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SEND U’s task is to plan and coordinate the training and discipleship of SEND missionaries and leaders so that we can more effectively accomplish the overall mission of SEND International (mobilize God’s people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches).
SEND U stands for SEND University! We are not a university and do not aspire to be one if that means a campus, a huge library and a number of tenured professors. But we do want to provide training and training resources and want to equip our missionaries to serve more effectively.
Using the analogy of an educational institution, we seek to fill the role of:
- a coffee shop - a place online where our missionaries can talk to one another about what they are learning
- a library - a place to find resources and get recommendations about where to look for what we need to learn
- a classroom - a place to interact with subject matter experts regarding topics that are important to the success of our ministry
Vision of SEND U
- Every SEND missionary will have access to the resources and guidance needed for their ongoing personal and vocational discipleship.
- Every SEND missionary will be proactive in creating habits of lifelong, intentional learning focused on both character and skill development.
- Coaching will become a pervasive method of supervision, leadership development and member development in SEND.
- With confidence and competence, SEND leaders will lead their teams to accomplish God’s calling and SEND's mission, and will be nurturing their own personal development and the development of their team members while doing so.
- People will join SEND and stay in SEND because the mission is intentionally helping them to grow.
Values to guide the development of SEND U Training
- Task and discipleship. SEND U holds the urgency of the SEND’s mission and the personal growth of SEND members as non-competitive values. Therefore, we will promote both continual improvement in ministry skills and ongoing discipleship as followers of Jesus.
- The Scriptures and the Spirit. SEND U recognizes that Christ is the Master Trainer, and we can only grow in disciplemaking effectiveness, as we become better disciples of Christ. Therefore, reliance upon the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit are foundational to any training and coaching.
- Previous learning. SEND U values God’s work of grace, personal experiences, and previous training of each SEND member. Therefore, training will seek to build on that foundation and as much as possible, be individualized to meet the needs of the member.
- Adult learning principles. SEND values a facilitative approach to learning that involves the learner in the process of discovery and demonstrates the immediate, practical relevance of what is learned.
- Lifelong learning. While promoting lifelong learning within the organization, SEND U will also continue to improve its training and coaching and facilitate the development of its trainers and coaches.
Three levels of training
- Pre-field training, such as Member Orientation Program (MOP)
- Ministry skill and missiological training for current SEND missionaries, such as training in church planting, coaching workshops
- Leadership training for team leaders, ministry leaders, area directors and regional directors
Coaching is an essential component of the SEND U program, and a key method of accelerating learning and development of gifts and skills.
- Definition - “Coaching is an ongoing conversation that empowers a person or team to fully live out God's calling in their life and profession. The goal of coaching is to develop a person or team to more effectively reflect, correct, and generate new learning. … Coachees are in the driver's seat. Coachees choose their own growth goals. Coachees reflect deeply about their current situation. Coachees decide their next steps. All the while, the coach listens and asks reflective questions, supportively challenging limited beliefs and behaviors. Advice-giving is kept to a minimum so that the coachee can discover Holy Spirit inspired solutions.” (Keith Webb)
- SEND U is developing a pool of qualified coaches, who will be able and willing to coach SEND missionaries and team and area leaders.
Four different types of training are under the umbrella of SEND U. SEND U does not “run” all these training programs, but seeks to provide coordination and prevent overlap and duplication.
See current training events on the wiki.
- Self-directed learning through Individual Growth Plans. Go to this page for an IGP guide. Each SEND missionary is expected to develop one each year.
- Pre-field training – Candidate Orientation Program, Member Orientation Program
- Ministry skill and missiological training for SEND missionaries on the field. Some examples:
- MOP-up – coaching for first-term missionaries after language school (http://bit.ly/MOPupexplanation)
- Various online courses on church planting on Grow2Serve- Evangelism, Discipleship, etc.
- The Coaching Workshop - 3-day training in using coaching in leadership and ministry
- Teaming toolkit – a series of lessons that can be facilitated by a regional or area leader for new teams
- Leadership training. Some examples:
- Online courses for team leaders offered annually
- Annual training at Directors’ Council for field leaders
- Area Director Boot Camp – orientation for new field leaders
See a list of SEND U recommended training opportunities in the life of a missionary.
Although some materials are developed “in-house” by the SEND U team or teachers/trainers within SEND, SEND U also evaluates and uses appropriate training materials and programs offered by other educational and mission organizations.
SEND U staff have served as SEND missionaries in Asia, Europe, Eurasia and North America. The SEND U Leadership Council also includes representatives from each region of the world and from the SEND Women's Ministry Department. But much, if not the majority of the training and coaching is done by a host of other experienced SEND missionaries living in various countries around the world, sharing their experience and knowledge with their peers.
Download the SEND U short introduction.