September 27, 2023
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

Why Am I Convinced Coaching is Valuable for Missionaries?

Why am I so convinced that coaching is valuable for missionaries? Primarily because of how much coaching helped me at a time in my life and ministry when I was frustrated and felt that I had plateaued and was no longer growing. Back in 2007, I contacted Dr. Keith Webb in Singapore about some questions I had about coaching missionaries.  I was trying to “coach” a church planting team in FER, but I had no real idea what that meant. Rather than just “tell” me what a coach does, Keith graciously offered to “show” me by coaching me for the next 6 months. That coaching experience proved to be the most significant learning experience of my past 15 years of mission leadership. I believe that I learned more about leadership in those six months, than I had previously learned from any book, seminar or even the graduate classes on leadership… Read the whole post

Coaching in SEND Increases

During the summer, my coaching load went way down, but new coaching series are beginning in fall.  I am pleased to report that during the second quarter of 2010 (April – June), SEND missionaries were coached a total of at least 120 hours.  These are formal coaching hours that were reported to me, and I know there is more coaching going on within SEND than just this.  But according to my records, 33 different SEND missionaries were being coached during those 3 months.  A year ago, the total number of coaching hours and the number of missionaries being coached was about half of what it is today.   So SEND International is headed in the right direction!   In an organization of our size, if 25% of its membership was being coached at any one time, and coaching was happening twice a month, the quarterly totals of coaching hours would be over… 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
Training, Team Leadership

Finding Assignments for Missionaries

What responsibility do mission field leaders have in finding suitable ministry assignments and opportunities for other missionaries?  In the last few weeks, this question has been asked in a number of different contexts. These missionaries needing a ministry placement could either be missionaries on the leader’s own team, or new missionaries who are finishing language school or missionaries returning to the field after a period of home service or “furlough”.    Sometimes missionaries returning to their home countries after completing their overseas assignment are open to a continuing ministry with the mission if a suitable assignment could be found.   Who bears the responsibility for identifying potential ministry placements? To some, this may seem to be a strange question.   There are so many acute needs on the mission field.   Aren’t mission organizations always looking for more missionaries?   Why is there ever a need to “find” a ministry assignment for a missionary?   Isn’t… Read the whole post
Pre-field Training

What Does a New missionary Need to Learn Before They Leave for the Field?

One of the projects we are working on these days is determining the objectives for MOP (SEND’s Member Orientation Program).   The facilitators for the various sessions at MOP have submitted their objectives for their individual sessions, but it seems to us that just as important, if not more important, are SEND’s overall objectives for this entire pre-field orientation program.   So we are asking the following questions: What does a new missionary appointee need to know as they prepare to engage a new culture,  language and missionary team in their chosen country of service? Of all the things that an missionary appointee needs to know, what do we in the International Office want new missionary appointees to learn in the 2 weeks that they are with us in MOP? Is it realistic to expect that an appointee will learn these things in the two weeks that they are on the Farmington… Read the whole post

Avatar and All Things Virtual

I have not yet seen the movie “Avatar”.  I don’t enjoy science-fiction novels, have made no attempt to learn Klingon, and I slept through the remake of Star Wars back in ’90s.   But I may make an exception for “Avatar”.   I am intrigued by a news report I read about the impact on the viewers:  “The world of the sci-fi epic Avatar is so perfect the line between fact and fiction has become somewhat blurred. … The stunning special effects of the film have contributed to its success with film-goers declaring that they feel depressed at not being able to visit the fictional world.” A psychiatrist told CNN, “Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far.” I have little fear that I will be needing counseling for after-movie depression.  … Read the whole post
Back To Top