Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My first article published in a professional journal!

This article comes as fruit of a class I took from Jim Plueddemann on Education and Culture. He challenged the entire class to try and get our final paper published and thanks to his exhortation I submitted my article to the Common Ground Journal: Perspectives on the Church in the 21st Century.

As part of Christian Camping International/ Latin America, I have belonged to a number of multicultural teams but until this class, I never gave much thought to any of the cultural dynamics that might be at play as we worked together. This class with Jim opened my eyes to see how we may be misjudging some areas of conflict as "immaturity" or "difficult personalities" when in reality there was a strong cultural component. This article describes a bit of my journey as it explains the name of that cultural component (high and low power distance cultures or vertical / horizontal cultures) and provides some understanding as to how to maintain team harmony. I invite you to read the article below (or follow this link: http://www.commongroundjournal.org/volnum/v08n01.pdf to read it)

The abstract of the article reads:
Threats to multicultural team harmony may come from a variety of sources such as immaturity, lack of shared vision, or from a compelling task to unify everyone; but one aspect that tends to slip under the radar screen is difference in power distance. This article shows how characteristics of both high and low power distance in cultures influences team members’ concepts of what team harmony is and how it is created. The creation of a third culture, a counter-cultural temporary Christian community, can offer a multicultural team a way to suspend cultural expectations and work together.

I'd love to hear your thoughts-click on observations to share!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Do not linger

This is what I sensed the Lord advised me regarding lingering over what people had written to me for my 50th birthday. The more I ponder exactly what my influence has been in someone’s life, the more I expose myself to the danger of pride. So, for me, do not linger is good advice. As long as I would read with an eye toward what God had accomplished and how I was merely an instrument in His hands, God would get the glory.

What a subtle temptation since outwardly it looks the same but inwardly God knows my heart and He warns me of danger ahead if I try to figure out how I did this or that, or if I should try to do more of this and less of that… all those ponderings assume that I am the key player. Wrong assumption. I am merely a tool in the Master’s hand, to be used or not used as He sees fit.

This lesson is like a revolving door, it keeps coming back to me given that the nature of missionary work is all about influence. Even my job title, Director of Leadership Development (Christian Camping International, Latin America), lends itself to strategizing about how to influence others who will in turn influence others…on and on the chain of influence goes. I am convinced that I am a link in that chain, but need to remind myself over and over that Someone else is in charge of creating the chain and making the connections. I am to remain faithful to walk in the Spirit and be responsive to His promptings.

What has the Lord been prompting you to do recently? Any good advice you want to pass along to me? (click on the comments below to share)