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Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility
     

Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility

4.5 2
by Duane Elmer
 

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ISBN-10: 0830833781

ISBN-13: 9780830833788

Pub. Date: 03/28/2006

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Duane Elmer asked people around the world how they felt about Western missionaries. The response? "Missionaries could be more effective if they did not think they were better than us."

The last thing we want to do in cross-cultural ministry is to offend people in other cultures. Unfortunately, all too often and even though we don't mean it, our actions

Overview

Duane Elmer asked people around the world how they felt about Western missionaries. The response? "Missionaries could be more effective if they did not think they were better than us."

The last thing we want to do in cross-cultural ministry is to offend people in other cultures. Unfortunately, all too often and even though we don't mean it, our actions communicate superiority, paternalism, imperialism and arrogance. Our best intentions become unintentional insults. How can we minister in ways that are received as true Christlike service?

Cross-cultural specialist Duane Elmer gives Christians practical advice for serving other cultures with sensitivity and humility. With careful biblical exposition and keen cross-cultural awareness, he shows how our actions and attitudes often contradict and offend the local culture. He offers principles and guidance for avoiding misunderstandings and building relationships in ways that honor others. Here is culturally-savvy insight into how we can follow Jesus' steps to become global servants.

Whether you're going on your first short-term mission trip or ministering overseas for extended periods, this useful guide is essential reading for anyone who wants to serve effectively in international settings with grace and sensitivity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830833788
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Pages:
214
Sales rank:
423,414
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Servanthood: Basic Perspectives
1. Servanthood: Its Burden and Challenge
2. Servanthood: Choosing the Towel or the Robe
3. Humility: Posture of the ServantPart II: Servanthood: The Process
4. Openness: Welcoming Others into Your Presence
5. Acceptance: Communicating Respect for Others
6. Trust: Building Confidence in Relationships
7. Learning: Seeking Information That Changes You
8. Learning: Biblical Foundations for Change
9. Understanding: Seeing Through the Other's Eyes
10. Serving: Becoming Like Christ to OthersPart III: Servanthood: The Challenges
11. The Servant and Leadership
12. The Servant and Power
13. The Servant and Mystery
14. The Servant Model: Joseph
Notes
Bibliography

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Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the book is subdivided by several sections, there are really two concepts to this book: (1) See the image of God in others¿ which encompasses the ideas of ¿welcoming others into our presence,¿ ¿communicating respect for others, ¿ ¿building confidence in relationships,¿ and ¿seeking information that changes you ¿ and (2) Show Christ to others¿ which involves ¿posture of the servant,¿ ¿becoming like Christ to others,¿ ¿biblical foundations for change¿ and ¿the servant and leadership/power.¿ The section entitled, ¿Acceptance,¿ basically suggests that Christians ought to see the image of God in others. Acceptance is ¿The ability to communicate value, worth and esteem to another person¿ (58). To illustrate the meaning of ¿acceptance,¿ the author shares 1 Corinthians 8:13¿¿An accepting Christian values the other person so highly that he or she would rather sacrifice a personal preference, even a right, than risk losing the relationship or being a stumbling block to that person¿ (61). If a Christian believes that people are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), then there is ¿common grace¿ that is bestowed on all people. The author explains it in this way, ¿Acceptance of others is to proactively communicate respect and dignity to each human being based on the fact that each is an image-bearer of God¿ (75). In a similar way, acceptance of others as image bearers of God is found in Galatians 3:28¿¿There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female¿ (NIV). One does not need to be a Christian in order to bear the image of God as illustrated in this passage: ¿Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God¿s image¿ (Genesis 9:6). The author reminds the reader, ¿By virtue of being made in the image of God and God¿s common grace, every person can contribute to our learning¿ (109). He then shares a story about his wife, Muriel, who used the villagers¿ story about killing lice to help lower infant mortality in Mozambique (110). This type of humility helps Christians to become better servants (115). Colossians 1:16 says, ¿For by him (Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or power or rulers or authorities all things were created by him and for him¿ (NIV). If Christians truly believe this passage, then what the author says in page 119 makes sense: ¿For the priesthood of all believers to function properly, we must all nurture each other, listen to each other, see the beauty of Christ in each other and seek God¿s grace from each other.¿ Elmer shares a story of missionary who set the example of true hospitality towards people in the area by inviting them through the front door to dine with him (183). This practice was unacceptable to the other missionaries so as a result he was ostracized by them. However, this act of showing Christ to others changed the way foreign mission was done in that country (184). The reaction that this particular missionary received from the other missionaries was very much like the reaction Jesus received from the Pharisees in Luke 15:2¿¿The Pharisees and the Scribes complained saying `This Man receives sinners and eats with them¿.¿ This is a good example to follow¿invite the people in the area to eat with us. Extend the invitation for them to join us over a meal. The Book of Hebrews supports this idea, ¿Do not forget to do good and to share¿ (Heb. 13:16). The act of sharing a meal is what the author calls ¿openness,¿ which is to ¿accept people as they are and build trust with them¿ (196). Elmer supports the idea of ¿openness¿ by stating, ¿This is the foundation for revealing Christ to others¿ (196). In fact showing Christ to others is a way of revealing the Gospel to unbelievers. It is having the light shine through us so that others are pointed to Christ (Matthew 5:14). In a way, it is doing what John the Baptist did¿¿God se