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Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence Paperback – April 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801066166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801066160
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Your passport to learning how short-term missions can best serve Christ's kingdom

Short-term mission trips are great ways to impact the kingdom. Yet they can lack effectiveness because of mistakes or naiveté on the part of participants. In this insightful and timely book, David A. Livermore calls us to serve with our eyes open to global and cultural realities so we can become more effective cross-cultural ministers. Serving with Eyes Wide Open is a must-have book for anyone doing a short-term mission or service project, whether domestic or overseas.

"Every youth worker thinking of leading a short-term trip needs to read this book!"--Mark Oestreicher, president, Youth Specialties

"A challenging, well-supported, and carefully crafted tool that will transform your missions and service ministries into opportunities."--Chap Clark, professor of youth, family, and culture; Fuller Theological Seminary

"Livermore does a terrific job of looking at the world today, asking stimulating questions about our approach to missions, and giving practical insights into cultural intelligence."--Daryl Nuss, international coordinator, National Network of Youth Ministries

"Livermore draws on his formal training, personal experience, theological insight, and contemporary research to challenge our cultural understanding of short-term mission experiences and their impact on our service and ministry."--Terry Linhart, assistant professor of youth ministry, Bethel College (Indiana)

"This is a must, not only for church mission committees, but for anyone who participates in short-term--or long-term--missions."--Ruth Tucker, associate professor of missiology, Calvin Theological Seminary


David A. Livermore is executive director of the Global Learning Center at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and is cofounder of Intersect, a ministry that provides leadership training and consulting to emerging leaders in ministries around the world.

About the Author

David A. Livermore, (Ph.D., Michigan State University), is executive director of the Global Learning Center at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and is cofounder of Intersect, a ministry that provides leadership training and consulting to emerging leaders in ministries around the world. Through these and other ministries he has served with national leaders in over fifty countries worldwide. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

More About the Author

David Livermore is a thought leader in cultural intelligence (CQ) and global leadership and the author of the new book, The Cultural Intelligence Difference. His book, Leading with Cultural Intelligence, was named a best-seller in business by The Washington Post. He's president and partner at the Cultural Intelligence Center (www.culturalq.com) in East Lansing, Michigan and a visiting research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Prior to leading the Cultural Intelligence Center, Dave spent 20 years in leadership positions with a variety of non-profit organizations around the world and taught in universities. He's a frequent speaker and adviser to leaders in Fortune 500′s, non-profits, and governments and has worked in more than 100 countries across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Dave loves to take research and make it accessible to practitioners. He has been interviewed and referenced by major news sources such as Atlantic Monthly, CBS News, The Christian Post, Christian Science Monitor, Christianity Today, The Economist, Forbes, NBC, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
Dave averages 35 international speaking engagements annually, addressing an average of 7500 leaders over a year. He also serves on several non-profit boards.

Dave and his wife Linda have 2 teenage daughters, Emily and Grace. Some of their favorite activities are traveling (fortunately!), hiking, eating Asian food, and walking to the local ice cream shop, Jersey Junction near their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Visit www.davidlivermore.com and www.culturalq.com

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I'm glad I ran across a book review and decided to check out this gem.
Preston Herrington
I very much enjoyed this book for its accessibility combined with research and insightful thinking.
Jeff Fisher
I would recommend this book for anyone considering a short term mission.
M. Duell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Preston Herrington on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a doctor who goes on short-term mission trips on a regular basis, I felt I ought to read this book. I must admit that the title and the cover had me expecting a dry read. Instead, I found this little book to be extremely pertinent. In fact, it has affected my outlook on much more than the actual mission trips. I'm afraid this book will have limited readership, which is a shame. I would recommend this book for everyone with a Christian world view who has any interaction with people from different worldviews or cultures. Isn't that almost all Christians, except maybe those who intentionally separate themselves (e.g. the Amish)? I wish the book had been titled "Engaging the World: Being a Christian with Cultural Intelligence" or something like that. I'm glad I ran across a book review and decided to check out this gem.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By M. Abe on December 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have lived in four different countries and visited many more, but this book really opened my eyes to the ways I could be more sensitive to the cultural differences. I really enjoyed the section where he asked short term missions worker what they thought they had accomplished and compared their answers with with the answers of the people in the country visited. Eye-opening! As so many want to serve abroad, this is a good book to be more thoughtful and more helpful to the places where we go. Marla
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Duell on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
With the amount of money spent on short term missions trips, it is about time that we begin to take a critical look at them. The majority of short term missions trips that I've seen advertised have 2 selling points: 1) the positive change that will take place in the lives of those going on Short Term Missions, 2) All of the amazing sight seeing tours that can be "tacked on" to the Missions trip. This book challenges the motivation for such trips and causes one to focus on the people that we are supposed to be serving, rather than the benefits to the short term missionary. I would recommend this book for anyone considering a short term mission. I would emphatically recommend it for "habitual" short termers.

This book gave me a better understanding of my own culture and how it influences the way that we Americans do missions.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Kameo on August 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
David Livermore's Serving With Eyes Wide Open is the best resource I have ever seen on serving the world church with cultural intelligence. As a long-term missionary of 34 years, I have frequently worried and fretted about American youth groups, synodical tour groups, and short term missionaries who confidently breeze into an Asian, Latin American or African setting armed with plenty of good intentions but with little cultural sensitivity and intelligence. Many leave as ignorant as they come, totally unaware of the problems their individualistic, achievement-oriented personalities and programs have created for national counterparts. Kudos to David Livermore! It's about time a manual like this was written - not only for those taking short term mission trips but for anyone desiring to serve in another cultural setting with eyes wide open.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lubinus on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
The subtitle of Serving with Eyes Wide Open is "Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence". The purpose of the book is to introduce the concept of "cultural intelligence" to those who serve on short-term mission teams or relate to other people cross-culturally. Globalization and multi-national corporations give a sense of oneness because of the ubiquity of McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Nike, but we need to be aware of vast cultural and world-view differences among various peoples. Livermore includes examples of unintentional mistakes that short-term volunteers make because of their lack of cultural sensitivity. An example is given where a volunteer reported after spending ten days in Africa, that Africans are generally more happy because they smile more. The association between smiling and happiness, as well as generalizing a whole continent after only a few observations, reveals a lack of "cultural intelligence."

While pointing out the myriad of mistakes made by short-term teams, Livermore does not despair, but gives several tools to help volunteers make fewer mistakes. For example, observing how people from other cultures handle time (event time vs. clock time), individualism (personal vs. corporate), and power distance (treating all people generally the same vs. treating people of a higher or lower status very differently) all help cross-cultural communicators begin to understand differences in culture. Being aware of these differences will increase understanding and help short-term teams make fewer cultural blunders.

Livermore summarizes some practical advice for anyone learning to communicate cross-culturally:

-Be aware of your own assumptions, ideas, and emotions as you engage cross-culturally.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Fisher on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
While there are times that it feels like Livermore is implying that short-term missions are more harmful than helpful (which he repeatedly says is not his view), the basic thesis that we should be thoughtful, careful, and aware while doing cross-cultural missions is absolutely correct.

For those who want to have a global perspective on life and a realistic view of culture and its influences, this is a very good "primer".

It is not a how-to book or a "training manual" for short-term missions. It is what the title says, an "eye-opener" -- not in the sense that there is anything surprising for those who have served cross-culturally, but in the sense that it reminds us to be aware of ourselves as much as we are aware of others.

In essence, its purpose is to set the stage for thinking wisely about how best to do short-term missions, an endeavor well worth looking into further. I very much enjoyed this book for its accessibility combined with research and insightful thinking.
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