April 13, 2024
Team Leadership, Teaming

Combo Teams

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Types of mission teams A number of years ago in this blog, I wrote about three different types of teams that we find in our mission organization.1I am indebted to Liz Givens who first identified these three different types of teams in SEND. Basketball teams are made up of multiple team members, working together closely and interacting frequently with each other about their various ministries. Track teams have a common purpose and team members support one another, but each person on the team works independently. X-Teams (expedition teams) are small teams found where a single expatriate missionary (or missionary couple) and a national Christian worker (pastor, missionary, or a lay Christian) partner together closely in ministry. A fourth type – combo teams But after discussing these different types with our teams around the world, I began to realize that there was yet a… Read the whole post
Mission Leadership, Missionary Roles, Stress Management, Team Leadership

Wearing multiple hats

Today, one of my students wrote a note on their assignment about job descriptions, “I think I have too many jobs.” I can identify. I have two mission job descriptions. Both of them are leadership roles. One of them is supposed to take up about 60% of my time and the other the remaining 40%. I have wondered at times whether they are not in actuality two full-time positions that have somehow both found their way on to my plate. Following that analogy, pieces of both do fall off the edge and slop on to the floor every once in a while.  Maybe more often that I admit.… Read the whole post
Training, Team Leadership

Leading a Team Takes Time

Over the past few weeks, I have had a number of conversations with both new missionaries and team leaders in a few different countries.   An observation that I have made in the past has been reinforced: leading a team takes time and more time that the team leader expected.  In these conversations, I have noticed a common theme among new missionaries – leaders don’t have time for them.   Leaders are so busy with their own ministry that they directly say or inadvertently give the impression that helping a younger, less experienced team mate is a distraction from their “real ministry”.   A few months ago, we featured in this blog the testimony of one of our area directors who had learned the importance of mentoring new missionaries.  But unfortunately, for many of us, we learn this lesson slowly. As team leaders, we often make two simple assumptions when we invite and… Read the whole post
Mission Leadership, Book Reviews, Multicultural Teams, Team Leadership

Leading multicultural teams

Just a few years ago, we could find very little that had been written about multicultural mission teams.  The subject has been of great interest in our mission organization, since our membership is becoming increasingly international, and many, if not the majority of our teams, already include members from countries other than the USA or Canada.   But very few resources for guiding the team leaders of such teams were readily available. A few would know of Lianne Roembke’s work, Building Credible Multicultural Teams.. Unfortunately, Roembke’s book has still not been released in digital form, and I cannot seem to find anyone who has written a review of it.  Then in 2011, Sheryl Silzer of SIL published her book, Biblical Multicultural Teams: Applying Biblical Truth to Cultural Differences. Silzer’s work focused on the formative nature of one’s childhood home and how that experience has impacted one’s view of what is right… Read the whole post
Teaming, Team Leadership

X-teams on the Mission Field

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Types of mission teamsPart 5 on a series about teaming on the mission field.   In a previous post, we talked about the three main types of teams found in our mission organization. When new missionaries think about teaming, they are generally thinking about what we have called a basketball team. Basketball teams work together closely and interact frequently with each other about their various ministries.   But many of our mission teams are more like track teams than basketball teams. Track teams have a common purpose and team members support one another, but each person on the team works independently. But there is yet a third type of team that is commonly found on the mission field.   We call this an X-team or an expedition team.    X-Teams have at least two members, a guide and an explorer.  We think of expedition… Read the whole post
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