Multi-ethnicity is a tricky value in InterVarsity.
Separated from our other values, it sounds small and trendy. It conjures up images of quotas and awkward, forced venting sessions. And it sounds very unspiritual.
We value multi-ethnicity in InterVarsity, celebrate it, but struggle with it. The talk across the movement is evangelism or chapter planting or chapter building. How does one squeeze multi-ethnicity into those conversations?
Ram Sridharan did just this. Beautifully and well. At our Area Director training, Ram challenged us to see that the gospel of Jesus is the gospel to the nations, evangelism and multi-ethnicity go hand in hand.
Apart from a vision and passion for reaching people in all their diversity, the gospel begins to sour. This good news becomes self-affirming and divisive, narrow and tiny. We confuse the gospel of Jesus and the narrative of our culture.
And the reality is that when evangelism is understood as sharing the gospel with the nations, other values follow. Discipleship, missions, justice, community. Even a bigger, missional vision for the church (see Ephesians 2).
What difference would it make if we refused to separate the gospel and the nations?