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It’s Time to Speak Up, Speak Out, and Speak Over Children About Race

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How are you and your children’s ministry speaking up, speaking out, and speaking over children about race?

Red and yellow, black and white…they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.

When I look at the little ones in my 2-year-old class on Sunday morning, they look back with big brown eyes and caramel skin, blue eyes and towheads, curly and straight hair, red hair and black hair, baby faces and older faces.

They’re each at different developmental stages. Some are verbal. Some climb like crazy, while others want to play quietly. Some have special needs and are learning to walk, while others run and jump across the room with ease.

All colors. All races. All different. And I’m grateful for the diversity in our church. We reflect what heaven will look like! “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).

The kids in my class are precious in Jesus’ sight! But are they all precious in the sight of our society? Will they all have the same opportunities? The same treatment?

Unfortunately, our world doesn’t mirror the beauty of heaven. The Black Lives Matter movement has peeled the scab off racial issues in our country like we haven’t seen since the ‘60s. And just as in the days of Martin Luther King Jr., we church people cannot remain silent.

In his 1963 “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King penned these words about the church: “All too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows…So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch defender of the status quo.”

It’s time to speak up, Church! It’s time we Christians speak up, speak out, and speak over the lives of the little ones Jesus loves.

In “Red and Yellow, Black and White,”  sociologist Henry Zonio reveals how we can start talking about race in our children’s ministries. It’s a powerful read.

There’s no better way to close this letter than with Dr. King’s words: “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 28 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as co-director of the KidMin Conference. She’s led teams in the development of leading innovative resources, including Buzz Instant Sunday School curriculum, Grapple Preteen Curriculum, and the new Dig-In Sunday School curriculum. Follow Christine on Twitter @ChristineYJones

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