What happened when a black church started meeting inside a white church
I might be back in Boston
The pastor of the local evangelical megachurch (a la Park Street Church) is going on vacation. As sometimes happens, he invites a black pastor to take over. But in an unusual move, his whole church comes too.
This black church is currently homeless. They lost their facility, and haven’t been able to meet regularly.
The black pastor does another unusual thing. Instead of preaching a sermon, he has the congregation break up into medium-sized groups (of both blacks and whites). They are supposed to have some kind of dialogue, then pray.
It is an utter disaster. It was poorly organized, and became complexly awkward. Hardly anyone spoke. Those who did went off on various tangents. Even the prayers were stilted.
In the hallways afterwards, people from both churches are muttering how they don’t plan to come back for the next two weeks of the “experiment.” Including me, even though I was just a visitor.
Suddenly I see small intense knot of men in a corner. Someone, probably a young black man, is pouring out the pain and anger in his heart. Not bitterly. But passionately.
The crowd of men, of all races and ages, watched with sympathy, not judgement. They are enthralled by his vulnerability. But nobody knows what to do.
Maybe I do.
I don’t know what happens. But something does. And word spreads.
The next week, against all odds, the church is packed. The black pastor repeats his experiment, but this time he splits it up men and women.
And confess their sin.
The Holy Spirit comes.
This is what revival feels like.
Then I wake up.