Cory and intentionality in reconciliation

Cory and intentionality in reconciliation November 7, 2021
  • You’ll notice African Americans, Caucasians, and Latinos worshiping with Cory on stage together.
  • I may be making a big deal out of a multiethnic worship team, but I really don’t think so.
  • Sunday morning service in general is still a highly segregated time of each week in America.

In this article 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.

i. Influence Magazine

A ministerial colleague and women’s ministry leader let me know 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


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


iii. an informal case study, of sorts

I’ve discovered 3 indie pieces by our worship pastor Cory Barnes, and I do mean discovered. He doesn’t really promote himself.

You know, there could be a girl who is the big star in the small church. Everyone thinks she’s great, but she may not really be a great singer.

Then you have people with a voice and skill set like Cory at a medium-larger church.

I think he compares to other voices like Tauren Wells or maybe Jonathan McReynolds. I don’t know why some singers are picked up and others aren’t. Nashville isn’t so far away.

He consistently organizes his band and vocalists weekly, which can reach over 40 with the choir.

Cory is a singer/songwriter. He is clearly devoted to making excellent music to support top notch vocals. There’s a tryout process for his team. Those on his recordings are more of a tight knit collective he’s worked with. I’ve noticed in congregational worship and on YouTube, their sound quality is phenomenal.

Find Cory Barnes Worship at:


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

Cory has a unique crew in this region

On a Sunday morning, you’ll notice African Americans, Caucasians, and Latinos worshiping with Cory on stage together. I may be making a big deal out of a multiethnic worship team, but I really don’t think so. Sunday morning service in general is still a highly segregated time of each week in America.

Then there are other types of people, like a guitarist who looks like he could easily hop on a motorcycle and ride through the Blue Ridge mountain passes after service. One of drummers hails from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Another musician reminds me of a Trekky I know, one of my former music teachers I remain in contact with.

I do not in any way want anyone to think I’m joking! I am simply mystified by how all of these vocalists and band members work together, obviously from very different backgrounds.

Then there is the stark reality. 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.

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

I was trying to select a song to share and Cory reminded me they played He’s Risen! on Easter.

He added, “We are going to put more songs on YouTube soon!”

Cory pulls everything together, while also working at Wells Fargo. 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 divisiveness, it’s difficult to believe some regions of America are still centers for the “Great American Melting Pot” ideal which once made us all so great.

We also know Millennials seriously dislike being analyzed or categorized as well. However, I find it interesting. Barna Group pollsters were not originally using the generational term Millennials.

Barna started calling this 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 who 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!

Of course, you’ll find Mosaics on stage as well, anywhere the band is, and woven through the fabric of the church.

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