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The second stage of diversity development is Formation. Once we’ve built a foundation of God’s perspective and have informed ourselves on who is on our campus and what some of their felt needs are, our next step is to work at forming/bringing together a community that represents the campus. A look back at Rev. 7:9 shows us no one is left out. In the same way, it is our goal to form a community made up of every ethnic, tribal, people, and language group on our campus. This community should include and celebrate the individuality of each member, not wash away their uniqueness in a sea of uniformity, in the same way that the ethnic markers of those in the multitude were visible to John. Our ethnicity is a sacred and eternal part of our creation. The example of this multitude is to create a community that lives the culture of the kingdom, which includes all the ways, elements, and characteristics of how God has revealed himself in individual cultures of our world.
Practically speaking it requires us to adapt and change the way we do things. This will include our music, the examples we use when speaking, the kinds of activities we include in parties/retreats, and who speaks at our meetings (not just preach but also share announcements). The key here is hospitality. God’s heart of love will motivate us to create an environment where each ethnic group we want to see in our community feels welcomed and desired. Everything we do communicates. When we first started reaching out to international at EMU about twenty-five years ago, we bought flags from the top twenty countries on our campus. We hung these up at each meeting to create an instant connection point for international visitors. It also communicated our vision to reach the nations to all our students. What changes do you need to make to show more hospitality to those you are targeting?