At the end of last year ChinaSource Senior Vice President Joann Pittman and I sat down with our friends at visionSynergy to talk about effective partnering in the Chinese context. Together we looked at both the cultural aspects of partnering as well as political realities that can make working together challenging.
Our conversation is available in this webinar from visionSynergy. Here you’ll find answers to questions such as:
- What are the key cultural rules of working in China, and how do they affect partnering?
- Why are relationships more important than written agreements?
- Why are losing face and saving face so critical in partnership? How can relationships be restored when one party loses face?
- What makes insiders and outsiders different?
- Is it possible to become an “acceptable outsider?”
- How are relationships ordered in Chinese culture?
- What is the connection between rituals and relationships?
- What are the greatest benefits of partnering according to Christians in China?
- Where do Chinese believers see the greatest opportunities for partnering in the future?
- Why is mentoring becoming an increasingly important area of partnership?
- How is the changing policy environment affecting overseas partnerships?
- How can Western Christians partner with China’s emerging missions-sending movement?
As Joann reminds us in her opening remarks, “Partnerships take place in a particular cultural context. Therefore, success in partnerships involves learning the culture, seeing the local worldview as valid, and being willing to submit and participate in the local culture.”
The experience of Chinese Christians in partnering with overseas believers also shows that the unintended consequences of partnership often constitute some of the greatest long-term benefits. What foreign believers think they’re bringing to the table may not leave the longest lasting impact. Instead, it may be the intangibles—insights, attitudes, and relationships—that are most valued by their Chinese partners.
We trust you’ll find this webinar helpful. After viewing it, please take time to leave some comments about your own partnering experiences. What have you found to be keys for effective partnering? What do you see as the greatest obstacles?
Brent Fulton is the founder of ChinaSource. Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of China Ministries International, and from 1985 to... View Full Bio