MLK Day On, Not Off

January 15, 2007 by

Following up my post post from earlier this week about how more churches should be making a bigger deal about MLK day, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that many do.

I flew to Michigan Friday for a board meeting of a non-profit I serve on. During my ride from the airport, I was talking with fellow board member Pastor Clifford Barnett of Brighton Rock A.M.E. Zion Church in Portsmouth, Va. Besides being on my list for one of the coolest pastors in the world (this guy gets up every morning during the school year and waits with kids who are waiting for their bus!), Pastor Barnett and team are active participants in their local “day on/day off” program.

The concept “it’s not a day off, it’s a day on” honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as not just a holiday break from working, but a chance to serve our communities. The idea is brilliant (thank you Congress of 1994!).

I’m sure Dr. King would have preferred any honor people were going to give him to be done in the name of serving others rather than serving ourselves.

Thanks Pastor Clifford Barnett and to all other churches who make a big deal out of this holiday!

Post By:

Brad Abare


Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it. He and his wife Jamaica live in Los Angeles with their daughter, MirĂ³.
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5 Responses to “MLK Day On, Not Off”

  • Chris Bork
    January 16, 2007

    Amen to that! Churches SHOULD make a bigger deal out of MLK day. I find that it is usually readily ignored in the suburban churches that I know of.
    Unfortunately, I could not serve on MLK day, as I work in a hospital and we don’t get that day off.
    Thank you!


  • Matt Tew
    January 18, 2007

    I had a friend who met and waited with school kids for their bus in the morning.
    He was very genuine and had all the right motives, but understandably parents became very suspicious and concerned about this activity.
    But this is probably besides the point


  • Scott
    January 23, 2007

    Wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr. a womanizer? I’m not so sure we should make a big deal out of this holiday.


  • S Taylor
    January 23, 2007

    I think we had better know what MLK’s beliefs were before we endorse his motives. A quick review of his writings will reveal some very unbiblical viewpoints. That is more than reason enough for the church to stay away from honoring this man. No doubt he was a great humanitarian. However, when it comes to the Christian faith he was completely off the mark


  • Wesley
    June 12, 2012

    So do we hold guys like Jonathan Edwards who was a manstealer (slave holder) to the same standard that Scott and S. Taylor seem to be holding MLK to? It would appear that there is grave moral and theological error in holding other human beings as personal possessions.



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