Color blessed with Dr. Derwin Gray
The two most ethnically divided groups in America are white and black Christians. Former NFL player Pastor Derwin Gray talks about embarrassing discussions on race in the church today and the importance of being color blessed and not color blind.
Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes former NFL player, pastor, and author, Dr. Derwin Gray. Gray shares his story of coming to Christ as the result of a passionate evangelist and fellow player on the Indianapolis Colts, Steve Grant.
Gray remembers the point when he began to contemplate the direction of his life. “By about my third year in the NFL, I was having this crisis,” he remembers. “Is this it? The money didn’t fix my family problems. I didn’t know I needed forgiveness; I just wanted to fix what I had done wrong. The more I tried to fix it, the worse the shame got.”
Gray became a Christian shortly after his wife, Vicki, did. “I was overwhelmed with the love of God, with the sacrifice of Christ, and with the idea that through His resurrection, I now am part of His life,” he says.
Gray became someone his Carolina Panthers teammates turned to for spiritual guidance. He launched a speaking ministry, and soon saw the need for a ministry of reconciliation between races. He references Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-21: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
“Our unity – not uniformity – is a signpost that Jesus was sent by the Father,” Gray says. “So often as American Christians, we think very individually. It’s always been about how God wants a family.”
Johnston agrees that unity among groups has always been central to the Christian faith. “I think we can make the Gospel irresistible again,” he says. “I hope one of the payoffs from this message today is developing theological underpinnings for listeners of why you do what you do.”
Dr. Derwin Gray is founder and lead pastor of Transformation Church. He is the author of “Hero: Unleashing God’s Power in a Man’s Heart” (2010), “Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future” (2013), “Crazy Grace for Crazy Times Bible Study” (2015), and “The High-Definition Leader” (2015).