Leading Global Christians

Book Review

Cultural Insights for Christian Leaders: New Directions for Organizations Serving God’s Mission
by Douglas McConnell
Baker Academic 2018
224 pages
FES Library book call number: 248.411 McC

Look around us!! We live in an era when many people migrate from their own country to settle down in another. Thus, it is unavoidable we will meet people of different cultures and backgrounds in our society, including Christians. As we serve alongside these Christians, we have at least two choices. First, we may ignore the differences and expect them to assimilate to the local culture. Second, we acknowledge the reality and expect dialogues between the cultures in our service. McConnell challenges us to choose the latter. Drawing insights from anthropology and psychology, McConnell invites Christians to grapple with issues when two or more cultures meet. He hopes to encourage Christians to advance God’s mission to the next level by exploiting the potential of different cultures in coexistence. This book is not an easy read as it forces readers to dig deep into the issues. Nonetheless, McConnell mitigates the difficulty by providing real case studies which are written by experienced Christian leaders from around the globe, both the East and the West. These cases are reviewed and discussed further so that readers can connect them with the concepts explained.

This book is suitable for Christian leaders who serve among multicultural people, and who seek to embrace this diversity for the advancement of God’s kingdom. It offers signposts to surface overlooked subject matters as we are usually blind to our own cultural biases. Therefore, it will be a rewarding task to wrestle and contend these biases through the reading of this book so that we may have a better appreciation of the heterogeneity of cultures that God has brought in our midst, as well as witness to this broken world as one body of Christ.

If you seek to take up this book and struggle with the issues, let FLINT suggest a simple reading guide that highlights one or two reflection points, both for individuals or groups.

Reviewed by
Victor Wibowo
FES senior ministry staff worker

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