February 26, 2024
Cross-Cultural Living, Spiritual Formation, Training, Adult Education, Pre-field Training

Why do missionaries need pre-field training?

A legitimate question When I first began leading our Member Orientation Program more than 10 years ago, I seldom, if ever, had to defend its legitimacy. All new missionaries assumed that they would need to go through the pre-field training program before leaving for their place of assignment. In fact, one of our greatest struggles was to convince new missionaries and their coaches that they should wait to enroll in Member Orientation until they had raised more of their support. The primary question was “When?”. When do I get to go to MOP? As we began conducting the training in the Philippines as well as in Michigan, a secondary question then became “Where?”. Where will I complete this training? But in more recent years, the questions have been different. Now we are dealing with the question of “Why?”. Why do I need to go through this particular pre-field training program?… Read the whole post
Adult Education, Pre-field Training, Training

Online training: sharpening your skills

Online education and training have been around for a long time. But over this past year, many of us have had the opportunity and necessity to experience online training like never before. This is also true for the training of missionaries getting ready to head to the field. Facilitating an online training session is inherently different from facilitating a training module face-to-face. Since online instruction is likely here to stay, those of us involved in training missionaries should continue to sharpen our skills for facilitating online. Here are some things we have learned in the past year that help promote an effective online learning environment. Use a variety of methods A good principle of education is to use a variety of different teaching methods. Doing so connects with the various learning styles of your learners. This principle also holds true online. Asynchronous courses with forum discussions have existed in online… Read the whole post
Training, Adult Education, Growth Plans, Learning Attitude

Is learning by doing better than learning through courses?

Recently I reacquainted myself with a common formula used among trainers. It is the 70-20-10 model for learning and development. The model is based on research back in the 1980s on what were the most significant learning experiences for effective leaders.. The research showed that leaders learned most (70%) through hands-on-experience at work when they accepted challenging assignments and worked on problem-solving. This included learning from taking risks, experimenting and making mistakes. The next greatest source of learning (20%) came from working with others. This would include collaborating with others, giving and receiving feedback and receiving coaching and mentoring. The last 10% was learning through educational courses, seminars and books.… Read the whole post
Contextualization, Cross-Cultural Living, Training, Adult Education

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to train indigenous workers?

Why do we raise thousands of dollars of monthly support and move ourselves and our families to foreign cities? Why do we learn their languages and cultures, and seek to establish churches or disciple-making movements within those cultures? Because Christ tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. See Matthew 28:19-20. But here is the response we often get from those who have thought about the cost of human and financial resources in this effort: Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more effective to train and support indigenous believers to reach their own people? Why are expatriates needed? How should you and I respond to this pushback?… Read the whole post
Disciple-making, Training, Adult Education

Is facilitating better than teaching for disciple-making?

Is facilitating better than teaching for disciple-making? In my opinion, both are essential for disciple-making. An online search on the difference between facilitators and teachers found the following: Traditionally, teachers are the ones with knowledge and expertise in a particular field. They impart knowledge through a variety of means to their students. Facilitators build on the knowledge base of the group of students to find the answers to questions. Both methods of instruction serve a purpose and allow students the chance to grow. Difference between Facilitators and Teachers… Read the whole post
Disciple-making, Training, Adult Education, Coaching

A Time for Teaching?

There is a lot of emphasis on coaching and facilitating in mission circles today. And rightly so – these are great tools! Teaching often does not get much space at the table though. It seems to escape everyone’s notice that those who advocate coaching and facilitating are in fact teaching. Teaching is frequently caricatured as only interested in passing on information without much concern for life change. In all my education, I have never met that straw man! I never had a teacher or professor who was only interested in my mastering information. Yes, information was the primary focus of exams, but not exclusively. Even my high school Latin teacher sought to build character as we translated Caesar’s “Gallic Wars.” Throughout college and seminary, my faculty advisors ( and other profs) aimed to build character and a faithful lifestyle. Some were better than others, but all saw their role as… Read the whole post
Church Planting, Leadership, Adult Education, Coaching

How Can Christian Coaching Enhance My Church Planting Ministry?

Everybody seems to be talking about coaching lately, but what is it and more importantly how useful could it be in my ministry? Keith Webb of Creative Results Management defines coaching as, “An ongoing intentional conversation that empowers a person or group to fully live out God’s calling.” The focus of Christian coaching is on the coachee and helping them hear God’s voice in their lives and follow through in obedience. My own coaching journey began when I was coached by a friend and found the process quite helpful in my own life. The ongoing and intentional nature of our coaching relationship was just what I needed to gain clarity and make progress in a key area of my life. As a result, the next time the SEND U edition of the three-day Coaching Workshop was offered, I was one of the first in line to sign up. I too… Read the whole post
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