The Church

Thoughts from a Black Reformer

Comments (16)
  1. Trish says:

    Thank you, Alyssa for stepping forward with your concerns and helping us from the white majority to see and hear you and others from minority cultures. We / I have a lot to learn. Glad to be part of the Body of Christ with you!

  2. neale davis says:

    Thank you Alyssa. I am an older white Christian man at a white majority mega church like you have described. I appreciate hearing about your journey and I’m grateful that you persevered. I am trying desperately to understand and hear from my minority brothers and sisters. I know it’s a challenge for you to see people look past your as if you don’t exist. Your article has inspired me to pray more clearly and listen to the Lord more intently. Thank you for your patience with we white majority folks. Eager to see change in the church and dedicated to not just hear you, but to listen to you. It’s awkward for us as whites, and many still struggle to “get it” but I’m so grateful for your kindness and patience.

  3. Thank you Reverend James and may God add a blessing to your elucidative manner of conveying of His Word.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I so appreciated this article and find it refreshing and encouraging! Thank you!

  5. Renee Warriner says:

    Thanking God Alyssa for your voice among us at Bethlehem! May God move us toward gospel centered unity with people of color while tackling deep-rooted issues of oppression. When discussion of racialized practices and injustice stops at the church door, the result is an unbearable dissonance for many believers. The church has to be a gospel witness for truth-telling and reconciliation. May the Spirit empower us in demonstrating to one other how Christ gives those who call upon His name, every reason to make room for and welcome all His image-bearers. So, so looking forward to God’s work in the body and in my own heart.

  6. Samantha Poteat says:

    What a joy and privilege it is to be in the same congregation with an opportunity to learn from this dear sister. Thank you, thank you, Alyssa, for your courage, for your patience, for your love for all the saints, for your partnership in the gospel.

    1. Alyssa Miller says:

      XOXO @Samm
      Praising God for the unforeseen joys in this, like building deeper bonds with sisters in Christ. Never did I imagine I could care so much about the sisters in our church.

  7. John H Sather says:

    This is an outstanding article and we pray often that our church will change for His glory–as well as my own heart! Thank you Alyssa Miller!

  8. Beth Nordquist says:

    I’m so grateful that you’re with us. Thank you for staying, and thank you for engaging. Looking forward with you to seeing these good conversations lead to real change.

    1. Alyssa Miller says:

      Thank you, Beth! Yes, looking forward…

  9. Dayna says:

    I really loved this article! Thank you for writing it. I am currently attending a similar church and am processing the very same question- should I stay or should I go? Still in the midst of processing and this really encouraged me to continue to bring it before the Lord.

    1. Alyssa Miller says:

      Yes, Dayna. Press in. Trusting God will give you great boldness and humility to match!

  10. Thomas W. says:

    Excellent article. Many do not try. They assume. They let the fears of rejection, what they believe will happen, or is going on behind the scenes, keep them from seeking evidence of the reality. It’s much easier to assume and keep our fears than to challenge them. As you put it, it’s exhausting. I think this is often less a case of the fears being realized, and more so, the challenge that our perceptions will be confronted and have to adjust too.

    One thing I would encourage that I see lacking in this article, experience, and from many people is the question, “Where does God want me/us?” I think that helps shift the focus off of the excuses we often make for leaving churches or worship being unappealing to our own wants, or even dusting our sandals after 7 years even when one is met with a different response from leadership. Had they have rejected you, would you really have left? (I mean that as an honest question that can still be answered rightly as, yes. My point, as a comparison to missionaries, is that if they left the field one the first rejection or two, we wouldn’t have many missionaries. Sometimes the Lord entirely wants us where we don’t want to be or go, and without the initial happy ending we would prefer).

    The reality for predominately white churches (in multi ethnic neighborhoods) in the tension of modern noise and cultures is that they need those like you to be willing to peek behind the veil and get involved. They want to step rightly, but often are too scared to move without. The intention of breaking down these barriers has to come from both/all sides. Otherwise, we’re no better. Thank you for having the courage to peek behind, to approach with wisdom and humility, and to continue to serve your church. May the Lord give you plenty of energy and banish any exhaustion.

    1. Alyssa Miller says:

      “I think this is often less a case of the fears being realized, and more so, the challenge that our perceptions will be confronted and have to adjust too.”

      Yes. I have seen my pastors lovingly walk me through bigger implications to my ideas that I thought should happen right away. I am learning to appreciate the many layers to a large church, respect process, while still trusting God to bring some immediate change. Knowing they are signed up for the long haul makes all the difference. Thank you for your thoughtful questions and insight.

  11. I love the spirit and practicality of this Alyssa. You have served us well. This mindset and example equip us to go and serve our pastors and congregations as He leads in these knotty areas. Blessings!
    Denise A

    1. Alyssa Miller says:

      Amen, Denise. Thank you for the encouragement and blessing. Grace to you

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