We've just started a new series here at CIT for Effective Teams and Team Leaders. We looked at our personal relational style, what we expect to have in a working team, how to work toward interdependence, and what the foundation of a mission team should be - namely that we should model our approach after the Holy Trinity.
This triune nature of God exemplifies several aspects of an effective mission team. We find in Scripture that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share in the creativity, purpose, rejoicing, giving tasks. Each Person of the Trinity has a specific role. They do not operate in isolation, rather there is constant communion. Similarly, the Church with its many members has a specific role in working out our salvation.
Ineffective teams tend to be self-centered because of spiritual immaturity, conflict, and lack of vision. Whether one is task-oriented or people-oriented, a common goal is critical for unity and purpose to be established. We are neither a "Big Happy Family", nor "Reggued Individualists." We rely on the gifts the Holy Spirit has endowed each team member with to complete an interdependent team.
All this is to say that we hope to establish mutually beneficial relationships with our fellow teammates and nationals to have a "We" centered group, not a "Me" centered group.
Monday, July 14, 2008
We were invited to share our mission plans with the congregation of First Christian Church of Newton, NC by Pastor Gary Patterson. Our family visited Sunday School and worship and enjoyed meeting everyone and telling our desire to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus with the people of Japan. I talked about Ephesians and putting on the armor of God and how we should sharpen our sword skills regularly so we can all be ready in our own mission fields. They treated us to lunch at a fine Italian restaurant where we got to talk more with their mission's committee. Eddie, missions chairman, knows several people from our home church including Gary Bordelon and Rick Philips, and is involved in the Polish Christian Ministries which our Sunday School class is actively supporting. We are blessed to have met them, enlisted several prayer warriors, and garnered another important partner to make this mission to Japan a reality. Please pray that First Christian Church of Newton would be blessed for their faithfulness, that the Holy Spirit would add new believers to their growing numbers, and keep them mission-minded (especially in their local community).
Friday, July 11, 2008
As mayors of CIT this week we thought it would be culturally appropriate to have our special activity to be karaoke. We bought a mic with some songs for $15, rented a couple of karaoke DVDs from Netflix, and borrowed a VeggieTales disc to kick things off. It turned out far better than we expected. We'd never done it before, but we quickly discovered that there are some hams among us. Some talented and not-so-talented folks took the stage for the fun and laughs. Best Duo Performance goes to Jeff and Rob for singing House of the Rising Sun. Best Veggie song goes to Ellissa for her rendition of Modern Major General, and best family performance goes to Brett and Maria for doing Celebration. Everyone also brought their favorite homemade dessert to share and we rocked the student center until 10pm.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We had dinner with my folks and Brenda, Rusty, and baby Grace (missionaries to Japan). There was lots of homemade goodness including Weiling's special stuffed peppers, Brenda's corn and mac-n-cheese. As we've come to learn, missions is more about relationships than anything else and we've certainly enjoyed getting to know the Carneys. Please pray that their support raising would be expedited and that they are embraced by their team in Hokkaido.
As part of our language acquisition training program, we got to work with a language helper for 5 sessions. I chose Russian to study to practice the various techniques such as Look-n-Listen, LAPS, TPRs, and more. My mom even got to participate in one of the sessions. Here we have Mary (missionary to Kosovo), Natasha (Russian language helper), Jeff (missionary to Tajikistan), me, and Bryan (missionary to Russia). By starting with several related objects and naming them in Russian, we quickly moved into complex sentences with different verb tenses, pronouns, and times of day. It was a very engaging and fun-filled exercise designed to enable us to be in control of our own language learning program once we get to Japan.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Aaron celebrated his 5th birthday (June 27) whilst I ushered in my 36th year. It was nice to have my parents here for the week to join in the festivities. I got an 8GB thumb drive that I had my eye on for a while and also some handy magnetic strips to put on the back of our prayer cards. Aaron got an assortment of mini-Transformer toys and some of Grand Dad's homemade cherry ice cream with Grandma's homemade angel food cake with fruit filling. And what would a birthday be without Burger King for dinner to Have It My Way?