Table of Contents
Member Orientation Program Curriculum Guide
Purpose: MOP exists to equip missionary appointees and their children for effective transition into fruitful intercultural ministry with SEND International. To accomplish this purpose we seek to:
- strengthen the participant’s commitment to the regular practice of nurturing one’s relationship with God and living as a disciple of Jesus
- further equip the participant to address the challenges they and/or their family will face in a cross-cultural context
- deepen the participant’s understanding of SEND’s values, mission statement and strategies in ministry
Living as a Disciple of Jesus
Spiritual Formation (8 sessions) - MOP 202
Description - In the first few sessions, we will emphasize the importance of the participant's walk with God as a missionary or maintaining and nurturing an ever-deepening intimacy with God while serving as a missionary. Then we will spend several sessions practicing different spiritual disciplines that can become a regular part of your daily “Quiet Time” with God and help you to focus your attention and hear what God is saying to you. These sessions conclude with a Day Alone with God.
- Remind participants of how critical their intimacy with Christ is to their success and fruitfulness as missionaries
- Do a self-evaluation of one’s spiritual life
- Practice some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines
- Provide participants with practical suggestions for how to nurture intimacy with Christ on a daily basis.
- Help participants prepare for a meaningful Day Alone with God.
Day Alone with God - MOP 202
Description: Each individual participant packs a lunch and spends the entire day alone with God in worship, reading the Word, prayer and reflecting on their personal relationship with the Lord and his calling on their lives. It is scheduled near the end of MOP onsite and time is given during the Spiritual Formation sessions to plan and prepare for this event. This day is an opportunity to practice more intensely what has learned through the Spiritual Formation sessions.
- Each MOP participant will enjoy spending extended time with God, deepening one’s relationship with their Lord and Saviour.
- Each MOP participant will reflect on what the Lord has been teaching them during MOP, and respond in repentance, faith and obedience.
- Each MOP participant will prepare for and practice a Day Alone with God, and experience the value of setting aside time for this on a regular basis in the future/
Spiritual Warfare - MOP 202
Description – The student will understand that we are in a spiritual battle with a relentless, yet defeated, enemy. Our adversary is determined to steal God’s glory and to hinder and stop the advance of the God’s Kingdom using all his weapons in the battle. Students will learn that our daily battle is a spiritual one, not physical. The student will also learn the significance of our position in Christ by faith, the value of daily recommitting oneself to God’s purposes and renewing oneself in the Lord, and God’s call to selfless love as keys to victory in the battle. A panel of SEND missionaries will participate in this session to share from their experiences about God’s victory in the battle. We will commit to pray for each other that God’s glory might be seen in each of our lives. In the end, we daily stand at a fork in the road. When the battle rages, will we choose, by faith, to praise the Lord and submit fully to Him, or will we choose Satan’s path that leads to destruction?
Intentional Living - MOP 202
Description - Will your life and ministry be any different because of what you have learned at MOP? According to Dallas Willard, it is just belief in magic to think that if we just hear good teaching long enough, it will automatically transform our life. We need to develop plans and disciplines that line up with God is saying to us and doing in our lives. We need a long obedience in the same direction, consistently living according to what we know is true about our God, ourselves and our life's work. By living intentionally, you can become all that God intended you to be. The material will be divided into 5 basic topics:
- Start with your heart;
- Understand how God has designed you;
- Identify your key result areas
- Plan for your ongoing development
- Develop life rhythms.
- To assess oneself in terms of self-awareness, and realize where one needs to grow in this area
- To begin the process of identifying one’s key result areas in life and ministry.
- To identify a couple of key rhythms necessary for intentional living.
Sexual Integrity - MOP 202
Description - This session will focus on the various aspects and challenges of sexual purity for singles and married couples. It seeks to help participants begin to develop a strategy for maintaining their sexual purity.
- Understand the dynamics of sexual temptation.
- Recognize the dangers inherent in Internet Pornography.
- Develop a strategy for maintaining internal sexual integrity as individuals in their thought and emotional life.
Appreciating Singleness - MOP 202
Description: Singles make a significant percentage of the missionary workforce. Although Paul and Jesus make it clear that there are definite advantages to being single for the sake of the kingdom of God, Scripture also puts a high value on marriage and families. This session will look at what the Bible says about the importance and blessing of bearing offspring, and how singles can participate in the blessing through disciple-making (bearing spiritual offspring). The development of the theme of offspring will be traced through Scripture, concluding with how singles uniquely point to the realities of the age to come.
- To understand what the Scriptures say about offspring under both the old and new covenants.
- To appreciate how singles can fully participate in the blessings that were reserved for married people in the Old Testament.
- To recognize how we can better support and value our single missionary colleagues.
Well Done - MOP 202
Description - We all long to hear those cherished words “well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your master’s happiness.” But what does it look like to do your ministry “well”? What serves as authentic measures of “success”? We will see that missionaries define success differently and that one’s understanding of success change over the life of a missionary career. A study of Paul’s measure of success in his apostolic ministry will guide us in our development of a personal definition of success for our first term of service.
- To discuss various ways that missionaries define whether they have been successful or not
- To study the Apostle Paul’s markers of successful ministry.
- To write out a personal definition of success for the first term
- To recognize that SEND U serves to help SEND missionaries become effective
Reflection Groups - MOP 202
Description – Sometimes participants can walk away from an intense training program like MOP and be overwhelmed with information. Over the course of our two-week training program participants will meet in small groups several times to get to know one another better, ask questions, and reflect on what they are learning. This is an informal time for sharing and prayer led by the staff of the International Office of SEND.
- Discuss challenges presented in daily sessions and the participant’s response to those challenges.
- Encourage one another in prayer as participants
Growing in Cultural Intelligence
World View - MOP 201
Description – The middle section of Roland Muller’s book, the Messenger, the Message and the Community is used as a resource for better understanding guilt-based, shame-based and fear-based cultures, and how evangelistic methods might differ, depending on which world view is being addressed.
- Distinguish between the concepts of worldview and culture and explain the relationship between behaviors, values, beliefs, and worldview. Describe the biblical basis for worldview and how worldviews are shaped by the events in the Garden of Eden.
- Identify the three common ancestral worldviews described by Muller and describe how these worldviews have influenced how people view life, the Bible, and God.
- Identify ways in which these three ancestral worldviews are displayed in your home culture. Outline a few ideas of how this understanding of worldviews will impact your future ministry.
- Outline a few ideas of how this understanding of worldviews will impact your future ministry.
Personal Cultural Values - MOP 201
Description – What are our underlying values and priorities? What are the underlying values and priorities of the culture we are entering into as missionaries? Using the Cultural Values Assessment we will look at where our cultural value orientations are in 10 cultural value dimensions: Individualism/Collectivism, Power Distance, Uncertainty/Avoidance, Cooperative/Competitive, Time Orientation, Context (Direct/Indirect), Being/Doing, Universalism/Particularism, Expressiveness, Focus (Monochronic/polychromic). These are then compared to the tendencies of ten cultural clusters.
- Complete the Cultural Values Assessment through the CQ Center.
- Understand personal preferences in 10 areas of cultural values.
- Compare individual norms with others and assess areas of potential conflict in host culture.
- Identify challenges faced when basic values collide on an intercultural team of missionaries and national coworkers.
Coping with Cultural Stress - MOP 201
Description – Missionaries use their insight into worldviews and values to understand and effectively impact the people of another culture. But entering and living in another culture also has an impact on us emotionally and often physically. We will become familiar with the realities, symptoms, and cures for culture stress, and look at a couple of different models about how we go the process of cultural adaptation.
- Describe symptoms and cures for culture stress
- Identify some personal strategies for dealing with culture stress.
- Compare and contrast two models for understanding cultural adjustment.
Incarnational Ministry and Sacrifice – MOP 201
Description - In this final week of our course, we will discuss Christ's incarnation as a model for cross-cultural ministry and the question of sacrifice in the life of a missionary. We will also discover methods, tools, and skills that can aid in cross-cultural adaptation.
- Identify principles from Christ's incarnation that have implications for cross-cultural ministry.
- Evaluate the issue of “rights” as a missionary and develop a list of sacrifices that might be made by present-day missionaries.
- Describe how attitudes of openness, acceptance, and trust can help a missionary in the process of acculturation
- Wrestle with the issue that we will never completely fit in our host culture, nor will we totally feel at home any more in our home culture
Expectations - MOP 202
Description - This is an introductory session where we explore participant’s expectations for our MOP program and then connect that to their expectations for their anticipated first 4-year term of missionary service. When expectations for ministering cross culturally collide with the realities of daily life and work in a foreign culture, missionaries many times experience disappointment. This session will help participants identify their personal expectations for their first term and discuss healthy ways to deal with unmet expectations.
- Each participant will identify personal expectations for their first term of service as it relates to a list of potential culture stressors.
- Each participant will be able discuss ways to deal with unmet expectations.
Saying Goodbye - MOP 202
Description – Moving and saying goodbye are frequent occurrences for missionaries and their families. How do we deal with the grief and loss that are a normal part of missionary life? How do we help MKs deal with the pain (our own and our coworker’s children)? This final session looks at these issues and offers some practical advice on being proactive in the frequent changes we confront as missionaries. We spend some time as a group practicing saying goodbye to each other, writing notes on the group photos and responding to any last-minute questions.
- To identify the unique experiences encountered by missionaries that produce feelings of grief and loss.
- To discuss healthy principles for saying goodbye and practice a healthy goodbye as we conclude our program.
- To share thoughtful & encouraging notes with each other on the group photos.
Ethnography: Intro to Culture and Ethnography - MOP 202
Description: This session will involve a discussion of what culture is and how ethnography can be a tool for learning about culture. We will explore the difference between observation and interpretation and practice observing in a lunchtime activity.
Note: Six months after the participant arrives in their new culture, they will take another online course on participant observations (MOP+).
- To define the term “culture” and explain the relationship between behaviors, values, beliefs, and worldview.
- To define “ethnography” and discuss some principles for observing and interpreting cultures.
- To practice observation skills by participating in a family lunchtime activity and then discussing what can be learned from the experience.
Understanding North American Culture - MOP 202
(Sometimes this is incorporated into the multi-cultural teaming session.)
Description – Although incorporating people from many diverse cultures into SEND is one of our mission priorities, the majority of SEND missionaries still come from North America. As much as we want to be culturally sensitive to those from other countries, the American culture is often the dominant one in our team settings. This particular session seeks to help those from other cultures understand some of the unique challenges of working with those from North America and give them some tools for addressing those challenges.
- Discuss some of the cultural values of those from North America and how they might differ from the values of other cultures
- Discuss how these values impact multi-cultural teaming and the culture of the organization as a whole
- Learn some methods for coping with this predominant culture and successfully and appropriately helping North Americans understand minority cultural values.
Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Self-Assessment - MOP 202
Description - This session debriefs the participant’s results on the CQ Assessment and the 4 CQ Capabilities: CQ Drive, CQ Knowledge, CQ Strategy and CQ Action. These four areas will help the participant understand his/her strengths and identify areas for growth as they prepare to live and work cross-culturally. This session will conclude with participants creating their own action plans for growth in key areas. Participants will complete the assessment ahead of time and come to the session with a hard copy of their results.
- Be able to define Cultural Intelligence and the 4 capabilities.
- Identify and understand key factors for their individual cultural adjustment and areas for growth.
- Create an action plan for growing in areas of lower scores.
Intercultural Teaming (also part of “Understanding the SEND way) - MOP 202
Description - The objective of this session is to examine how increasing Cultural Intelligence (CQ) times diversity equals innovative, effective intercultural teams. This session will build on the previous work done on cultural values as well as CQ to understand how to operate most effectively in an intercultural team. This session will also stress the importance of the biblical principle of unity in diversity as our foundation for both effective cross-cultural ministry, as well as embracing the privilege to know, understand and work well with people from different cultural backgrounds.
- Understand the significance of the biblical SEND value of unity in diversity both in ministry and with teammates.
- Explain the 10 different Cultural Clusters and understand individual preference and how that relates to others.
- Experience simulated multicultural team activity and implement strategies for resolution.
- Understand and anticipate challenges and benefits of working in a intercultural team.
Marriage in a Cross-Cultural Setting - MOP 202
Description - This session will identify key habits of successful marriages in cross-cultural settings that promote continuously growing and God-honoring marital oneness as a platform for a fruitful missionary career.
- To identify God’s purposes in biblical marriage
- To identify key habits of successful marriages in the missionary setting.
- Reflect on the impact of personality type, season of life, and attitudes toward change on their marriage.
- Sense freedom to seek help needed in dealing with transitional stress on their relationship.
- Identify one or two habits for development in the coming year.
Leading Your Family Cross-Culturally - MOP 202
Description - This session will examine the dynamics and habits of life that promote healthy family life in the cross-cultural mission setting.
- To describe the missionary family “on mission” in terms of the values and habits that define it.
- To identify the habits of family life that promote a healthy and fruitful ministry family.
TCK Education- School Days or Daze? - MOP 202
(not in every MOP)
Description - This session will review the many options for educating missionary children in areas where SEND works. Each educational option presents challenges and rewards and impacts family and ministry life. Also, to be explored are issues related to assessing children’s achievement, dealing with specific learning needs, and other suggestions as to how to navigate the school years with your children.
- Each participant will articulate which educational option will be used within his/family.
- Participants will think through expectations for how children’s school option will impact their first year on the field.
- Participants will be able to ask general questions about ongoing preparation to assist them as they take children overseas.
- Participants will be provided a list of resources on TCK life and education.
The Four Culture Game - MOP 202
Description – This game gives the participant the opportunity to design and act out a certain cultural rule. Each participant will be placed in one of 4 groups and each group will receive a printed Trait and an Instruction Sheet. Each group will then develop their own cultural way of expressing themselves, following the instruction sheet and keeping in mind the trait that is distinctive to their group. Each group will then visit the other cultural groups.
- To experience the cultural clash between people of different cultures
- To assist participants in learning how to adapt in different cultural settings
- To examine the scriptural connection between a person’s culture and their view of God.
Ethnic Church Visits - MOP 202
Description - The objective of this activity is to provide an immersion cross-cultural experience in the local MOP context. This experience and subsequent debrief and reflection will provide greater awareness of the challenges new missionaries face in participating in the life of a church in another culture.
- Experience some of the emotions and dynamics of being a part of a worship service in an alternate cultural context.
- Reflect on the learning that occurs as a result of that experience with application to future context.
Visit to Muslim Community - MOP 202
Description - 1.6 billion Muslims make up the largest bloc of the unreached people groups. Ministry to Muslims requires a bit of a different approach in that most Muslim countries do not give out missionary visas. We call this approach “Creative Access” or “Creative Ventures” and we will talk about why and how this works at the end of our session. We will visit a local mosque and observe their time of prayer and interact with their representative before/and or after their service. We will then enjoy a Middle Eastern meal and proceed to spend a brief time exploring the neighborhood stores and markets. We will return to the campus for dinner and debrief about what we saw and experienced that afternoon.
- To experience a little of what it means to engage an unreached people group
- To learn the basics of Islam and become aware of the challenges SEND faces in engaging unreached peoples, particularly those in Muslim communities
- To practice observation of a new cultural environment
Understanding the SEND way
History, Values and Structure - MOP 202
Description - This session opens with a reminder of what lies at the core of SEND: seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). This brief overview of the origins and growth of SEND International highlights key turning points in the mission’s history. A discussion of what our values look like in action is followed up with what it means to live in covenant community. A brief description of our structure is included.
- To establish the framework for why we do our work
- To understand the rich heritage from where we have come
- To get acquainted with our core values and be able to articulate what they look like in action.
- To be able to describe what it means to be a covenant community on task
SEND Mission Statement: Mobilize - MOP 202
Description - What does it look like to mobilize a person into missions? What are our biggest opportunities? Or biggest barriers? How can everyone be involved in mobilization? It will also describe SEND’s strategies for mobilizing non-North American missionaries onto our teams.
- To clearly understand what mobilization all involves
- To gain a vision for “internationalization”
SEND Mission Statement: Engage - MOP 202
Description - We will never establish reproducing churches unless we are effective at engaging the unreached. Through case studies and group discussion, we will examine what effective engagement looks like. Special attention will be given to understanding the various components of a typical journey to Jesus.
- To gain an understanding of what all is involved in effective engagement
- To be able to describe a typical “journey to Jesus”
- To determine what makes up an effective gospel presentation
SEND Mission Statement: Establish - MOP 202
Description - We are not trying to bring “church in a box” to every people. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to how people gather and worship our LORD. Yet there are some common markers of a faithful community of Christ. What are those? This seminar will help articulate some irreducible minimums of church and illustrate how you can pursue establishing a reproducing church.
- To be able to articulate our key objectives in church planting
- To gain some insight on what the process of church planting looks like
Working with the national church - MOP 202
Description – Where possible, SEND seeks to partner with the existing local churches in the host culture rather than starting our own “SEND brand” of churches. We work with and serve these existing churches to assist them in their church planting efforts. These partnerships provide many unique opportunities for SEND, but also present some unique challenges, particularly to new missionaries who are seeking to find their place of ministry alongside national pastors and existing ministries.
- To identify the reasons why SEND partners with existing national churches and some of the challenges that come with that partnership
- To develop a plan for how missionaries will learn more about the host culture church
- To develop a plan for how missionaries will seek to establish their credibility with the host culture church
Working with Teams - MOP 202
Description - SEND International is committed to teaming, but teams in SEND vary greatly in style, function, size and leadership. This session will explore expectations we have of our future team, and discuss the challenges that we face in creating functional teams on our different areas. We will seek to understand the role of the team leader and why team leaders are often reluctant to serve in this role
- To identify personal expectations new missionaries have in the area of teaming
- To discuss challenges that missionaries will face in working on teams
- To compare the different types of teams in SEND
- To commit to being good followers of their team leaders
- To identify teaming principles through a team-building exercise
Introduction to SEND U - MOP 202
Description - A short introduction to SEND U, explaining how the training, coaching and resources provided by SEND U can help you develop as a missionary. During this session, we will also talk about the review of MOP in MOP-Recap.
- To learn what SEND U offers SEND missionaries throughout their lifetime of service
- To appreciate the differences between education and training and development
- To explain the purposes and structure of the MOP-Recap program.
Safety & Security - MOP 202
Description - Why do we devote a 2+ hour session to Safety and Security? Our manual states that, “SEND International believes that our members are our greatest resource. In the fulfillment of our mission and commitment to our membership, SEND International endeavors to provide our members with security resources and knowledge to enable them to function effectively as Christ’s servants.” This session highlights policies and procedures to keep you and your family safe while living abroad. We touch on travel, evacuation, and government registration.
- To be familiar with our Safety and Security Manual.
- To understand safety precautions while traveling and living abroad.
- To receive answers to questions about security precautions.
Child Protection Policy - MOP 201
Description - This session will focus on procedures to follow should you become aware of an abusive, or suspected abusive, situation and the procedures in place to address it. Participants are to come to the session having read the policy and prepared questions they might have in its regard.
- To be familiar with SEND’s Child Protection Policy.
- To know the procedures to follow and whom to contact in a crisis situation or when one learns that a child is at risk.
Internet Security - MOP 202
Description: The Internet is both an excellent tool for communication with our donors and potential candidates, and a significant security risk, particularly for the missionaries that work in creative access country. In this session, we will seek to present a healthy balance between the need for caution and the need for effectively using Internet media.
- To recognize both the seriousness of the security risk and the significance of the opportunity to mobilize and inform through the web.
- To learn some guidelines for secure communication.
- To discuss the implications of our faith in the face of security risks.
Church Planting – MOP 202
Description – The church is the greatest form of world evangelization. This session is simply an introduction to the beauty of the church and its core role in world evangelism. As we make disciples among unreached peoples and these disciples gather together in groups, we work intentionally to bring them to the point where they identify as a church. This session is a summary of two church planting models that gather disciples to grow in appropriate ways that inspire them to be the body of Christ in their community.
- To gain a cursory awareness of what is the church and what is its role
- To recognize characteristics of a healthy church
- To become familiar with five stages of the Attractional Model
- To identify seven of the steps in the Disciple Making Model
Making Disciples – MOP 202
Description - One of our axioms in SEND is “Be Disciples, Make Disciples”. We firmly believe that to make disciples, we must be a disciple. This is what we will talk about during our time; how to grow as a disciple, and then use that foundation to make disciples. This session will cover three areas of being a disciple that we develop in a balance way. With this footing, this session will familiarize learners with the steps to Jesus we follow to make disciples of Jesus.
- To have clarity in what a disciple is and how to mature as disciples
- To see evangelization leading to discipleship, not just conversion
- To understand that discipleship thrives in community
- To clearly understand how to move through the process of helping people who are strangers to us to the point where they are leading others to Jesus
Community Transformation Initiatives – MOP 202
Description: SEND exists to establish reproducing churches among the unreached. We establish churches where there is an absence of shalom and where the vulnerable suffer. Jesus and the prophets talk often about the Kingdom of God and of its redemptive and reconciliation purpose for the whole of creation. The church has a role in the ‘in-betweens’, our here and now between the abundance of shalom in the garden and the fullness of shalom in the new earth. The church is understood in light of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of God is understood in its role of pursuing & establishing shalom. We will talk about how our Community Transformation Initiatives provide markers in establishing shalom that leads to healthy, whole, reproducing churches.
- To see the connection of the gospel and the Kingdom of God
- To see the progression of addressing urgent needs that leads to community flourishing
- To see how Community Transformation Initiatives are markers of Kingdom Transformation
- To grasp how Kingdom Transformation is about developing healthy, whole, reproducing churches