Equipping for Cross-Cultural Life & Ministry

Cross-cultural living creates unique challenges for individuals, families, and especially for ministry. In this course you will learn, among many other things, about yourself and the complexity of how to enter a new culture. Although you will gain new tools, the focus is on the skill of the master carpenter. Success in cross-cultural ministry is not what you can do, but what He can do through you.

Cross-cultural living and ministry creates unique stresses on the individual cross-cultural worker and family in a variety of ways. We will address those issues and seek to prepare you to successfully navigate those critical areas. We will address the practical and theoretical tools needed for ministry in a cross-cultural context.  We will:

  • Explore the unique stresses of moving overseas and provide tools to help in the transition.
  • Identify how expectations play a role in cross-cultural adjustment.
  • Identify the special stresses affecting  marriages and ways to maintain and improve a healthy marriage.
  • Discover the unique needs of Third Culture Kids (TCK’s) and learn how to help them develop into normal, healthy, productive adults.
  • Analyze the special needs of single workers and find ways to help singles and married couples relate well together.
  • Identify and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various educational options for families and their children.
  • Clarify the unique roles and needs of both men and women on the field with special emphasis on helping women find fulfillment and a sense of purpose.
  • Explore the phenomenon of culture shock, its causes, its effects on relationships, and ways to cope with the effects.
  • Introduce the basic theoretical perspectives and research tools for cross-cultural study.
  • Learn how to apply principles and data of social organization to formulating mission strategy.

Language Learning Accelerator

Formerly known as Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

Sharing the gospel cross-culturally and in a second language on top of that is no easy task. In this course you will learn a wide variety of practical skills for successful language learning including helping you understand your abilities and developing a practical strategy to be an effective communicator of the most important message.

This course introduces a wide variety of skills for successful language learning. Participants will learn principles of effective language learning, practice language learning activities, and train the ears to hear and the mouth to reproduce sounds in other languages. They will learn to become pro-active in language learning and acquire resources to help master language learning. Participants will practice language learning methods with native speakers and receive planning guidelines on how best to approach language learning when on the field.

Debrief Retreat

As a cross-cultural worker, you belong to a small group of people for whom change is an even larger part of their lives than it is for others. The issue, however, is not the change in and of itself, it is how we deal with change. Some of us ignore it and become outdated, others resent and oppose it and become hardened, and others, believe it or not, thrive on it.
A significant area and time of change is the time in which you come back to North America for whatever reason. You may be coming on Home Ministry, or you may be returning to retire, or to transition into a new phase of life and ministry here. Whatever the reason, many things will have changed: the people and places you knew, the customs you remember, the types of cereal you bought, the songs they sang in your church, and … even … YOU!

The debrief week is designed to give you time and opportunity to share your life and ministry and to think through the issues and challenges, but also the joys of change and transition.