Gallup reports that 37% of Americans attend church weekly or near-weekly, while many Americans say they have lost faith in religious leaders. Those statistics are strikingly different for African Americans. Nearly 60% of African Americans say they attend church weekly, according to a survey. One reason they say they attend is because the church focuses on the holistic needs of people–one’s relationship with God as well as issues that are faced every day. That approach is consistent with our Lord’s instructions to Peter and to the entire church. After Peter failed to show courage by denying his relationship with Jesus during His kangaroo trial, Jesus later confronted and restored Peter with a penetrating question and a charge found in John chapter 21: “Peter, do you love me more than these? … Then feed my sheep [my people].” Churches that have a passionate love for the Lord Jesus and a burning desire and strategy to meet all the holistic needs of people—their spiritual as well as their social and material needs—will often find that people come to find fulfillment.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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