Jacqueline and I are half way through a very practical and eye opening class developed for missionaries by missionaries on interpersonal skills. It was developed by a Dr. Ken Williams who has given over 50 years in ministry to many different facets of missions. Most of it has been as a counselor to missionaries for Wycliffe Bible Translators. I’m sure this man has seen it all during this time; the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Each session begins with core beliefs for one of the each 16 specific skills we are getting training on. I emphasize “training” because this is not a lecture. We are actually be trained on how to think through these issues for ourselves and practically working them out in smaller groups. We role play scenarios and then come back together to share what we’ve learned. We have received from great tools that have been birthed from many challenges and issues that have arisen in the past with missionaries and teams.
Here are the first of the 16 skills that we have discussed so far:
1. How To Kill Your Relationships
2. Loving Listening
3. Drawing People Out
4. Helping Others Solve Problems
5. Confronting Well
6. Receiving Confrontation Well
7. Building Trust
8. Living in Community
Each of these topics was packed with scripture, insights, and practical things we could do to become stronger in these areas. I believe that these are skills we could all use, missionary or not; except of course the one on how to kill your relationships! This is more about becoming aware of things we do that cause our relationships to dissolve over time.
I can’t go through each of them at length now, but if you are curious about one or two, leave a comment and I will try to let you in on some of the material.
8 down…8 more to go!