Cultural differences on Church Leadership

One of the challenges facing us as a multicultural church is how to deal with cultural differences on church leadership. For instance, I find asian Australians are much more deferrential to church leaders than anglo Australians, with the consequence that they are much less likely to ask questions of our leadership, much less likely to turn up to church meetings, much less likely to contribute to decisions. This is very frustrating to egalitarian-minded anglo Australians like myself who prefer egalitarian-style church. Frustrating, not only because we’re uneasy with racial unequal power structures, but because we’re actually short of leaders.

Have you had any experience with this?

4 thoughts on “Cultural differences on Church Leadership

  1. I know what you’re talking about. I think that it is part of the culture that is concerned with “face” … the whole honor/shame thing. It is a shameful thing to question a leader…. It is very challenging to raise up cooperative leaders . I’m sure Brad would have lots to say about this….

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  2. oh, that Abbess – she’s virtually right again. i think i’ve something to say, but unfortunately, no time at the moment to write about it. which means i can think thru things more and perhaps be more concise! back later, when backlog is done.

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  3. oh, that Abbess – she’s virtually right again. i think i’ve something to say, but unfortunately, no time at the moment to write about it. which means i can think thru things more and perhaps be more concise! back later, when backlog is done.

    Like

  4. Yes, Peggy, that is what I gather is going on. The congregational style of church governance you find in baptist churches is as radical as anything you find in any emergent church, at least potentially, but the question is whether congregations are psychologically prepared to embrace that potential or not. It would seem culture has a lot to do with it. Australians are renouned for keeping their leaders humble (see http://www.johnsmulo.com/Leadership/australian-leadership-lessons.html), but newer Australians take time to come to grips with this. In the meantime it creates power imbalances.

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