Hi fellow SEND-ers,
This slogan from Philippine Tourism was adopted for the 2012 edition of MOP in Asia, held at the old SEND RP Guesthouse, now appropriately named the PSC-SEND Center. Nineteen new SEND missionaries enjoyed the food, culture, shopping malls and hospitality of the Philippines. Although the majority of the MOPers were Filipinos, we also had one Taiwanese citizen, two Americans and one Canadian in the group, so it was definitely a multinational group. The two previous MOP training events done in the Philippines had been less than a week long, but this time we spread the training out over 12 days. SEND U decided that despite the additional cost and time required, we need more than a week to accomplish the objectives of our prefield training program, regardless of the location.
But this group of MOP-ers was an unusual group of new SEND missionaries. In fact, about half of them were not really new missionaries at all. Many of them have already served for many years in their target people group. Several of them, like those on the Hope South team, have already been serving under SEND leadership. They were just new to SEND membership. We were surprised to find out that the average number of years of ministry experience in the group was 13 years! Despite their experience in ministry, the emphasis on spiritual formation and the training in church planting were consistently mentioned as real highlights in the MOP evaluation. We are thankful that God is bringing such a fine group of experienced cross-cultural missionaries into SEND, passionate about engaging the unreached, and yet desiring the support, structure and covenant community that SEND provides.
On my way to the Philippines, I finished reading an excellent book on church planting, in fact the best book on cross-cultural church planting principles and practices that I have seen. Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication was written by Craig Ott and Gene Wilson, both experienced church planters and church planting trainers. This 450 page manual or textbook on church planting effectively deals with strategic issues such as church multiplication and church planting movements, explains in detail the different phases of church planting and provides very helpful guidance for church planting teams and the personal lives of church planters. CrossGlobal Link (now merged into Missio Nexus) republished an EMQ review of the book, which you can find at this link. If you are a church planter and will be in North America this summer, we encourage to attend theMultiplying Churches Globally church planting school, where Craig Ott and Gene Wilson will both be key facilitators. This book, Global Church Planting, is a pre-event reading assignment for the church planting school.
After the MOP training in January in the Philippines, Dave Wood and Larry Salisbury helped me facilitate another 3-day coaching workshop for the PSC staff. A member of SEND China and 8 people from Philippine Challenge also participated, giving us a total of 20 participants. It was rewarding to see both the PSC and Philippine Challenge staff meet separately for a few hours during and after the workshop to plan how the learning could be incorporated into their current ministry strategy. PSC has thoroughly embraced a coaching mindset for their mobilization and support discovery strategy. Philippine Challenge works with a huge network of church planters and uses coaching extensively to facilitate and encourage church planting cooperative efforts throughout the Philippines.
One of the newest sections on the SEND U wiki is on “language acquisition”. At this point, the page just has a few manuals and some key second language acquisition training opportunities. Feel free to suggest other resources and training events to help us become better at learning to fluently speak the languages in which we serve.
Our SEND U secret group on Facebook is continuing to grow in number with 168 members now in the group. If you would like to become part of the group to learn about training opportunities and training resources (often free), as well as engage in discussions about ministry strategy, ask to be my friend or Lisa Engelsman's friend on Facebook. Only SEND members can join, and it is a secret group, meaning only members of the group can see who is a member. I have recently posted a questionnaire about team covenants on the Facebook group, so check it out and cast your vote! Any member of the group can submit questions or post links to resources that they have found helpful, and I would encourage you to do so.
Ken GuentherSEND U Director
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