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Cross-Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting in Around the World

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
With the new realities of global interconnectedness comes a greater awareness of cultural diversity from place to place. Besides differences in food and fashion, we face significant contrasts of cultural orientation and patterns of thinking. As we travel across cultures, what should we expect? How do we deal with culture shock? And can we truly connect with those we meet? ...more
Paperback, 215 pages
Published August 29th 2002 by IVP Academic
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May 06, 2013 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
"Cross-Cultural Connections" is intended for missionaries or others who want to better understand and communicate with people from other cultures--including with people in our own country. It's like a class or workbook format, but it's easy to read and understand. The author covered some differences between various cultures, gave real life examples of those differences, and explained some of the "whys" behind the differences.

The book started by explaining why we should study other cultures and h
Jan 23, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: missions
Dr. Duane Elmer’s book, Cross Cultural Connections: Stepping Out and Fitting in Around the World, is one of three volumes he has written on the topic of global missions. (The other two are titled: Cross Cultural Conflict and Cross Cultural Servanthood.) Elmer is the director of the Ph.D program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and has used his cross-cultural training materials to train people in Fortune 500 companies, relief agencies, and mission organizations.

This book is perhaps
Apr 26, 2012 Jacki rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to travel.
Recommended to Jacki by: my brother
As a missionary kid, I am very familiar with culture shock, but was never taught how to deal with it effectively. I wish I had had this book 15 years ago.

Duane Elmer explains cultural diversity in easy-to-understand concepts that support God's love of variety. His tone is careful and edifying. Elmer talks about open-mindedness in the very beginning. He makes it clear that there are some things that can be judged as right or wrong and many more things that can only be called different.

From ther
Oct 12, 2014 Emmie rated it it was amazing
My husband and I read this book for School of Missions and it was excellent. It is practical as well as Biblical and all around informational in helping people to understand others who are different. It even helped Jim and I talk about some of our differences as well as evaluate where we are on different spectrums. I am so thankful that this book was recommended to us and I would recommend it to everyone. Whether you plan to live in another country or just want to engage people in general, this ...more
"Is it worth your time to read this book?" asks the author in the opening line of the first chapter. If you're asking that question, I'll tell you: probably not.

While it tackles a good topic, this book needed a little revision before it hit the printing presses. It hits all the basics of cross-cultural work, but fails to think critically or provide specific examples. The book opens to a wide audience (ALL cross-cultural workers, not just missionaries) while also addressing uniquely Christian con
Dec 09, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
The main focus of Cross-Cultural Connections is to help provide clarity on the difference between something being different and something be morally wrong when entering a new culture. This is not easily done especially when we don't realize how much we assume are right and wrong issues just because they are what we are used to in our own culture. He does this by examining different parts of cultures such as the way they view time. It is quick and easy read with short fast paced Chapters that kee ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Sam rated it really liked it
Great book on reaching out to people in other cultures. Mostly applicable to missionary work, but can be applied in any context. Great anecdotes and principles. Discussion questions and survey spectrum questions are unhelpful.
Matt Adams
Nov 22, 2014 Matt Adams rated it it was amazing
Possibly my favorite book that I read during my entire seminary career! This book is fantastic in speaking to cross-cultural ministry work. HIGHLY recommended!
James Hansee
Dec 27, 2014 James Hansee rated it really liked it
This book is very helpful for those who travel cross-culturally and want to make an impact for Christ.
Lois J
Jun 07, 2016 Lois J rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Easy, concise, and effective reading. It helped me while I was in Africa.
Nov 07, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it
Excellent book. I read it back in college before I moved to Sub-Saharan Africa and it has been a great "go-to" book for a second major journey across the sea. The book speaks to both short and long term missionaries but is especially useful, I find, for long term assignments. The two sections that I found most helpful were section 2's chapter on "identifying expectations," and the entire third section on "cultural differences that confuse." If you are planning to move overseas for short or long ...more
Bob Ayres
Apr 09, 2014 Bob Ayres rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource and overview of cross-cultural interactions. Recommended.
Rachelina Larasati
Mar 29, 2015 Rachelina Larasati rated it it was amazing
So good.
Jul 01, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
This is a useful book for anyone preparing to work cross-culturally. He doesn't present anything radically new, but gives practical guidance for approaching the challenges raised by cultural differences. In fact, the book has some value even for those who will never live and work cross-culturally but simply face the reality of living in an increasingly multicultural world.

I would like to see an expanded section on re-entry, but perhaps that is a topic for another book altogether.
Steve Miller
Dec 28, 2013 Steve Miller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: missiology, christian
This was assigned reading for a college class, and I was glad it was. It is perhaps the best book I have ever read on culture acquisition. It includes topics such as culture shock and reentry. I would recommend this to anyone who is even thinking of working in a different country.
Kelly Segit
Oct 09, 2013 Kelly Segit rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal book! I read it in preparation for my upcoming overseas move to Madagascar, but it has already impacted the way I view and relate to people in my relationships with people here in the states within my own culture. I'm so grateful to this book! It's full of so much wisdom and I'd recommend it to anyone planning to experience another culture for any length of time.
Marti Wade
Jun 12, 2013 Marti Wade rated it really liked it
Seems designed as an introduction to cross-cultural communication, steeped in the author's years of experience teaching on that topic at the college/university level. I read it for a seminary class. Deals well with the philosophical issues and provides useful and memorable models and examples. A good guide to how to understand and love others in ways that make sense to them.
Aug 03, 2011 Bro rated it really liked it
This is an introduction to working cross-culturally. It is a must read if you are preparing to leave your culture to work in a new setting. He gets you involved in the book by asking you questions about the materials he is presenting. It is good for folks who want to read about reentry as well in a brief. I will refer to this book often.
Nov 25, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing
From a practical standpoint this is one of the best books on cross-cultural understanding that I have read. It's fairly short, and packed with very useful info that can help one recognize cultural differences, and reduce the stress that comes with culture shock. Anyone contemplating a cross-cultural move should read this.
Jan 10, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
Recommended to Emily by: Annie Erickson
good book, good perspectives and wisdom on cross-cultural immersion. helpful, practical advice. the MOST encouraging thing i got from the book was the reminder that God is patient with my cross-cultural struggles, right where i'm at. that gem alone was worth reading the whole book.
Nov 11, 2012 Hannah rated it it was ok
A nice summary/overview. A good review if you're about to spend time in a different cultural context. Didn't read anything earth-shattering for me at this point in my life. Maybe a few years ago I would have found this more helpful. Or maybe I'm just arrogant and ethnocentric...
Jan 31, 2013 Ken rated it liked it
This book was assigned for my Cross Cultural Encounter class. I believe it is more appropriate for a cross cultural business class. This book would be good for those who are preparing to travel internationally for business for long periods of time.
Debora Santos
Sep 04, 2016 Debora Santos rated it really liked it
Acho que no meio do livro o autor se perdeu um pouco do tema que vinha desenvolvendo maravilhosamente bem. Depois retomou. No geral, muito bom e bem diferente da linha comum dos livros escritos pra quem pretendo ir, ou já está vivendo no exterior.
Nathan Michael
Mar 21, 2008 Nathan Michael rated it really liked it
Even though I have traveled a fair amount, this easy to understand book, shed new light on different cultures and cultural ideologies. Some chapters might seem simple or unnecessary, but others are extremely insightful.
Lori Etchison
Aug 10, 2012 Lori Etchison rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. Very informative for those interested in ministry in other cultures. A great learning book and one to keep for future teaching. Very practical and immediately applicable.
Zac George
A lot of practical wisdom for engaging cross-culturally. Worthwhile read on the topic, and has some of the best articulation that I've ever read on some cultural differences.
Nathan Garth
Jul 20, 2013 Nathan Garth rated it it was amazing
The best book I have read that seeks to be a practical intro book to cross- cultural life. We use it in our missionary development program at our church. Outstanding resource.
Nov 04, 2012 Nathan rated it it was amazing
Good summaries and categorizations of many of the cultural differences one might (and likely will) encounter when traveling abroad.
Peter Kim
Feb 01, 2013 Peter Kim rated it really liked it
best novel on the disparities in our view of cross-cultural work and what it'll take to have a voice in a foreign setting
Adam Davis
Reading this book began my passion for world mission and cross-cultural work. To God be the glory.
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Duane H. Elmer (Ph.D., Michigan State U.) is director of the Ph.D. program in educational studies and is the G. W. Aldeen Chair of International Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In addition to traveling and teaching in over 75 countries, he has provided cross-cultural training to Fortune 500 companies, relief and development agencies, mission organizations, ch ...more
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