Chapter 41

The Intentional Bridge Builder

Seven principles for crossing gaps to connect with others.

All of us who preach are involved in cross-cultural communication. We preach to youth shaped by postmodern culture. We cross the bridge to preach to Asian Americans, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, Whites, and internationals. We speak across gender lines. The diversity may be so slight that we haven't noticed it before, but it is real. We may also have opportunities to go on short term missions projects where we will preach cross culturally. As a result, cross-cultural skills and attitudes are becoming more crucial for preaching. Here are seven principles that have helped me to preach to people of different cultures.

Honor what they honor

Do your hearers honor time or event? If they care about punctuality, be on time. If they are laid back about the clock, relax. The occasion is what matters, not the time it starts or how long it lasts.

Are they relational or task-oriented? For some cultures the process is at least as important as the agenda. In another, the objective rules. ...

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