Every cross-cultural worker knows that the clock is ticking. Time is limited. Resources are limited. Energy is limited. And above all of these limitations looms the reality that one day he or she will return home, and someone else will be responsible to carry on the ministry. While all effective leaders are committed to equipping their successors, cross-cultural workers face a series of unique challenges in leadership development. Leadership models vary widely from culture to culture. Learning styles also vary.
So the mantra for cross-cultural leadership training is never as simple as ‘imitate me.’ That’s because we carry our own cultural leadership biases and weaknesses wherever we go. Rather, effective leadership training in other cultures requires a high degree of humility, a constant commitment to learn and an ongoing submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Most importantly, leadership training must be done in partnership with godly local leaders whose wisdom and insights inform every step of the process. In this issue of Kairos, we celebrate a sampling of the hard work our staff is doing around the globe in the complex area of leadership training. Since every culture is different, each model for leadership training is different. What they all share in common is an understanding of the urgency of the task. After all, the clock is ticking…
Originally published in June 2011
by Dave Guiles, Executive Director