Another training resource that is available to missionaries are webinars (interactive seminars offered over the Internet).These webinars allow a missionary to receive additional training from experts in a particular subject area without requiring the missionary to trave or experience a significant interruption in his ministry.
The best source that I have found for webinars for cross-cultural missionaries is The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA). SEND International became an associate member of The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA), largely so that we could benefit from the learning initiatives provided by this network of mission agencies and denominations.
Those of us from the USA or Canada can watch the live webinars (with opportunity for questions) for free. If a missionary of a member organization has created a profile with the Mission Exchange, they get regular emails from the ME about their upcoming webinars. One can also always find a list of upcoming webinars on the Missio Nexus website.
If a missionary in another time zone happens to be sleeping or have a schedule conflict when the live webinar is being offered, the webinar (PowerPoint with audio and handouts) can be purchased and downloaded from The Mission Exchange. But here as well, SEND U seeks to provide a service to its missionaries. We have purchased a number of the best webinars and can thereby share them with our members at no cost to them.
A number of other organizations are also offering training webinars on a variety of topics. For example, the Ken Blanchard Companies offers free monthly webinars on leadership topics. I have participated in a few of these, and they are pretty good. Even the archived versions of these seminars are complimentary. Leadership Strategies is offering a free webinar on facilitating group discussions and focus groups. Vital Smarts, the organization behind the book Crucial Conversations, which our International Office has been studying, offers web seminars as well related to crucial conversations and confrontations. These are also complimentary. I think these organizations are offering these training opportunities at no cost so as to develop credibility and interest the participants in some of their other “paid” services. But nevertheless, the webinars are provided with no obligation to buy anything and are facilitated by professional trainers.