Leading into Ethnic Diversity
It does not take a “rocket scientist” to see that our world today is experiencing one of the greatest migrations of peoples in history. All over the world large populations of people are leaving their homelands for the hope of a better future. With the rapidly increasing ethnic diversity in our own country, if we don’t become more ethnically diverse, we will find ourselves marginalized with a ministry to a shrinking number of people. The demographic sand is shifting beneath our feet! We must adapt or die!
These changing demographics will demand new approaches, thinking, materials and a different kind of laborer. The laborers needed to reach across these ethnic differences will have to be people who are flexible, able to adapt, and ones who are comfortable with differences. Their watchword will be, “Not wrong, just different.”
Jesus’ disciples thought it strange that He, a Jewish rabbi, would associate with a Samaritan woman. Jesus demonstrated courage and a willingness to be misunderstood. He took risks and moved out of Jewish comfort zone to touch this one. We will have to be and do the same as we follow Him into an increasingly ethnically diverse audience.
This will not be easy. Change is never easy. All people are most comfortable with those who are like us. But Jesus modeled an incarnational model where he adapted and adjusted to humankind in order to fulfill the will of His Father. We can do no less because we are called to imitate Him.
May God use you to plant good seed that will multiply many times over in the lives of those who are ethnically different from you. May He give you wisdom to lead into increasingly ethnically diverse contexts that demand a willingness to leave the old behind and embrace the new, for His glory!