Last time I blogged I reflected on diversity and what it looks like for me to become more proficient in this area especially as it has relates to my growing trans-racial family. After attending the Lenses Institute last week I have even more thoughts on how I can grow to be more aware of cultures different from mine (and this is not just racial different, but different in class, worldview, generations, etc.) I was challenge to embrace the Gospel more fully, to embrace that the Gospel is not a color-blind gospel but a color-engaging Gospel. It is not enough for me to just acknowledge this but I need to move towards it. I need to make choices that will feel uncomfortable and may require sacrifice. I need to do what the Jesus calls me to, “die to myself”(gal 2:20), “take up my cross and follow Him” (Matt. 16:24)!
I was challenged to answer 3 questions when it comes to my willingness to engage in transcultural ministry (which as Christ-followers we are all called to be ministers of reconciliation 2 Cor. 5:18).
1. What am I willing to give?
2. Who am I willing to lose?
3. Do I believe it’s worth it?
These questions stretch me. These questions if answered honestly in light of my actions reveal that I am not where I want to be. I want to live in line with the Gospel of Jesus! I want to be apart of “His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.” For the conclusion of the Institute we had to write a personal statement. I came up with some summary thoughts and actions I plan to take to keep myself engaged in the ministry of reconciliation.
(This is written in light of my trans-racial family make-up and the desire for my ministry with college athletes to be trans-racial as well)
Praise God for the story of redemption and reconciliation He has been writing in my life for the past 31 years! Praise God for the many experiences He has allowed me to have cross culturally. Though, much of my childhood was a struggle for my family it provided me with differing experiences in class and race.
I am now at a place of pre-competency on the cultural competence continuum. I have been engaged in the issue of diversity for 15 years and I have a deep biblical understanding of the importance of it as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
My knowledge needs are:
- Awareness of the meaning of symbols, heroes, values, and lenses other cultures have.
- Submitting to the teaching from people of other cultures.
My skill needs are:
- Learning how to engage the differences but not affirming sinful differences in others.
- Learning how to appreciate the non-sinful differences even if I don’t agree with or prefer those differences.
My Heart needs are:
- Continuing to die to my rights, to fairness, to being seen as right, to comfort and convenience.
- Help in guarding my heart from comparison. Need not compare my life and my level of uncomfortablity to others. I need God’s help in keeping my eyes on Jesus and not settling by ranking my efforts alongside other fallen humans.
- In ministry, that our local AIA ministry would reflect the racial makeup of the athletic department. That the athletes involved would be an accurate representation of our mission field.
- That my life (my ministry, family, community) in all ways be a signpost that points people to the Kingdom to come- a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, global community of love and unity.
- That wisdom and the Holy Spirit would move in me to change me. To make me more like Jesus. May the result of these two Truths cause my life to make a difference when I walk into a room, may I make a positive impact on the lives I intersect because of the wisdom from God and the power of His Spirit at work in me.
My first steps:
- Effort to play with children at parks with children from other cultures.
- Continue to shop at stores where other cultures shop
- Take daughter 4 times a year to get her hair done and become a regular with salon staff.
- Get magazines from minority cultures from the library to have around the house.
- Listen to Albert Mohler news briefing podcast weekly.
- Find Pastors or authors to read from other cultures. Read a bibliography once a year.
- Continue to pursue Chinese and Muslim students for initiative evangelism.