Wednesday, January 17, 2007


We [LB, TriciaB and I] had a great time last night hanging out with AMoser - who just got back from India for three months with AIM. One concrete goal as a mobilizer is to let these people just talk. When you meet with someone who has come back from the field, give them a lot of room and time just to tell stories. They want to share and not many of their friends or family will listen for more than 15 minutes or so. We heard some fantastic stories about orphanages, the Taj Mahal, Indian boys singing "Indescribable", and praying with a lonely woman in a leper colony while holding on to what used to be her hands. We were richer from listening.

The other goal of our time was to try to transfer some stuff from Adventures. But we must keep in mind that context and culture are significant. Here are some principles that were reinforced for me:

::: Team training is vital.
AIM does a training camp for all teams - her particular trip was there for 5 days before departure. Team building, group dynamics, specific ministry task training is included. It also sounded like they try to make the living quarters pretty rough on purpose - [reminds me of Teen Missions Boot Camp]. One example - a shower is a stick in a field with a tarp over it and a garden hose laying on the grass. Preparing the teams are important, including preparing them for living conditions. In our context, we don't necessarily want or need to make the team training in our own version of Hades, but we don't send teams out to live among the worlds poorest of the poor. At least not yet.

::: Team leadership is fundamental.
Her team was composed of 11 girls, 4 guys and 3 leaders - all of whom had significant overseas, cross-cultural experience. Two out of the three had done something with AIM before. The application process to be a team member is lengthy, including a 10 page application and a series of phone interviews. I imagine the leadership candidate process to be even more detailed. It sounded like AIM leadership knew all these three leaders very well.

::: Go with the Ghost.
Each team member has time during the day designated for 'personal ministry time.' The gist is that it is a daily, scheduled time that team members can use as the Spirit leads them for their own personal ministry. Go deeper with a neighbor, spend time with someone you met at the market, go and seek relationships in the culture. Team members are not under any pressure but know that there is time specifically for this. And they probably realize that if they don't take advantage of this time, it will be their loss. I like the added dimension of the unknown, non-programmatic, do-as-you-are-led aspect.

Photo: AMoser in India.

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