Sitting in the living room, I was surprised by my daughters comment “Mom, why are you being so noisy?” Noisy? I was just curled up reading. Then I realized that during almost every page I was making some kind of noise. This book was saying and expressing things about money and missions that I had known, thought about, wished I had thought about, and saying it in ways that made sense and I could understand.
Since that first reading of Cross-Cultural Partnerships, Navigating the Complexities of Money and Mission by Mary T. Lederleitner, it has been my first book to recommend to anyone who is involved with mission and trying to figure out some of the complexities. Why?
First off, it is written well. So anyone can read it.
Second, it talks about money. This is a very important subject to talk about, recognize the cultural ways that money is viewed/used, and then study the scriptures and pray about.
Third, it is full of real-life examples. As a missionary for 18 years in Thailand I recognized many of the struggles and issues that she talks about. We want to be partners in mission, partners in bringing God’s Kingdom to people who don’t know Jesus. Yet so often our unspoken assumptions having to do with money derail the whole process and can cause much harm when we just thought we were helping.
So I highly recommend getting a copy and reading it. Even better, get several people together at your church and read it together. Talk about each chapter and the implications for how you and your church does missions, funds missions, and relates to people of other cultures both in your community and around the world.
May we all grow in our cultural competency. “Choosing to value and bring to the forefront all the sacrifices and resources being made available to fulfill a ministry goal or vision is essential. Only when everything is on the table can money be seen for what it is, simply one of the many resources God provides for his children to accomplish his work in the world.” Pg 127.
Gretchen DeNeui, Nov 4, 2014