Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community

Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community

Unabridged — 8 hours, 6 minutes

Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community

Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community

Unabridged — 8 hours, 6 minutes

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Discover a Christ-centered approach to antiracism that will empower you to be transformed as you transform your world.
“A clear biblical theology for why racial solidarity is integral to discipleship-one that is not influenced by the right or the left but by Jesus!”-Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church
So you're for Jesus and against racism. But racism is such a fraught topic-can't we just talk about Jesus? 

Michelle T. Sanchez has discovered through her own journey that it's impossible to separate racial discipleship from our relationship with God. When we choose to courageously resist racism, we discover opportunities to encounter Christ in fresh and exciting ways.
Color-Courageous Discipleship is our guidebook to a deeper connection with God through the adventure of racial discipleship. Grounded in the gospel, this practical and thought-provoking book
¿ reveals multiple ways that the racial dynamics of our society have already formed us
¿ explores what it means to biblically and proactively address racial inequity for the sake of God's glory
¿ equips us to engage in challenging conversations about racial reconciliation with grace and truth
¿ offers hope, creative answers, and a path forward both individually and as beloved community
Whatever your race or background, Color-Courageous Discipleship invites you to experience more of Jesus as you pursue racial righteousness in his name.

*Includes a downloadable PDF of a Glossary and Notes from the book

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In a time where most views on race and racism are shaped by political ideology, Michelle Sanchez offers us a clear biblical theology for why racial solidarity is integral to discipleship—one that is not influenced by the right or the left but by Jesus!”—Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church

“Poetic, personal, and immensely practical, this book will first awaken you to the sheer wonder of your belovedness and then empower you to engage in the gritty, glorious work of bringing our racially divided world into harmony with Christ and each other.”—Ken Shigematsu pastor of Tenth Church, Vancouver, BC, and bestselling author of God in My Everything

“Michelle Sanchez addresses the complex topic of race and the needed connection to discipleship in a way that will inspire and convict as the Holy Spirit leads.”—Rev. Dr. Kevin G. Harney, visionary leader and founder of Organic Outreach International, lead pastor of Shoreline Church in Monterey, CA

“Too many churches have settled for a bifurcated Gospel that pits evangelism against justice, the great commission against the greatest commandment, and global missions against domestic outreach. We desperately need resources like this that equip us to produce holistic disciples, who are passionate about making holistic disciples.”—Dominique DuBois Gilliard, author of Subversive Witness and Rethinking Incarceration

Color Courageous Discipleship combines biblical insights, cultural commentary, tender personal testimony, and a rich collection of interviews with seasoned leadership voices. This essential resource equipsyou with sustainable practices to grow in color courageous discipleship for the years to come.”—Jo Saxton, cohost of Lead Stories Podcast, author of Ready To Rise

“As one who speaks to many groups about issues of racial and social justice, I often hear some variation of, ‘What does all this have to do with the gospel?’ Now, rather than explain, I’m just going to hand them Color Courageous Discipleship. This book will mobilize God’s people toward racial righteousness in the service of the gospel.”—Al Tizon, affiliate associate professor of Missional and Global Leadership, North Park Theological Seminary

“Deeply practical, cogent, and beautiful—and accompanied by helpful interviews with Christian antiracist leaders and pastors—this book is a gift to Christians and churches who are seeking to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with God.”—Tish Harrison Warren, Anglican priest, and author of Liturgy of the Ordinary and Prayer in the Night

“There are many excellent books on racism and fine books on discipleship. But I know of none which combine the two in depth as Michelle Sanchez does. This book can play a vital role in the healing of our divided churches in North America and beyond.”—Leighton Ford, founding president, Leighton Ford Ministries, Charlotte, NC

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176417029
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Invitation to a Racial Discipleship Journey

Discipleship has long been my passion. After serving for a number of years as a discipleship pastor in a local church, I could hardly believe it when I was invited to lead discipleship for an entire North American denomination of churches. It was a dream come true. As it happens, I am also an African American discipleship leader.

Is that significant? What does race have to do with discipleship, anyway? I’ll be honest with you. For most of my life, I did not make many connections between race and discipleship—much less challenge myself to be a “color-courageous” disciple. I have always been for Jesus and against racism. Most disciples I know would say the same thing. So . . . ​aren’t we good? Racism is such a fraught and depressing topic. I’d much rather talk about Jesus!

But see, that’s just it: What I’ve come to discover is that race and discipleship aren’t actually in completely separate categories, like apples and clementines. They are profoundly interrelated. In this book, I will tell the story of my awakening to that fact as both a disciple and a discipleship leader. And here’s the crux of it: I now understand that one of the most meaningful ways to get to know Jesus better is to go deeper with him into our racial challenges. Our generation has a unique invitation to strengthen our connection with Jesus through color-courageous discipleship.

One of the most meaningful ways for our generation to get to know Jesus better is to go deeper with him into our racial challenges.

So back to our question: What does race have to do with discipleship? A whole lot, as it turns out. And my eyes are now open to the reality that by missing that connection, I had been missing out on more of Jesus. Looking back, I’m so grateful that I (finally) accepted Jesus’s invitation to the adventure of racial discipleship. Although I’ll be sharing more of my story, ultimately this book is about your story. Consider this your personal invitation to join the adventure of racial discipleship. Or, if you are already on the journey, consider this your invitation to experience rich and colorful new vistas. I don’t want you—or any other disciple—to miss out on all that Jesus has for you.

Discipleship Defined

Since this is a journey about discipleship, let’s first get clear on what discipleship is. My favorite definition of discipleship comes from Jesus’s invitation to his first disciples: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people” (Matthew 4:19, nasb). In this brief but brilliant invitation, we discover three elements of discipleship: A disciple (1) follows Jesus, (2) is transformed by Jesus, and (3) is on mission with Jesus.

First, a disciple follows Jesus. A disciple’s life is completely centered not on religious principles but on the person of Jesus Christ. A disciple worships Jesus as Lord and Savior of his or her life and of the entire world. A disciple is a friend of Jesus who seeks ever-deepening knowledge of him and intimacy with him. And a disciple looks for opportunities to get to know Jesus better through the Word of God and through every experience.

Second, a disciple is being transformed by Jesus. In fact, a disciple submits to a continuous process of being transformed into the likeness of Christ day by day and in every way. There is no area of a disciple’s life that is outside of the transforming influence of Christ—character, family, friendship, sexuality, work, politics, you name it. A disciple’s holy ambition is to love Christ by obeying him and aligning every aspect of life with his lordship.

Finally, a disciple is on mission with Jesus. Disciples are both reconciled reconcilers and disciples who make disciples. They are reconciled reconcilers in that they collaborate with Jesus to see everything broken made whole again. Together with Jesus, disciples bring reconciliation to the world both vertically with God as well as horizontally with one another. They seek to reconcile the world at every level—individuals, families, people groups, systems, and creation. Furthermore, healthy disciples make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Thus, like Jesus, they have an exponential impact as they multiply disciples who are themselves ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11–21).

So What Is Racial Discipleship?

In the same way, robust racial discipleship encompasses all three discipleship dimensions. Racial discipleship is about following Jesus more closely as we engage racial challenges; being transformed by Jesus as we remove sinful racial tendencies and put on better ones; and embarking on mission with Jesus as we foster shalom and multiply disciples who do the same. As we pursue all three dimensions, we will pursue antiracism not as a societal trend but as an ongoing expression of our discipleship—which is exactly what it should be.

This brings us to what might seem like an unconventional idea: You have already been racially discipled. In other words, we each have already been shaped and formed by the racial dynamics of our society. We have all been subtly conditioned by the culture, practices, and perspectives of the family we were reared in, the place we grew up, and even the era that we find ourselves in. The question is not if you have been racially discipled; the question is how. The problem, of course, is that much of the racial discipleship you have received throughout your life has been unconscious, unintentional, and—in many cases—misaligned with God’s heart. But that doesn’t make your racial formation to this point any less real.

That is why what many disciples need now is to embark on a different kind of racial discipleship journey. Different, in that this time it will be intentional. Different, in that this time we will orient ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ to engage effectively with the racial challenges we face, in Jesus’s name. When it comes to race, most of us need to be intentionally “rediscipled.”1 That is, we need to be discipled again. What’s more, on this journey we will discover that racial discipleship is not just about resisting racism or transforming the world. It is certainly that, but it is far more: Racial discipleship is about being personally transformed so that you can experience more of Jesus. And that is what has been the most exciting part of the journey for me.

By the way, yes, this invitation is for you—whatever your race. The journey of racial discipleship is for people of every race and ethnic background. It is not for Whites only, nor is it a journey that is the special preoccupation of pilgrims of color. As fallen creatures in a fallen world, we have all been infected with sinful inclinations and wedded to imperfect perspectives on race, whether we realize it or not. Ironically, this may perhaps be especially true today in more subtle and insidious ways for people of color—like me. Imagine my surprise when I gradually came to understand that I, as an African American woman, was reinforcing racism in different ways myself! We all need awakening, transformation, healing, and fresh vision for a new day.

Although our individual racial discipleship journeys will have different starting points and milestones, in our racialized world, I believe the journey itself is universal. As disciples of Christ, we are all invited to awaken to the broken racial realities of our world and to see how we may have contributed to them. Rather than unintentionally perpetuate existing problems, we are all invited to courageously discover and advance God’s solutions.

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