13, 2021 - 11 min
It doesn’t take much for us to look around at both this year and last, and see that we’re living in some pretty divided times. Maybe it’s not so much that people have become divided. Maybe it’s that people have been divided, and now we’re just seeing these divisions rise to the surface and fill our relationships with tension that we never knew was there. So how do we keep the peace? And what is the “peace” we are trying to keep? Jesus is not just an example that we’re trying to emulate. Jesus is the reason that we have peace with God. It is because of his posture of peace that you and I can strive to live peacefully with one another. In this episode, Rayshawn covers: 1. What is peace as we know it from God’s Word? 2. How do we engage with and see other people who disagree with us? Verses Referenced: Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18; Proverbs 14:7; Matthew 5:9 Rayshawn Graves is a pastor and writer from Richmond, Virginia. Episode Image Credit: Getty/Nadia_Bormotova