A Proposal for Christian Anti-Racism in the PCA

In the summer of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, I witnessed several churches in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), my own denomination, post statements of their support of anti-racism, provide suggested reading lists of anti-racist books, and even preach sermons on the Christian work of anti-racism. Over the past year, I’ve also seen many of these good initial efforts fizzle out.

In light of this, I would like to offer my humble proposal for all PCA churches who want to put the rubber to the road regarding the anti-racism they claim to support. I believe that these proposals will help embed Christian anti-racism into the DNA of a church, develop a posture of being proactive rather than reactive to addressing racial injustice, and create a culture of clarity about what the church believes about racism.

  1. Implement anti-racism training for all current and future leaders of the church (ordained and lay leaders).
  2. Implement assessments with clear, measurable metrics regarding congregants’ understandings of racial inequities, racial justice, and their personal motivation to incorporate it as a part of their spiritual formation and discipleship.
  3. Implement training/coaching/mentorship in interpersonal, small group/community group, and whole church settings (e.g. teaching sessions) in racial justice for accountability and growth in this area.
  4. Implement clear written policies regarding the actions that will be taken in the event of racist incidents within the church, including but not limited to: social media content of leaders.
  5. Incorporate corporate confession, repentance, and lament of racial injustices in the liturgy of the church.
  6. Hire external third-party consultants to provide honest assessments of the culture of the church and its leadership and areas of needed growth.
  7. Broaden the “theological library” of the church in terms of the people quoted in sermons, books used for small groups, books recommended to new Christians, etc.
  8. Make verbally clear that unrepentant racism is liable to church discipline.
  9. Develop a fund to help empower historically disadvantaged communities locally and stress the beauty and privilege of reparation.
  10. Create as many opportunities as possible to sit under Christians of color, including pulpit swaps, fellowship with other churches, etc.

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