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The Multicultural Leader: Developing a Catholic Personality Paperback – January 1, 2005
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The book also felt a bit like a collection of borrowed ideas, rather than much original thought. I certainly support the notion of standing on the shoulders of others, but Sheffield's work sometimes felt like nothing more than recycled work. Some of this effect was reflective of the brevity of many of the chapters, as previously described. I would have appreciated if he would have taken more time fleshing out his main points, even if they did appropriately originate from others.
To be clear, this book is not a total loss. There is some general leadership content in here that was quite helpful, related to enabling others to be empowered and using self-reflection and collaboration as a means to develop our leadership capacity. Some of this was really good stuff. However, that leadership wisdom is broadly applicable and not uniquely tied to becoming a multicultural leader.
If you're already completely convinced of the necessity of the multicultural church or if you serve in a situation that is decidedly multi-ethnic, then this book may offer you some helpful inspiration in becoming an effective multicultural leader. And Sheffield offers some general leadership principles that we would all do well to consider and apply. But if you're looking for a book to present a case for the multicultural church, I don't think that "The Multicultural Leader" is sufficiently thorough or compelling to accomplish that goal. Having read this book, I can see that multicultural leadership can be a good thing, but I remain unconvinced that it is essential.
"Pound for Pound" ... "The Multicultural Leader" is the real deal and contender for the church book read of 2005. Why? Well because it's the only book I know of that integrates the multicultural biblical DNA of the church with modern leadership principles. This little heretical book challenges the underlying idiosyncratic worldview of the modern homogeneous "church growth" movement.
"The Multicultural Leader" is divided into three sections:
Section (A) "Social Theory in the Light of Christian Ethics" develops a sound basis for the multicultural heterogeneous and incarnational body of believers as the true character of the church.
Section (B) "Leadership Factors and Capacities Required" succinctly portrays the leader as Envisioning, Embedding, Embodying, Embracing, Enabling and Empowering.
Among many other things, the leader must help the congregation suspend current cultural expectations to become more and more comfortable living with cultural vertigo.
Section (C) "The Processes of Transformational Development" describes six stages of church transformation beginning with the exclusive homogeneous formation toward the transformed inclusive body of Christ. The integrated matrix of leadership transformation and church models is a lucid tool for helping congregations figure out where they are and where they must go next.
Well researched, biblical and highly relevant for the fragmented church today, this one should be on every church leader's reading list and on the reading list of every seminary - church leadership course. Don't have time to read all those books on church growth and church leadership? "The Multicultural Leader" purposes to transform your thinking, leadership and hopefully your church ... until Jesus comes.
"Pound for pound" the best and most helpful read in 2005 in any class ... church apologetics, church growth, mission, church leadership.
Rob, P.Eng. M.Div.