Are You Ready? Black Church 101

Lexical Light: The Right Thing in the Wrong Season

“A note about “Black Church 101”:
“My” church is racially diverse. Somehow our black singles pastor began giving “Black Church 101” lessons before he gets into his message when he guest preaches. The things we’ve learned focus on how to respond to the pastor when he’s preachin’ good: the hankie wave; the stand up, cross your arms, and shake your head like you smell gas to show that what the preacher’s saying is really right on; the shake your Bible in the air; and the shoe throw.

He warned us that today’s lesson was too advanced to try, but he’d show us anyway. I forgot what he called it, but as I recall it was a protective action taken when someone “gets the Spirit”. Think John Belushi in the black church scene in the Blues Brothers. The affected person starts moving and jumping, maybe hollering a little. In order to protect that person and others, about 3 other people join hands around the person to contain him, yet still allowing him the freedom to move. He used his wife and a couple of the other associate pastors to illustrate.”

Several things I liked about this: getting familiar with other forms of worship than what we are used to, building understanding of some lesser known Christian experiences, and the idea of this “embracing” of someone who is letting go of their self consciousness and letting them respond to the Spirit of God.

This was a sub-note in a reflective insight, which was a word in season to me.

3 thoughts on “Are You Ready? Black Church 101”

  1. Thanks for the trackback, Ilona…and the graphic which could have easily been a self-portrait…if I could draw!

  2. You’re just going there aren’t you sister! It gets me in trouble with Black and White and *other*, but I don’t like the term “Black church”. It just seems…divisionary. Since the Church is a reflection of all God’s people, labeling it by color causes people, even if subconsciously, to either think they will or won’t be welcomed on the basis of their skin.

  3. Mark, I know exactly where you are coming from Bro’. The fact is that there are churches that divide along cultural lines, and then further along racial lines.
    I think lots of us are actively against that, but I don’t know if that means we get more inclusion in style and expression or we move over into something totally new.
    I would say that is not my call, even in opinion.

    Because of the “Belushi” reference it is safe to say that there is a phenomenom… what should we do with that? I think maybe like the pastor in the sotry here, we could work it in. Go all cross cultural and everything.

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