In the second part of our conversation with Arman Sheffey, we learn about the #blacklivesmatter movement and practical ways we as people of faith can positively engage in the on-going conversations of racial injustice from a Kingdom perspective.
This week’s interview is with Arman Sheffey, a husband, father, and church planter in the Chicago suburbs. He shares his personal story with us and helps shed light on our current moment of “cultural awakening” to systemic racial injustice. Arman also helps answer the question, “Why is racial justice at the heart of the gospel message?”
The church as a community is designed to be a reflection of God’s most treasured creation and possession – humanity. From every tribe, language, people, and nation, the church glorifies God when it reflects the diversity of humanity. It’s the promise of the eternal Kingdom and the present reality we seek to create in Christ Jesus as adopted children of God who belong in His community – the church.
Imagine if the church saw its primary job to model, pass on, and point to Jesus Christ “in everything” it does. What might the church look like, do, and reproduce?
Our ultimate loyalties, core beliefs, and fundamental values are shaped by those who we respect, follow, and imitate in this life. So if the very heart of our “oneness” in God, the hope of our restored humanity, and the promise of new life and salvation is contingent on following Jesus, shouldn’t we as believers reflect our One example? The call of the Christian is this: When we follow the ways of Jesus, we reproduce Jesus.
Questions for Reflection:
Prayerfully evaluate your life based on Ephesians 4:17-5:20. What is needed to ensure that you are modeling your life after Jesus?
How should a vision of modeling, passing on, and reproducing the ways of Jesus transform Christian community and the church?
The church today continues to struggle with the concept and practice of true unity and oneness in Christ. Contextual distinctions aside, with our churches divided socially, racially, and theologically, how will the world know the true witness of Christ – the union of all things in Him for the glory of His name and the salvation of His people? As we learn in this message, the measure of our spiritual unity determines the true health and maturity of the church.
Questions for Reflection:
If you were to make a list of what determined a “healthy & mature” church, what would have been on that list?
How does “spiritual unity” change your understanding and role of the church?
Based on the list in Ephesians 4:11, what do you think your spiritual gift contribution might be in the body of Christ?