Item description for Leading Cross-Culturally: Covenant Relationships for Effective Christian Leadership by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter...
Overview As the US becomes more diverse, cross-cultural ministry is increasingly important for nearly all pastors and church leaders. Of particular concern is the issue of leadership-a difficult task made even more challenging in multicultural settings. Sherwood Lingenfelter helps the reader understand his or her own leadership culture (and its blind spots), examine it critically in light of Scripture, and become an effective learner of other cultural perspectives on leadership. He also confronts the issues of power inherent in any leadership situation. Lingenfelter carefully defines cross-cultural leadership and unpacks that definition throughout the book, with an emphasis on building communities of vision, trust, and empowerment through leadership based on biblical principles. In the end, he argues that leaders must inhabit the gospel story to be effective cross-culturally.
Publishers Description As the US becomes more diverse, cross-cultural ministry is increasingly important for nearly all pastors and church leaders. Of particular concern is the issue of leadership--a difficult task made even more challenging in multicultural settings. Sherwood Lingenfelter helps the reader understand his or her own leadership culture (and its blind spots), examine it critically in light of Scripture, and become an effective learner of other cultural perspectives on leadership. He also confronts the issues of power inherent in any leadership situation. Lingenfelter carefully defines cross-cultural leadership and unpacks that definition throughout the book, with an emphasis on building communities of vision, trust, and empowerment through leadership based on biblical principles. In the end, he argues that leaders must inhabit the gospel story to be effective cross-culturally.
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Studio: Baker Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.48 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2008
Publisher Baker Academic
ISBN 0801036054 ISBN13 9780801036057
Availability 0 units.
More About Sherwood G. Lingenfelter
Sherwood G. Lingenfelter (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is provost emeritus and senior professor of anthropology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Marvin K. Mayers (1927-2015; PhD, University of Chicago) founded the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University, where he taught for many years.
Reviews - What do customers think about Leading Cross-Culturally: Covenant Relationships for Effective Christian Leadership?
Going into cross-culture ministry? A must read... Apr 20, 2009
Leading Cross-Culturally by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter is a compilation of case studies done throughout the world of missions that focus on leadership, culture, and the glorification of God's Kingdom work. Lingenfelter is senior vice president at Fuller theological Seminary, respected teacher in cross-cultural work and Christian leadership, and an accomplished author. His goals or visions for this volume are outlined in four areas that Lingenfelter points out as the following. The first area "is to help leaders to understand their personal culture of leadership and how that culture pervades their thinking about vision, community, and teamwork." Second, "is to equip the reader to become an effective learner in another cultural context, with specific focus on learning to build communities of trust." Third, "is to reflect on how the human propensity to seek power and control pervades all persons and cultures and infects leaders of every kind." Fourth and finally, "is to define the pathways for biblically based, Christ-centered, power-given leadership in single culture and multicultural contexts" (8-9).
Lingenfelter's first case studies draw from the areas of how ones home culture affects their leadership abilities, visions, work, and values when dealing with a new culture. Lingenfelter says, "All Christian leaders, regardless of their cultural background, carry their personal histories and cultural biases with them wherever they serve" (15). This affects ones leadership abilities in all facets when dealing with cultures outside the borders of one's home country, and without acknowledging and directly dealing with this from the outset of one's cross-cultural ministry; issues are sure to abound. The issues emerge when trying to inspire people from different cultural background "to achieve a compelling vision of faith" (30), but each party does not really understand the cultural barriers that separate them and sometimes are not willing try to understand them. Therefore, the results are division. Understanding a cultures values and adapting them to our own leadership styles in order to bring about change is of utmost importance, even if it goes against one's personal concepts of true leadership and how to achieve the results they want. However, missionaries must also be aware that they are prone to fall back into what Lingenfelter calls "default culture" (71). Default culture is "the culture people learn from their parents and peers from birth, with all the inherent strengths and weaknesses of their society" (71). This is common for people to do when they find themselves facing challenging times in another culture (which everyone missionary will) and shows the importance of understanding who one is and being aware of the culture that they find themselves working amongst.
Lingenfelter also points out that our "vision flows from the mission of God as articulated in the scriptures" (33) and this mission is not ours to define. "It is not our task to define that mission for our time. God is already at work in the power of the Holy Spirit, and our task is to ask, how has God gone before us, and what is God already doing in our world? As we listen to the Holy Spirit and seek to align ourselves with what God is already doing in the world, God will reveal his vision and purpose for us." (33). I completely agree on the subject of adapting to our host culture, and understanding vision and mission. Too often, our cultural upbringing, our desires, our way of thinking, and our ideas (birthed from our wants) dictates one's concept of leadership, vision, and mission. Lingenfelter's knowledge, along with the case studies, framework this perfectly.
The next area that I would like to highlight is what Lingenfelter calls, "Covenant Community." Covenant Community encompasses knowledge that, although we come from different cultures, we are all "chosen people" who are "on a mission" and "have received mercy" (75). It also means that "we must commit together to teach and practice the foundational principles of the `body of Christ' or `covenant' relationship" (75). Lingenfelter outlines a covenant community as the following:
1. Identity in Christ as God's chosen people. 2. Presence of the Holy Spirit 3. Love one another 4. One body - serving in diversity 5. One body - working together in unity 6. Submitting to one another 7. Speaking graciously 8. Restoring mercifully
Lingenfelter makes it quite clear in his writing that this Biblical description of a "Covenant Community" is essential in leading cross-cultural ministry. Each area in this community finds it identity built from Biblical principles and molded by leaders like Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Lingenfelter says, "To be the church is to become a covenant community...loving one another, committed to mutual trust, and obeying Jesus Christ in all that he taught about `following' and being his disciples" (101). All of this, one would think, would be common knowledge within the Christian community. However, my experiences have shown that it is not the case and the reality is that the Christian community has traveled light years away from a "Covenant Community."
Sherwood G. Lingenfelter goes into great detail about several other topics which fall into this "Covenant Community" like mentoring, empowering, teamwork, "power-giving leadership," risks and responsibilities as a leader and on and on. The several case studies that link with each topic are wonderful and help paint a clear picture of the lesions that Lingenfelter is trying to teach his readers and make the book a great read. I could not have been more pleased with his description of Thailand leadership, this is where I minister, and how spot on he was with the issues we personally face day to day. His writing is clear, straight to the point, Biblical, and quite enjoyable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone going into cross-culture work and because I believe this book also relates heavily to leadership in our home culture, anyone looking for guidance on Biblical leadership.
One of the best Feb 21, 2009
Lingenfelter's book is one of the best I've read on mission leadership. It provides a framework that captures the best of leadership theory and matches it with solid cross-cultural dimensions of ministry. As the world becomes more globalized in nature yet nationalistic in perspective, this book provides a set of terrific case studies to help global leaders deal with the realities of global leadership today. In particular, Lingenfelter's reliance on scripture as a model for effective leading is most instructive and his personal examples give pragmatic handles for leaders to understand what he presents.
Hopefully, the book will stir even more fruitful research and dialog on leadership today.