Frankly, I’m tired of offering up thoughts and prayers for evil incidents like what recently happened in Buffalo, NY, Uvalde, TX, and Philadelphia, PA. I’m tired of people changing the subject with statements like “well what about…” Unfortunately, our nation has a long history of violence. In fact, I have had to edit this list three times from when I first wrote it to add another mass shooting to the list. At World Impact, I want to lead a staff and build a culture of people who are committed to doing something about it.
I have many family members in Buffalo, and I spent some time tracking a few of them down following the shootings. They are not unlike some of the elderly church members who were reported to be killed while merely shopping for groceries while living in an urban neighborhood. Incidents like Buffalo and Uvalde are why World Impact has “All-People” as one of our core values:
ALL-PEOPLE (Galatians 3:28)
We hold that every person and all ethnic groups are made in God’s image. We affirm the Spirit’s freedom to call both women and men in leadership. Our desire is to create a diverse staff community.
This was not birthed from a partisan political opinion. We crafted this core value because it reflects God’s heart for how His people should live. Since we desire to see The Great Commission fulfilled, we stress the first and second greatest commandments to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. At several recent speaking engagements I represented this core value, explaining how the Lord’s Prayer revolved around the biblical concepts of evangelism and justice. What does this core value have to do with mass shootings? Everything. The elderly Black woman in the grocery store and the Latina girl in the public school classroom have equal God-bestowed dignity and worth to presidents, governors, and celebrities.
I’ve told staff my favorite team’s (the Pittsburgh Steelers) football coach Mike Tomlin’s famous quote many times concerning the type of culture I want at World Impact: “I want volunteers, not hostages.” We encourage anyone who is having a hard time understanding and/or embracing this core value to go on a learning journey.
This involves devoting time to learn the theological reasons for why we champion All-People. Do you have questions about our All-People perspective or how to develop this in your own life? Take a deep dive into our theological stance by reading Bridging The Diversity Gap and/or Uncommon Church. Let’s move forward together in championing All-People because advancing the Kingdom of God depends on it.