An Assessment of Cultural Differences Among Pastors for Effective Pastoral Leadership
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A review of current Lutheran literature demonstrates that limited material is available regarding cross-cultural leadership methods the pastor considers in his cross-cultural ministry setting. Additionally, a traditional Wisconsin Lutheran Evangelical Synod (WELS) pastor may lack experience in the area of cultural diversity. WELS pastors can go out into the ministry field without much –– if any –– ministry experience among a culture other than their own. Pastors without much cross-cultural experience may go into such areas of ministry with full intention to effectively lead persons of another culture and share the ministry with them. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Nevertheless, while leading in a cross-cultural environment presents plenty of challenges to the leader, it can also be a rich experience. Therefore, this project set out to discover a uniquely Lutheran cross-cultural approach to leadership for pastors of all different cultures. This was done by examining whether or not cultural insiders lead differently than cultural outsiders through the perspective of four WELS members who have been blessed to have both a pastor of their same culture and a pastor of a different culture. Through an examination of relevant literature, appropriate Scriptures, and the responses of specific members, this project establishes some principles for cross-cultural leadership, and it demonstrates how several pastor’s leadership styles are perceived by both cultural insiders and cultural outsiders.
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