I (Beth) recently had the opportunity to meet a woman I had heard about for many years. For several years, she has run the training department of a large mission organization and before that spent several decades in church planting among Muslims in a challenging environment. Our conversation meandered from the mundane to parenting to adult learning theory to discipleship. Our interaction was full of laughter as she shared stories from her early years and various cultural gaffes along the way. I found myself thinking, “I want to be just like her when I grow up!” So, I asked her “What has been the key to your 40 years in Asia?” Without hesitation, her response was “Lifelong learning.”
The more we talked about the programs and training she had initiated, I learned that some advice she had received early on was to “stop copying and start creating.” She did not have formal training in many of the things she went on to create for her organization. However, her love of learning and her desire to see her coworkers thriving long term led her to continuous improvement - not for self-actualization but in the name of kingdom building.
So how are you practicing lifelong learning today? What is God asking you to create? We are made in the image of a Сreator so not one of us can say we do not have the capacity to create something. There might be a great evangelism or discipleship tool that you are responsible for creating. Don't let self-limiting beliefs or lack of current knowledge and skills stop you from embracing your next creative challenge for kingdom impact!
Are you in your first term? Do you find yourself frustrated or struggling with aspects of your host culture? Do you find yourself having more moments of culture shock and/or culture stress than you would like? Join Beth for a new group coaching experience around this topic. This group will be limited to six participants and will include two group-coaching sessions per month with a 20-minute individual “laser” session in between. Group coaching is a powerful tool as you learn both from joining the coaching process and from hearing others' journeys. Interested in the process but not the topic? Email Beth with other suggestions for future groups.
If you have been following Ken's post-sabbatical writing here and on the SEND U Blog, you may have noticed a renewed emphasis on discipleship. As he began exploring the concept of the "two-sided writing" of 2 Corinthians 3 and what it really means to “be disciples, make disciples”, these concepts continued to be reinforced by the transformation that the SEND U team hopes to see in each SEND member as well as those they are reaching out to. We have edited our vision and values to reflect this even more clearly. The first bullet under our SEND U values now states, “Every SEND missionary will have access to the resources and guidance needed for their ongoing personal and vocational discipleship.” Further, our first bullet under vision now states, “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.” You can find a full listing of the SEND U mission statement, vision, and values here.
We have just completed facilitating a 5-week online course for team leaders, entitled Team Leader Orientation. SEND leaders from 10 different countries participated, interacting with one another through online forums while reading various articles and developing ministry plans and job descriptions. This was the Level 1 course for team leaders/ field leaders.
Ken is also willing to offer the Level 2 training “The Team Leader as Supervisor” this year if there is enough interest. You can go to this web https://www.missiontools.org/resources/team-leader-supervisor/ page on missiontools.org to learn more about this second course and indicate your interest by filling out a form.
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