Season 16: Episode 7 | It’s a Human Thing: Systems Theory in Non-Majority Spaces

This week we invited two additional guests to tackle this tender and challenging topic. Ruth and Steve are joined by Pastor Tina Harris, a former pastor and lawyer and currently Transforming Center’s Cultivator of Community and Connection, and Pastor Marvin Williams, the pastor of Trinity Church in Lansing, MI, and a doctoral candidate doing his work in Systems Theory in Non- Majority spaces. These four pastors and teachers sit down to discuss whether Systems Theory is just a white person thing. They touch on code switching as it pertains to differentiation and the difference between chronic anxiety and real trauma, particularly generational racial trauma. They wonder what happens when majority culture is spreading an anxiety that non-majority culture has to carry, and how can System Theory help us to manage our anxiety and do better in the conversations around race that we so desperately need to have right now? This conversation is honest, challenging, and ultimately, hopeful.


You can also access podcast on Stitcher and Spotify.

Listen to other episodes from Season 16 Access past podcast seasons

Steve Cuss Resources:
Steve’s website
Managing Leadership Anxiety, Yours and Theirs by Steve Cuss

General Resources for Systems Theory:
Season 9 Episode 6 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast
Season 9 Episode 7 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast
Family Systems and Congregational Life: A Map for Ministry by R. Robert Creech
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue by Edwin H. Friedman
Extraordinary Relationships: A new Way of Thinking about Human Interactions by Roberta M Gilbert

Music Credit:
Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist

Support the podcast! This season, patrons will receive exclusive bonus content that includes conversations with Ruth and Steve that delve into episode topics a little deeper. This week Ruth and Tina will continue the conversation with thoughts about Systems Theory across gender and race. Become a patron today by visiting our Patreon page!

The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Join thousands of pastors and spiritual leaders

Receive Beyond Words®, reflections on the soul of leadership. Written by Ruth Haley Barton, each reflection provides spiritual guidance and encouragement for those seeking to be in God for the world.