Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crisis Taxi Driver

Our taxi driver in Hong Kong knows how to multi-task.  With 7 or 8 cell phones (probably left behind in his cab by his clients) our 30 minute commute was non-stop talking to callers.  There is no way a taxi driver could do this in Delhi.  In Hong Kong they have driving lanes.  Of course there are lanes in Delhi, but two lanes are usually occupied with four or five cars or motorcycles.

Another positive thing about traveling in Asia was the airports.  When we boarded our flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong there actually was a system where people boarded when they were suppose to (unlike Amsterdam or Nairobi).  We had a quick turn around in Seoul to catch the flight to Detroit.  The  airline staff came and moved me and three other guys to the front of the plane 10 minutes before we landed and then guided us through security, got us on the transfer train and walked us to the gate.  That's customer service!

Non- Crisis people solve a problem only when it becomes a problem.  Crisis people solve a problem before it becomes a problem.  What a wonderful experience to be a part of a crisis oriented culture for a while.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Survey Results: Missionary Training

Results of Missionary Training Survey

Over fifty people responded to this survey.  The percentage of those who participated was 50% from missionaries, 49.6% from pastors.  However, I did not include the question on their status until after a third of people responded so I am guessing that it may lean slightly more toward pastors response.  Others who answered survey were church members or those who work for a mission agency.  Thanks for your participation.

1.    How important do you believe pre-field missionary training is?

Very important – 94%
Somewhat important – 3.9%
Not important – 2%

2.    Do you believe that Bible College/Seminary education is enough for cross-cultural missionaries?

Yes – 3.9%
No – 96.1%

3.    Rank the training you believe is important.

(1)   Spiritual formation – 66.7%
Cross-cultural studies – 49%
Language acquisition – 44%
Specific religious studies – 22%

(2)   Specific religious studies – 30%
Cross-cultural studies – 27.5%
Language acquisition – 20%
Spiritual formation – 15.7%

(3)   Other suggestions for training:

- I'd add location relevant/contextualized vocational/professional training.
- Finance
-Effective training on the field of choice.
- Interpersonal/problem solving skills with other missionaries.
- Missionaries are trained in tandem - both spouses together along with missionary teams.- Study of the book, "When Helping Hurts.’
- Working with adult ministries before going to the field.
- Cross-cultural leadership development: Leadership models, tools, strategies, & etc. Internships should be done in a cross cultural setting.
- How to raise support.
- Practical - eg: Auto repair.
- Ethics and some foundational business principles.
- Training in a profession for admission to a country where missionaries as such are not allowed, i.e. medical, dental, or nursing.
- Common sense.

5.    How would you support missionary training?

(a)   Mandate that all missionaries we support go through training. 54.2%
(b)   Help finance training for missionaries we support. 66.7%
(c)   Nothing beyond encouragement for training. 8.3%

6.    How long do you think a concentrated missionary training should be?

(a)   1 to 2 weeks. – 27%
(b)   2 to 3 weeks. – 24.3%
(c)   3 to 4 weeks. – 48.6%

Additional comments:
* 6 months
* How can you possibly train someone for a foreign culture in 4 weeks. At least 3 months with a year on the field;
*1year; At least 3 to 4 weeks. If this person or group plans to be involved longer than a short term missions trip, they should be required to go through 8-12 weeks of rigorous training.
* Less time for furlough missionaries but a week would be good;
* Depends on the goals and content of the material. There are already plenty of training opportunities in the USA. Why create another wheel?

7.    Who should this cross-cultural training be for? (ranked)

(a)   People who are interested in missions but not yet appointed. 48.1%
(b)   Appointed/Approved missionaries raising support. – 90.4%
(c)   Furlough missionaries.  – 53.8%
(d)   Pastors – 48.1%
(e)   Mission committee members. – 50%

Additional comments:
* Pastors for in house training only. Not "on the field" training.
* I think everyone connected to missions can benefit. Realistically, missionaries are the priority, others less so.
 * Entire churches in North America;

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Survey On Missionary Training

Visiting with a veteran missionary recently, the discussion turned to missionary training.  He asked me why I didn’t do more training with N. Americans.  My answer was that I didn’t believe there was a “market” for cross-cultural training.  Neither sending churches, pastors or missionaries are interested in training, I argued.  They might believe it would be helpful, but not necessarily support training.  He disagreed.  So, I thought I would put out this survey.  It’s completely anonymous so, if you’re so inclined, help me out.  Is my friend right, that there is a need for N. Am. pre-field missionary training or not?

I will post the results later.

Click here to take survey