CNLP 352: Levi and Jennie Lusko, Albert Tate and Nicole Martin on Undoing the Legacy of the KKK and How to Navigate Racial Reconciliation with Your Team, Family, on Social Media and in Real Life


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In this episode of the podcast, Levi and Jennie Lusko tell you firsthand about the backlash they received when they decided to take a stand for racial reconciliation. Levi talks about the moment he realized the stage he preaches from was used for a KKK rally in the early 20th Century.

Then, Albert Tate and Nicole Martin join the conversation for an open, honest discussion about how race is still a factor in their lives and ministry, and what white leaders can do about it.

Welcome to Episode 352 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about some character rules we should follow in light of this episode’s conversation.

Guest Links

Headshots of Carey Nieuwhof, Levi and Jennie Lusko, Albert Tate, Nicole Martin, and David Kinnaman

Levi Lusko Instagram | Jennie Lusko Instagram | Levi Lusko Twitter | Jennie Lusko Twitter | Website
Albert Tate Instagram | Albert Tate Twitter | Website
Nicole Martin Instagram | Nicole Martin Twitter | Website

Episode Links


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ChurchPulse Weekly

Fresh Life Church


Made to Lead: Empowering Women for Leadership by Nicole Massie Martin

Slave Religion by Albert J. Raboteau

An Open Conversation About Racism and Faith | Jeff Brodie and Deniel Sewell

Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.

5 [NEW] Character Rules Every Leaders Should Follow by Carey Nieuwhof


1. Racism in the church is a much bigger deal than you think

Levi and Jennie Lusko were shocked by how many hateful comments they received just by saying, “Until black lives matter, all lives don’t matter.” Levi has learned that the response he received is a sign of a major underground issue for the church. These comments from Christians all over the country are the tip of a very large iceberg of racism in American Christianity.

Barna’s research backs this point up, as well. There is a massive disconnect between black and white Christians in America, and if we want to move forward, we need to attack the larger issue of racism in the American church first.

2. Moderate Whites can a bigger danger to racial reconciliation than the raging racists

In his Letters From A Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The biggest opposition to this movement and this vision of reconciliation is not the raging racist, but the moderate white Christian who’s indifferent and stays silent.” Wow.

The movement of racial justice is more likely to be shut down and stopped by quiet Christians rather than outspoken racists. So that begs the question, how will you proceed? If you want to help, take a stand against racism. At family dinners, in your hiring processes, at your church, etc. Wherever racism shows up, fight it. The church has been silent too long.

3. The fear of loss is real

Nicole told a story of one of her recent green room experiences where a highly influential pastor admitted to her that he couldn’t afford to speak out about race in the church. If he were to speak out, he would be immediately removed from his pulpit and lose some of his top donors. His fear was stopping him from speaking out, and Nicole is afraid that this is the story for MANY white pastors around the world.

This issue of racism in America is bigger than your job. It’s bigger than your top donor. You need to inspect what it is holding you back from speaking up more, and bring that to Christ today.

4. Saying “Black Lives Matter” is a statement of value, not an affiliation with the organization

So many white people are concerned that if they say “black lives matter,” they’re aligning themselves with a specific organization. Albert argues that it’s actually a statement of value. You are saying that your black brothers and sisters matter, and that the world needs to function like they do. After all, theologically speaking, the statement “black lives matter” is 100% biblical and accurate.

Kay Warren is a great person to follow about this. She has actively been stating that black lives matter and is receiving a lot of criticism for it. But, she says, “I’m willing to risk being misunderstood by some in order that I might be seen as an advocate and a friend to my brothers and sisters that are hurting.”

5. If you miss racial reconciliation, you will miss the next generation

This shouldn’t be your primary motivation to fight for racial reconciliation, but another reason that your church needs to jump into the conversation about racial reconciliation is that it’s a MASSIVE value for the next generation. If you look at the videos of the protests happening around the country, the protestors are mostly young people; most of them aren’t even black. If you want to reach the next generation, you need to get racial reconciliation right.

Quotes from Episode 352

As one day, we'll stand around the throne, I'm fighting so we can practice now by sitting around the table. @alberttate
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God's given us a moment of grace here as the white church to do some things differently and not just sort of do them differently, but do them completely differently. @davidkinnaman
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Now is the time for white Christians to really evaluate the cost and to answer authentically that question about fear. What are you afraid of? @nmassiemartin
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20 years from now, when we look back on this moment and our kids look back on this moment, we will be remembered more about how we responded to the racial reconciliation conversation than even what we did about COVID. @cnieuwhof
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It hurts us when we say there's a systematic theology on sin, but racism is not systematic. @nmassiemartin
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There hasn't ever been anything that has gripped my heart and caused me personal repentance and personal grief than grieving with those who have been grieving for the whole of our country and Black Americans. @jennielusko
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When your private walk is really not different than your public talk, you don't have a lot to worry about. @cnieuwhof
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Don't say something on social you wouldn't say to someone's face. @cnieuwhof
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Humble your talk and accelerate your walk. @cnieuwhof
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Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 352

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The world is experiencing a series of unprecedented challenges, and you’re leading in the midst of it all.

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Next Episode: Dr. Henry Cloud

Clinical psychologist, leadership expert and NYT bestselling author, Dr. Henry Cloud returns to the podcast to give a virtual master class on how to handle the stress, anxiety and overwhelm of a year like 2020. He gives practical strategies on preventing burnout, getting and staying healthier, preparing for the long run, how to battle back against negative thoughts and how to stop taking failure personally.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 353.

CNLP 352: Levi and Jennie Lusko, Albert Tate and Nicole Martin on Undoing the Legacy of the KKK and How to Navigate Racial Reconciliation with Your Team, Family, on Social Media and in Real Life

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