Is effectiveness for overseas missionaries more to do with what they arrive with or what they learn on the job?
LFTF: Episode 9
I think the answer to that would be both. When missionaries show up on the job, into the new country, especially a cross-cultural context, and they haven’t had appropriate training, they haven’t thought about philosophy and strategy, and the best way to meet that receptive culture, then they’re going to be taken by surprise. They’re going to hit roadblocks. They’re going to feel overwhelmed with the decisions and things that they have to make on the ground. So the training becomes very important. What they come with is hugely important. However, we work at a training centre now, and we would say that those that don’t continue to learn and ask question are often the ones that are hitting the roadblocks later on in their ministries. I think it’s really important. We try to encourage people to have four or five people that you respect that have gone before you that have done the job, and take those principles that you had in the training centre, but then always be applying them and getting new ideas, to be a gleaner, maybe from situations that you think weren’t handled the correct way. You can always be learning, and the best missionaries we have are those that are that are continuing their education just through conversations and gathering information.