Cultural Intelligence is this month’s theme from chapters 10-11 of Resilient Ministry. As pastors’ wives, most of us are in culturally diverse communities and often focus on ethnicity as creating that diversity. However, we live in several types of cultures. We tend to live our life based on the culture that relates to our family and childhood experiences. There are personal cultures from which we get our impressions and values: our family of origin, generation, church, denomination, geography, demographics, socioeconomic status, and socioethnicity. Any group with a set of shared experiences has a culture (131-145).
How do we minister to others in their unique cultures? In Resilient Ministry, we learn that Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is our ability to function effectively across various cultural contexts as we discriminate between cultural preferences and biblical imperatives. Developing CQ requires humility toward other people and humility under the authority of Scripture. Working on CQ requires that we abandon the assumption that everyone thinks and perceives the world the way we do (149).
We need to be growing in spiritual formation and walking by faith as we seek to relate to others with a greater awareness of our assumptions, ideas, and emotions. CQ growth can come from entering a different cultural setting, such as an ethnic restaurant or an unfamiliar church worship service. Asking questions about new cultures is a great way to learn and develop CQ, though it will often take us out of our comfort zone. With a deep desire to reach others with love in Christ’s name, let’s pray for the grace to look beyond ourselves and minister to others in unique worlds.