The invisible toolkit of privilege

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Matt Chandler is the lead pastor and planter at The Village Church, in Flower Mound, Texas.

Although not typically known for speaking on issues of race, the leader of Acts 29 Network and well-known preacher has begun speaking out several years ago on the issues of white privilege.

The following is from a post that first appeared in an article on ChurchLeaders.com posted by Megan Briggs on October 15, 2018. In the post, Briggs reviews Matt Chandler’s video, “How to Understand and Address White Privilege.”

“Almost all my understanding of what made America great is because of efforts and the work ethic of people like me,” Chandler says in a video addressed to his congregation. Chandler, who is the pastor of The Village Church The Village Church located in a suburb of the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas area, says he identifies with the cliche of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” However, Chandler began to realize that he had grown up with an “invisible tool kit” of privilege that “a lot of brothers and sisters” don’t possess.

Chandler explains that white privilege is not overt racism. Rather, it is the experience of belonging to the predominant culture. In America, Chandler explains, we often gloss over the contributions of other ethnicities to the forming and building of our nation. We might study Black History in the month of February, for instance, but that is insufficient at best. He also gives the example of looking for a book for a child that features a main character that is his or her same ethnicity; it’s hard to find unless you’re white.

The problem with this type of subtle privilege, Chandler warns, is that if we don’t allow the gospel to purify our hearts, we’ll begin to judge harshly those who cannot get where we are. This is a terrible place to sit, Chandler warns.

However, he’s not saying being white is a bad thing. “We don’t need to feel bad about our experience in the predominant culture, we just need to be aware of it so it doesn’t shape how we interact with the world around us,” Chandler says.

Like most things that Chandler writes, everything comes back to the Gospel of Christ. If you’d like to hear more thoughts that Matt Chandler has on white privilege from the perspective of a prominent white Christian leader, we encourage you to join us for our upcoming event on the HUB, Exponential’s online community for multiplication activists!

In our seventh episode of Candid Conversations on September 17, 2020, Matt Chandler joins us to unpack Privilege: What It Is, Why It’s White, and Who It Affects. Click here to register for this free webinar.

We are better together!

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

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