May 29, 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
Mission Leadership, Pre-field Training, Missiological Issues, Resilience

Resilience: What part does the organization play?

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Missionary resilience We have been discussing the need for resilience among cross-cultural workers. In the last post, we talked about how God develops resilience through suffering. But what is the mission organization’s responsibility in supporting their workers in these times of crisis and stress? How does the organization determine its level of involvement in caring for its missionaries? These questions are not easily answered. Cross-cultural workers vary widely in their desire for and expectations of organizational involvement. Some only want their organization to provide receipts to their donors and make sure the missionary receives the support on a regular basis. Others want a full range of services, including health insurance, training, pastoral care, leadership, and supervision, conferences and retreats, risk assessments and security training, and IT support. SEND International is one mission that has sought to better determine what level… Read the whole post
Resilience, Hardship, Stress Management, Prayer, Pre-field Training, God

The source of resilience – grace

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Missionary resilience What is missional resilience? In a nutshell, it’s grace not grit. We must receive Jesus’ resilience to join him in his mission as we turn toward the triune God, others, and ourselves for loving support.Geoff Whiteman, Resilient Global Worker Study: Persevering with Joy, March 2021. In my previous blog post, I talked about the need for resilience in cross-cultural work and particularly now in the pandemic. I mentioned Geoff Whiteman’s research. He surveyed more than 1000 missionaries to find out what contributes to making global workers more resilient. What was his overall conclusion? It can be found in the quote above – resilience in mission work is rooted in God’s grace. In a workshop at the 2021 Missio Nexus Mission Leaders Conference, Whiteman presented various recommendations for mission organizations to support missional resilience. Based on his research, he… Read the whole post
Training, Adult Education, Pre-field 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, Book Reviews, Pre-field Training

Book Review: Relational Missionary Training

In 2006 Enoch Wan introduced his paradigm of “Relational Realism” in an article in the Occasional Bulletin of the Evangelical Missiological Society. This paradigm sees reality as defined by the vertical relationship with the Triune God and the horizontal relationships between created beings. In 2017, together with Mark Hedinger, he published the book, Relational Missionary Training: Theology, Theory, and Practice. Essentially, the book applies the relational realism model to the task of training missionaries. The book aims to provide a foundation for this paradigm. Therefore, the authors look at theological, educational and practical aspects of the model. Their purpose is to describe the paradigm and show how a training program could be developed along these lines. The authors also note that the book is written with missionary trainers in mind.1p.15 So, that makes me part of the target audience. The book contains four parts: Theology (Chapters 1-3)Theory (Chapters 4-5)Practice (Chapters 6-8)Summary… Read the whole post
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