1. Make prayer your #1 strategic action—godly internal transformation never takes place without it. Make sure your prayers are first and foremost for YOUR transformation, NOT for your ministry to those other people.
2. Take your education into your own hands, take initiative—begin reading books, magazines, journals and so on that deal with current events from the perspective of people of different races, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities; do the same with Web sites, movies, newspapers, music, public forums, conferences, seminars and personal conversations.
3. Seek out someone from whom to learn—books and things can be a slick diversion from true transformation which God usually directs through interaction with a person, like iron sharpening iron. Relationships are the ultimate objective, not merely knowledge; take the posture of “learner” and “follower,” not “teacher” and “leader.”
4. “Submit” yourself to the hands of service providers of a different race and/or ethnicity than your own. Choose a black doctor for a check up, an Asian dentist for a cleaning, a Latino auto mechanic for a tune-up, and so on. Many racial/ethnic minorities in this society don’t have a choice but to submit their intimate, private “concerns” to white male and female gynecologists, heart specialists, urologists, opticians, pediatricians, attorneys, mechanics, mammogram specialists—often times desiring otherwise. For many women (and their husbands), the prospect of an examining male specialist is very uncomfortable—imagine the added factor of race and racial distrust in the mix. Yet many minorities learn to trust whites in such vulnerable matters. There’s a world of insight to gain from whites voluntarily doing the same (although it’s relatively unheard of).
5. Be willing to put yourself in “minority-status” situations, socially and culturally. Go to places, events, activities and functions and/or become a member or regular visitor somewhere where you can be exposed to the cultural and social nuances of people of another race and/or ethnicity. Often, if we do make such commitments, we’ll do so with such a large group of “our own” so as to offset any feelings of being socially and culturally marginalized, like hiding in a group within a group. Oftentimes, minorities such as blacks or Asians can’t hide even if they try; their conspicuous features make them targets for any staring or glaring looks when in different social contexts. This can be a great learning experience if you stick it out as an ongoing practice, not just a momentary commitment like going on a two-week mission trip abroad. Often for whites, this is such an unfamiliar experience in itself, let alone doing so for an indefinitely long period of time. Great insight can be gained into and sympathy for the psyche of being a racial/ethnic minority.
6. Keep a detailed journal of your experiences, feelings and lessons—determine which experiences you’ll establish as ongoing lifestyle practices. Remember, these experiments aren’t for you to complete a project “on” someone else, nor is it merely to gain an impressive body of knowledge or an impressive portfolio of experiences to impress your “culturally illiterate” friends. This is solely for the purpose of transforming your life. Allow your mentor to counsel you and pray with you about your decisions.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License