Weep with Me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation



Gospel unity creates racial harmony.

However, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “the most segregated hour in America is 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.” Equipped with the gospel, the church should be the catalyst for reconciliation, yet it continues to cultivate immense pain and division.

In an effort to bridge the canyon of misunderstanding, insensitivity, and hurt, Mark Vroegop has written this timely resource about the biblical practice of lament, which he defines as “the biblical language of empathy and exile, perseverance and protest.” Encouraging you to “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15), Vroegop invites you to mourn with him over the brokenness that has caused division and to use lament to begin the journey toward a diverse and united church.

Including Prayers of Lament From:

  • Thabiti Anyabwile
  • Trillia Newbell
  • Collin Hansen
  • Jason Meyer
  • Danny Akin
  • Garrett Kell
  • Mika Edmondson
  • Jarvis Williams
  • Isaac Adams
  • John Onwuchekwa

Table of Contents:

Foreword: Thabiti Anyabwile

Introduction: Dream: The Vision of Racial Harmony

Part 1: Lament in the Bible and History
Chapter 1: Pray: The Language of Lament
Chapter 2: Listen: Lesson from African-American Spirituals
Chapter 3: Walk: The Bridge of Lament

Part 2: Lament and Majority Christians
Chapter 4: Weep: The Healing Grace of Empathy
Chapter 5: Speak: Ending the Painful Silence
Chapter 6: Repent: Remembering with Remorse

Part 3: Lament and Minority Christians
Chapter 7: Protest: The Voice of Exiles
Chapter 8: Triumph: Redeeming the Pain
Chapter 9: Believe: Dare to Hope

Conclusion: Lament: An Open Door for Racial Reconciliation

Appendix 1: Psalms of Laments
Appendix 2: Learning-to-Lament Worksheet
Appendix 3: Sample Civil Rights Vision Trip Itinerary
General Index
Scripture Index


 “If the sinful and tragic issues of racial injustice do not drive Christians to lament, it can only be because we do not, or will not, see the reality all around us. This book by the brilliant and faithful Mark Vroegop helps us to see that lament is not despair and resignation, but instead is the first step toward healing and restoration. This book will help Christians, of every ethnicity, to learn to love one another and to bear each other’s burdens.” – Russell Moore – President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“I am so grateful to God that Mark Vroegop has written this book. Far too often our discussions about racial harmony and reconciliation centers on analysis, history, strategies or the ‘best practices’ of those who have made some progress with regard to inclusion and diversity. What is overlooked is the primacy and power of empathy, ‘weeping with those who weep.’ This profound sense of identification is what the bible calls lament. Thank you, Mark, for calling us to the heart of the matter, our hearts. Weep with Me is a gift and a treasure.” – Crawford W. Loritts, Jr. – Author, Speaker, Radio Host and Sr. Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church, Roswell, Georgia

“When it seems like conversations on race and racial reconciliation seem to produce more heat, not light, more accusation, not appreciation, Mark Vroegop provides a timely word in his book Weep With Me. He reveals the simple yet poignant power in the prayers of Biblical lament, teaching us the need to weep with those who weep. For lament gives language to both speakers who’ve suffered and listeners who long to understand. This is the hope of lament and the hope of the book: that the language of lament would bring blessing out of brokenness. But the author is neither a hopeless romantic nor a helpless idealist. With realistic expectations but also with unbridled hope, Vroegop provides the inspiration from the Biblical language of lament to help us find ways that will promote trust, understanding, and hope. He has helped me to love, listen, and lament; to learn and to leverage. Reconciliation is never easy, yet because of the Gospel of Jesus, I will still dare to hope.” – Julius J. Kim – President of The Gospel Coalition and Visiting Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary California


Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament

Winner of the ECPA 2020 Book of the Year Award

Where do you turn when the dark clouds of pain, suffering, and loss roll into your life? In a broken world, difficult trials can lead quickly to discouragement and despair—even for Christians. But the Bible sets forth an oft-neglected practice for dealing with such trials: lament. To lament is to turn to God in honest, desperate prayer, giving voice to the reality of our emotions—as intense and tumultuous as they may be. Ultimately, lament is an expression of faith in the God who hears our cries and responds with mercy and grace. Drawing on examples from the Bible and his own story of loss, pastor Mark Vroegop walks through steps of lament (Turn, Complain, Ask, and Trust) to show what lament is, why it is important, and how to enter into it—helping readers learn to live between the poles of God’s goodness and a hard life.

Table of Contents:

Foreword: Joni Eareckson Tada

Introduction: Life in a Minor Key: A Personal Journey

Part 1: Learning to Lament

  • Keep Turning to Prayer | Psalm 77
  • Bring Your Complaints | Psalm 10
  • Ask Boldly | Psalm 22
  • Choose to Trust | Psalm 13

Part 2: Learning from Lament

  • A Broken World and a Holy God | Lamentations 1-2
  • Hope Springs from Truth Rehearsed | Lamentations 3
  • Unearthing Idols | Lamentations 4
  • A Roadmap to Grace | Lamentations 5

Part 3: Living with Lament

  • Making Lament Personal
  • Let Us Lament

Conclusion: Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy – The Journey Ahead

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15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me

March 2018


Some lessons can’t be learned in a classroom.

A seminary education is immensely valuable, offering theological preparation, spiritual formation, and wise mentoring. But many new pastors are discouraged when the realties of their first call don’t line up with what they came to expect from assigned readings and classroom discussions.

Bridging the gap between seminary training and real life in a local church, fifteen veteran pastors and ministry leaders offer advice and encouragement related to a host of real-world issues, such as leading congregations though seasons of suffering, handling conflict, accepting a call, leaving a church, and more.


  1.  Knowledge and Credentials Aren’t Enough – Jeff Robinson
  2.  What to Do When My Church Is Dying – Mark Vroegop
  3.  How to Shepherd My Wife – Daniel Akin
  4.  How to Pastor People Who Are Different from Me – Jeff Higbie
  5.  How to Follow My Lead Pastor When We Disagree – Matt Capps
  6.  How to Lead My Leaders – Juan Sanchez
  7.  How to Raise My Kids to Love the Church – Matt McCullough
  8.  How to Shepherd My Congregation Through Seasons of Suffering – John Onwuchekwa
  9.  When to Accept a Call or Leave My Church – Harry Reeder
  10.  How to Handle Conflict – Jay Thomas
  11.  The Need to Fight for My Relationship with God – Vermon Pierre
  12.  The Time it Takes to Become a Shepherd – Dale VanDyke
  13.  The Temptation to Make a Name for Myself – Scott Sauls
  14.  The Joy I Can Know Over a Long Tenure – Phil Newton
  15.  What to Do When No Church Hires Me – Collin Hansen

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5 Reasons You Should Preach Through Lamentations – 9 Marks Journal – November 2018

Civil Rights Trip: One Church’s Story – 9 Marks Journal – October 2018

How My Mega-Church Hasn’t Burnt Me Out –  9 Marks Journal – July 2018

Too Big to Discipline? How a Mega-Church Practices Matthew 18 –  9Marks Journal – January 2018

Is Your Preaching Tone Deaf? – 9Marks Journal – June 2015

Be Wise When You Revitalize – The Gospel Coalition – September 2012

Humble Pie: 4 Lessons from a Bad Decision – Christianity Today – Spring 2006

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