This is the first part of a longer conversation on the topic of race and class.
In this video, Mez McConnell, Ian Williamson, John Onwuchekwa and Sung Kim discuss what a largely white church in Scotland has in common with a largely black church in America.
Mez: You and I, John, and to some degree you, Sung, we’ve been talking a little bit about class and race and culture and obviously you’ve come over to see our work, we’re a predominantly white church, in a predominantly white area, although that’s changing slowly. And yours is predominantly black, right, about 70%? In a predominantly black area, or…?[bctt tweet=”‘from a context standpoint, I had more in common with you, a petit white guy from Scotland’ (@JawnO)”]John: Yeah, 90% black where we are.
Mez: And so, for you to come over here and see a church run by a little white dude, with lots of little white dudes, that’s interesting, because we’re thinking, ‘What can you learn from us?’ You know, ‘How are we even relevant to your context?’
John: It was a strange thing, I guess that’s what we’re going to talk to, but 2 years ago when we first met, we were at a conference with a bunch of other white dudes and we talked about church, and the life of the church and my ears perked up when I started to hear you talk about all the stuff that you all go through on a daily basis, from addiction to incarceration, to lack of jobs, to absentee fathers and all of those things. And so as I heard all of those hallmarks of the community where we’re at right now, and when we got a chance to just sit and talk through that, I was amazed how, at this conference, from a context standpoint, I had more in common with you, a petit little white guy from Scotland, than I did with folks that lived there in the same continent that I lived in. So that was just eerie and weird.
John Onwuchekwa is the lead pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, GA. He’s originally from Houston, TX. He’s married to Shawndra. John O visited Scotland in May 2016 to check out the work of 20schemes as part of a 20schemes vision trip.