This page is an extension of New City Church serving the ultimate goal of making disciples of Jesus. We want to point people, in all topics, to the gospel (our motivation), as we believe our ultimate hope for restoration and healing is in the gospel of Jesus. Racism is ultimately a sin issue, and the cure for sin is the gospel. Racial justice and reconciliation is a kingdom issue, and learning about God's kingdom is how we'll become the agents of change that God desires us to be. Because the topic of racial justice and reconciliation is such a high priority, it is important for the church to cultivate and curate a set of resources and actions that are intentionally gospel-centered, meant for the purpose of discipleship, loving our neighbor and aiming for God’s kingdom. The gospel is the power for repentance, reconciliation and restoration. May this page help guide us in aiming for that in our families, our city of San Diego, our nation and in our world.
Jesus spent much time in prayer. Jesus’ relationship with his Father through prayer was key to his fruitfulness in his ministry and relationships. Prayer is what believers need most to be effective disciples of Christ. Jesus gave his disciples one model to follow when they asked Him to teach them to pray. The prayer has six parts to it and covers everything Jesus taught us about kingdom life. Let us use The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) as our guide as we seek racial justice & reconciliation and ultimately God’s kingdom in our world. God’s word is full of His heart for justice & reconciliation (Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 56:1; Luke 10:25-37; James 2:8-9; 2 Chronicles 19:6-7; Leviticus 19:15; Ezekiel 36:26). Pray with your GCMs, family & friends and seek prayer as His daughter and son. This important time of movement in the church for racial justice & reconciliation needs to be engaged in prayer. Let us pray, church!
Pray one section each day of the week (leaving Sunday as a day of rest in Him). You can use this graphic below as a visual guide through the prayer specifically praying over racial justice & reconciliation as well as all of life. Click the image to download it (put it on your fridge or some where you can see it during the week).
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, (His Character)
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~ Mark 10: 13 - 16
- God (our Father) loves all of his children deeply and conversely resents the idea of any one group of His children thinking of themselves as greater or more deserving than another. Jesus displays this truth powerfully in this passage from Mark 10 in his welcome of the children (a marginalized group in his society). The fact that his disciples, who spent more time with Jesus than any other people, tried to play “gatekeepers” of access to the Messiah led Jesus to outright indignation. Do you share this indignation when you see racism, classism, and sexism unfold in our socio-economic, political, and even theological pockets of culture? Or do you find yourself having the same types of prejudice the disciples had? How can you repent today of either harboring such prejudices, or of staying silent when standing in their presence? How can you move forward in faith, welcoming everyone from every group in, to the presence of our Father who longs to welcome in all His children?
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (His Kingdom)
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ~ Matthew 13: 47 - 50
- To whom does the kingdom belong? Our Father. He is the one who opens the doors, invites outsiders in and gives them the power to live “kingdom lifestyles.” Our world today looks very different from his kingdom in many ways, such as injustice, evil, moralism, etc. As we engage in bringing change to those areas, we are called to engage as citizens of His kingdom. The means are every bit as important as the ends, and are measured by the righteousness, peace and joy they result in (Rom. 14:17). Be aware of any parts of your heart that are not longing for the kingdom, or are content with the broken inequalities and injustices of our world. Has bias or ungodliness caused you to lose sight of Our Father’s Kingdom inclusivity? Are your efforts towards his kingdom resulting in righteousness (justice), peace (reconciliation) and joy in the Holy Ghost?
Give us today our daily bread. (His Provision)
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6: 19 - 21
- Virtually every modern economic system has found a way to exploit the poor and preserve the wealth of the rich and powerful. The gospel alerts us that even as redeemed people, we still struggle with our fallen nature, spiritual blind spots, and outright sin. Even with the best intentions we are not immune to this desire to exploit others for our own personal or corporate gain. The same self-centered viewpoints (fear, greed, envy, selfish ambition, etc) that fueled the slave trade are still creeping around our society, at both individual and systemic levels. Christ laid aside his privilege and security to come dwell among us and love us in our mess (Phil. 2:3-11). How can the gospel continue to open our eyes to these realities, and lead to individual and societal repentance? Pray for freedom and protection from the sin that fuels such brokenness, and lead a life of repentance while trusting the Lord for daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (His Forgiveness)
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” ~ Matthew 18: 32 - 35
- You were shown mercy when the oppressive burden of sin and damnation was lifted through the finished work of Jesus, but today do you seek to see this reflected in our society? We were given the blueprint of mercy and grace, and this is what separates the “wicked servant” from God’s children that are responding to the mercy they have been given. You cannot enjoy the blessings of God’s mercy, and then withhold it from your neighbor; this is wicked. What might be some ways in which you are withholding mercy and grace from others in your life, or prejudicially looking at other groups in society (races, classes, organizations, etc) with judgment and resentment, instead of moving towards them in grace, as Christ moved towards us while we were still sinners.
And lead us not into temptation, (His Direction)
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands,so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test. 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me. 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. ~ Matthew 4: 1 - 11
- Even the Son of God himself was tested by Satan, who tried to gain a foothold in the growing ministry of Jesus. What is important to note out is satan offered provision (turn this stone to bread), physical protection from harm (you will not strike your foot against a stone), and power (all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.) In and of themselves, these are not evil things, but when they replace our call to follow the Lord they are demonic. Has a fear of losing earthly possessions, or a concern that people that don’t look like you intend to harm you, or worry that political influence will be lost, led to your commitment to oppressive or unjust systems? Be on the lookout and flee this temptation. Where have these temptations shown up in your life this week? How can you turn to God and trust him to provide for you in these areas?
But deliver us from the evil one. (His Protection)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16: 33
- If the reality of our current society is heartbreaking or overwhelming to you, then understand that you are on the right track. It breaks our Father’s heart too! Historically, sin has been committed against many groups & individuals, based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc within our society. The good news is God has a plan to right these evils, as well as an ultimate plan to destroy the demonic engineer of this darkness. That plan starts with Christ’s work in the gospel and continues through us. Go repent boldly. Join with God is His kingdom work, with righteous anger against those sins of our individual and corporate pasts, along with immense joy in the one who has righted those sins by taking them upon himself on the cross, and is righting our hearts and world each day through the powerful work of His Spirit through His people. The spirit of this present world has been overcome. The enemy has been defeated. We can have peace as we proceed forward and upward!
As the church, we have the opportunity to paint a kingdom vision of God’s heart for racial justice and reconciliation. Below are many resources to take the next steps towards this goal. We hope these resources help us learn better how to walk in the way of Jesus. Not all of them necessarily reflect the views of New City Church, but we think reconciliation requires us to be listeners and sometimes that means listening to a variety of perspectives. Let us know if you have questions or want to know more. Email us at .
Books & Sermons
- The Gospel in Color - A Theology of Racial Reconciliation for Kids - by Jarvis J. Williams & Curtis A. Woods. A while back, CityKids went through “The Gospel in Color” with the high school kids, but anyone can learn from it and you can even walk younger kids through it. You will learn too! Each section features questions to respond to, words to know, scripture to memorize and ways to pray.
- Woke Church - An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice, by Dr. Eric Mason
- Bread for the Resistance: Forty Devotions for Justice People by Donna Barber
- The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation - Miles McPherson
- Grace, Justice, & Mercy: An Evening with Bryan Stevenson & Rev. Tim Keller
- Generous Justice - by Timothy Keller
- Be the Bridge, by LaTasha Morrison
- The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby
- When looking for ways to purchase books, you can consider ordering from Hearts & Minds Books. Here's their list of books written by people of color on injustice and racism.
- Great books for kids to have in their bookshelf: “When God Made You” by Matthew Paul Turner, “God Made Me and You” by Shai Linne, “God’s Very Good Idea” by Trillia Newbell, “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Steps for Christian Civic Engagement on Racial Injustice: https://andcampaign.org/advocacy
Articles & Videos
- The Bible Project Video on Justice -- In this video, The Bible Project explores the biblical theme of Justice and discovers how it's deeply rooted in the story-line of the Bible that leads to Jesus.
- Redemption: The John M. Perkins Story -- Take 20 minutes to watch this powerful video.
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice - The Medium
- How to Talk to Kids about Race - the Atlantic
- The Pains of Humanity Have Been Draining Me - by Lecrae on HuffPost
- Movies to Watch: Just Mercy, Selma, 13TH
At New City we believe that everything we have is a gift from God, and should be stewarded well for His kingdom purposes. Every year, ten percent of every dollar given to New City goes to support kingdom work in other ministries around our city, nation and the world. As we decided where to give this year according to our guided themes of Mercy, Evangelism and Missions on a local and international scale, we desire to give towards racial justice. It is one way our church can continue to step into His kingdom purposes for reconciliation. If you are looking for specific ways you & your family can give to justice & reconciliation, below is just a small list toward that effort.
Some links on our page came from helpful resource pages of other churches if you want to take a further look...
- Harbor City https://www.harborcity.church/race/
- Redeemer New York - https://www.redeemer.com/r/grace_and_race/grace_and_race_resources
- Bridgetown Church Portland - https://bridgetown.church/racial-justice/
- The Flood San Diego https://diveintoflood.com/2016/11/toward-kingdom-color-resource-list/