SEND International is intentionally multi-ethnic and multi-national because it takes people from all nations to reach all nations. Our membership is currently composed of at least 13 nationalities, and many more cultures are represented within those nationalities.
Our “multi-culturalness” provides unique opportunities as we seek to fulfill the mission of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ among unreached peoples of the world. But the diversity that accompanies this mix of cultures also has many inherent challenges; challenges that should be acknowledged and addressed.
Our ability to get along and have a fruitful ministry in the midst of diversity is impacted by our individual walks with God. I think multicultural teaming can be similar to marriage in that way — the closer the husband and wife are to God, the closer they become to one another. However, marriage enrichment seminars also have great potential to strengthen marriages as they provide specific and practical advice and activities to help couples grow. I believe the same is true for multicultural teams. Each individual’s walk with the Lord is a critical component in keeping a multi-national team unified and fruitful. However, making intentional use of specific and practical advice through seminars, workshops, and other tools can also be very beneficial.
The International Office of SEND is willing to provide Multi-cultural Teaming Workshops as requested by our areas or individual teams. The Russia area recently incorporated this type of workshop into their annual conference. You can find more information about it on the SEND U wiki. Mentioned also on this wiki page are some great tools to help develop understanding of the cultures represented within SEND or on a specific team. I especially encourage you to check out Erin Myer‘s Culture Map materials (including an individual assessment entitled What’s Your Cultural Profile?), and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions (which also has a great tool summarizing and comparing cultures of many countries).
May God continue to use SEND, in our diversity, to mobilize God’s people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches.