10 ways to improve your cross-cultural competence
A Baptist minister who has served in a variety of cross-cultural leadership positions is hoping his new book will help equip churches seeking to better engage with diverse cultures
The Revd Osoba Otaigbe is the author of Building Cultural Intelligence in Church and Ministry - 10 Ways to Assess and Improve Your Cross-Cultural Competence in Church, Ministry and the Workplace. Assessments and workshops go alongside the book, with the overall purpose being to enable individuals and churches “achieve local and global effectiveness and friendship in mission and ministry through cultural competence audit, assessments, and improvement”.
Osoba, the minister of Tooting Junction Baptist Church, says that raising cultural intelligence is key to fulfilling Jesus’s commands to make disciples of all nations and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
‘Fulfilling the commands of the risen Lord and spreading the Gospel message requires interaction with other cultures, not our own only,’ he explained. ‘Our increasingly global world community requires it as well.
'If we are going to interact cross-culturally, as we must, it will be helpful to develop the tools and skills needed for successful interactions.’
Osoba (pictured below) is also an Advanced CQ Certified Facilitator by the Cultural Intelligence Centre, while prior to ministry an entrepreneur within the gas and oil industry. The book emerged from his experiences.
‘As I minister to multicultural communities, the challenges in intercultural interactions are very many: culture shock experiences, misunderstanding between different culture groups, conflict, mistrust, prejudice, discrimination, hostility, harassment, subtle avoidance and disconnection.
‘How to navigate the challenges inspired me to write this book.
‘In these days of political, economic, social uncertainty and unrest, the breadth of cultural diversity is staggering in mega cities like London and other major metropolitan cities, towns and villages worldwide.
‘The concept of Cultural Intelligence gives us a lens through which to understand how well- or ill-equipped we are for this task and can highlight areas where we might improve the quality of these interactions.’
Churches and small groups are being encouraged not only to use the book for improving their cultural competence, but also to carry out a campaign within their churches for “maximum impact and transformation into a cross-culturally competent church and Christian community”.
The Revd Wale Hudson-Roberts, Justice Enabler, Baptist Union of Great Britain described it as a “must read for every Baptist church.”
'Building Cultural intelligence in Church and Ministry is the finest resource I have read on the subject of Multicultural Intelligence,’ he said.
‘It is not only superbly written, but deeply theological and applicable to churches and businesses. As far as I am concerned it is a must read for every Baptist Church.
‘I would challenge any person to read this outstanding resource and not be challenged by its content. It is an accessible and highly thoughtful contribution to the field of multiculturalism.’
The book was also endorsed by General Secretary the Revd Lynn Green, who said, ‘In our rapidly changing society it is really important that we all develop greater cultural intelligence.
‘If we are to become the vibrant Kingdom community of all nations that the Bible envisages we need much greater understanding and appreciation of those who are different from ourselves.
‘This book, and the assessment and workshops that go alongside it, will be particularly helpful for leaders, churches and groups who want to grow in this area. Relating the concepts of cultural intelligence to passages of Scripture, it will certainly encourage some great discussion, learning and reflection for discipleship and mission.’
Osoba’s book has also received glowing endorsements from both the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church.