April 13, 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
Teaming, Assessment Tools, Book Reviews

What is your genius at work?

I have taken many different personality and strength assessments over the years. Myers-Briggs, Grip-Birkman, MinistryStyles, StrengthsFinder, DiSC, Enneagram, and 5 Voices are a few that stick out. Part of my motivation in taking these assessments was to evaluate their effectiveness. I wanted to see how well they helped team members understand one another better. Would they help us in our training of new cross-cultural workers? But I have to admit a big part of my motivation was just my innate curiosity to understand myself better. Shortcomings of personality assessments Each of these assessments has their strengths. I have learned something from each of them about how I am wired. They have helped me to understand the challenges I face in working with colleagues of different personalities. But none of the ones above helped me understand what specific personalities / strengths are needed on a team. How do the different personalities… Read the whole post
Hardship, Teaming, Resilience

Resilience in community

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Missionary resilience In a supportive community, it is easier to remain resilient. Thus far in our series on resilience for cross-cultural workers, we have talked primarily about the resilience of individuals facing adversity and stress. But we all realize that we are more resilient when we face that adversity together with others. As Ecclesiastes says, Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:12 Jesus relies on his friends Yes, Jesus is our inspiration as we seek to become more resilient and persevering. He persevered despite great suffering and merciless opposition. He demonstrated unfailing reliance on his heavenly Father. But our Lord also had his small group of close friends and disciples who walked with him through the hardships and rejection he endured. So, it is no surprise that he… Read the whole post
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
Teaming, Christ

Do Jesus and Paul avoid conflict?

In a previous blog post, I suggested that sometimes Christians need to argue. In fact, I believe healthy teams must have productive and passionate debate about important issues. We will lose much if avoid engaging in them. But I also noted that Christian unity is very important to Jesus, and in fact is taught throughout the New Testament. So does our commitment to keeping the unity of the Spirit (Eph 4:3) restrain us in participating in these types of arguments? Let’s look at both Jesus and Paul and their posture toward arguments. Jesus does not avoid arguments Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we often find him in debate with the religious leaders of the day (e.g. Mk 8:11, 12:28). Generally, these debates were initiated by the Pharisees as they sought to trip up this young, popular teacher who was threatening their power base. But Jesus does not steer clear of controversial subjects… Read the whole post
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