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46: Interview with Crossroads Fellowship Oneness Ministry Leader Dr. Tony Jones

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2020 2:00 pm

46: Interview with Crossroads Fellowship Oneness Ministry Leader Dr. Tony Jones

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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Welcome to Crossroads connection is the show all about having conversations running life ministries and culture cone is a quick thank you. Our friends the Truth Network for hearing. This program and thank you for listening today I'm Tyler and I'm joined as always, by Jamie Jamie. It's great to see you. How are you doing day yeah it's good to be with you and it's good to be with Andy who is also here Andy how you doing doing well good to see both you here and thank you again to everybody who are listening right now we are in week two of the year 2021 so you've made it through the first full week of the new year. Hopefully by now and I hope you hopefully by now you not going oh I can't wait for 2022.

I hope that we got that so we had a great great program for everybody today as you know, 20/20 was a interesting year is a tough year. Not just with things covert nuts is with the election but also a lot of racial tension in our country, and quite frankly within our own city here in the Triangle and Raleigh and Durham Chapel Hill and in other areas around here and so we thought it be great to interview Dr. Tony Jones who is part of crosses, fellowships, oneness, embrace ministry ministry that is geared towards really truly reaching out and having those difficult conversations every Saturday was a great conversation here.

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Thank God we made it through all 2019, we have we have we. We were talking last week's program. We were talking about. So what people are hopeful for with the new year. So let me spring and impromptu question on you, sir, what would you hopeful for for 2021 here. I'm hoping to be more focused on purpose and embrace my time together with those wall locomotives to get one is really good. It's really good Tyler. Tyler just asked for more money, you have more money well Tony you are a dear brother to us here and across its Fellowship and for those you are listening to Crossroads connection is stemmed out of Crossroads Fellowship and one of probably, in my opinion one of the greatest and most difficult, most blessing and most frustrating ministries.

We probably have is oneness ministry. So today, I thought as we kick into a new year with this last year that we had at that would be great opportunities to talk with you about that particular ministry. So before we get to that though… Learn a little bit about Tony Jones or Tony where you from, how didn't appear in Raleigh and then had Jennifer Crossroads well I'm originally from was born in Brooklyn New York, but I was raised in Wilson North Carolina because that's what my mother took me and Rick went to Wilson growth will slow like my mother Ashley. Her family lived in Wilson while she happened to leave for Stanton and spent some time in New York State for two years in New York and that's where I was born and then she saw my great back down south came back to Wilson and also most my life there, but that think of now been in Raleigh long that I was in Wilson because of all the woman that I was blessed to marry. We moved to Raleigh because of the job market in opportunities and we been here ever since.

Yeah, it's a great place to come and settle in here going on 16 years now, and same thing our kids grow up here and I tell people often come from the other side of New York from the Niagara Falls. I always tell people that if God wants me to go back north. God himself physically needs to come and help me pack and move my house otherwise among them believing I'm not gonna believe these tell me to go back up there and I know you love you listening now that are also some transplants from the north done down here in January. Here way better than January New York so were glad to be here is how did you find Crossroads Fellowship our church will I when I was pastoring Reese to be a part you as well use a come along to assess progress on that. So, submit some some leadership Doug Gamble, Anthony Thomas so during that time was very familiar with Carlton became more familiar with Crossroads you know that time even while I was spoke from a church plant pastor generate minister doing various roles responsibilities until he came to a season where life in us.

It was time for us to be planted in place where we can grow as a couple more so than just being ministry assign and on through prayer and through time. Crossroads place a God let us to hell. We are grateful that he did and wasn't too long before you got plugged in and out pretty quickly in and are leading in and be in a very big part of one of our biggest ministries that are so very important call the oneness ministry so give us a little background Tony to the formation of oneness ministry and what it is that I know of two parts are listening on okay one this ministry that could be a lot of different things and so that vision and mission behind the oneness ministry and how that form will how the ministry actually formed and I wasn't up part of the groundbreaking applicant actually in its early since infancy stage got Oracle embryonic stage got birth through the women's ministry and some incidents that had happened that wasn't very healthy and because of the stalemate. A culturally diverse church and and through that spawn of a greater need of a greater call. I would say that God rose late us aware of for for him that he want us to begin to look at how we are engaging with each other as believers socially, but deafening as believers and so through that door. Realize that there was an opportunity there.

Pastor Doug Gamble had formed a task force team to see how we could integrate and begin to provide opportunities to address this issue better deal with the growing understanding and all that in. And so he asked me to be the lead of this ministry. So what what oneness is about just so happen while come back to that that why Glenn said at that around the time that we were really begin growing strong in developing. Dr. Evans came out with a book called oneness embrace and he talked about various racial issues of the code from a biblical perspective.

So his book and his dog's videos became a part of us creating a curriculum and become. Also, I would say the fiber of our focus for the ministry to begin to address you know the true diversity and inclusion unity of oneness and not sameness. There is a difference within our church so so we stand out our biggest same as we stand in God's vision to being a multicultural community where every person is valued because they are created in the image of God. Too often there are even with especially within multicultural, multiracial, multicultural churches members who actually feel invisible because they're not recognized, celebrated and embraced because they had not asked the sameness of what it into we call solar trying to really brace this issue head-on.

There are many obstacles there book about four years now. The ministry is getting going about various efforts and opportunities for people to engage to plug into learning to grow the experience and we thank you for the opportunity as senior pastor to support us and give us the space of addresses yeah yeah which is what you're referring to, you know I it's no accident four years ago was another election year.

Four years ago and part of a part of the full picture of a part of what created hurt and you know little anxious and worry and pump potential divisiveness was the election season and that 14 years ago seemed to ramp up and pull out a lot of hurts and a lot of pain a lot of get intended conversations that were not well received, and vice versa, and so part of that stirred into war than we needs we need to place a safe place to start having these conversations were ministry was one of the first ones at that, entered into, and you historically Crossroads for people who are listening when not be aware crosses about 30 years old and early on if you talk to the people that helped form Crossroads.

We got several that are so understaffed that we are 30 years ago they would tell you that there are more heaven conversations 20+ years ago in the parking lot where the church is the meat going hey we we we need to start praying that this church becomes a beautiful picture of our city, not just church for just one particular people group but for the picture of the city and it's taken years and decades even just to get us to this point now to where you know now were still walking in as you said, multicultural, multiracial spirit atmosphere which is beautiful, but it also does open up for a lot of conversations and again this election season.

Now brings up a whole lot more conversations but also this last year…… Look at the year 2020. It's crazy that we can say that now this last hill last year 2020. Not only was an election year. Not only was a year of coded but also a lot of racial tension in our country.

A lot of unneeded deaths a lot of ugliness that we saw a lot of pain a lot of hurt, but then also a lot of conversations which is not the silly or bad thing to have conversations and so for us as a church to have you and your team and volunteers in a oneness ministry. Tony can you can you paint the picture of the type of conversations that were had in 2020. In that oneness embraced setting were maybe otherwise wouldn't be happening somewhere. I think that some of the conversations. A lot of the conversation happened around understanding the issue why are people of color so upset was the history is involved, the trauma and the impact it has not only on the present day individual. In the event there children and their their their grandchildren all their funeral parents before. Is there much of the difference between the cry of 60 years ago the war on justice and fairness and to be embraced God six years ago than it is today. A lot of conversation have been happen from non-people of color is you know what is a day for Roy. You know, is it just a thing of little while my responsible for because of Mike.

My family didn't have slaves you know. So is it fair to call me are privileged, you know, so we really explored those term and out of various terminology, so people can understand what it is and understand why it is but I think most importantly, we talked about why is it that we as believers should be concerned about. It should care about it and why we should be modeling a different response in the world.

He is yeah I love that because you know I think I think society as a whole. This last year got hung up on terminologies they got hung up on white privilege or buckeyes matter or racism or privilege.

You know, or systemic racism. If I think I think people got hung up on terminologies and never really got to the why behind it and how do we actually have conversations and for the church. How do we actually model that you know how actually model having a difficult conversation that maybe you're very very uncomfortable with. But you go into it with respect and love for your brother sister talking to because hey, we might be very different, but we have one Lord, one savior, one spirit supposed to have one mind and one heart as Scripture says, and we find often that that's not the case because people have all these tense up and built up things and so 21 of the things that you and I walk through early on I guess was early summer was an acronym that I actually still use this day. In fact, I actually help the company recently, walk through a diversity, equity and inclusion using awake using awake 20 for those listening. I think the awake acronym is a very good just first initial concept in people's heads of how they can actually start navigating towards whether it's understanding or conversations. Would you mind that at a high level just to walk through that awake that awake are accurate and that you all been using yes thinking awake is an acronym that Rick that stands for the a is for acknowledge that in this is about acknowledging that injustice exists. Understanding the foundations understand the culpability but also would meet goes to the W walk is challenging people to walk into spaces where you can learn what you think you know what you don't know understand it in that walking, you begin to also understand and learn about your unconscious biases in all these are your blind spots. You know then we go to active actively actively discussing it with family, friends with minorities you know in persistent conversations, conversations, not confrontations, well-being, and that needs to happen on a persistent and regular basis to office.

Sometimes we do have more confrontation than we do have conversations which cripples our ability to learn is really good and that's really good so we get into Kindred is the case. No candor is where we talk about practicing and showing empathy and compassion. You know treating someone like a family member that has had something to happen than MAB that you never experienced before.

But you're able to leave and sit with them and show them love and show compassion too often were not good about doing that. We haven't been good about as a culture doing that and lastly we talk about engaging in 08. Engage in after you called Buddhist process. Of course, to all the people try to do is engage before they go to the point of even acknowledging and walking in all that but engage in is is finding the areas to join in it.

In efforts to demonstrate God's love for everyone, whether you understand their experience or not, there are various opportunities to do that.

It takes commitment and really takes personal commitment to do that so that's in short, the acknowledge the wall accurate actively discussed to show kindred love and empathy and to engage the best belief essence around what the awake acronym is devoutly using. I felt it was very very helpful in conversation so for me to build a talk somebody through that and the first step of having acknowledgment that there is a problem you know I've been I've honestly been amazed.

Maybe I shouldn't be.

By this point, but I was amazed, especially in 2020.

How many people didn't even think there was a problem and if there was a problem. It wasn't their problem and it was pretty amazing, because I member using this phrase a lot just because you acknowledge racism doesn't mean you're a racist right I think that that would help so many people. In fact maybe people listen. Now you have… Program now going all Megan serial Gallagher talk about a gallery over.

This is 2021 elections done we moved. There's not been any new cities of Bern last last week's… Move on, but that's you I think there's a lot of lot of fear in people that if I acknowledge it, then that means that I am racist but that's not the case. But if you do acknowledge it. It also means that there's a responsibility so we have to look at the distinctive difference between people how people of the world respond to it and view it in people of God. I will more than egregious offense come from those we are sitting at the table. As Jesus said, my face come from those who sitting right here, even with me and didn't read and and so that's where it becomes really the most critical point for us as believers is understanding. You know why this is so important what wise it is important issuing and does God really care about it so you know God this honors God and it reflects to moral. What matters to him. What matters to him should matter to us. You know you as I share with you many times that I obey Scriptures John 1335 by this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you show love to one another.


So when the world sees when they don't see us through our actions only through our words saying we love each other but not treating each other the same catalog that becomes perspective that they understand and say God doesn't care about me because I don't look like them right yeah and I love how you keep coming back. It is that these the third for some who say it just in the last 15 sup minutes of you know the church in the Christian's response should be marked differently than what the world is trying to do and look at the world honey over the world. They don't have the answer is not what will they have an answer but is not working right. Having it's getting worse and worse and worse.

And if the church does not model how to have reconciliation how to have healthy conversations how to model oneness and an embrace that truly than who else is going a model that's its own even working with that group for a few years now and I'm sure that you felt you had some pricing great moments where you look back and go. This is the this is why what what sure why Tony when you look back is our story or to her testimony that she would like.

This is why we have one this embrace and why these conversations are so important. You can share my why are why I think is right.

My why my why it really just goes back to what I just said is because it matters to God. If you know it's it's we talked about why people have such an effect saying black lives matter you know and not the organization but but the slogan is what we're talking about and and it should.

There is a tension that should be put on whatever life at that time is more Christ as if the woman's in the emergency room and that babies in a crisis right now all baby lives matter.

You know, potentially be put on that baby at the end of the many life doesn't matter is that that child lives matter so wise because at the end of the day.

We do want to be who God is calling us to be reflect his love for everyone. It is impossible and will keep were lying concept been precritical when we say we love God, but we don't love the people that God created yellow origins of the people that are like us or the ones that are easy to love right yeah yeah you know, because it's it's got usual of people who are who are similar and who are just really easy.

But then you have to get down into the pain into the the struggles that we all have that's work it's a little rough so Tony, as you are listening them everything and hit it.

I think I want to know little bit more about oneness or oneness embrace what work can I go to get more information.

I know that we have a toolkit that I found it very helpful.

So if you want to talk a little about that and some of the resources as we Zerubbabel I can't believe what time goes so quickly on this program so sorry honey it in chemicals remarketing can appoint people toward some resources that will help. They'll be wonderful. Let me close with that with the pointer resources and give a very short story so you want to learn more about oneness at Crossroads Fellowship go to Crossroads Fellowship website and just type in the word one step and it would bring you to the page 4 for the oneness ministry within Crossroads and it wouldn't take it give you information regarding class opportunities are virtual or in classroom if we meet and at that time. Topics that were discussing their book because of those cool readers who want to be a part of the book club. Those who like to have discussions at the luncheon documentaries their documentaries on various level.

If you're trying to figure out how do I have this conversation with my child.

We are so excited that we have a resource want children as well that you can use help your child understand this process and why is so much tension in our country and this is really something back that we are seeing expanded Broderick. I think that more faith institutions, churches need to be really embrace this process because you can truly see more the power of God really blow and see men and women come to the Lord by saying how much God's care about them.

I'll close with this story during the time of the Amano Aubrey and George for debt murders in our class was in the middle of the session on call trauma would talk about the is what time is in impacts of that, but our meeting that was Virginia here, who's also a member about about ministry under any of the church rather than a licensed counselor. She stopped the regular program. If I could say allow people an opportunity to share their fault to heart their faults and how the heart vote and many broke out many cheer and we whip together. These are black and white and Latino wind and an Italian you know various participants that were on this call, and how we will able to display were able to see displayed what God intends for the body of Christ.

As a matter what you look like, but a stat with each other. They listen to each other.

They cry with each other and we pray for the Charleston that is the true impact that we envision, but that took some work to get to that point, we could be state when we could be vulnerable when we can be transparent so that we can really embrace it and do that so I strongly encourage even the best pastoral leaders to really take on diversity and inclusion and social justice as a part of your multicultural congregation and you have to do that alone.

There are many train individuals and organizations that are scheduled to really help you develop. Be intentional about looking not only at your structuring your blind spots within your your is your fellowship but also make those appropriate adjustments so that those who are impacted by this are not suffering in silence yeah well said Tony and Tony think so much for being on the program today think even more effect thank you for your investment in in the people of Knossos Crossroads, but of the triangle with the oneness embrace and for your leadership in in your hearts and your your ability to have difficult conversations in a way that make people feel loved and appreciated. So really appreciate you think so much for all you do and think it all leaders and everybody. And as Tony said if you want more information about the oneness ministering to, and you'll find out all the information in their 20 appreciate you and look for the got in the you in this new year 2021 you for joining him listening to everything and thinking across the country still possible. You can find out more information about investment prospects shall meet left, you can contact at that point for sponsoring this paving. We look forward to having Your success as a leader hinges upon buying from your team clear and consistent communication from you in strategic delegation mining Cheryl Scanlon C3 Advantage helps you steward your most valuable resource. Well, improve retention grow employee engagement and generate higher team and individual ownership.

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