Gospel, Race, & Justice: Community Group Guide

The Midtown Pastors

April 21, 2023
Community Life

Sojourn Midtown,

As we begin the Gospel, Race and Justice sermon series (starting Aug. 9), your pastors are expecting three things to happen.

First, by faith, we expect the Lord to do a mighty work of unification and healing within our congregation. Second, we fully expect the Enemy to use every age-old tactic at his disposal to distort, discourage, twist, and tempt our people into moving away from rather than towards one another. And third, our CGs will be ground zero. We expect beautiful stories of Gospel-fueled humility, love, and unity to bloom in our CGs. We also anticipate discouraging stories of hard hearts and disagreements to occur as well.

In light of this, we wanted to provide as many helpful resources in such a crucial chapter of our church as possible. This is why we’ve compiled these 4 weeks of videos and journal/discussion prompts. The goal of this guide is to help you reflect on your own culture and ethnicity and become more aware of the beautiful differences in our church. We want you to view your culture and ethnicity with humility (acknowledging every culture has blind spots and sinful predispositions) but also to have confidence that Jesus is redeeming every part of us and desires to use every part of us to glorify Himself and love others.

You are free to go through this on your own but it will be more helpful if done in community (with people in yoru CG, D-Group, etc). We’re not prescribing this for everyone; we’re simply making it available to you.

Lastly, this guide was adapted from a more robust version that our CG Leaders and Apprentices have been working through in the 4 weeks leading up to this sermon series. If you want to view that version, you can find it here.

We’re praying for you, we’re grateful for you, we love you,

The Midtown Pastors

Week 1: The Beauty in Your Ethnicity

Videos to Watch:

Questions to Journal and Discuss

  • What is the Biblical basis for cross-cultural unity? Where does this theme pop up in the grand redemptive arc of the Bible?
  • What are some of the things said in the videos that resonated with you? What are some of the things that did not connect with you?
  • As you consider your own ethnicity, what do you feel? Pride? Shame? Have you thought deeply about it or not much at all? Why do you think you’ve grown to feel or think this way?
  • What are the good, true, and beautiful aspects of your ethnicity and culture?
  • How do you embrace your ethnic background while also pursuing unity in the church?

Week 2: The Brokenness in Your Ethnicity

Videos to Watch

Questions to Journal and Discuss:

  • As you take a step back and consider your ethnicity, culture, and upbringing, where do you see brokenness? Where have you been sinned against and where have you sinned against God and man?
  • As you watched this week’s videos, what were the emotions you were feeling? Do you feel angry? Guilty? Ambivalent? Take these emotions to God in prayer.
  • Are you more prone to see the brokenness in your ethnicity or the ethnicity of others? Why do you think you’ve developed to think this way?
  • As the Book of Common Prayer reads, “we confess that we have sinned against [God] in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.” As we think and pray this week, is the Spirit revealing ways you have sinned against God and your neighbor in what you have left undone i.e. sins of omission?

Extra Credit

Week 3: Jesus Redeeming Your Ethnicity

Videos to Watch

Questions to Journal and Discuss

  • Where do you see our culture trying to redeem ethnic/cultural brokenness apart from the Gospel? What happens when Jesus is not the redemptive center of your White/Black/Asian/Latino/etc. identity?
  • What part of your ethnic identity and cultural heritage is Jesus redeeming? Where is He bringing healing? Where is He bringing conviction and correction?
  • Prior to redemption, there is always an acknowledgment of the brokenness, sin, and/or pain we are being redeemed from. What do you lose if these tensions/pain/sins go uncovered, undiscussed, and unacknowledged? And what do you foresee (and maybe fear!) happening in your CG (both good and hard!) as we’ve been going through our Gospel, Race, and Justice sermon series?
  • The path our church is on leads to a beautiful place of multicultural expression and representation that puts a giant spotlight on our King and His redeeming power. But the path leading there has been bumpy and will continue to be difficult. Why is the place we are headed to better than the place we are coming from? In other words, this cannot be your pastors’ conviction, it needs to be yours – so why is this difficult journey worth it to you?

Week 4: Jesus Restoring Your Ethnicity

Videos to Watch

Questions to Journal and Discuss:

  • After having watched all the “Beyond Colorblind” videos, how has your perspective on your own ethnicity changed? How about other people’s ethnicities you come in contact with?
  • As we’re past the midpoint of the GR&J sermon series, how have you been challenged and encouraged? How are you praying for the Spirit to work in and through Sojourn Midtown?
  • After learning about the 4 cultural spectrums in the Cultural Intelligence Videos, where does your culture fall in each of these categories?
  • How might unrecognized cultural differences (particularly the 4 described here) cause conflict/tension in a Community Group setting? And how might these impact a CGs discussion of topics of ethnicity and justice?

Extra Credit:

About Us

Sojourn Midtown is a part of the Sojourn family of churches. Our mission is to reach people with the gospel, build them up as the church, and send them into the world.

Email Us

Sojourn Midtown  1207 S Shelby St Louisville, KY 40203 · info@sojournmidtown.com · 502 882 7780