“There are probably levels of ethnocentrism, moving from the narrow collectivism of my family, my village, to my clan, my state, my country or my race. There may be dozens of ever-expanding circles as the ripples in the pond expand outward.”
“...the ethnocentric leader has limitations. As pastors and missionaries reach out to the rest of the world, they will do so from the perspective of the leadership values of their own culture and assume that what they have learned about successful churches will apply to all cultures. This attitude can cause tensions with global church-to-church partnerships. Because of their limited perspectives, crosscultural workers assume that their cultural values are biblical and universal. The ethnocentric pastor of a megachurch in one culture will assume that the principles of success in his or her church are effective in any culture.”
James E. Plueddemann, Leading Across Cultures
In Bennett's terms, what Plueddemann is identifying as the problem of ethnocentric religious leadership is located in the last of three ethnocentric phases in the DMIS model, minimization (see http://contextualliving.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-ethnocentrism-hinders-love-of.html). This seems to be a significant problem for people of faith, because in attempting to be true to God and the Scriptures, we can easily wrap up what is assumed to be "absolute" and "eternal" (i.e., from God) with our cultural ways and perspectives.
The question is, can we escape our ethnocentrism, move on to a different way of understanding and interacting with cultural difference, that will enable us to relate more positively, more effectively, with peoples of other cultures?