Conversations with ATX Leaders Part III: Jurie Kriel
“Petrol and wood are different elements but when you add a match they both ignite.” remarks Jurie Kriel, Pastor of 5 Twelve City Church. The pandemic and racial tension may seem like separate issues but few would deny they are feeding into one another. How are Christian leaders supposed to respond?
“Leadership is essentially taking people from A to B. We can’t lead people toward a desired future if we don’t start from an understood space.” As a 10th generation African, born into a group with privilege but later to be a minority, Pastor Kriel encourages leaders to define reality, untangle the emotions, and shine a light. “If you’ve ever had a child afraid of the dark you know that simply turning on a light brings comfort.” We as leaders need to turn on the light.
As he recalls his journey through racial tensions in South Africa Jurie reminds us, “There can be a future beyond injustice.” Naming the fear and admitting what we don’t understand is where the conversation should start and where our leadership begins. “People had to come forward, speak the truth and face the fear.” In a time of frustration, economic uncertainty, isolation, and racial inequality leaders need to guide their followers toward a common language. “Once we’ve defined what injustice is we can start the conversation,” notes Jurie, “Hope simply needs the agreement there is a better future ahead.”
“Should we honor the authorities placed over us or honor the biblical mandate to gather? We should do both and. It is not either or.” With suggested limitations church leaders are having rethink the church experience. Having a global perspective of the church, Jurie shares his thoughts on the future, “In order to move forward we have to move backwards.” With a brief reminder of church history Pastor Kriel challenges church leadership, “We shouldn’t be fighting for our preservation. We should be fighting for the Kingdom of God.” he remarks, “Stop waiting and start adapting.” questioning, “How are we going to keep on adding value and showing people the value in belonging?”
Don’t miss this insightful and challenging conversation.