Relationships help plant churches abroad

By May 4, 2004

USA (MNN/NTM) — Relationships are key to any ministry and New Tribes Mission’s new approach to culture and language acquisition helps missionaries keep that a top priority throughout the church planting process.

More than 50 New Tribes Mission missionaries met for two weeks recently at their home office in Sanford, Florida. Their goal was to apply a new, relationship-centered approach toward culture and language acquisition in the tribal village and in the classroom.

The seminar also introduced an improved evaluation method to help consultants more effectively determine when missionaries are proficient enough to teach God’s Word in a tribal language.

The relationship-centered approach aims not only to help missionaries understand a culture and learn a language faster, but to build deeper relationships that will qualify the missionaries to teach and disciple.

The seminar brought the expertise of missionaries from various fields. “It was neat to see what others are doing and get ideas,” missionary Kristen Rodman said.

Kristen ministers to Venezuelan missionaries by teaching them phonetics, culture and language acquisition techniques and other linguistics skills necessary for cross-cultural church planting. She plans to implement much of what she has learned from the seminar at the training center in Venezuela.

David Burson thought the seminar gave him a clearer picture of challenges missionaries face in culture and language learning. This has helped him set new priorities for CLAware, a culture and language acquisition software program for missionaries that he and others are working on. David was sent by Lake Howell Bible Chapel, FL.

“It’s good to have [learning] principles,” said missionary Eivind Rognsvag, a church planter in Greenland. “This seminar is about going from theories of a culture and language acquisition program into actually doing it.”

Pray for missionaries to be proficient in tribal cultures and languages so they can effectively share Christ.

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