Leading Across Cultures: Effective Ministry and Missions in the Global Church
author James E. Plueddemann
Plueddemann’s introduction to this book begins with the statement that this current era is one of the most exciting in world missions since Acts 2. While that is arguably true, anyone who has attempted to interact with someone from another culture also knows the challenges and obstacles that are immediate factors in building effective relationships. Perhaps this is indeed an exciting era with the ease of interactions being facilitated through technological advances, but everyone is keenly aware of the difficulties that have entered the global scene. Whether in the business world or in the work of the Kingdom, many miscommunications and misunderstandings have occurred simply because crossing cultures is tough! This book is full of theory and theology and has plenty of case studies to accompany the information so that application can be made to one’s own ministry context. Although every human being is prone to ethnocentrism, the content in this book promotes awareness and encourages reflection so that eyes are opened, methods are changed, leaders can develop, and relationships can flourish. Plueddemann is a scholar and professor, and the reader should be prepared to read content that is written from such an author, but this poses an appropriate challenge rather than an obstacle to receiving value from the content. For readers who wish to see diagrams, one of the greatest strengths to the book are the graphs, tables, charts, etc that help to teach the information in multiple formats. The reader will feel connected to those from other cultures with the short vignettes that close each chapter, all written by leaders from other cultures giving accounts of situational circumstances that formed their leadership perspective. Plueddemann has written a masterpiece that combines information that is not a common topic with the opportunity to discover ways to serve in other cultures and ways to develop relationships for effective ministry.