September 29, 2023
Book Reviews, Learning Attitude

Learning and Servanthood

This past month, I read Duane Elmer’s book, Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility.  Elmer, a former faculty member at Missionary Internship (now MTI) has written a number of helpful books about the process of transitioning into another culture and working effectively as a cross-cultural missionary.   Cross-cultural Servanthood addresses the question of what we need to do so that we are actually perceived as servants by the cultures to which we have come.   As he points out, servanthood is culturally defined, so our efforts to serve others may actually be perceived as superiority and condescension by the host culture and national church. Elmer has heard many host culture people say, “Missionaries could more effectively minister the gospel of Christ if they did not think they were so superior to us.” How do we unconsciously communicate superiority, and how can we avoid this and demonstrate Christlike servanthood? One of… Read the whole post
Coaching, E-learning, Team Leadership

Team Leader Training Module Concludes

We have now completed all four weeks of the online SEND Team Leader Orientation. Some of the participants are still completing their assignments but a number of them have already submitted their final evaluations. Since this was the beta run for this module, we did not charge anything for the training, but in exchange we asked all the participants to track the number of hours they spent on the course and post their evaluations of the material at the end of each week, and again at the end of the course. I see a few areas where I need to revise the material, but by in large, the evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive. As has been documented by others, follow-up coaching after providing some training greatly enhances the impact of the training (see Keith Webb’s blog about this).   So in a couple of months, I will be contacting each of… Read the whole post
E-learning, Pre-field Training

Online Training for Team Leaders in Week Three

We are now in our third week of the online course for SEND team leaders.   This week we are working on our job descriptions, after having discussed the essential tasks of a leader and the SEND Team Leader Profile in the previous two weeks.  I have been delighted to see 16 team leaders from many different SEND areas interact with one another in the class forums, encouraging one another, asking questions, and sharing principles they have learned about leadership.   We have participants from 8 different areas of SEND, and a wide range of leadership experiences in many different countries and contexts, so we have a lot of stories to tell.   There is never a time when everyone is online (or awake) at the same time, but as long as participants regularly login several times during the week, the discussions can flow as each participant posts his comments in an open… Read the whole post
Team Leadership, E-learning

Upcoming Online SEND Team Leader Training

On September 6, the first-ever SEND Team Leader online training module will begin, and I am thrilled to see the course is full.   Seventeen SEND team leaders registered, and I even had to turn a few away because we already have more than I had expected in the class.  I plan to offer the online module again early in 2011, after I have had a chance to work through the suggestions for improvement from the first group.    I am sorry that I was not able to accommodate everyone who wanted to take the course the first time around. But if you are interested in taking some other online training modules offered by Grow2Serve, check out their list of upcoming courses.   I see that they are offering modules in Ministering in a Muslim context, Coaching for Fruitfulness and Effective Online Facilitation.   I took the course on Effective Online Facilitation earlier this… Read the whole post
E-learning, Pre-field Training

Pre-field Training is Too Good to be Restricted to New Missionaries

The SEND summer 2010 Candidate Orientation Program (COP) and Member Orientation Program (MOP) are now history, and after 7 weeks in North America, we are now back in Kiev, Ukraine.   While in Michigan at our international office where the training programs were hosted, I enjoyed getting to know two great groups of new SEND missionaries in these 2 pre-field programs. My primary purpose in attending COP and MOP was to better understand what we are teaching to new missionaries, and to look for ways that the two programs might be overlapping or missing some significant areas of necessary training.  Although I had a few recommendations for both programs, my impressions were overwhelmingly positive.  The content of the training is significantly different from what I received 25 years ago, and understandably so because the context of the North American churches has also changed, and so has the options available for communication.  … Read the whole post
Adult Education

Teaching Children and Training Adults – There is a Difference

My daughter, a junior at Kiev Christian Academy, tells me that she is taking a course in “Government” this semester.   What kind of a course is that?  It has been a long time, but I was pretty sure that I had never taken anything by that name when I was in high school.  I discover that it is focused on the government and constitution of the United States of America, and by all reports, despite the valiant efforts of their gifted teacher, is a pretty boring course.   Why a Canadian living in Ukraine needs to take a course in US government is beyond me.  But it is part of the KCA curriculum, and so Rachel is required to take it.   What puzzles me is that Rachel is getting fairly high marks in this course, and seems to be motivated to study hard for tests and do her homework.  I am,… Read the whole post
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