Monday, September 06, 2010

Book Review - Leading Cross Culturally by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter

Leading Cross Culturally: Covenant Relationships for Effective Christian Leadership, by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter was published by Baker Academic in 2008. It is the third in a series addressing issues of culture and the practice of cross-cultural ministry.

Lingenfelter invites us to consider the difficulties of cross cultural leadership through a number of lenses including case studies, personal reflections, sociology, anthropology leadership theory and theology.

Parts 1-3 of the book examine the areas of inspiration, trust and power. Part 4 reflects on the implications of these observations for the difficulties of cross cultural leadership. Central to his thesis is the belief that leaders in and of cross cultural teams must first commit themselves to God and His vision of this world. In particular to the transformation of knowing that we are part of the same “covenant community” (Lingenfelter 2008:75). Lingenfelter argues that it is only on the basis of this theological understanding that leadership in the cross cultural context can be truly effective.

Lingenfelter’s book is the product of a disciplined and mature reflection on the difficulties of cross cultural leadership and ministry. Its particular strength is its stance that leadership in the cross cultural context should be shaped by a biblical word view in conversation with the cultural context and more secular insights. Despite this strength, the use of biblical text, at times, appears to take what was descriptive of leaders and of the early church as prescriptive for leadership and the church now. I think the book would be strengthened with a more biblical theological approach to the issue of leadership.

1 comment:

ibrahim said...

god bless you