PART 4: Get Ready to Be Challenged and Encouraged
Jesus spent three years (24-hours a day/7-days a week) teaching his disciples to be “fishers of men”. After the training period, in Acts 1:4, Jesus provided His disciples final instructions. He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, until they received the power of the Holy Spirit:
And when they came together, he gave them this order: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised. – Acts 1:4 Good News Bible
Training is Essential for Success: Here’s an important takeaway. What is power? The disciples received power after the conclusion of their training. Training isn’t just important for successful diversity engagement; it is vital because you must learn what it takes to engage people of different ethnicities.
You should not attempt diversity engagement until you receive the POWER of training─the confidence, knowledge and skills to do the job.
In-Reach First and Out-Reach Second: After becoming empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus told the disciples to execute their outreach efforts in a specific order. Notice the process:
But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
… in Jerusalem: What does “Jerusalem” mean? The first step in diversity engagement is not OUT-reach. It’s IN-reach.
Jerusalem is your home, your local community and your precinct. My Jerusalem is where I live. Your Jerusalem is where you live. My Jerusalem is my family, friends and acquaintances and the same pertains to you. We describe this as ‘IN-Reach”.
… in all Judea: Where is Judea? Judea represents the other communities─people living in towns surrounding your hometown or your Jerusalem. Engaging your family, friends, acquaintances and people living in nearby neighborhoods and precincts, gives you have the opportunity to perfect the Frederick Douglass Liberty Message.
… and Samaria and to the ends of the earth: Samaria represents people living in communities or cities surrounding your hometown, who are culturally different or even antisocial and antagonistic towards you. Does this sound familiar? It should be remembered, the hatred between Jews and Samaritans was intense and long-lasting─resembling the perceived racial tension between blacks and whites Conservatives. Conservatives must understand that OUT-Reach follows IN-Reach. That means starting in Jerusalem (your hometown), then to Judea (neighboring cities), then outward to Samaria (culturally different communities) and then continue into places far away.