Cory and intentionality in reconciliation

Cory and intentionality in reconciliation May 14, 2021

Cory Barnes is a singer/songwriter. He is also the worship leader of a multicultural worship team in a congregation with great influence… for a great many reasons. His intentional real-time reach is reflected by his band and worship team, as well as by his family.

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In this piece, I share a couple of statements on racial reconciliation for your perusal. Although I would really like to explore my own Text in a certain Epistle, I will refrain. I would much rather you read the statements from a professor from Fuller and from the president of Asbury.

Then, please allow me to offer an informal case study in sociology, of sorts. I’m basically sharing the “testimony” of a very diverse troupe that is at peace with who they are. Not only are they at peace with their diverse identity, they are ministering to thousands in person and online.

There is no great deductive question to chase. This whole article is an inductive approach, where I collect some information and allow you to draw some conclusions, maybe even make application to your own context.

In actuality, I’m inviting you into my spiritual practices this week, for these materials have affected me. No, they have moved me this week toward a greater awareness of my responsibility to be intentional about reconciliation, rather than a dissenter or accuser of the brethren.

i. Influence Magazine

A ministerial colleague, writer, and women’s ministry leader recently let me know that her husband is the managing editor of Influence. Interestingly, she let me know a day after I had found and posted this article on LinkedIn from Influence Magazine.

It’s a good piece, actually a really great piece by a Fuller Professor.

Adam, Abraham, and the Apocalypse: A Biblical Theology of Race

CLICK HERE

I appreciate how as a Pentecostal, he relates to minorities. If you’re in a Pentecostal tradition, surrounded by those of like faith, and not at the greater table of dialogue in the Body of Christ, it’s difficult to gauge the depth of this comparison.

However, in my experience at Asbury (and I include a statement from them next) I have found a welcome far beyond what I expected. The nuances of my doctrine may not be widely accepted, but it is widely respected.

Enjoy every minute reading the articles above and below. I believe they represent not only one opinion, but corporate streams of healing and racial reconciliation.

ii. Asbury Theological Seminary is a confessional community

Last year and this year a number of public materials have been offered freely to share Asbury’s stance on racial reconciliation.

The following article was offered during the season of Lent this year in order to offer a communal focus and means of repentance.

Dr. Timothy Tennent: Asbury’s Lenten Journey Toward Racial Reconciliation

CLICK HERE

iii. an informal case study, of sorts

I’ve discovered 3 indie pieces by our worship leader Cory Barnes because he won’t promote himself. I think he’s a tenor on par with Tauren Wells or Jonathan McReynolds (no kidding) but sometimes he only does a couple songs in a whole 30 minute set like Bethel Redding!

Cory is a singer/songwriter. It’s clear that he’s devoted to making excellent music to support top notch vocals. There’s a tryout process for his team, and I am sure there would be a stricter process to participate in one of his recordings. I’ve noticed in congregational worship and on YouTube that the sound quality is phenomenal for a congregation that size.

Find Cory Barnes Worship at:

Website CLICK HERE

He’s also on Facebook, Instagram, iTunes, YouTube, and Spotify

Cory has a crew that is unique in this region

On a Sunday morning, you’ll notice African Americans, Caucasians, and Latinos worshiping on stage together. In fact, Cory’s wife is Caucasian.

Then there are other types of people, like a guitarist who looks like he could easily hop on a Hog and ride to Sturgis after church. I just found out on Sunday that one of congo players hails from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. One reminds me of a Trekky, but that is totally unfounded. He’s an excellent musician. I do not in any way want to take a tone! I am simply mystified by how all of these band members work together, obviously presenting from very different backgrounds.

Then there is the stark reality that this is not a band or worship team targeted at young adults. Both the band and worship team have members spanning decades.

It’s as if Cory is intentional about opening the door for anyone to worship our Lord together, despite surface layer differences.

Cory has a crew that’s like the Island of Misfit Toys

Everyone is unique, but everyone has a place, voice, and Spiritual Gift to offer. In my opinion, each Sunday seems like a microcosm of what worship must be like in Heaven.

We were talking on Wednesday night and he reminded me that we played He is Risen! on Easter.

Cory also says, “We are going to put more songs on YouTube soon!”

Cory pulls everything together, while working at Wells Fargo, his real job. From time to time, they have meetings in San Francisco because… it’s Wells Fargo.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why he can seamlessly work with a variety of people. In the wake of last year’s destruction, it’s difficult to believe that some regions of America are still centers for the “Great American Melting Pot” ideal that once made America so great.

I don’t want to overly analyze the Island of Misfit Toys

We also know that Millennials seriously dislike being analyzed or categorized as well. However, I find it interesting that the Barna Group pollsters were not originally using the generational term Millennials. They started calling that generation the Mosaics long before others tagged them as Millennials.

Mosaics is a throw-back to the “Great American Melting Pot,” because Barna saw the Mosaics as a generation that would reintroduce us to true multiculturalism. Mosaics have the potential to break down the barriers of the former generations, blend our stories together like a beautiful mosaic, and celebrate the uniqueness of each piece as well as the grand design of the collective!



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