Excerpt from the book: Leadership in the Black Church: Guidance in the midst of Changing Demographics, by Dr. Michael A. Evans, Sr.
African-American clergy are expected to be upfront and outspoken on issues of justice and equality to say the least. The reason it is different in the black community is because of the African-American church.
The African-American church often referred to as the “Black church,” has a rich history of being one of the strongest institutions in the African-American community.Clergy and laity of the church have worked together for generations to make this possible. It was the church that was instrumental in helping a once oppressed people overcome slavery, fight racial discrimination, and endure economic hardship.
The 19th and 20th centuries marked a time when the African-American church carved out a bold identity that is now in a state of flux. A changing African-American culture has morphed into a new community of people who are more affluent, better educated, and demanding new leadership models. In response to these changes, church leaders are challenged to move beyond the extensive use of the authoritative model of leadership to a more suitable participative inclusive style.
If the church is going to remain relevant in our changing world, it requires a different approach and style of leadership. (from chapter one, page 2)