Guest Post: Cross-Cultural Artistry

Gina Butz Uncategorized 0 Comments


We have had the privilege, over the years, to serve with some amazing leaders; one of the leaders I admire the most is Ken Cochrum. We served with Ken in Singapore back in the day, and we’re happy that our move to Orlando put us back on a team with him and his beautiful wife, Ann.

Ken has incredible vision and communicates with passion and conviction. All that is backed up by a deep walk with Jesus and  and love for Him and others. Recently, I was honored to help edit his new book, CLOSE: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures. If anyone has the experience and wisdom to speak to this topic, it’s Ken.

Today is the launch of his book and by way of introduction, I’m having him guest post on my blog. I’ve asked him to share a little of his heart with you. If you, or someone you know, are in leadership, his book is a must have!

Ken writes:
I loved Gina’s recent post, Do It Scared. She captures well the visceral tension we creatives face: the ambition to produce something worthy vs. the fear of putting ourselves out there.

As a leader who writes and as a musician who often plays live in front of hundreds of people, I experience that tension and fear all the time. What is leadership if not creative artistry? Good leadership is all about painting a watercolor vision in the hearts and minds of those around us while intentionally asking for, receiving, and responding to critique about what’s on our shared canvas. The fruit of this creative process is putting ourselves, or our art, or maybe even our lives, out on display where our friends and enemies are free to love it, hate it, praise it, or criticize it. Then we repeat the process.

I can think of no greater snapshot of this creative process lived out than Jesus’ prayer in the garden on the night he was taken away to be unjustly condemned, beaten senseless, rejected by foes and friends, then nailed to a cross and left to die. “My Father,” he prayed, “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus did it scared.

Our creator God invites those in his family to press into our culture and to explore creative ways to ‘do it scared’ every day. I recently completed a book that would not have made it from “final draft” to “final” without Gina’s editorial skills. In CLOSE: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures, I observe that:

All cultures are relational; God designed people to interact. Cultures simply express their relational-ness in different ways. God’s love for every nation invites—even requires—Christians who regularly lead across cultural boundaries to take cross-cultural fluency seriously.

Thanks, Gina, for taking cross-cultural fluency seriously.

If you’re interested in reading more, please visit to check out CLOSE.

Ken Cochrum serves as VP of Global Digital Strategies for Cru and blogs regularly at


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