Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Getting Ready For the Last Hurrah…

Written by: on June 13, 2019

As I started to peruse the two books for this week, I had a flashback to our first year. We read several books to get us ready for our advance to SA that gave us a historical perspective of Christianity in Africa and the affects of apartheid specifically in SA. I had a moment of clarity that this will be our final advance and it just does not seem right. The path has been traveled to quickly for my liking, (I know it is part of life but so what). It reminded me that my oldest son would be graduating with his undergraduate degree next spring and my twins would be graduating and leaving home next spring as well. Not to mention the Elite 8’s will be walking in graduation as well. I do not do well with endings, thus this moment of realization hit me fairly hard.

So, on to the show. The CultureShock! series of books is, according to the publisher,  “a dynamic and indispensable range of guides for those travellers who are looking to truly understand the countries they are visiting.” [1] In looking for some insight to this series I happened upon the Culture Matters website run by a gentleman from the Netherlands by the name of Chris Smit. He is a consultant on culture differences and business and his website recommends this series. He also gave a Ted Talk on culture differences below:


In it he gives the listener insight into some things we have already read through in our book, The Culture Map by Erin Meyer. It was interesting just to get a bit of a refresher.

The CultureShock! books for both Great Britain and London were easy to read and gave good insight. I have always loved British comedy, I grew up watching Monty Python with my dad, Benny Hill (on the DL), but my favorite has always been the Black Adder series. It stars Rowan Atkinson as the title character and through the five seasons follows a family line from the top of society (Prince Black Adder) to a finish as a captain doomed in the trenches of WWI. As an American, I know that the series is not a true reflection of British society, just as series like Brooklyn 99 is not a true picture of American society. There are truths to be found I would imagine but it is fun to follow. One of my favorite quotes from the series comes in the last season from the Captain Edmund Blackadder “I am a fully rounded human being, with a degree from the university of life, a diploma from the school of hard knocks, and three gold stars from the kindergarten of getting the shit kicked out of me.” (Sorry for the coarse language.) I say all of this so that you understand, having only been to London once in my life, I am no expert on its culture. Thankfully, Terry Tan and Orin Hargraves give the reader an intense introduction to the culture.The two books cover Great Britain and then drill down into London so that the reader can slide into the day to day life without causing a scene. One of the chapters I really enjoyed was Tan’s discussion of the different dialects and nuances of the English language. It starts with a quote of Tan’s journal from 1984:”In Yorkshire they say ‘coom oop’ and see me sometime. In London, ‘cor blimey’ is explosive Cockney exclamation. In arty Chelsea, a ‘nice hice’ is a ‘nice house’ through stiff upper lips. In Britain, you’ll hear more accents than in an UN conference” [2] The chapter describes the British attitude of not learning multiple languages, “Few English find the need to learn a second language; a recent survey showed that 90 percent of students drop French by the time they do their O-Level exams at age 15 or 16, and they generally feel that anyone who lives here has a duty to learn English.” [3] I wonder if this is still the case 11 years after the writing of this book.The statement above can be ripped out of some in the U.S. when confronted with a group that does not see the need to speak English but keep their mother tongue. It is an interesting observation, there are arguments for both sides. d

I also enjoyed the section on religion in the UK. Coming on the heels of our reading the past week. The snapshot given again is from over a decade past and I would be curious how changes in immigration has possibly changed the dynamics. Although one thing in particular stood out to me, it also hit me in Hong Kong. Tan writes, “The undending queues of tourists with fingers poised on cameras can be a headache to church elders trying to conduct services” [4] His statement brought back the uneasiness I felt in filming and taking pictures in the Buddhist temple we visited. People were trying to worship while tourists flocked around and gawked at the sight. I wrote in my visual ethnography how uncomfortable each of us would be if the same thing happened in the church where we either serve or attend during one of our services. Whether you agree or disagree with a philosophy or religion, you should at least have the common courtesy of respecting the time of worship.

Perusing these books has made me itchy to get to our next advance. Reading through the posts will bring the finality of our program to my heart. Both are good and both can wait just a bit I think.


[1] “CultrueShock! Series Description.” CultureShock! Bali. Accessed June 13, 2019. https://www.marshallcavendish.com/marshallcavendish/genref/CultureShock-Bali_B1002_Singapore.aspx.

[2] Tan, Terry. Cultureshock! A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2008.257.

[3] Ibid. 257-258.

[4] Ibid. 33. 

About the Author

Jason Turbeville

A pastor, husband and father who loves to be around others. These are the things that describe me. I was a youth minister for 15 years but God changed the calling on my life. I love to travel and see where God takes me in my life.

11 responses to “Getting Ready For the Last Hurrah…”

  1. Great post, Jason!

    It must have been incredible to walk through the past and see the changes within the present in South Africa. I wish I had the chance to be there and see that.

    You mention, “I do not do well with endings, thus this moment of realization hit me fairly hard.” I know what you mean about endings. I’ve had some melancholic days reminiscing about all the wonderful memories of Hong Kong and relishing the last moments of Monday chats.

    Ok. I loved that you mentioned, Monty Python. One of my favorite skits is the one about the dead parrot. Lol

    What ways have you been shaped by English culture? What are you looking forward to the most when we all get to London and Oxford?

    • Jason Turbeville says:

      I think mostly it is my sense of humor. I love British comedies and always have. Most of my friends find the humor dry or strange, I love it. Monty Python is just the tip of the ice berg. I think the thing I am most excited about is the history we will be walking through. History is our beginnings and where we are going.


  2. Mike says:

    Congrats on making it this far, and when we graduate, all of us together, it is not the end. It is just another God designed doorway towards eternity. Who else is going to do the “eternity stuff” He has designed for us except the Elite 8?
    Like you, when I look at British culture, politics, religions, and immigration challenges I see it as a snapshot of what’s coming towards the US. Like Jean said in her post, if we put our founding country in context, they are roughly the size of the US state of Oregon. While there may not be any Bigfoot in the UK, they do leave big footprints on our ancestry for sure!
    Are you going to bring a kilt like Shawn?
    Overall, I think your demeanor will fit “bloody” well into the British culture with no problem. Just stare, lower your brow, and think “Sod off” and you should have no problems!
    Stand firm,

    • Jason Turbeville says:

      Since I am adopted I have no idea of my ancestry so it would be quite forward to assume Scottish and have a kilt. 😉 I read your last line and thought, yeah that would be a good way to get into a fight….can’t wait.


  3. Jay Forseth says:


    You mention British comedy. It cracks me up! Not sure I understand it all, but I still like it.

    Your post fits your personality perfectly. Well done!


    • Jason Turbeville says:

      As with all things the more you watch the more you will understand. Be careful though you might get addicted to it like me!


  4. Kyle Chalko says:

    Hey Jason, good post. It is really interesting comparing what Jason had us read for each year. It makes sense that this is the year we need a better awareness of our cultural surroundings, while the others it was more obvious everything would be different. Also im sure Jason is excited to help us “blend” (is that possible) in in his home town. Ya know? Loved the tie in with your visual ethnography from before. I wonder what ours will be like this time?

    • Jason Turbeville says:

      I have been to London once about 15 yrs ago, my guess is it is very different. Can we blend in? That is the 64k dollar question. I look forward to it for sure!


  5. Jean Ollis says:

    Jason, I’m with you – on the one hand I can’t wait to be done with blogging, writing, etc. but on the other hand I’m not quite ready to finish the season of LGP8 relationship. What a fast three years! Great job using some humor amidst your writing. The UK is new to me – I’ve never been there! Should be a great culmination of our journey 🙂

  6. Dan Kreiss says:

    Jason you never cease to amaze me. I don’t know many Americans who are familiar with Blackadder! What a classic along with Faulty Towers. Very different humor than that found on US sitcoms.

    Change is tough and though this journey together has been a lot of work it has also been amazing and I am not really lookin forward to it’s conclusion even as our Monday Zoom meetings conclude in a week. Know flint we will all make the most of the time together in London and do our best to encourage one another in making the connections that will bring us to greater understanding of what God desires for us in the future.

  7. Mark Petersen says:

    Since you describe language diversity in Britain… Language is always a challenging issue in Canada.

    The federal government is officially bilingual English-French. And any federal employees are bilingual and should (theoretically) be able to offer services in either language.

    Provincial is unilingual except for New Brunswick (Nouveau-Brunswick) which is officially bilingual, English-French. (Where I live.) (The French were here first, except for First Nations, and one-third of our province is Acadian.)

    Language is so complicated. I have a friend who is an ambulance driver in rural NB. He has to be bilingual to be hired by the provincial agency, which requires competency in both languages. But his French is not at the necessary level even though within in our county there are under 10% francophones. So he makes less money, even though there is little demand for French services here.

    I’m sure you are seeing pressures toward bilingualism in Texas. What are you finding?

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