Think Globally, Act Locally When Spreading the Gospel

Living globally and acting locally are complimentary elements of a well-rounded, and effective leader, however it is often the case that one is overlooked due to the immediate demand of the other. This idea of having a global mindset that is daily lived out in a local context is gaining steam throughout different segments of society and is demanding for more and more leaders to cultivate such a perspective life style.

This is increasingly true for Christ followers who are actively endeavoring to live out the mandate Jesus gave to go and disciple the whole world (Mt. 28:18-20). Jesus commanded his disciples to begin in Jerusalem, but to move out from there in a strategic way to effectively reach the far reaches of the globe. This is not a mandate locally focused, nor globally focused…in fact it is both. It demands Christ’s church, more now than ever, respond to the global context and take into account how people hear the message of the Gospel in their local context (Allard, 2010). Cultural morés and traditions, locally and globally, are of utmost consideration when it comes to the proclamation of Christ and the mission of the church (Allard, 2010).

Disciples of Christ cannot look at their fulfillment of the mission of Christ in their personal context, but rather, they need to see the context of those who are receiving the message and adapt accordingly. As the church seeks to proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and freedom in Christ, it needs to take into account what is valued in the local setting of those hearing the message (Allard, 2010). Global spiritual leaders must adapt to local environments and clothe themselves in humility, the patience to listen and learn from others, and establish productive, trusting relationships (Terrell & Rosenbusch, 2013) in order to make the Gospel heard.


Allard, R. E. (2010). Freedom on your head (1 Corinthians 11:2-16): a paradigm for the structure of Paul’s ethics. Word & World, 30(4), 399–407.

Terrell, R. S., & Rosenbusch, K. (2013). How global leaders develop. Journal of Management Development, 32(10), 1056–1079.

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