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Cross-Cultural Partnerships

By Mary Lederleitner,
IVP, 2010,
RRP $22.95

Reviewed by Rev Brian Hoole, minister in Hervey Bay and a former teacher with World Mission (now Uniting World) in Vanuatu for 4 years. The Hervey Bay Congregation is currently building a crosscultural partnership with the community of Tautu, in Northern Malekula, Vanuatu.

MARY LEDERLEITNER brings a wealth of experience to this book that seeks to explain, and unpack some of the difficulties and pitfalls that we can experience as we seek to enter into crosscultural partnerships both as individuals and as churches.

Focusing on partnering with churches overseas, many of the issues raised are equally relevant for cross-cultural ministries within Australia.

Using a multitude of stories Ms Lederleitner unpacks many issues that can derail effective and life-giving partnerships.

Starting by exploring cultural differences and differing worldviews between many in the third world and those in our world, she then tackles some of the preconceptions and misconceptions from both sides of the fence that lead to unintentional
misunderstandings and problems.

Helping us move past the traditional idea of donor and recipient to one of respecting each other’s dignity, integrity and developing mutual accountability, Ms Lederleitner’s proposals and ideas resonate with my own experience.

Finally, Ms Lederleitner tackles the issue of conflict and how to resolve issues.

Each section explains the differences that varying worldviews can have on how to approach the issues and seeks to show the strengths and weaknesses of each.

This is a must read for churches involved in crosscultural ministry (either within Australia or overseas) and one of the most practical books I have read on the subject.