As those charged by the Congregation with providing overall leadership and oversight for the spiritual wellbeing, ministry, and business of the church, the members of the Ministry Council individually and together confess on behalf of Lake Avenue Church that:

  • we have judged our church by how comfortable and affirmed it makes us feel, rather than by how uncomfortable it makes us with our sin and how it challenges us to become more like Christ;
  • we have expressly or implicitly held ourselves up as the standard by which other churches should be measured, assuming that we have little to learn from followers of Christ whose approaches and perspectives differ from our own;
  • we have not truly treated every person as one created in the image of God, and have not loved every individual as we love ourselves;
  • we have in large part limited our ministry of reconciliation to our relationships with God and with others like us;
  • we have welcomed peoples of various ethnicities and cultures into our pews, but not wholly into our lives and hearts;
  • we have passively or actively insisted that others fit in with the dominant culture of our church without valuing and learning from theirs;
  • we have not wondered or asked about or sought to remedy the struggles people of other ethnicities and cultures have in becoming full members of our church family;
  • we have failed individually and collectively to call out and battle against racism and other forms of discrimination and injustice;
  • we have allowed our brothers and sisters to speak and act in ways that disrespect and injure others, without offering correction or counsel;
  • we have justified our words and actions based upon their non-malicious intent, without taking responsibility for their actual hurtful impact;
  • we have allowed issues of justice and mercy and humility to be excluded from our church’s teaching and conversations and actions by characterizing them as political or social gospel, rather than owning them as the essence of God’s heart;
  • we have embraced stories that reinforce a comfortable and convenient narrative of the world as we want to see it, rather than seeking out and being confronted with hard truths that challenge us to understand and live differently;
  • we have jealously guarded our opportunities and status while having much less regard for the opportunities given to others;
  • we have enjoyed the benefits of political and economic systems which are advantageous to us, without accepting responsibility to examine and remedy their discriminatory and unjust foundations, history, and present effects;
  • we have been proud of our accomplishments and looked down on those who struggle economically, assuming that they have made poor choices or not worked hard, failing to consider deeply and compassionately the historical and systemic barriers they face, and to honor the skills and character they must demonstrate daily to survive;
  • we have treated an individual’s status under the law as superseding considerations of God’s heart for mercy and broader justice;
  • we have judged the incarcerated unworthy of our active concern, without critically examining the hardships and systems which have contributed to their actions, the consequences they and their families and communities experience, and the purposes God has for their lives;
  • we have used the church’s ministries to those in need as an excuse for personal inaction;
  • we have allowed ourselves and one another as leaders to avoid confronting these and other issues which are central to God’s heart and His kingdom.

We call on every individual who is part of the Lake Avenue Church family to join us in repenting of these sins as God allows each to understand them, praying for forgiveness and a renewed heart, and daily taking concrete steps to truly be the body of Christ in this world that He died to save.

Signed by the members of the 2019 to 2020 Ministry Council

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(Click to view high resolution version of signed document.)