May 28, 2024
Lifelong Learning, Training, Coaching, Learning Attitude

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
Finishing Well, Coaching, Mentoring

Planning to Restart

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Finishing well Recently I mentioned to a friend that my wife and I will begin our retirement with a sabbatical. He looked at me oddly saying that sabbaticals are usually followed by a return to work. My response was that Christ still has good works for us to do in our retirement (Eph 2:10). In other words, a retirement sabbatical is a time to rest, reflect on past ministry, and discern God’s calling for our remaining years. Indeed, we are called to be a people zealous for good works (Titus 2:13-14). And there is no expiration date on that calling! Essentially, a retirement sabbatical prepares us for a restart. The nine practices mentioned in the previous post can launch us into a fulfilling retirement. Moreover, they help us find meaning and purpose in our later years. A retirement sabbatical is… Read the whole post
Coaching, Leadership Training, Mentoring, Lifelong Learning

Do I need a mentor or a coach?

In the last while, I have been thinking about how to strengthen our mentoring within SEND. In a recent analysis of leadership development within our organization, I noted that we needed more intentional mentoring of developing leaders by our current leaders. This is a gap in our current leadership development. Thinking about how to fill that gap has naturally led me to try to define mentoring. How is mentoring different from coaching? SEND U has already sought to create a coaching culture within the mission. More than 200 people in SEND have received some type of training in coaching. So, do we need both mentors and coaches? Defining coaching and mentoring A significant difficulty in answering this question is that the definition of coaching varies so much. For example, Lois Zachary and Lory Fischler in their mentoring fable, “Starting Strong” say, Coaching is more instructive, but mentoring is more of… Read the whole post
Leadership, Coaching, Learning Attitude

What happens in a coaching session?

Do I need a coach? This month, I will be thinking hard about my ministry and learning goals for 2021. My mission organization asks me to put together an annual ministry plan (AMP) and a personal growth plan (IGP) for the new year. As part of that planning process, I am going to consider whether I will need a coach to help me with my ministry and learning goals. Setting up a few coaching calls might very well make the difference between reaching our 2021 goals and not doing so. But what does a coach actually do? I have written about coaching in this blog. See “What is coaching?” and “The value of coaching” as two examples. But our blog posts have never really explained what a coach actually does. About 10 years ago, I addressed this question in a series of newsletters to our mission membership, entitled “Comments about… Read the whole post
Training, Coaching, Pre-field Training

I don’t really know if the training went well

How can we know if it is effective? I have spent the last 10 years of my life in training missionaries. Training events have taken me to more than a dozen countries. Through online courses, workers from at least twice that number have participated in training that I have led. Furthermore, I head up our organization’s training department and so have the privilege of leading a great team of trainers and facilitators. But despite my experience and travels, the question does not go away. How can we know if our training is effective? Recently I saw that the parable of the sower sheds some light on this question. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they… Read the whole post
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