multiculturalism

I’ve been frustrated with my education classes lately because they seem so impractical for the most part.  It’s hard for me to see how talking about race issues week in and week out in my “teaching diverse populations” is going to make me a better teacher, but a thought hit me as I was reading yet another article about race relations this evening.  What would happen if I looked at these articles not as tools to make me a better teacher, but as tools to make me a better lover of God’s people?

Now don’t get me wrong, I would love if the classes I’m going into debt for to get my degree actually applied to my future profession.  But is teaching going to be the purpose of my life, or is it merely a means to provide for basic human needs so that I can stay alive to preach the gospel?  If it’s the latter, these articles could actually be extremely useful!  I am more and more convinced that diversity at its truest and best can only be found in the church, so why wouldn’t learning about diversity and “developing critical multicultural consciousness” be a good thing?

In tonight’s assignment, for instance, there’s a quote from a teaching student who was working at a Boys and Girls Club in Muncie, Indiana where he says, “In the future, I am going to try and think of each interaction with kids (or anyone else for that matter) as a shared experience and consciously look for ways to develop relationships.”  The article goes on to say that “by creating an authentic relationship, both parties can learn something from each other.” 

Intentionality?  Developing relationships?  Authenticity?  These are the buzzwords of my generation, the principles of missional living, the very things I claim to long for.  These are the things I have been learning about at Axcess and through my community of friends.  The application of the ideas may be different for the author, but these are the things I believe I should be striving for and valuing as a Christian. 

I mean, really, when was Jesus more concerned about “practical” things than relationships?

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Oh yeah, and the Urban Experience coffee fundraiser on Sunday raised $41,000, which, as you might imagine, was enough to cover the higher-than-expected air fares.  Someone donated $20,000 and another family donated $80 in memory of their daughter who passed away in 2005 and would have been a freshman in college this year, probably going on one of the trips.  Isn’t it amazing how the body of Christ takes care of us crazy college kids?

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2 Comments

  1. Elliott Mann

     /  March 11, 2008

    “Now don’t get me wrong, I would love if the classes I’m going into debt for to get my degree actually applied to my future profession. But is teaching going to be the purpose of my life, or is it merely a means to provide for basic human needs so that I can stay alive to preach the gospel?”

    Speaker and author Tony Campolo has said, “The purpose of an education is not to have the credentials to climb the ladder of success; the purpose of an education is to be equipped to serve others in radical obedience to Jesus Christ.” I

    Reply
  2. Dad

     /  March 11, 2008

    You are one of the most insightful people I know!

    Reply

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