by A. Scott Moreau and Beth Snodderly, eds.
William Carey Library, 1605 E. Elizabeth Street, Pasadena, CA 91104, 2011, 391 pages, $14.99.
—Reviewed by John E. Chung, minister of missions, Park Street Church, Boston, Massachusetts.
As the world increasingly globalizes, mission agencies and teams have grown more international, drawing missionaries from a more diverse and multinational pool. The result is that the issues of diversity are more complex than ever before, which necessitates new questions and discussions regarding these complexities. This book adds to existing discussions on diversity and offers practical, new insights.
Scott Moreau and Beth Snodderly have edited and compiled papers from the Evangelical Missiological Society to form another book in their series on issues in missions. The authors of each chapter span the rich ethnic diversity of the Church in North America and represent a mosaic of perspectives as pastors, missionaries, agency workers, and academics. The book is organized into three sections: “Case Studies and Experiments in Diversity,” “The Challenges of Diversity in Teams,” and “Understanding and Facing Diversity.”
The first section is primarily case studies and stories that reflect the nature of the changing multicultural Church in North America, laying out both the challenges and opportunities. The case studies examine how the immigrant and diaspora Church are engaging in missions. For example, we catch a glimpse of the church-planting movement of a church based in the Philippines planting new churches in Canada. We also see case studies in generational issues from both an ethnic Ghanaian perspective and a North American perspective.
The second section deals specifically with diversity in cross-cultural mission teams and international organizations. These chapters highlight both advances that have been made in this area and inadequacies that still remain. There are helpful perspectives on leadership styles, group theories, and cultural intelligence and their relationship to managing diversity. The final section offers an array of viewpoints on how issues of diversity play out in mission practice and thought.
Two particular chapters in the final section brought to the forefront some often-ignored issues; namely, the question of the African American Church’s involvement in foreign missions and the additional challenges that ethnic minorities and single women face in mission fundraising. By raising some discomforting questions, the authors of these chapters provide some new insights into issues that need to be addressed.
This compilation reminds us of the necessity of varied perspectives when discussing these issues. While many of the chapters revisit existing discussions on diversity in missions, several chapters offer unexpected insights and angles that keep the book fresh.
Check these titles:
Livermore, David. 2010. Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success. New York: AMACOM.
EMQ, Vol. 48, No. 3, pp. 372, 374. Copyright © 2012 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.