Resources for Christian leaders responding to gun violence

Protest sign read "Protect Kids Not Guns"

Bigstock/Blulz60

Gun violence is sickeningly common, and Christian leaders often are called upon to respond when it happens. Here are resources from the Faith & Leadership archives to help in that difficult task.

Guns and violence

Lisa L. Thompson: Preaching and teaching about gun violence
Guns and gun violence may not be addressed in Scripture, but human dignity, the sanctity of life and other matters that speak to the issue and resonate with Christians’ core beliefs are, says the Union Theological Seminary homiletics professor.

Michael McBride: Gun violence, race and the church
Gun violence in America is disproportionately visited upon dark-skinned people in urban neighborhoods, part of a legacy of racism and violence, says a California pastor. And the church must lead the way in transforming such neighborhoods into places of true peace, justice and inclusion.

William H. Lamar IV: Reject the myth of redemptive violence
In the aftermath of the mass killings in Charleston, South Carolina, church leaders must begin having real conversations about the truth of America’s history and its mistaken belief in the myth of redemptive violence, the pastor of Metropolitan AME Church says in this interview.

William H. Lamar IV: Let us go to the other side
Faith and fear have always been intertwined in the Christian imagination, and our continued failure to reckon with it can only lead to continued violence, the pastor of Metropolitan AME Church says in this sermon.

Interrupting violence
CeaseFire has created a new model for combating crime. The key: Looking at urban violence as a public health problem, not a criminal justice problem.

Responding to tragedy

There is gospel to preach here: Christian leaders respond to the Orlando shooting
Twelve Christian leaders across the country serving in a variety of roles tell the stories of how they responded to the massacre and offer resources to help others responding to tragedy.

Resources for leading amid tragedy and crisis
Every tragedy -- large or small, public or private -- is different, but they all pose challenges for leadership.

Laura Everett: What the living do
Mundane, ordinary acts of living defy that which would entomb us, says the executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches in a sermon preached the Sunday after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Reconciliation

Bearing witness to the pain of violence
When a faith-based organization realized its tactics were not accomplishing its goal of stopping violence, members tried a new approach: simply being with people who were suffering.

Marcia Owen: Affirming the dignity of our neighbors
Justice and healing from violence are best approached by simply being with those who are suffering, says a United Methodist layperson with a faith-based organization.

Forgiveness

Christian forgiveness and the Boston Marathon bombing
Faith & Leadership offers resources for pastors and laypeople seeking to explore the question of forgiveness in the aftermath of  violence.