Where are the black people?

I have more “leadership myths” I will blog about, and I’ll get to those, but this is a question that has been getting me going for quite a while and I have to ask it.

As I look at some of my favorite leaders and their leadership organizations – Andy Stanley and Catalyst, Ed Stetzer, Mark Batterson, Erwin McManus just to name a few I VERY SELDOMLY see black leaders speaking at these conferences. Catalyst, Purpose Driven, Awaken and MANY others rarely feature black voices in church leadership. Occasionally, a black guy will speak about “Urban ministry” or “Hip-hop and the church” in a workshop setting but those are generally it. Or they’ll get TD Jakes or Eddie Long and that’ll be the extent of it. Yet, many of these places talk about “multi-cultural ministry.”

Where are the black people?

Is the African-American church too far behind to be considered leaders in the current move happening in the American church? Are the voices coming from the church too irrelevant to white America? Do the voices of black leaders not reach the needs of Gen-X and Millenials – the target age groups of the more modern church movements?

Where are the black people?

It seems like the only way I get to hear the voice of black church leaders is in one of the following ways:

1. An outrageous statement made at a church Barak Obama went to
2. Al Sharpton
3. TD Jakes
4. At a Charismatic/Faith Movement Prosperity conference

Only one of the four are sources I’m okay with (that being TD Jakes). The other 3 are NOT sources that resonate with me nor do they generally represent my views on faith and leadership.

This isn’t a blog pointing fingers nor is it a blog to say that anyone is racist. I genuinely want to know WHERE ARE THE BLACK PEOPLE?

So, if you could, could you ask Perry Noble, Andy Stanley, Dave Ferguson, Ben Arment, Scott Hodge, Erwin McManus, Mark Batterson and the rest of the modern American church leaders – where are the black people?

I’m GENUINELY curious. Are you?



  1. jordan Said:

    What about the chinese christian leaders? How come there are no chinese people at Catalyst. Or Middle Eastern. How come there are no messianic jews preaching at Erwin McManus’s conference.
    or how about the reverse of your question.

    Where are the white people?
    When I look at Manpower Conference or Bishop Eddie Long’s ATL conferences I do not see one white person. Except the few that are in their circle (Paula White) that they bring in every once in a while.

  2. Steve "The Czar" Patton Said:

    Sure there are Chinese people at Catalyst. Francis Chan gets a main spot all the time. But Chinese Americans only make up 1.2% of the American population. So to find Chinese Americans in Christian leadership would be a bit harder.

    Messianic Jews have some problems with Protestant theology so you generally won’t find them hanging with us.

    Manpower/Megafest has been primarily ministry to African-Americans. Even still, they feature speakers like Rod Parsley, Jack Hayford and Jakes’ protege Paula White. (Ironic name given the topic, huh?)Besides, there are plenty of platforms for white voices of leadership in the Christian Church in America.

    My question, and again its purely a question and not an accusation, is where are the black voices of modern church leadership? Are they just plain not present? Are they still too raw and underdeveloped to be given a larger platform? Are they stuck in a timewarp? Are they too out of touch with the rest of the needs of the church and too concerned with the needs of the urban communities to be given an international voice?

    Where are they? My post is genuinely a question birthed in curiosity. I mean Catalyst is in Atlanta – a city that is 80% black, but MAYBE you’ll hear from one black voice of leadership. That type of thing creates curiosity. I have absolutely NO conclusions to my question, only questions.

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