The third stage of diversity development is Conformation. We want to look like the campus (formation), so the campus, through this representational community, can see Jesus. In other words, we represent the campus, so we can represent the Lord to the campus. This is the original purpose of humanity, to be God’s image in the world.
Thus, we need to be conformed to the image of Christ individually and as a community (Rom 8:29). Like the multitude in Rev. 7, our diversity needs to be equal to our unity. Notice how they are all are dressed in white, made so in the blood of the lamb, and are holding palm branches, symbolizing their common worship. What a challenge for our local communities to be ONE in purity and worship. To be conformed, not to the dominant culture, but to Jesus himself, unified not in similarities, but in purpose. Our goal is to have completely unified Christian communities where God’s Kingdom culture of love, service, humility, sacrifice, celebration, etc. is manifested through the diversity of our congregation.
Practically speaking we have to intentionally lead ALL our students through processing their own culture, history, and experiences towards a new identity in Christ; this new identity will include their ethnicity (since this is an eternal part of their being) now transformed. This personal transformation will take place within the context of relational transformation where students understand and empathize with each other’s cultural histories. Walking through this difficult and painful stage equips our communities for the final stage. How can you help your students conform to Christ’s image and not the patterns of this world? How can you foster real conversations that will lead to deep relationships and transformed communities?