Costly Solidarity: Leading Majority-White Churches Towards Racial Justice

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Thursday, August 6 at 2pm EST

Many pastors in majority-white churches are growing in their commitment to racial reconciliation and justice. The racial disparities revealed by the pandemic and the many horrifying instances of racial injustice have made it increasingly impossible for church leaders to turn away. But what does this ministry look like for the long-haul? How do we serve and lead people who’ve missed the connections between their discipleship and justice? How can we respond when the inevitable pushback comes?


Moderated by Rediscipling the White Church author and pastor David Swanson, this panel will feature pastors and church leaders from majority-white churches who have wrestled with these questions and who are committed to staying the course.


In this conversation you will…


· Learn about the unique and critical role pastors and ministry leaders play in this ministry
· Hear why a discipleship lens provides a helpful way to lead into the complexities of racial injustice
· Experience an honest and open conversation about the challenges that pastors can face while discipling their congregations towards racial justice
· Discover the different ways that staff can view a church’s racial culture depending on their own cultural frame of reference

David Swanson: David is the founding pastor of New Community Covenant Church, a multiracial congregation on the South Side of Chicago. He also serves as the CEO of New Community Outreach, a non-profit organization working to reduce causes of trauma and raise opportunities for equity in Chicago. He previously served as a Director of Church Planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church. David and Maggie have been married for 21 years and have two amazing sons.





Krystal Speed: Through her company, Krystal Speed Consulting, she provides project management, program design and human capital management services to churches, nonprofits and small businesses. As the HR Strategist with The COO Team, she facilitates the People Academy, a 90 day intensive that helps leaders strategically plan for and address their people needs, while leveling up their systems. She is also the Director of Operations at Old Town Community Church in Alexandria, VA, and a member of their ministerial team.

Leslie X. Sanders: Rev. Leslie X. Sanders (Pastor X) grew up on the south side of Chicago. After graduating from high school in 1998, Leslie attended Northern Illinois University, and later transferred to Chicago State University where he graduated in 2005 with a BA in Communication, Media Arts, and Theater. He recently embarked on receiving his Spiritual Direction Certificate, as well as Certificate in Congregational Vitality, and plans on finishing them in the near future. He is currently a participant in the ECC’s inaugural 30 for 30 Leadership Cohort. Leslie accepted the call to serve Naperville Covenant Church as Lead Pastor on June 2, 2019.

Fred Liggins: Fred is a multi-vocational pastor with Williamsburg Christian Church, founder of 3e Restoration Inc, clinical trauma professional, ethnographer, community organizer, TEDx alum, and coffee drinker. He is also an adjunct professor at Rochester University and Regent University where he teaches courses in philosophy, ethics, christian history, theology, leadership, pastoral care, and ethnography. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and a Masters of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) from Rochester University. He is currently writing his thesis for his Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary.


Elyse Aguirre: Elyse is the Pastor of Connections & Formation at LifeSpring Covenant Church in Loveland, Colorado. She went to Bible college in England & Chicago before getting her master’s in Christian Formation from Denver Seminary in 2016. In her free time, she can be found eating chips & salsa, stand-up paddle boarding and spending quality time with her husband Gus, her 9 year-old stepson, Max and their puppy, Milo.