For Elders and Missions Committees
Lesson 7: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MISSIONARY
A. TWO BY TWO
1. Biblical models
a. Luke 10:1ff
b. Paul's co-workers, Acts 20:4 for example
c. Prov. 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
2. Practical advantages
1) Shared ideas, pooled wisdom, accountability
2) Model for infant church. Loner missionaries often plant loner churches.
3. Potential problems
b. Potential interpersonal conflicts (the number one cause of missionary attrition.) Over what?
1) Personality clashes
2) Disagreements over strategy
3) Lack of teamwork
4. Troubleshooting potential problems before they happen:
a. Select people with solid character and maturity. Screening may be done through psychological testing and through supervised work experiences with your congregation.
b. Provide adequate training for team in group communication, conflict management, etc.
*NOTE: I highly recommend the work of Dr. Vann Rackley, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, in training mission teams in group dynamics. Dr. Rackley conducts seminars for mission teams in all stages of their work.
Dr. Vann Rackley
Harding University, Box 12262
Searcy, AR 72149-0001
B. UNDERSTANDING YOUR MISSIONARIES
1. Cross-cultural adjustment
2. Other issues among bicultural missionaries:
a. Missionary generationalism: disagreements between rookies and veterans.
b. Questions of personal identity: who am I?
c. Alienation from home culture.
d. Issues related to missionary children.
e. Issues related to re-entry.
Center for World Missions
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