North American Mission Board VP Dhati Lewis Focuses on ‘the Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation’ in New Book

Dhati Lewis, author of the book “Advocates: The Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation,” is the North American Mission Board’s vice president over the Send Network, NAMB’s church planting ministry arm. Lewis also pastors Blueprint Church in Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Blueprint Church

Dhati Lewis remembers flipping through election night coverage on television, Nov. 8, 2016. He felt captivated by the news cycle as the results started pouring in.

Lewis recalls that night in his new book “Advocates: The Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation” and remembers a common theme that moved him deeply: “our country is divided.”

“Christians were saying it. Nonbelievers were saying it. News anchors from every station were saying it,” Lewis writes. “I heard those words ripple through every single channel, and I was grieved to my core.”

As a pastor of a diverse congregation in Atlanta, Blueprint Church, Lewis believed he was going to need to confront those divisions head on in order to shepherd his people well.

The 2016 election revealed divisions in the United States and the American church, Lewis writes. For an African American man with a heart for reconciliation, the eruption that took place that night underscored just how much work needed to be done.

Lewis began by addressing the divisions in his congregation, pausing their current sermon series to focus on the book of Philemon. That became the foundation for Advocates. In order to see tensions heal, Lewis writes, Christians need to take on the role of advocates, who plead for others to be reconciled to Christ and to one another.

“The issue of racial division is close to my heart for a lot of different reasons,” Lewis said about his reason for writing the book. “I’ve always had the desire to run to the tension with a heart for reconciliation; this book is a manifestation of that practice.”

Lewis became a vice president at the North American Mission Board in 2018, leading the Send Network, NAMB’s ministry that focuses on starting new churches in areas that lack a strong, gospel presence. For years, Lewis has seen the need for reconciliation as a key to planting new churches.

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Source: Baptist Press