Globalization has developed at such a high rate of speed over the last 25 years that it is now a reality everyone is dealing with on some level or another (Mendenhall et al., 2008). For so long, Christian leadership was localized and geared toward communities of like people who were kindred culturally. Globalization has changed all that. Leadership activity is the process of aligning people through clarifying vision and values into understandable and attainable acts (Banks & Ledbetter, 2004), but globalization has moved leadership away from linear cultural leadership and a multicultural leadership approach.
There is a growing number of Christian leaders who are breaking out of traditional perspectives and approaching ministry in different ways outside of the box, however, if not careful, Christian leaders could be deceiving themselves into unfruitful ministry. What must be understood is that the most current traditions of leadership, and contemporary models, are culturally bound and when applied in cross cultural and multicultural contexts, these approaches become obstacles to effective ministry (Lingenfelter, 2008). With globalization, cross-cultural and multicultural contexts are not overseas, but right across the street in some ministry locations.
The intent of Christian leaders approach ministry in new and innovative ways is admirable as well as necessary for effectiveness, but it is important for these new ministry approaches to be cross-cultural and grounded in biblical principles because secular and business perspectives on leadership are not adequate for Christian ministry (Lingefelter, 2008). The benefit is that the gospel is transcultural and the life and teachings of Jesus provides Christian leaders with the spiritual resources essential to meeting the challenges of differing cultural worldviews (Lingenfelter, 2008). This should be encouraging for Christian leaders who are exploring new ministry approaches, because with the gospel as the cornerstone of new ministry approaches, they are equipped to meeting globalizing mixture of cultural contexts they will face.
Banks, R., & Ledbetter, B. M. (2004). Reviewing leadership: a Christian evaluation of current approaches. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic.
Lingenfelter, S. G. (2008). Leading cross-culturally: covenant relationships for effective Christian leadership. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic.
Mendenhall, M. E., Osland, J., Bird, A., Oddou, G. R., & Maznevski, M. L. (2008). Global leadership: research, practice, and development. London ; New York: Routledge.