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;