I recently had the privilege of attending a Cross-Cultural Workshop for church leaders. I came away with a heightened sensitivity to cultural diversity.
It’s so easy to view and evaluate others through the lens of our own context. But people groups vary greatly across the globe. With increased global mobility, those individuals from varied backgrounds come together in multicultural urban settings.
The workshop presenters divided the world into two broad categories: cold-climate cultures (CCC), and warm-climate cultures (WCC). Here is an example one distinct stereotypical difference between the two:
CCC individuals typically focus on the clock. If the meeting is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM, they arrive on time, or perhaps even five minutes early! In contrast, WCC people view the start time as a recommendation and make plans to arrive during the evening so as to enjoy the event. At a wedding, if the bride arrives an hour late, WCC attendees are perfectly relaxed. Some may even stroll down the aisle after the bride. CCC attendees, in contrast, are checking their watches and fretting, especially the groom!
What are the implications for pastoral ministry? Those pastors who serve in urban areas are noticing a shift in the demographics of their congregations. More and more, church families are a mixture of cultures from around the world. Wherever your church is located, CCC people and WCC people need to learn to understand each other.
God is calling His children from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Let’s be intentional about learning to understand each other, respect our differences, and celebrate our diversity.
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