Risk in cross-cultural partnership, part 3 of 3: Navigating risk

Are you avoiding risk, underestimating risk, or wisely navigating risk in your cross-cultural partnership?
Are you avoiding risk, underestimating risk, or wisely navigating risk in your cross-cultural partnership?

The first post in this series looked at avoiding risk; the second looked at underestimating risk. This blog post considers a third option—navigating risk—as an act of wise obedience to our Lord’s Great Commission.

3) Navigating risk: Wise entrepreneurial leaders are skilled at assessing risk. They have a knack for ‘knowing that they don’t know,’ and then investing in the knowledge, skills and attitudes to overcome the gaps in their knowledge and experience. Wise leaders know that Jesus Christ commands us to assess the risk and count the cost in following him:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? –Luke 14:26–28 ESV

Likewise, when western leaders who are following Christ realize their journey is leading them into partnership with an indigenous ministry in the majority world, wise leaders know that they don’t know. The wise leader knows there are risks involved and says,

  • Let’s slow down and assess both the opportunity and the risk.
  • Let’s listen to God, and seek the wisdom of his Word for these matters.
  • Let’s go on an exploratory search do discover what we don’t know about cross-cultural partnership.
  • Let’s listen to other leaders who have been down this road before and have been successful.
  • Let’s navigate the risk, knowing that the opportunity for reward is tremendous, while recognizing that the risk for disappointment is just as real.

The wise leader invests in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary for a healthy cross-cultural partnership. He or she knows that developing these KSAs is not just a matter of information; it is rather, the result of a journey that will take time. The wise leader knows that there are many varying cultures in the world—and navigating the vast differences between cultures, worldviews, and social values may be as difficult as navigating across an ocean.

The wise leader invests in the journey to gain wisdom in the practice of healthy cross-cultural partnerships—and once having done so, he or she can truly begin to think big and responsibly pursue significant risk-laden dreams for the kingdom of God. The wise leader is thrilled to be a part of God’s Story, and knows that the impact of their decisions and actions in serving a cross-cultural partnership could ripple across the globe and throughout eternity to the glory of Christ.

To see a video about risk and cross-cultural partnership, go to this page—Week 3: Risk.

If you are interested in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes
to wisely navigate a cross-cultural partnership,
then you may be ready for The Beauty of Partnership learning journey.
Click here to learn more, or simply write to me,
Werner Mischke, at werner@mission1.org.

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