Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teaching as a Short-Term Missions Strategy (by Bill Walsh)

Day four in our series on short-term missions. David Livermore has written a book on this topic that we highly recommend, Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence.
In "American or American’t: A Critical Analysis of Western Training to the World," he addresses a  particular application of the short-term missions strategy: Teaching.
Some say that globally 85% of pastors have had little to no theological training whatsoever. Here at DG International Outreach, we are partnering with an increasing number of ministries using an informal, short-term approach for training pastors in developing nations.
David has some provocative analysis aimed to make us more aware of our cultural blind sides. This longer article is essential reading if you are focused on theological training of church leaders in developing countries.
Indigenous expressions of Christ’s Church exist in every geopolitical nation of the world. The entrepreneurial drive of American culture infiltrates our missions endeavors and therefore spills over into our cross-cultural leadership development initiatives. When we hear about the relentless growth of the global church, we’re inspired to bring our value-added contributions. But while the North American pastors consistently talked about urgency, the nationals consistently talked about the importance of process and of taking time to grow in relationship before developing a strategy for the kinds of collaborative exchanges that are truly needed for mutual benefit.

Absolutely. Teaching AND of course keeping a learning heart as you do so. Just because someone is not theologically trained doesn't mean he's stupid. SPK

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