DMINLGP

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

Further Up and Further In

Written by: on February 17, 2017

DSC_0899For over a year we have been traveling Further Up and Further In. Our travels don’t take us deeper into the New Narnia as in The Chronicles, [1] but our further in has taken us deeper into the world of Global Leadership in cross-cultural environs.

We have been traveling together to strange and distant places. Most of those places we explore through reading, but twice it has been in the remotest parts of the earth. DSC_0295Through travel and reading we now have nearly a year and a half’s learning that is transforming us into global leaders.

Sarah Pink wrote “Doing Visual Ethnography is an invitation to engage with images, technologies and ways of seeing and experiencing as part of the ethnographic process.” [2]  While most higher education leads students purely through images and reading, Leadership and Global Perspectives takes us physically into spaces of Global Leadership, where we can study leadership from within different cultures. This process of journeying further up and in contributes to us being more “Level 5″ leaders who can move ministries toward greatness because we are being exposed to leaders who have dared to dream and risk in order to create great ministries. [3]

Our LGP Advances will continue to baptize us into leadership by immersion in very different cultural places (although Hong Kong, England, and South Africa do have in common driving on the left side of the road). DSC_0018The diversity of cultures to which we’re being exposed help make us aware of our own culture(s), which develops cultural intelligence within us. This contributes to self awareness, which in turn can contribute to self-differentiation. I have discovered within my own soul that being anxious because of the unfamiliarity of other cultures can serve my internal development in becoming non-anxious, which contributes to self-differentiation. [4]

In Leadership Mystique, Manfred Kets de Vries described the institution where he teaches as a place with no national identity, which helps to create attitudes of cultural relativity. [5] Our LGP Advances contribute to our development in the same way.

Our advances have helped prepare me for field research in my home town. We have practiced studying leadership from within different cultures, and I am now engaged in a process of ethnography, studying leadership in the context of the cultures of international students living and studying at Oregon State University in Corvallis. When I am doing field research and interviewing students from China, and when I am building friendship with a Persian student from contemporary Iran, it is helpful to remember that their culture is closer than mine to the early cultures that traveled the Silk Road toward Europe. [6] This all contributes to appreciation for the news from the missionary to China that the Chinese Church is building momentum toward an effort to take the Gospel along the Silk Road back toward Iran.

Our D. Min. studies continue to be a journey. Last year when we launched to Hong Kong many of us were confused and uncertain. This was brand new terrain, and the ways of successful navigation were unclear. Slowly we began to get our feet under us and we have been able to walk the path, and gain confidence as we traveled.

This September the second major leg of the journey further up and in took us to England. DSC_0021 DSC_0207Part of the cross-cultural experience this year was to experience the realities of “two people separated by a common language” (a quotation attributed to Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, and/or George Bernard Shaw).

In London we heard from stellar practitioners of global leadership engaging and impacting society. We were exposed to diversity of styles and contexts, when considering the ministries of Steve Calk with Oasis Global and marginalized kidsDSC_0088 DSC_0063, Jeremy Crossley at St. Margaret’s in the financial district, and Krish Kandiah working with orphans (to name three).

Our journey further up and in via Oxford was a treat that defies description: to be in this place dripping with history, learning, and theology.  DSC_0590The visual beauty of the Cathedral at Christ Church drew us into worship. [7]

 

As a personal aside, it didn’t hurt that our path through Oxford included a pilgrimage to “The Eagle and Child,” DSC_0217the pub frequented by C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and their literary friends, as they walked their journey through the world of their own literature.

A priceless highlight of Oxford was viewing the Hebrew Old Testament text used in the translation of the King James Bible. DSC_0927DSC_0932We also had a variety of scholarly presentations. Perhaps the most personally memorable talk was the offering of Dr. Emma Percy who suggested that rather than a business-leader model for pastoral leadership, we should consider mothering as a metaphor for ministry. Like a diligent mother a pastor has a schedule that is often unpredictable, that often is hard to recount, involving a great deal of caring for others. She talked about what clergy do: especially when it looks like nothing. I told her later that I wished I had heard her ideas forty years ago at the beginning of pastoral work.

At the conclusion of our Advance, Dr. Jason Clark reflected that the Advances are supposed to be a catalyst to our learning, helping us to become reflective practitioners, and that reflexive practice creates capacity. This comment lead me to think that nearly thirty years of keeping reflective prayer journals has contributed to my ongoing capacity for and interest in ministry, even as one who is allegedly “retired.”

Therefore, even though the effort of producing work at a doctoral level is sometimes stressful enough that I don’t feel retired, I am still grateful to be in this program.DSC_0542

[1] C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle, (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing, 1973).
[2] Sarah Pink, Doing Visual Ethnography (Los Angeles, CA: SAGE, 2013), 1.
[3] Jim Collins, Good to Great (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2001).
[4] Edwin Friedman, A Failure of Nerve (New York, NY: Seabury, 2007).
[5] Kets de Vries, The Leadership Mystique (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2006).
[6] Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads` (New York, NY: Penguin, 2015).
[7] William Dyrness, Visual Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001).

About the Author

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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.

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