The Gospel Communication Project allows you to apply the principles of Cultural Intelligence to a specific cross-cultural evangelistic encounter. As a cumulative project throughout the course (through 2 papers and a video presentation), you will research cultural elements which will affect a person’s understanding of the gospel message, create a plan for communicating effectively with a person from a specific culture, and present the story of God through video as you would if you were able to share the gospel with that person. This project will allow you to practice evaluating a person’s culture, determining the best ways to communicate with them, and adjusting your communication to be most effective. Also, as you craft a story of the grand narrative you will gain a deeper understanding of the story of God and gain confidence in sharing the gospel with others.
Choosing a person for your Gospel Communication Project
For this project, you should write about someone who is an unbeliever and is from a significantly different ethnolinguistic macro-culture than your own (look for differences in things like country/region of origin, ethnicity, language, religion, time orientation, etc.). You will use the cultural background of this person to complete all three assignments in this project. If you do not know a person who fits this description, you may use a fictitious character, or for the purposes of this assignment, adjust the cultural background of a real person.
Scenario 1: You have a friend from another country. They already believe in Jesus, but you know that many aspects of their cultural identity are significantly different than your own. For the purpose of this project, you will discuss the cultural background of your friend, but you will pretend that they are not a believer. Your description of their religious beliefs will be based on your research of the majority religion of their home culture, and your presentation of the gospel will be crafted as if you were going to share it with someone who is not familiar with the Bible.
Scenario 2: You do not know anyone from a significantly different ethnolinguistic macro-culture than your own. You will choose an ethnolinguistic macro culture to research. You will make up a character with a background story based on the cultural research and craft your gospel story to communicate effectively with the majority religion of that culture or with someone who is not familiar with the story of the Bible.
Scenario 3: You have a friend whose family is from a significantly different macro-culture than your own, but that friend seems to have enculturated into a mainstream culture similar to yours and the need for adjusting communication to match cultural systems and cultural values seems to be minimized. For this project, you will use your research of your friend’s home culture and practice adjusting your communication as if that friend was not enculturated. Most people who have crossed cultures and adjusted still have deeply rooted values in their home culture that affect their world view, and often have a blend of cultural values between their home culture and their host culture.
Writing Your Elements of Culture Paper
For the first part of your Gospel Communication Project, you will write a formal academic paper about the cultural elements of the person. This paper will prepare you to share God’s story with them in an effective way considering their culture and worldview.
Your paper should meet the following requirements:
Divided into clearly-labeled sections as described below.
Include at least 1 citation in each section of the paper from Leading with Cultural Intelligence by David Livermore or the course videos.
Include at least 1 citation in each section of the paper from a source OTHER THAN the course materials (websites, journal articles, books, etc.).
Formatted in a formal academic style. Note: You may choose the academic style that is most closely related to your major degree program (MLA, APA, Turabian, etc.). If you do not know which to choose, format your paper in Turabian style. A properly formatted formal academic paper will include a cover sheet, citations (in-text parenthetical citations or footnotes), a bibliography or works cited page, and headings/subheadings.
Double-spaced and in a standard font (Times New Roman or Arial) and standard size (10 or 12 pt.)
Content of Your Elements of Culture Paper
Your Elements of Culture paper should have 4 sections: Introduction, Cultural Systems, Cultural Value Orientations, and Elements of Communication.
In this section, you should introduce the person you have chosen to receive the Gospel message. Answer the following questions in a paragraph or two. (Questions in parenthesis are suggestions to help guide you as you describe the person.)
Give details about your friend’s personal story. (What is their age? What is their ethnicity? Where are they from? What religion do they follow? What language do they speak? Where do they live now? What do they do for school/work, etc.?).
Provide information on your relationship with the person. (How do you know them? What are your interactions with them? Are they a coworker or neighbor? Do you see them on a regular basis or just periodically?)
Discuss how their current circumstances affect their cultural practices. (If their family is from a foreign country, but they have grown up most of their life in America, how does that affect their worldview? Do they adhere to all the traditional cultural practices on their parents?)
Discuss their interest in issues of faith? (Is this person open to hearing the story of God?)
In this section, you should choose at least 3 of the 6 cultural systems from Chapter 4 of Leading with Cultural Intelligence. Discuss each cultural system and identify which of the pair apply most directly to the culture of your friend (For example: Does your friend’s culture have a nuclear or kinship family system?). How do you see this cultural system in your friend’s life? How does that cultural system affect your friend’s way of life, interactions, aspirations, and openness to issues of faith? While you should specifically state which of each pair of cultural systems is seen in your friend’s culture, there is no need to give an explicit definition of each cultural system (your instructor has read the textbook). Instead, your description of your friend’s cultural practices and background will show your understanding of the cultural systems. In addition to referencing the course materials, remember to include research from at least 1 outside source to support your argument. You may also interview your friend to gain insights, though this is NOT a requirement for this project.
Cultural Value Orientations
In this section, discuss at least 5 of the 10 cultural value orientation pairs from Chapter 5 of Leading with Cultural Intelligence. Which of each pair of cultural values are strong in your friend and their culture (For example: Does your friend’s culture have a short-term or long-term value orientation?)? How do you see these cultural values in your friend’s life? How do each of these cultural values affect your friend’s worldview and actions? While you should specifically state which of each pair of cultural value orientations affect your friend’s culture, you do not need to spend time defining the cultural value orientations. Instead, your description of your friend’s culture will show your understanding of the cultural value orientations. Be careful to discuss your friend’s culture, and not just their personality. In addition to referencing the course materials, remember to include research from at least 1 outside source to support your argument. You may also interview your friend to gain insights, though this is NOT a requirement for this project.
Elements of Communication
In this section, discuss at least 3 elements of verbal and non-verbal communication which are prevalent in your friend’s culture. (Think about the verbal and non-verbal communication strategies presented in Chapter 7 of Leading with Cultural Intelligence.) You should include at least 1 verbal element and 1 non-verbal element. The 3rd element can be either verbal or non-verbal. How do you see these elements of communication in your friend’s culture? How do these elements of communication affect the way your friend sends and receives messages? Be careful to discuss your friend’s culture, and not just their personality. In addition to referencing the course materials, remember to include research from at least 1 outside source to support your argument.