In this episode, Greg sits down with Valarie Grimes, the pastor of a church plant in Savannah called Radiant Church. Valarie and Greg have an honest discussion about the unique challenges Valarie has faced as a female, African American church planter, and Valarie challenges assumptions and expectations in the church planting world to help us all recognize and embrace the emerging face of church planting!

Insight from Our Guest, Valarie Grimes

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1. Women planters face unique challenges

  • Many denominations only ordain men, making it challenging to find support systems as a female lead planter
    • “You have to find people willing to help you push against those barriers and open a door because when the door opens, then you can get in and you can be everything God’s called you to be.”

2. BIPOC planters face unique challenges

  • There is not a common language between dominant culture churches and minority culture churches, espeically when it comes to funding
  • Most dominant culture donors are looking for financial ROI only
    • “Getting that common language, having someone willing to take that risk – and then remember that the ROI is not a financial ROI. You’re gonna get an ROI of souls that are being fed and brought into the kingdom and nurtured, and, you know,walked on the journey. You gotta shift your way of thinking about what it looks like.”

3. Older church planters face unique challenges.

    • “I don’t speak for every black woman or every older black woman. And if anyone is listening today and they’re wanting to walk with someone in this journey is to remember that that whoever they decide to open the door to, they’re not a monolith… You have to remember that they are individual and they are unique.”

4. It’s important for current dominant culture leaders to open doors for and empower planters from minority cultures.

  • Dominant culture leaders should sit under the leadership and authority of minority culture leaders in the church.
  • The church should look less like a melting pot and more like a gumbo.
    • “We’re not looking for someone to be a white savior, but we’re looking for someone to say, Hey, I value what you offer and now I want your voice to be heard… Diversity just means that you are allowing people of color, whatever that nationality may be, to have a face in the place. But inclusion means you’re listening to my voice. And so I think that’s the thing I want people to understand when they talk about an open door, is that that door means that you want all of me, all of what I have to offer, and it is a give and take. I have something to offer just as well as you do”

5. Black History Month and the church

    • “We are a church without walls, bringing the hope of Jesus to every one, everywhere in every aspect of our community and Black History Month is that moment to kind of spotlight it and look at the people we serve and to see them and to know that God, he sent his son to die for them as well. So for anyone listening, I think that’s the thing is that justice, equality, inclusion, those are not dreams. Those are God’s reality. And so they have to become the church’s reality as well.”

*Transcripts are created through automated processes and may contain errors

More About: Valarie

Valarie Grimes is the pastor of Radiant Church Savannah, a new church plant. The vision of Radiant is to be a church without walls bringing the hope of Jesus to everyone, everywhere.” Valarie is an international speaker and Kingdom builder. Her passion is inspiring people to reach their God-given potential in order to change the world. Pastor Valarie is a compassionate leader that has impacted the lives through domestic and international initiatives. She traveled to Ganta City, Liberia, and Delhi, China as a speaker and missionary. Valarie is also a registered nurse. Her most important roles, however, are the ones she holds in her family as a wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. Her goal is to influence others to become Christ followers and to lead Radiant lives.