After we have felt the feelings and admitted the reactions we experience when someone leaves our team, ministry, or church, we can then focus on how to respond well. I now offer six responses (from the upcoming book) we can implement to help us stay well when others go.
In our pre-departure orientation at Christar, I teach a workshop on change, specifically the changes one needs to expect when choosing the cross-cultural life. I begin the session by creating a timeline on a large white board. I add initials to the timeline as I recount the comings and goings of my overseas team. Over the span of ten years, our team experienced fifteen team changes, not including the normal ebb and flow of home assignment (which is difficult enough on its own). In our upcoming book, I have identified some common reactions felt by those who say goodbye to exiting teammates. I offer them here as a sneak peak.
By now you probably know that my colleague, Sue Eenigenburg and I are co-authoring a book. Our working title is “Grit and Grace in Cross-Cultural Ministry” but that may change.
Jesus tells a parable about a landowner who hires workers for his vineyard (Matthew 20:1–16). Who are you in the story?
I feel like I've done a bunch of things wrong lately. I feel like I’ve done something morally wrong. Like I’m a criminal, or a bad person. Like I’ve been caught with my hand in the cookie jar when I never actually put it in. Or accidentally put it in. The fact is I’m a rule follower and I don’t like looking bad.
You have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never … Continue reading Commissioning