DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

For Such A Time As This: Why here and why now?

Written by: on January 19, 2017

This week’s epiphany is WHY we have been reading the books that we have been reading for the last eighteen months.

The third chapter of Global Evangelicalism: Theology, History and Culture in Regional Perspective, is entitled “Globalization, Religion and Evangelicalism.” Here Donald M. Lewis declares, “The scholarly discussion of globalization is particularly difficult because it crosses a number of academic disciplines: sociology, anthropology, history, religion, economics, and political science, to name a few.” [1] Ah, the shelf in my library that holds my D Min books now makes even more sense.

This chapter could function as the Charter for Leadership and Global Perspectives. The sentence quoted above is the key that unlocks the secret behind DMin LGP: herein is the unifying principle of our course work. This doctoral student has been changed by these studies. My perspective on the world has been forever transformed.

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the third chapter there are direct and indirect references to a number of our text books. Lewis draws directly from The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and we hear echos of Global Pentecostalism, The Silk Road, Open Leadership, Imagined Communities, Here’s London, Social Geographies, and others. In Chapter One Mark Noll cites Evangelicalism in Modern Britain. [2]

To be even more specific regarding globalization Lewis looks at how Evangelicalism has affected, and been affected by, globalization. (Through this program we are being trained to become aware of the ways in which the Christian Church affects societies, and how societies affect the Church.)  Of chapter three in Global Evangelicalism Lewis writes, “This chapter seeks to serve as a relatively simple introduction to a complex debate and to offer some observations on the way in which evangelicalism relates to these discussions.” [3] In Chapter 2 Wilbert Shenk says, “Surging new churches – such as the Pentecostal churches emerging in Latin America – saw social service as part of their core function.” [4]

There are several definitions for globalization given in the book (on pages 61 and 299).

Anthony Giddens – “Globalization can thus be defined as the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.” [5]

Malcolm Waters – “ [Globalization is] a social process in which the constraints of geography on economic, political, social and cultural arrangements recede, in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding and in which people act accordingly.” [5]

[Globalization is] “a term that encompasses the process of modernization and worldwide spread of a common (Western) culture. Some argue that globalization serves to homogenize cultures.” [6]

Key phrases in the first two definitions above are “link distant localities” and “constraints of geography recede.” The third definition presents one school of thought that globalization forces all cultures to become more Western, but this theory does not enjoy consensus among scholars.

Global Evangelicalism reminds me why my dissertation project is possible and important. The project is, in fact, the result of globalization.

Touch-Points of Application

First, the presence of 4,000 international students in my city demonstrates one manifestation of globalization. The reading of cultural intelligence can be practical and applicable for anyone living in this community because even during a trip to the grocery store we rub shoulders with people from many nations.

Second, in our glocalized community the presence of these students gives rise to my dissertation project of creating an international learning community in order to provide ministry leadership training for students before they return to their native countries.

Third, since the ease of transportation brings the students, it can also take them home after they have met Christ and/or have been trained. Therefore we are the beneficiaries of fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus without leaving town.

Fourth, from the beginning of our project to offer ministry leadership training to international students it has been our goal not to force a Western model of leadership onto students from other cultures. In Chapter 7 of Global Evangelicalism Scott W. Sunquist provides powerful support for this desire. While writing about the affect of revivals on Protestant missions in Asia he says, “Revivals reinforced the evangelical character of the Asian churches, strengthened indigenous cultural themes and at the same time empowered Asians to lead. The empowerment directed by the Holy Spirit acted as a more direct route for Asian leaders to be discipled than empowerment by Western leaders or long-term training dominated by Western forms and structures.” [7] It is essential that our leadership training models rise out of the cultural intelligence we are developing through study and conversations with many students from other nations.

Finally, we in LGP6 might feel a strong affinity with this book because the footnotes would make Kate Turabian smile.

[1] Donald M. Lewis and Richard V. Pierard, eds. Global Evangelicalism: Theology, History and Culture in Regional Perspective ( Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2014), 60.
[2] Ibid., 20.
[3] Ibid., 60.
[4] Ibid., 56.
[5] Ibid., 61.
[6] Ibid., 299.
[7] Ibid., 211-212.

About the Author

mm

Marc Andresen

I have a B. A. in Music from San Diego State University and received an M. Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1977. July 1 2015 I retired after 38 years in pastoral ministry. The passion and calling that developed in the last 20 years is leadership training in cross-cultural contexts, as my wife and I have had many opportunities to teach in Eastern Europe and Africa. I have been married for 38 years and have two adult children, one daughter-in-law and a beautiful granddaughter. My hobbies are photography and British sports cars.

13 responses to “For Such A Time As This: Why here and why now?”

  1. Marc, what a wonderful reflection and synthesis of the past 2 years. Bravo! I have never really thought of Oregon as an international location until I met you. Feels like this program is perfect for you and your passion. Am I right in saying that this book is very helpful for your project?

    • mm Marc Andresen says:

      Aaron,

      Yes – this book is helpful. Not only is there practical wisdom in it, but the philosophical support it lends is encouraging.

      When we consider the relationship between Evangelicalism and Globalization, we can see that this program in general, and our specific studies, place us in the stream of the world-wide mission which God began and has sustained for 2,000 years.

      We benefit from the combination of rigorous academics and spiritual encouragement.

  2. mm Phil Goldsberry says:

    Marc:

    Eureka! You had your moment and helped us to do the same! Great job. This book will work well in your dissertation I am sure.

    How would you compare Bebbington and this book? Understandably, Bebbington was British based. Did you walk away with a clearer understanding of “evangelical”? What was your take on the “globalization”?

    Phil

  3. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Phil,

    Interesting question to compare with Bebbington. For me, Global Evangelicalism was more readable because Bebbington went into incredible detail and Lewis/Pierard offered more variety with its numerous authors. I think I like Lewis/Pierard more, also, because the approach was more of a “big picture” approach. I like the history, but also the multi-discipline information.

    I don’t think there was a lot new in terms of defining evangelicalism, although I appreciated hearing different scholars’ definitions.

    I really appreciate this book adding depth to the significance of globalization. In popular circles “globalization” is too easy to toss around as a trendy word and concept. This book gives substance to globalization since the authors have unveiled how extensive the phenomenon is.

  4. Claire Appiah says:

    Thanks for this superb blog Dr. Marc Andresen! I really appreciate your ability to synthesize our course readings up to this point and to demonstrate how it all correlates with the overall plan of the Dminlgp program in shaping us as global leaders. I like the idea that you will be fulfilling the Great Commission without leaving town, intentionally employing cultural intelligence, and deferring to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Since, this is a brand new venture for you are there any specific challenges you foresee in this endeavor?

    • mm Marc Andresen says:

      Claire,

      Thanks for conferring my degree a little early, but don’t jinx it.

      This project is filled with challenges. As we work to create the “international space” for students we have a great deal of learning to gain. In general, I have to research and learn the principles of cultural intelligence, how culture affects our understanding of the Bible, and the subtle differences in approaches to leadership in different national populations.

      More specifically our challenge is to gather students and leaders from different nations into conversations to learn directly about their cultures. The shape and nature of this venture is formless, so our challenge is how to gather people into group discussions and what types of discussions to hold.

      An additional challenge has been figuring out how to narrow our target research groups, since we have students from dozens of nations at our university. At this point I will focus primarily on the Chinese and Central American populations, in part because these are both strong Christian populations and likely to have people interested in training.

      By the way, as Pablo cited your reference to Ethical Intelligence, this concept has contributed to what will be woven into the character aspects of good leadership. Thank you for that.

      • Claire Appiah says:

        Marc,
        OK. I won’t jinx your doctoral degree conferral. But, I sincerely believe nobody can because it is God inspired and God ordained.
        Good! You have a keen awareness of the nature of the work your overall project entails and some of the obvious challenges you will be encountering. I was wondering how you would go about this with students representing a diversity of nationalities. I’m glad ethical intelligence is included in the mix. What a blessing to be this far along in your dissertation efforts.

  5. Marc,

    Good job. Do you see all three things: globalization, evangelicalism, and pentecostalism as being symbiotic? Also, with the 4000 students in Oregon, how many of them have been impacted by Pentecost? I would be curious about that. Is the international church more embracing of various beliefs? Just some thoughts I had while reading your blog. Blessings.

    Jason

    • mm Marc Andresen says:

      Jason,

      Symbiotic – what an interesting question.

      At the risk of putting thoughts into the minds of the editors and authors of Global Evangelicalism, it would seem that they are presenting a slightly symbiotic relationship between evangelicalism and globalization, to some degree. They address, for instance, how the increase of world-wide trade in the 18th and 19th centuries contributed to the spread of the Gospel. So, there is a mutually beneficial relationship there.

      I would connect pentecostalism in so far as I view pentecostalism as a part of the larger category of evangelical. I know there are some point of departure between the two, but in broadest terms evangelicals and pentecostals hold the same basic beliefs (ala Bebbington). I must add, however, that being in the Assemblies of God you are in a better position to judge this than am I.

      On the other hand, since technically a symbiotic relationship means neither party can survive without the other, these three movements would not be symbiotic. I do not think evangelicalism is incapable of surviving without globalization. I think I would prefer the term “mutually beneficial.”

    • mm Marc Andresen says:

      Jason,

      I realized I didn’t answer all you questions.

      I have no idea how the international students have been impacted by Pentecostalism. (I think that’s what you meant.) I might be asking them that question as I talk with them. My hunch, just based on informal conversations, is that there would be more discernible impact among the African students.

      Again only as a hunch, regarding embracing various beliefs, I have seen more tenacious loyalty to basic Biblical beliefs in other-nation churches.

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