Item description for Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting in Around the World by Duane Elmer...
Overview Don't leave home without it! Whether you're embarking on a short-term missions trip, traveling for business, or just vacationing, you'll inevitably face social contrasts and different ways of thinking. Filled with real-life illustrations and practical exercises, Elmer's expert guidance helps you communicate effectively, avoid cultural faux pas, establish trust, and truly become an ambassador for Christ. 200 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.
Publishers Description With the new realities of global interconnectedness comes a greater awareness of cultural diversity from place to place. Besides differences in food and fashion, we face significant contrasts of cultural orientation and patterns of thinking. As we travel across cultures, what should we expect? How do we deal with culture shock? And can we truly connect with those we meet? Experienced cross-cultural specialist Duane Elmer provides a compass for navigating through different cultures. He shows us how to avoid pitfalls and cultural faux pas, as well as how to make the most of opportunities to build cross-cultural relationships. Filled with real-life illustrations and practical exercises, this guide offers the tools needed to reduce apprehension, communicate effectively, and establish genuine trust and acceptance. Above all, Elmer demonstrates how we can avoid being cultural imperialists and instead become authentic ambassadors for Christ. Whether you are embarking on a short-term mission trip or traveling for business or pleasure, this book is both an ideal preparation and a handy companion for your journey.
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Duane H. Elmer (Ph.D., Michigan State U.) is director of the Ph.D. program in educational studies and is the G. W. Aldeen Chair of International Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In addition to traveling and teaching in over 75 countries, he has provided cross-cultural training to Fortune 500 companies, relief and development agencies, mission organizations, churches and educational institutions. He has also conducted peace and reconciliation efforts in several countries. Recently, he led faculty development workshops at over 25 European and Middle Eastern schools on the theme of Teaching for Transformation. He has taught at Durban Bible College (Durban, South Africa), Michigan State University and Wheaton College and Graduate School. His articles have been published in journals such as Moody Monthly, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Christian Education Journal, Discernment, and Christianity Today. His books include An Analysis of Hebrews: A Programmed Instruction, Building Relationships, With an Eye on the Future: Church and Development in the Twenty-First Century, Cross-Cultural Conflict and Cross-Cultural Connections.
Reviews - What do customers think about Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting in Around the World?
fast shipping, great shape Feb 10, 2007
My book came when it was supposed to and was in great shape. It was also cheaper than elsewhere.
A must have for cross-cultural transition Aug 30, 2005
The purpose of Duane Elmer's book Cross-Cultural Connections is to help the reader become aware of the different aspects of transitioning into other cultural settings. Understanding the issues of cross-cultural transition will enable the potential missionary or tentmaker to have an increased awareness of the issues he or she will face in the new setting. This awareness will allow for realistic expectations and reduce the effects of any difficulties one will encounter in the transition. In turn one will then be able to manage the transition effectively and be able to build new relationships.
In helping the reader better understand new cultural settings, Elmer suggests cultural differences aren't "right or wrong, they're just different" (pg. 24). He sets limits on this assertion by saying there are absolutes. However, one must be careful not to judge too quickly before deciding some part of the culture is right or wrong. Some suggestions he gives for working through cultural differences are to stop and evaluate personal feelings and the feelings of others, to suspend judgment, and to ask "why" questions. Following these suggestions will allow one to have a more positive experience with cultural transitions.
The most useful portion of this book provided the reader specific guidance on how to develop the right attitudes and skills for cross-cultural adjustment. Three primary areas were addressed: openness, acceptance and trust.
For Elmer, "openness is the ability to welcome people into your presence and help them feel safe" (pg. 87). If a missionary does not maintain an attitude of openness and approachability, he or she will directly undermine receptivity of the gospel message. Acceptance then, "is the ability to communicate value, regard, worth, and respect to others" (pg. 94). People in every culture need to feel accepted in order to be open to the gospel. Trust is the outworking of openness and acceptance. In many ways, trust makes all the difference in the effectiveness of relationships and ultimately if one will have permission to share Christ or not. When people sense openness and acceptance from missionaries, they will begin to trust them and in time become open to the gospel message.
A MUST for world travelers Aug 18, 2005
A wonderful resource for travelers around the world. Knowledge is power! Very helpful ideas for understanding and connecting with other cultures. Much of it applies to daily life anywhere!