Yahweh called the patriarch Abraham out of his home country and sent him on a journey that would not only change his life, but would shape the existence of the entire world (Gen. 12:4-5). Yahweh promised Abraham that his journey would result in the blessing of many nations throughout the world (Gen. 22:18). Yahweh, from the very beginning, has been a global God concerned about all people. Likewise, his disciples should be concerned about people all over the world, not just those in their immediate community, or only from their home countries. Being made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), Christian leaders have a responsibility to think globally and actively be involved the world as a whole.
Having a global mindset means having the ability to perceive, analyze, and decode behaviors and situations in multiple cultural contexts (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). Leaders with a global mindset develop the insight necessary to build productive relationships with individuals across cultural boundaries (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). A global mindset is an individual’s ability to influence individuals and groups that are unlike themselves or their native culture (Wang, Li, and Mobley, 2011). Culture is a form of collective memory that encodes patterns of behavior proven useful for the survival of a community (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012) and is the source of culture shock when visiting a location or people group that is unfamiliar to the individual.
Successful leaders with a global mindset have a combination of attributes including intellectual capital (intellectual and cognitive capabilities), social capital (relationships inside and outside the culture), and psychological capital (positive psychological profile and passion for cross-cultural encounters) (Wang, Li, and Mobley, 2011).
What holds Christian leaders back from developing an active global mindset?
Cabrera, A., & Unruh, G. (2012). Being global: how to think, act, and lead in a transformed world. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.
Wang, Y., Li, M., & Mobley, W. H. (2011). Advances in Global Leadership. Bingley: Emerald.