When it comes to helping the church overcome cultural barriers to complete the G

When it comes to helping the church overcome cultural barriers to complete the Great Commission both locally and globally, cultural intelligence equips people with the leadership skills necessary to maintain appropriate relationships, understanding, and compassion for other cultures and people of diverse nature, while intercultural communication takes cultural intelligence to another level by providing a specific set of skills, such as verbal and nonverbal communication, cultural values, and contextualization.
Both are equally important in the ways they help the church overcome cultural barriers because both provide us with a deeper understanding of how other people live, while giving us the chance to show God’s love and compassion through the sharing of His gospel. Loving others means serving them and meeting their needs; it means not focusing on the sins of others but looking past our own disillusions and cynicisms so that we are able to share God’s love; while being clothed in humility, patience, and gentleness of heart.[1] God has called each and every one of us to go out and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19) and having the background knowledge of both cultural intelligence and intercultural communication allows that mission to be just a little bit easier.
With these skillsets built on a biblical worldview, it is easier to look past ethnocentrism because we believe that every person is made in the image of God, and even if they do not believe what we believe, God still knit them in their mothers womb (Psalm 139:13) and cares for them. We need to realize that this journey will begin in an unfamiliar culture and end as a journey and look into our own culture with the understanding that the study of cultures is actually the study of people, people in specific cultural contexts[2] rather than countries and worldviews.
While the Great Commission has called us globally to share the Good News, I believe it is equally, if not more, important to fulfill that mission locally. Sometimes, reaching people you already have a relationship with is harder than those who are strangers because we tend to fear judgment and rejection. This is when intercultural communication and cultural intelligence comes in handy because they give us the ability to develop a creative mindset that is capable of seeing things from different angles without any type of prejudgment,[3] something I find myself doing more with the people I know and love.
Ayee, Emmanuel. “Christian Perspective on Intercultural Communication,” Pro Rege 2007; 35 (4): 1 – 9. https://digitalcollections.dordt.edu/pro_rege/vol35/iss4/1
Chang, Tim. Christian Intercultural Communication: Sharing God’s Love with People of Other Cultures. Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2020. https://libertyonline.vitalsource.com/books/9781524986568
Ting-Toomey, Stella, and Leeva C. Chung. Understanding Intercultural Communication. Oxford University Press Academic US, 2012. https://libertyonline.vitalsource.com/reader/books/9780199941117/
[1] Tim Chang, Christian Intercultural Communication: Sharing God’s Love with People from Other Cultures, Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2020, 145.
[2] Emmanuel Ayee, “Christian Perspective on Intercultural Communication”, Pro Rege 2007, 3.
[3] Stella Ting-Toomey, Understanding Intercultural Communication, Oxford University Press Academic US, 2012, 5.

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