Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community
Nov 1, 2022 | 304 Pages
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Nov 1, 2022 | 304 Pages
About Color-Courageous Discipleship
“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.
“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
About Michelle T. SanchezMichelle T. Sanchez, MDiv, ThM, is the senior discipleship and evangelism leader of the Evangelical Covenant Church, a vibrant multiethnic denomination of more than 875 congregations. Michelle completed seminary degrees at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and spiritual direction training at Boston College. She is a conference speaker and a columnist with Outreach magazine. Michelle has enjoyed engaging with colorful cultures in over thirty countries and territories around the world. She and her husband, Mickey, live with their children in the Chicago area.
304 pages | Published by WaterBrook
On Sale Date: Nov 1, 2022
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Carton Quantity: 24
Start reading the first chapterDiscover a Christ-centered approach to antiracism that will empower you to be transformed as you transform your world. 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. 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.
Press ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Beverly Rykerd, VP, Director of Publicity
Shauna Carlos, Publicity
Color Courageous Discipleship
By Michelle T. Sanchez
A WaterBrook Trade Paper Original | On Sale 11/1/2022
“Michelle writes from a perspective we need to hear. First, she is a discipleship leader. She has worked in the area of discipleship, in her local church and now in her denomination. For Michelle, discipleship is not just a subject to be considered; it is at the very heart of our relationship with Christ.”
—Ed Stetzer, professor and dean, Wheaton College
“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, founder of Exponential and lead pastor of Community Christian Church
“Color-Courageous Discipleship reminds us that just as we have been discipled into certain racist practices, we can be discipled into antiracist practices.”
—Jemar Tibsy, NYT Bestselling Author of How to Fight Racism and The Color Compromise
Is there a connection between race and discipleship? What does it mean to move from being color-blind to color courageous? How do these contrasting ideas relate to our Christian faith?
In the forthcoming book, Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community (WaterBrook, Nov. 1, 2022), Michelle T. Sanchez, senior discipleship and evangelism leader of the Evangelical Covenant Church, a vibrant multiethnic denomination of more than 900 congregations, addresses these important questions and challenges readers to push past their discomfort in the pursuit of racial justice as it pertains to their walk with God.
Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community serves as a vital resource exploring antiracism from a Christian perspective and as a means of growing closer with Christ. Race and discipleship may appear unrelated to one another, but Sanchez argues that they are interconnected. She defines color-courageous disciples as people who are on a “courageous, lifelong journey of following Jesus, dismantling racism, and building beloved community.”
“I now understand that one of the most meaningful ways to get to know Jesus better is to go deeper with him in our racial challenges,” Sanchez writes.
Sanchez outlines what color-courageous discipleship looks in application, addresses engaging questions from a biblical perspective, and explores what it means to ground your antiracism in Jesus Christ. Sharing her own vulnerable and personal stories and providing insights from scripture, Sanchez equips readers for their journey in dismantling racism while being spiritually grounded. Partnered with the Color Courageous Discipleship Student Edition (WaterBrook, Nov. 1, 2022) and children’s picture book, God’s Beloved Community (WaterBrook, Nov. 1, 2022), Sanchez hopes to reach people of all ages to demonstrate God’s intention for a diverse loving community who is willing to pursue color-courageous discipleship.
Possible talking points for interviews include:
How race and discipleship are connected: Throughout the Bible, discipleship and ethnicity have always been linked. Discipleship entails a dual call to embrace diversity and dismantle racism - both of which are needed to pursue God's kingdom vision. First, disciples are called to embrace diversity. This is not a call to be PC; it's a call to embrace God's own vision. Throughout the Scriptures, we see that God has always delighted in ethnic diversity as a means of bringing glory to himself and enrichment to his kingdom. Second, disciples are called to dismantle racism. Diversity was meant to be a source of delight, but in our broken world, diversity too often leads to division and inequity. This is why disciples are also called to dismantle racism in the pursuit of equity. “But here's the part that's most exciting to me,” says Sanchez, “as disciples embrace diversity and dismantle racism in Jesus' name, we also have an opportunity to get to know Jesus better.”
The difference between being color-blind and color-courageous. For a long time, we've seen color-blindness as a virtue. Surprisingly, new research demonstrates that color-blindness leads to racial inequity -- precisely the opposite of what we want! Those who are color-courageous choose to courageously see color for the sake of dismantling racism and pursuing racial equity. As a discipleship leader, Sanchez is on a mission to share that God has always called disciples not to be color-blind, but color-courageous.
We all have inherited biases. Whether we are aware of it or not, where we were raised, went to school, and the communities we immerse ourselves in heavily impact the way we view people of different races and within our own racial groups. The only way to overcome unconscious bias is with Christlike humility.
Sanchez’s awakening to inequity: “I grew up as a Black girl in a predominantly White community, and I had a great experience,” she shares. “I did really well, even graduating as the first Black valedictorian. I was sold on meritocracy - that all you need to do is perform well, and you'll get what you deserve. I even landed a coveted job at Goldman Sachs, one of the most prestigious investment banks in the world. One day while I was at the bank, however, I volunteered to teach finance at a low-income school in a different part of town - and it rocked my world. That day I came to understand my simple formula of ‘work hard and get what you deserve’ simply can't work for everyone. The truth is that not everyone has the same starting point; resources and opportunities are not fairly distributed.”
The necessity of healing while on your discipleship journey. Healing is a component of discipleship and has direct effect on the way interact and impact others. Healing, discipleship, and mission are intimately intertwined. Color-courageous disciples will be far more effective in God’s mission to make the world whole to the extent we are whole ourselves—spiritually, emotionally, relationally and in every other way.
Spiritual practices to boost racial discipleship: 1) Read scripture with cultural insight, 2) Prayer of lament, 3) Pilgrimage, 4) Fasting—the denial of self for the sake of others.
In addition to a foreword from Ed Stetzer, professor and dean at Wheaton College, and an afterward from New York Times bestselling author Jemar Tisby, this timely, gospel-centered, practical, and thought-provoking book offers interviews from color-courageous leaders, including Esau McCauley, Eugene Cho, Efrem Smith, Sheila Wise Rowe, and more. Included are small group reflection questions and an extensive glossary of terms, making this an ideal resource for Bible studies, book groups, and church-wide reading programs.
For more information, visit www.waterbrookmultnomah.com.
About the Author
Michelle T. Sanchez, MDiv, ThM, is the senior discipleship and evangelism leader of the Evangelical Covenant Church, a vibrant multiethnic denomination of more than 900 congregations. Sanchez completed seminary degrees at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and spiritual direction training at Boston College. She is a conference speaker and a columnist with Outreach magazine. Sanchez has enjoyed engaging with colorful cultures in over thirty countries and territories around the world. She and her husband, Mickey, live with their children in the Chicago area.
For more information, visit www.michelletsanchez.com. Facebook: @michelletsanchez Instagram: @michelle_t_sanchez
Color Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community
By Michelle T. Sanchez
A WaterBrook Trade Paper Original | $18.00 | On Sale November 1, 2022
ISBN: 9780593193846 | e-ISBN: 9780593193853
Suggested Interview Questions
1. In the beginning of your book, you clearly define terms such as race and ethnicity to set a common understanding of how these words play a role in society. Why was important for you to do that?
2. You state that race and discipleship are interconnected. How did you come to that conclusion?
3. What was your own awakening to the gap in how we do discipleship?
4. What is the difference between color-blind and color-courageous?
5. If race is not a biblical construct, why should people look to the Bible to understand racial discipleship?
6. How does a Biblical approach to antiracism differ from what we’ve seen in mainstream culture?
7. How have you seen racial discipleship lead to an even closer relationship with Jesus?
8. What are some practical ways people can begin their color-courageous discipleship?
9. How would you encourage readers who feel shame when reflecting on their own biases, past actions, or thoughts?
10. You highlight four spiritual practices for growing in racial discipleship, one of which is lament. Why was it important to highlight the gift of lamenting?
11. For people who are unfamiliar with Christian pilgrimages can you share more information about that transformational experience and how it has impacted you?
12. In the end, how do we know when we are truly contributing and creating God’s beloved community?
QUOTES FROM COLOR-COURAGEOUS DISCIPLESHIP
“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.”
“We have all been subtly conditioned by the culture, practices, and perspectives of the family we were reared in. The question is not if you have been racially discipled; the question is how.”
“Biblical Shalom entails wholeness and flourishing in every dimension of creation, including ethnicity.”
“Finally, ethnic diversity enriches God’s Kingdom… Remember: God delights not only in the diverse riches of the sociopolitical nations, but also, more broadly, he delights in the riches of ethnic diversity as an essential contribution to the new creation.”
“For me, the culmination of color-courageous discipleship is the creation of beloved community – community that is grounded in Christlike agape love for God and for one another across all boundaries of differences.”
“My premise…is that the core elements of antiracism are deeply biblical, stemming ultimately not from secular philosophies but from the heart of God.”
“I believe that our most urgent task is for people of all racial backgrounds to educated ourselves about the reality of ongoing racial inequality.”
“The only way to overcome unconscious bias is through Christlike humility. We must humbly comprehend that overcoming bias is – and always will be – a challenge for us. After all, putting on humility means coming to terms with our imperfect inclinations.”
“In time, I fully embraced the false narrative that because I was a Black girl, imperfection must not – could not – ever be tolerated. I didn’t fully realize it, but was evidence of trauma.”
“To deal with trauma and shame, we must experience rediscipleship through the exchange of false narratives for true ones.”
For interviews or copy requests, please contact Beverly Rykerd at email@example.com and
Shauna Carlos at firstname.lastname@example.org.