Main Point of Discussion:
We all bleed red. Racism is based on fear, misinformation, and stereotypes. And even Christians can become racists.
Try an “agree-disagree” game. Have all your students huddle in the middle of your meeting room and then designate one side of the room as the “Agree” side and the other side of the room the “Disagree” side. Then read the following statements to your students and have them go to the appropriate sides according to their personal opinions:
- There is more racism/prejudice today than there was 20 years ago.
- Teens are more racist than adults.
- Racism is nothing more than fear.
- You can be a racist and be a good person.
- Some racism-prejudice is justified.
- If your family is racist, you will be racist.
Of all human beings, Christians should be on the front lines fighting against racism and humbly acknowledge that the church’s past is checkered at best when it comes to both racist behavior/attitudes and the act of standing up to racism. When we encounter racism, whether in the church or outside the church, we should confront it—but in love, not with judgment. Many people have been raised to treat people differently according to their skin color, and that’s all they know—those people should be gently shown the way of Jesus. He made no distinctions regarding persons—everyone is equal in his sight!
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is racism?
- ASK A FEW: What causes racism?
- ASK A FEW: What problems does racism cause?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: How, if at all, have you been affected by racism?
Read This Passage from the Bible:
ASK A FEW: What does this Bible verse say about racism? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: Everybody’s equal in God’s eyes; in God’s economy, there’s no difference between humans, no matter where they come from, and despite what they look like on the outside.)
ASK A FEW: Think about someone you didn't like at first, but then you became friends. Why did your attitude change? (Leader note: You want your students to see that their attitudes changed after they got more information and got to know these people who they didn’t like at first—and the same principle applies to people they may not at first want to associate with because they look different.)
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What sorts of steps can you take this week to make sure that your attitudes are not racist—and that you confront racism whenever it rears its head?
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you
are all one in Christ Jesus.”
I want you to close your eyes and use your imaginations. Let’s say you are hungry and decide to go into a restaurant. After waiting to be seated for 30 minutes the manager walks up to you and says, "We don't serve your kind here!" You leave the restaurant in anger and decide to go home. On your way you stop in the park to get a drink from a fountain. Just as you start to drink, someone taps your shoulder sharply. "You can't drink from this fountain—that one over there is for your kind!" In frustration you walk down the street. People move in your way, forcing you to walk in the gutter. You get on your bus home, having to sit in the back so that people who aren't of your kind don't have to look at you. From the bus you see people like yourself being mistreated, even beaten, just because they are different . . .
This kind of racism/prejudice happens throughout the world every day—and often a lot closer to home than we’d care to imagine. While America doesn’t have oppressive laws for separate drinking fountains, schools, places to sit on the bus for people who are different—we used to! And old memories and attitudes sometimes die hard in people. You see, there are still many Americans (even one is too many!) who hate each other because of different skin colors, ethnic backgrounds, dress styles, music preferences, financial/social statuses—and even because of religious beliefs.
On the other hand, it's amazing that wars throughout history have brought together people who never would have come together to fight for a united cause. Conflict or crisis often brings people together to conquer adversity. In those times people realize how silly their hate is when they realize that others are in the same boat.
We are different, but we are the human race. And one of the saddest things we all have in common is that we’re all dying from a disease—a fatal illness that attacks all races of humanity. Sin! And it’s a sin to know what’s right in a situation and failing to do it.
There is another thing we have in common: A healing solution of the disease of sin. The Bible says,
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) God puts an infinite value on each of us.
Jesus accepts all of us for who we are, no matter what our skin color is, or what we have done. He took our disease of sin upon himself and died in our place. Now in God’s eyes, all are equal—and we now all have a choice to make: to be healed from sin and be renewed in Jesus, or to continue to die from the disease of sin.
Close in Prayer