Churches, Cultures & Leadership


Fong Video: Members Initiate & Leaders Create Space

When Japanese American members took the initiative to share their stories about relocation camps, Pastor Fong remembered how his own previous learning had shaped his cross-cultural empathy. His story created space in the congregation for a deeper appreciation for cultural narratives and the Japanese American members found receptivity for their stories. These members wrote the book Triumphs of Faith: Stories of Japanese-American Christians During World War II, edited by Victor Okada. → Martínez emphasizes the importance of sharing cultural narratives (pp 235-6). On p 221, Branson lists encouraging experiments as a key task of implemental leadership. Implemental leadership is part of the leadership triad, a framework for understanding the roles of a leader (pp 54-56). Also, on pp 70-72, Branson notes that a leader’s role includes shaping an environment in which the initiatives of members are encouraged. You can use this video to discuss how leaders shape an environment in which the imagination and initiatives of members are welcome. Another element in the video is Pastor Fong’s reflections on his own learning and convictions, how those reflections served the church, and his closing question about how often he misses such opportunities. This helps explain the Branson & Martínez emphasis on a leader’s need to reflect on his/her own cultural autobiography (p 19) and the balcony work of leadership (pp 215-16). This is the 6th clip from the interview with Fong.

Posted in: Books, Part I: Theology and Context, Part III: Leadership, Communication and Change, Videos
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By engaging ethnic histories and hearing personal autobiographies we are participating in God's creative work of shaping and reshaping church life and mission.

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Part I: Theology and Context

Using the frameworks of practical theology and missional ecclesiology, we provide an introduction to the work of leadership and to social theory, including matters of social contexts, cultural variables, and ethnic identity.

Part II: Sociocultural Perspectives

Cultural anthropology provides insights into social power and human dynamics that vary among cultures. Topics include worldviews, relationships, identity, language, and perception and thinking.

Part III: Leadership, Communication and Change

We need to develop the skills and capacities for communication and leadership in intercultural settings in order to engage the challenges of church life and mission in multicultural contexts.


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