Monday, May 06, 2013

Student Missions Prep - The Tipping Point

Part of why Ember exists is to help student mission teams get ready for their missions experience. If you are like us, you know that there are lots of student mission teams that are woefully unprepared. One of our core competencies is helping prepare student teams and its always a joy to be involved.

GRACE termed their student missions preparation day The Tipping Point [which is a great book by the way] and it was our privilege to help facilitate a day like this for around 90 students and leaders broken into 9 different summer teams. GRACE has lots of mature systems when it comes to student missions and this day is part of their system.

Here's a rough outline of the day, feel free to steal what you want. If you want deeper details - get in touch. Our prep days like these are always customized and contextualized and we would love to help you.

+ Team Leader session
Trevin and Amy dived into the idea of kairos moments and how they related to the context of student mission trips and the larger context of discipling students. This was a phenomenal session and I loved both the content and their style of delivery. The content was something that leaders need but maybe didn't quite know that they need - who doesn't want to learn about helping students mark pivotal times in their journey and making significant decisions in light of those moments. Their style of delivery was Amy explaining the concepts interspersed with Trevin telling his stories of traveling around the world and how those experiences molded his missions perspective. Some of this content was taken from Building a Discipling Culture from 3DM.

+ Round Robin Prayer Rotation
Students rotating through each of the teams, praying for the summer experiences.

+ Tools of the Trade
There were three breakout sessions of 20 minutes each, based on cross cultural tools. These are simple, reproducible tools that students can use to understand another a new culture and also tools that will help them navigate the culture that they live in. Our hope is that they help prepare these students to both be an agent of change this summer on their missions trip as well as here at home. The three tools were mapmaking, person of peace and redemptive analogy, which are all concepts in our core curriculum. A great resource for this is the book Tradecraft.

+ Team Building Initiatives
The final element was team building initiatives. I've been pretty impacted by the book The Advantage and the emphasis on the idea of trust. So when we were imagining this element, I asked Amy if there was a way that we could help teams explicitly learn to trust each other. We all know that trust is earned over time and experience so doing the same thing in an afternoon was a challenge. I think the exercises helped facilitate did that, but of course, we'll know at the end of the summer.

I'm so proud of what our team did this day. Amy, Trevin, Kristen, Dustin and some other guests did a phenomenal job as well as some of our Ember X team who jumped in to help. These missions prep events are some of our most catalytic events and I'm expectant to see how these student teams throw fire this summer.

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