Urban D. on the role of the church in racial reconciliation
Almost everyone in the crowd had a hand raised.
Tommy “Urban D.” Kyllonen, pastor of Crossover Church in Tampa, Florida, had just asked his congregation who had experienced discrimination. Crossover, a multiethnic church, was hosting a panel discussion about racial reconciliation after the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and Dallas police officers in July.
“A church like mine that’s so diverse, people worship together, they pray together, they do life together. We’re like, ‘We have a platform and a credibility to speak into this,’” Urban. D told Rapzilla at Legacy Conference 2016. “Unfortunately, 87 percent of churches are segregated, so when this stuff happens, they’re not usually giving the mic to the church like, ‘What do y’all think about it?’ because the church as a whole doesn’t have much credibility to speak about reconciliation.”
“As the church, Jesus even said we’re called to be agents of reconciliation,” he said. “Of course, first and foremost, that’s reconciliation back to our creator, back to God. But as we do that, then we reconcile people together of different backgrounds, different skin colors, different ages, different classes, all those different things.
“So we need to be agents of that, be purposeful and anytime we see people around us, at our job, in our family that are making comments or saying things that are feeding into some of the hate, or the fear, or the racism, we have an opportunity to crush that and change the narrative, and challenge people in a loving way, in a discerning way. But we can really be that change.”