Today’s students prefer finding common ground instead of focusing on differences. They don’t like denominational differences and tune out political posturing. They are inclusive of others different from themselves.
David Kinnaman, author of You Lost Me, says “tolerance has been the cultural North Star for most of their upbringing.” (p. 171) Today’s students grew up in a more ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse world than their predecessors.
That raises a logical question. “Are we creating disunity by starting different ministries on the same campus?” Shouldn’t we as Christians be about showing unity, rather then separate ourselves by ethnic groupings?
Dave Lowe, ND of Ethnic Field Ministries, Pacific Southwest, answers in “Why EFM?” whether we are creating disunity by having multiple movements on a single campus. Dave offers some pragmatic reasons for why we have Ethnic Field Ministry. He looks at the changing demographics on our campuses.
“Reaching these different cultural groups will require us to change our methods…In the [US Campus Ministry], we talk about reaching every student. The truth is that there are a lot of students who cannot identify culturally with our culturally white Cru movements. How will we reach these students? Is it possible for us to create one group that would effectively reach every cultural group on campus?”
“Why EFM?” takes a look back at a fairly obvious change we made in how we do ministry and relate that to the changing cultural realities on the college campus today. He looks at a Biblical example, Acts 15, and relates that to our needing to go to those who are culturally and ethnically diverse. At the end, Dave has several questions for reflection and discussion.
If his observations about the Acts 15 passage piques your interest, Dave has another article, Biblical Principles for Contextualized Ministry. While there is some overlap between the two articles, Biblical Principles unpacks several passages on contextualized ministry.
You can read more of what Dave is doing on his website.