Global leadership in missions: Reflections on the issues facing a global leader in a multicultural mission organization

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Global leadership has become a significant issue to grapple with in the 21st century as an increasing number of missionary teams are made up of members from diverse cultural backgrounds. This paper analyzes the impact and dynamics that culturally diverse teams of missionaries bring. As mission organizations become international, they face new challenges as team members come with different cultural expectations so that misunderstandings may develop regarding the roles of leaders and followers. Cultural fatigue, ethnocentrism, language, inadequacy in cultural training, and the complex issue of having a global leadership for the multicultural team members may be hindrances that may need to be overcome. In this paper the strengths of global leadership and a multicultural team are viewed. Some practical suggestions are provided to help in understanding and addressing issues in multicultural leadership in missions. The suggestions are intended to help mission organizations that are seeking to develop global leaders to bring about a synergistic approach to the collective cultural strengths available in the multicultural teams.
To be published in Moreau, A. Scott, Beth Snodderly, (eds.), Reflecting God's Glory Together: Diversity in Evangelical Mission (Evangelical Missiological Society Series, 19)
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