14) The Last Bit: When Developing Cross-Cultural Partnerships, …

What are your best instructions? For example, over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to develop cross-cultural working relationships with indigenous local ministries in East Africa. While doing so, we’ve been reminded of the international nature and beauty of God’s great global Kingdom. We’ve enjoyed the humble and hard-working nature of our Kingdom-minded friends. And we’ve seen example after example of selfless honesty. How do we insure that great communication and selfless service reign long-term? One item we could throw into the ring might be — check and double-check before jumping. For example, one of the East African leaders was already planning a trip to the USA. Before asking him to visit our office, we checked and double-checked with any and all USA counter-parts who might already have a stake in him coming, just to be sure it wouldn’t be perceived as “meddling” if we asked him to visit our office here in Louisville. It’s still early, but it really seems to have sent the right message. The response from his closest USA counterpart has come back, “What a joy it was to talk with you as well, Doug! I am thankful for your wisdom, experience, and willingness to pursue this kingdom partnership. Although there is much anticipation for the good things ahead, we also appreciate your grace and patience with the communication process so that, together, we can see the Lord make great impact through long-term success. I am thankful for your emphasis on prayer and clear communication, because this will go a long way in blessing the well-established relationships that are in place already.” But what gives me pause about these cross-cultural partnerships isn’t the part that I understand; it’s the part that I don’t. In other words, sometimes, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” One study which has left a lasting imprint on the way I think and act is “The Beauty of Partnership,” by Werner Mischke. Early on, we snagged a copy of one of these Leader Editions (while it was still in beta, in fact) and headed off to Northeast India. We spent 4 days going through this material with a beloved Lisu tribal leader. That was probably ten years ago and this guy is still one of my best friends in all the world. He’s been so faithful and so honest — and we’ve NEVER had a misunderstanding so far. Mischke’s study really helped us get off on the right footing. But … What other tips would YOU offer in times like these?

You know who has a great resource list on this topic?


We need basically to memorize everything that Rickett says — and then press harder to learn more.

Do you have favorite tips on developing these kinds of partnerships? Do you have a great resource we haven’t already listed? If so, please click “Comment” following the web or app version of this item. And thanks in advance for your help!

One Response to 14) The Last Bit: When Developing Cross-Cultural Partnerships, …
  1. Annette Jones Reply

    Cross-cultural partnerships: navigating the complexities of money and mission. Mary Lederleitner. 2010

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