Judah Smith, lead minister of City Church, spoke with Faithwire about his latest book, “How’s Your Soul: Why Everything that Matters Starts with the Inside You” and personal responsibilities as a community pastor.
In line with Smith’s new book, he is tasking his congregates to have difficult conversations and to look above the superficial and deep into their hearts. In doing so, the millennial minded minister spoke about timely conversations in the interview held prior to the release of the book.
It includes the impact of serving a false idol in the form of social media, grappling with everyday life and the ugly and ignorant face of racism, a subject matter that has been a constant conversation across the United States, especially in recent times, where news reports have allowed people across the globe to get front seats in ongoing hardships between police officers and citizens taking place and even the 2016 Mrs. USA contestant winner, Deshuana Barber, receiving a backlash because of her skin color.
And most recently, election 2016, where accusations of racism and bigotry being put on Republican president-elect Donald J. Trump and his followers, one that has led to thousands across the United States to take to the streets and protest his win.
All of which is showcasing the state of pain the country is in and the need for soul cleaning in the spirit of overcoming and uniting.
Jesus is so familiar with your pain that he literally became it. pic.twitter.com/HgEpH6FDCD
— Judah Smith (@judahsmith) November 10, 2016
City Church is located in Seattle, Washington and has a large millennial based audience. Throughout the ten chapter book, is an underpinning theme that sticks with readers, which is America’s current social media addiction, through the worship of famous figures, which are known to be followers of Smith, one of the most infamous being Justin Bieber.
Stressing over social media is something that effects all, including himself, Smith openly admitted to in the interview. He explains scrolling through Instagram, has given him the case of “FOMO” at times, a term that is an abbreviation for “fear of missing out” which is defined by the dictionary as: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
— Judah Smith (@judahsmith) November 15, 2016
The father and husband with over 300,000 followers, uses the term, which is commonly applied to millennials, a group that falls between the ages of 18-35 year old’s, to look at what others are doing. As people do this, it leaves out room to be present and vulnerable within your community, he said, also adding, it even impedes on a person’s, “Godliness with contentment” which is a term used by Smith when referring to individuals that seem to walk with peace, because of this great gain.
The other point of importance in unplugging is the fact that, “nobody wants a busy dad, a busy mom (or) a busy friend…” a problem that has erupted due to modern time.
Another symptom of having our faces glued to tablets, phones and television screens is isolation.
Smith said, “what is not good is isolation, the feeling of displacement” adding that it is important, “that you take the risk (to) gain.”
Taking the (risk) includes asking yourself the question as well as a friend, “How’s your soul?” instead of “How are you?”
A question that came out of his personal struggles when his father passed away six years ago, and the reasoning behind the birth of this book, which has been in the making since that moment happened.
He said of his father’s passing, “I (was) not okay and my soul wasn’t well.” Even adding, “I don’t know what I was going to do next (it was a) breaking point for me.”
During the interview with Faithwire, he also posted a statement saying, “If I could be so bold, I challenged our (church) community (to) have a lot of heated arguments, white and black’…(asking)…’can you help me understand, what you might be experiencing?'”
One that the pastor considers necessary at his predominantly caucasian church, because when it comes to racism, he says, “are we willing to challenge each other” stressing that difficult conversations can help elevate pain and the importance in recognizing racial differences.
“To recognize they are African-American is true beauty…this provides an incredible platform (because) we are not all the same.”
Also mentioning from his personal perspective, “by no means am I ignorant of the fact that caucasian men and women have had the upper hand,” a refreshing testimony that is in line with his new book, which asks readers to ask themselves questions.
Smith also points to moments that showcase his imperfection in his new book, an act that demonstrates that all of us have flaws.
A lesson in life easily taken away from Smith from reading the book and this statement is, “The inside of us is far more important than the outside.”
The book is available for sale as of Nov. 15