by CMI Cross Cultural Intelligence Team
Why am I a missions coach? Every time I am asked that question, I think of “Johan”.
When I met Johan, he and his family had lived in an isolated location amidst an unreached group for more than a decade. I had heard of his dedication from his colleagues, and of the high level of resourcing he provided for the 100 workers he supervised. He was a well-respected leader, a man of integrity, perseverance, and faith.
Johan approached me at a conference and said, “I’ve heard you are a coach. Will you coach me?” “What do you want out of a coaching relationship?” I asked.
Here is how he responded, “I see a sharpness of focus and skill in other leaders who have a mentor or coach. I feel blunt in comparison. I lead and mentor many other leaders. But I personally have never had a coach. I’ve never had a mentor. I’ve never had a spiritual father.”
Each time I tell this story and remember those words, my heart is impacted. How is it possible that a man like this, giving so much to others, does not have support himself?
This is an all too familiar story for cross-cultural workers. Leaders who cross cultures to extend the borders of God’s family make immense personal sacrifices, leaving home, family, and everything familiar. They battle illness, cultural stress, language issues, and spiritual opposition. At times lonely, and often isolated, they long for growth and encouragement, but their development as leaders and as brothers and sisters in Christ is often limited by heavy ministry loads, remote location, and lack of finances. Some have resources through their sending organization, many do not. And first-generation Christians from the majority world, who often comprise the cutting edge of missions, are frequently the most in need – lacking support from family and home relationally and financially.
Those who minister cross-culturally to show and tell God’s love to others; who serve widows and orphans, the sick and the poor; who pour themselves into empowering and developing others: those are the people I want to serve!
Who are you serving? How can you use your gifts to serve those who serve others cross-culturally?
If you would like to become a culturally intelligent coach, we offer a Coaching with Cultural Intelligence (CCQ) 3-month course. Those taking this course for ICF Continuing Coach Education hours will receive 32 Core Competencies and 15 Resource Development hours. For more information, go to CCQ Course Description or contact firstname.lastname@example.org