Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry

Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry Whether At Home Or Abroad, Communicating With People Of Other Cultures Is Difficult It Requires New Ways Of Thinking And Interpreting The World When Conflict Arises, As It Often Does, The Issues Become Even Confusing Without A Good Understanding Of How Different Cultures Handle Conflict, Our Best Intentions May Only Make Matters Worse With A Particular Focus On Asian And Hispanic Cultures At Home And Around The World And On African Culture, Duane Elmer Walks Readers Through Various Types Of Conflict And Shows How They Can Be Handled Effectively And Appropriately Elmer Gives Numerous Stories And Examples From His Experience And From Others To Show How Handling Conflict Well Builds Solid Relationships With An Eye Out For Biblical Principles, He Looks At A Variety Of Sticky Questions In Scripture This Is A Book Not Just Of Theory But Of Practical Models Of Conflict Resolution Pastors, Evangelists, Businesspeople, Missionaries, Students Anyone Who Wants To Communicate Effectively With Neighbors And Colleagues Will Find This Book Immensely Helpful

Duane H Elmer Ph.D., Michigan State U is director of the Ph.D program in educational studies and is the G W Aldeen Chair of International Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois In addition to traveling and teaching in over 75 countries, he has provided cross cultural training to Fortune 500 companies, relief and development agencies, mission organizations, ch

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry
  • Duane Elmer
  • English
  • 06 March 2019
  • 9780830816576

10 thoughts on “Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry

  1. says:

    One of the most relevant reads of my life, this book focuses on cross cultural conflict from a missionary perspective but is easily applied to any other intercultural vocation The theories about differences in culture are fun to explore until you have to work, make friends, solve problems, and accomplish goals in a cross cultural setting It can be frustrating on many fronts, when even the most humble and mature problem solver is rendered helpless if not culturally aware and sensitive Elmer provides many anecdotes, biblical principles, and helpful research to guide the intercultural worker through the many trials that are faced when crossing borders 192 pages of stressful insights into not only thinking outside the box, but inside someone else s box.

  2. says:

    Practical and helpful information that reminds you western ways of living are not the only way So many times I found myself saying, you mean people don t know this in response to the author s seemingly being surprised that not all humans think and value things in the same way Wild I read this book for school and I m not mad about it, but I did feel like this is no brainer stuff Other cultures exist and we must all have open minds and not assume everyone thinks the same as us, spoiler alert.

  3. says:

    I have previously read Elmer s book Cross Cultural Servanthood and LOVED it I was worried this would be too much of a repeat to be worth reading but was wrong This is a GREAT book I think this is a must read for any Christian who wants to learn to be a better friend, work with other people, handle conflict better, or just love people better And once you read this, go read Elmer s other book named above.

  4. says:

    This book is really important It has taught me much about how the majority of the world operates Elmer is clear in his ideas and helps westerners better understand why it means to interact in non western contexts Read this book if you are engaging regularly in cross cultural contexts.

  5. says:

    QuotesWhich is the greater sin to tell a lie or to lose your temper If you are a North American or from Western Europe, and especially if you have white skin, you chose lying as the greater sin If you are from another part of the world, my guess is that you chose losing your temper as the greater sin If you are from the Western world North America or Europe but a person of color, you may have had difficulty choosing, since your heritage may allow you to offer reasoned argument for either answer.Of course, here the real issue is not which answer is correct but why you perceive a given answer to be correct In Western culture, especially among Western white people, a very high value is placed on accuracy and truth So lying is the greater sin Outside the Western world, for the most part, greater value is placed on relationships Losing one s temper is a grievous sin, because it represents a rupture in relationship 15 Several years ago, I conducted a workshop for about sixty North American mission executivesWhen we were ready to identify the number one need of overseas based missionaries, the opinion was unanimousthe greatest problem among missionaries is relational breakdowns among themselves, and our greatest need is to help them deal with conflict by building positive interpersonal skills 33 R.H Thomas and K.W Kilmann identified five ways most Westerners handle conflict1 Win Lose Strategy Win lose people assume that everything should be seen as right or wrong They have a very small gray area and tend not to be very flexible or willing to negotiate Maturity is knowing and what is worth fighting for and what is not worth fighting for 2 Avoidance The person who tries to manage conflict by avoiding it believes that differences are bad, they always cause hard feelings and broken relationships, and no good can come from confronting conflict.Yet avoiding conflict or withdrawing from it does not allow these people to preserve important goals, values and ideals nor does it allow them to preserve relationships They lose on both counts and end up with weak or superficial relationships and little or no influence on important decisions.3 Giving In These people see most things as negotiable Differences are rarely worth fighting aboutMaintaining relationships is most importantWhile these people enjoy great relationships, they often forfeit personal goals and values They can easily be taken advantage of, since they have difficulty saying no Being people pleasers, they are often doing things for others in the hope of averting any conflict or of softening some conflict.4 Compromise The compromising person believes that it is impossible to have everything, so everyone should give a little and get a little Sometimes you may get a little less, other times a little , but it will all even out over time.On the surface this seems a very desirable way to handle conflict situations Everybody comes away happy at least in theory Actually, though, this method means one or both parties must give up something, and it may be something important Then one party will walk away dissatisfied and unhappy Members of that group may subsequently look for ways to even the score and thus sabotage the agreement Or next time they may take a win lose position So there are two major problems with compromise it endangers the relationship, and each side must be vigilant in order not to compromise something important.Another problem with compromise is that it works poorly when either party has disproportionate power If one party has greater power, she or he can negotiate tougher, from a position of superior strength, knowing that the other party cannot bargain as an equal Again, one side is likely to walk away unhappy.5 Carefronting Carefronting means directly approaching the other person in a caring way so that achieving a win win solution is most likely With this approach, neither party loses anything important and the relationship does not suffer However, several conditions must be met in order to achieve a mutual win situation through carefronting The two parties can come together, meet face to face and talk with open honesty They each make a commitment to preserve the relationship and dispassionately explain the values goals that each wishes to protect or achieve They can creatively find a solution in which they can both be equal winners, with neither giving up anything of value, and thus preserve the relationship They can do this with reason, keeping emotions under control They are both able to separate the person from the issue and speak objectively to that end Neither will be satisfied with a solution until the other is also completely at peace with it 34 43

  6. says:

    If you re thinking about going overseas or into a community that has a different culture than you, I would highly recommend this book It is important to know how to communicate with cultures that are unlike your own and to understand the inner workings of those cultures I am reading this book for my Cultural Anthropology course and I find it fascinating how different cultures have different ways of communicating, namely direct Western world and indirect two thirds world i.e most of the rest of the world I needed to read this book It has opened my eyes into understanding how cultures communicate and how I should respond to conflict in those cultures I am heading to Japan this summer and I feel way prepared than I was before Being from an individualistic society, I am excited to see a collectivist society with new and eager eyes that are ready to learn and to be a part of that culture.

  7. says:

    This was a very interesting book The author wrote it to help missionaries as they go on their mission trips around the world He uses the Bible and the word of Jesus to explain how we need to confront cross cultural conflict and find the happy medium There is obviously the underlying idea that those who are causing the conflict need Jesus and need to be converted to Christianity but that was just a subtle undertone that comes with any book about mission work I found that a lot of his points were valid and that anyone working or living in a culture different from what they grew up in could take a lot from this book It is a pretty quick read.

  8. says:

    Duane Elmer helps Americans Westerners move beyond our monolithic perspective to consider alternative ways of building, maintaining, and reconciling relationships within our increasingly multi cultural world Read this book if you work with or interact regularly with people from a different culture As a third culture kid who grew up in Asia, I was aware of but found particularly helpful the descriptions of the varying ways different cultures approach conflict through indirect means I especially appreciated the attention devoted to presenting an analysis of the biblical material and stories illustrating these non Western ways of resolving personal differences.

  9. says:

    This was eye opening, not only for my own cross cultural engagement, but also for all my relationships Especially helpful was the section reviewing the different ways people respond to conflict or problems My go to response is evaluative judgmental , however this can be devastating in cross cultural work I was able to connect so much of the material to real situations I face in my work I will be referencing this book in the future Definitely a go to resource for this topic.

  10. says:

    A very helpful, insightful book I thought a lot of this information was invaluable However, I did think that some of the Biblical examples were a bit of a stretch I would have to look into that further to see what I thought about it Perhaps that is just me being stuck in my own viewpoint and not wanting it challenged Practically essential info for anyone who will be living abroad or spending a significant amount of time there.

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