Discovering the role of Christians in Social Challenging situations (Prejudice and Discrimination)

Facilitator: Phillip Salvador

This past week was no doubt a roller coaster of reactions and emotions for the United States. Although events like this have caused a wave of fear this is certainly not the first or the last. We talked about Social Challenges: Prejudice and Discrimination and what our role as Christians in social challenges.

We first completed an exercise realizing not everyone starts equally in life due to factors that may include education to race/sexual/cultural factors. This activity also points out that society is not structured quite as fairly as we often assume.

Then we looked at the following scripture and discussed how Jesus responded to social challenges. Jesus although confronted and challenged by the Pharisees regarding the Law many times, was able to actively engage to help those around him while not being distracted.

Mark 2:13-17

*Place yourself in the perspective of the:

– Pharisee (Religious leader – rabbis and other spiritual leaders were the highest members of Jewish society. Everyone looked up to the Pharisees. They were strict adherents to the Law and tradition, and they avoided those whom they deemed “sinners” because they had a “clean” image to maintain.)

– Levi (later to be Matthew – who was just recently called to follow Jesus)

-Tax Collector or “Sinner” (Tax collectors, infamous for embezzlement and their cooperation with the hated Romans, definitely fell into the “sinner” category.)

 -Jesus – (Son of God – Savior of the World – Jesus Christ)

  1. What about Jesus that “attracts” or “distances” you to/from the table?
  2. As the Tax Collector or “Sinner” society has labeled you due to your past or current occupations resulting in being an outcast, discriminated, etc. What are your needs that Jesus is meeting and potentially meet?
  3. From Jesus’ perspective, “What am I doing that I hope others will imitate at this table?” TODAY: Can you identify/know anyone from work, etc. that has needs to be met?

We then discussed further the following questions and had really great responses from the group.

What is the role of Christians in social issues?

What happens when Christians disagree on social issues?

We lastly we watched a video that helped us realize we have a lot more in common than we think. I hope you enjoy the video and regardless of political/background views we need to be involved to help and defend those who can’t just as Jesus did.

Psychological Safety

Facilitator: Phillip Salvador

Jesus has an amazing ability to create a safe environment to connect to different people from all walks of life. Even the Apostles who came from different walks of life, Jesus connected with them to elevate them to a common goal. We investigated and discussed how Jesus was able to do this looking at some different interactions Jesus had. Take some time to study his interactions from the following scriptures.

Analyzing social interaction between Jesus and:

  1. Woman at the Well John 4:7-42
  1. Rich young ruler Mark 10:17-27
  1. Religious Leader and Sick Woman: Luke 8:40-56

Some guiding questions to help you analyze Jesus’ social interaction with his audience:

  • How does Jesus relationally connect to his audience in this particular interaction?
  • If applicable, What leads you to believe his audience felt connected to Jesus? Or what does his audience seek and how does Jesus answer them?
  • If applicable, How does Jesus communicate and balance what people have known (Old Covenant) to shift them to his message?
  • What qualities do you see that in Jesus in his interactions that may be a potential growth area for you?

Lastly we watched a video that had some great insight regarding creating a safe environment when interacting and helping others.