Mel Gravely Red Letter Podcast

044: Mel Gravely on Why He Wrote Nineteen Letters About Racism to His White Friends, and How and Why Christians Need to be Intentional to Fight Racism

When Mel Gravely saw pain and confusion on both sides of racism, he began to write letters. Those nineteen letters are now a book called Dear White Friend that breaks down barriers, confusion, and misconceptions about racism. Gravely is hopeful for a common good, a faithful community, and a united nation.


Today’s episode is brought to you by Red Letter Living. Pastors and church leaders, we create 40-day challenges that have helped more than 800 churches produce greater disciples. Not only this, but our resources grow small groups by more than 40%. If you are a pastor or church leader, not only can you find out more at this link, but you can also request a FREE 40-day challenge mailed to your door there.

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All 40-day challenge books


Resources mentioned in the episode: 

Dear White Friend by Mel Gravely

Dear White Friend Discussion Guide

TriVersity Construction


Key insights from the episode:  

Mel Gravely The Red Letter Disciple Quote

I sit in a privileged seat to have one foot in both worlds. – Mel Gravely

There is no excuse for people who want to know about racism not to know. – Mel Gravely 

Authenticity and intentionality can be one and the same. – Mel Gravely

Sometimes the most powerful conversations about race are white people talking to white people without black people around. – Mel Gravely

You don’t need black people in the room to raise your empathy level. – Mel Gravely

There’s a deeper understanding of racism that we are all invited into. – Zach Zehnder

God didn’t create our world so white people would have 98% of all the good stuff. – Mel Gravely

When we study their story, 1)  duration, 2) magnitude, and 3) what happened should all be considered. – Mel Gravely

I don’t like white privilege, I like benefitting bystander. – Mel Gravely

I want to be hopeful. – Mel Gravely

Sunday is a segregated time. – Mel Gravely

The gospel isn’t relevant if it’s easy in 2023. – Mel Gravely

Mel Gravely’s challenge: Ask the question, “Why are things the way they are?” five times.


Lead yourself (and your church) to be more like Jesus. 

Red Letter Challenge Books

For so many Christians, the discipleship process isn’t very clear.

They know they need to go to church, pray, not sin, and maybe attend a small group. While these are great things, they don’t outline a clear path leading people to live more like Jesus. 

We’d love to introduce you to the 40-Day Red Letter Challenge.

When you and your church take the challenge, you’ll have a clear 40-day discipleship path that will help you master five key areas of discipleship.

You can learn more about the challenge here!

In partnership with LifeWay Research, we created a Red Letter Challenge Assessment that will measure you according to these five targets. And the best news of all: it’s free! You will get results back immediately and be presented with the following steps to help you become an even greater follower of Jesus.

You can take the FREE Red Letter Challenge Assessment here.


Watch the entire season for free: 

We’ll be uploading every episode of season one of The Red Letter Disciple on our YouTube Channel. If you aren’t subscribed already, you can do so here

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