“Why didn’t somebody tell me about this before I came here?”
Preparing for life and ministry in another cultural context is no trivial matter! Particularly if it’s someone’s first time engaging in long-term overseas missions. We’ve heard this agonised question too many times! In response, ACCI has created a new online intercultural missions training course, which covers the perspectives and skills most relevant to engaging in effective cross-cultural life and ministry.
Here, John Symons and Ian Grant, the course’s creators, describe how completing this training can help anyone with a passion for God’s mission in the world! In particular, IMC will empower new field workers to maximise their impact once they arrive in their ministry context.
“How will this course help me prepare for long-term field work?”
“The content in these modules emerged from a comprehensive survey of our experienced field workers. We urged them to tell us what perspectives, principles and skills they considered were necessary for new cross-cultural witnesses. We believe that the 11 modules we’ve crafted, filmed and field-tested, will help people think through at least three critical areas: the attitudes with which they’ll approach their field ministry, what they’re going to do, and how they’ll go about it.
Engaging with the IMC perspectives will save both potential misunderstandings and time, once you’re amongst the people to whom you’re called. It’ll hopefully also prevent you from reinventing the wheel, setting off in a wrong direction, and ending up with broken relationships. Completing the course will challenge your attitudes, provide motivation, and instil confidence that you can start well, and genuinely learn your way into a great future!”
“So, how does this course differ from other training I might have already undergone, like university or Bible college degrees?”
“Our course is designed to challenge mindsets, provoke thinking and impart vital skills, rather than to provide a ‘complete knowledge base’ for people. It’s designed to initiate people into the whole cross-cultural dimension, by raising awareness of issues that are generally invisible when working in a largely mono-cultural context. We desire to make you go and discover more, or to provoke further enquiry in a specific area that you think you’ll need in your ministry context.
IMC is very strongly focused on the range of work in which ACCI mission, relief and development workers in particular, are likely to be engaged. It’s quite pragmatic, and oriented to the process through which onboarding team members will progress, in order to become ACCI field workers. Being able to craft the course this way was one of the motivations for creating it. We do strongly encourage people to also choose any other qualification, education or training that will accurately qualify them for their anticipated ministry context.”
“How important is it that people engage with these insights and skills before they embark on long-term field work?”
“No one course, can provide all the answers, or help people avoid all the pitfalls, however, we believe IMC will push people in the right direction. Its most important result is that it will help focus your mind on asking the right questions! This will get you thinking in the right direction and pursuing the right information, which should launch you in the right direction. It will also hopefully improve your ability to deal with pitfalls, should you stumble upon them!”
“How can people get the most out of it?
“We’d say that as you engage with, and work through this course, you’ll need to be thinking about how the materials you’re reading and hearing impacts the context in which you intend to minister. For example, how does it impact the ministry in which I anticipate I’ll be involved? You’ll need to engage with the course on that level and discuss the issues that arise from that thinking with their field supervisor.”
“I’m in! Can I sign up for free?”
“Yes, you can sign up immediately! And you get our first module, and one other module for free! The course is online right now, at acci.talentlms.com/catalog and can be started at any time, with new modules being released every month.”
Module 1 – Welcome! God’s Mission – Your Place! Available now!
Module 2 – A Biblical Theology of Mission. Available now!
Module 3 – Culture, Worldview and Belief Systems. Available now!
Module 4 – Cross-Cultural Communication Strategies. Available now!
Module 5 – Biblical Responses to Injustice. Available now!
Module 6 – Planting and Developing Churches in Context. Available now!
Module 7 – Self and Family Care. Available July 1, 2020
Module 8 – Working with Others on the Field. Available July 1, 2020
Module 9 – Managing Effective Ministries and Organisations. Available August 1, 2020
Module 10 – Supporter and Funding Engagement. Available September 1, 2020
Module 11 – Child Safe. Available January, 2021