June 21, 2024
New Missionaries, Teaming

What type of mission team is best for you and your context?

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Types of mission teams In mission work, when engaging unreached people, working in teams is essential. One person cannot do it alone. However, not all mission teams are the same. Over the years, we have observed four main types of teams on the mission field: basketball teams, track teams, X-teams (expedition teams), and combo teams. Each type has its own unique characteristics and purposes. I have written about each of these in a series on types of mission teams, but I thought it might be helpful to summarize our thinking into one post.1 The SEND U wiki also provides a Word document summarizing these 4 different types of teams in point form. Basketball Teams: Working Closely Together A basketball team is a tightly-knit unit, where five players work closely together on the court to defend and score. Similarly, in mission… Read the whole post
Learning Attitude, Lifelong Learning, Training, Coaching

Showing progress

We all want to see progress in our work. As disciples of Jesus, we long to see people’s lives change as they encounter Christ and his Word. We want to see churches planted, and then see those churches grow in size and in their impact on their community. But maybe we should be looking first of all for progress within ourselves. I have been a cross-cultural worker for more than 35 years. I believe that I have changed and grown in those three and a half decades. But do others see it as well? A few years ago a colleague told me that I led differently than I had in the past. I believe he said I had become a gentler leader. That was very encouraging for I realized that he had observed progress in me in areas that I really wanted to grow. It was also a reminder that… Read the whole post
Hardship, Gospel, Resilience

Does the spread of the gospel require a time of peace?

Many of our readers know that my wife and I were missionaries based in Ukraine until shortly before the war broke out in that country. In another post, I have written about how I realized that we were in fact refugees. Since then, I have been praying daily for the war to end and for the restoration of peace in this country. Although a few expatriate missionaries remain in the country, most like us, have returned to their home countries or relocated to another country, often to work with Ukrainian refugees. We think it would be better for the work of missions if the country was free from the suffering, destruction and loss of life that war brings. If the war would only end, we could once more focus on the work of the kingdom. Before the war, my mission organization focused on equipping and sending Ukrainians out as cross-cultural… Read the whole post
Book Reviews, Evangelism, Learning Attitude, Gospel, Disciple-making, Lifelong Learning

Adopting the Mindset of a Scout

Why are some people more open to the truth? As missionaries, we want people to change their minds about God and their relationship to him. We frequently are dismayed at how unwilling people are to change their thinking. They resist beliefs that are at odds with those of their parents and culture. But thankfully, sometimes we encounter people who are amazingly willing to reconsider their beliefs and look seriously at the truth claims of Scripture. We rejoice at what God has done to prepare them for the Gospel. We may find out that there are circumstances and past events in their lives that have made them more open than their neighbours. But how do we describe this openness and how do we cultivate this openness in others and in ourselves? I believe we can find some answers in Julia Galef’s book, The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly… Read the whole post
Training, Assessment Tools, Resilience

Do we naturally look for shortcuts?

In my previous blog post, I reviewed a book that argues that there are no shortcuts in missions. Why was this book written? Because supposedly we like to find shortcuts! Those who study cultural differences tell us that Americans and Canadians have a strong short-term orientation. Americans have a reputation for their fast pace of life and desire for quick results. We see their desire for instant gratification in the prominence of American fast-food restaurants and the fact that the USA has the highest average national credit card debt in the world.1 See 30 Credit Card Debt Statistics – 2023 Update | Balancing Everything. So we should not be surprised that shortcuts to achieve mission results are a hot topic in our North American churches. At the same time, it is also not surprising that those who understand the American preference for quick results are cautioning us about adopting these… Read the whole post
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