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Curriculum Guide

Cultural Awareness


Description - This is an introductory session where we explore participant’s expectations for our MOP program and then connect that to their expectations for their anticipated first 4-year term of missionary service. When expectations for ministering cross culturally collide with the realities of daily life and work in a foreign culture, missionaries many times experience disappointment. This session will help participants identify their personal expectations for their first term and discuss healthy ways to deal with unmet expectations.

  1. Each participant will identify personal expectations for their first term of service as it relates to a list of potential culture stressors.
  2. Each participant will be able discuss ways to deal with unmet expectations.

Personal Values

Description – What are our underlying values and priorities? What are the underlying values and priorities of the culture into which we are entering as missionaries? Using the “Basic Values Inventory” from Ministering Cross-Culturally by Lingenfelter & Mayers, we will identify our tendencies on 6 pairs of contrasting traits. We will discuss the various values represented in these traits (e.g. time-oriented vs. event oriented, task oriented vs. people oriented) and the necessity of learning to work together with people who have different values.

  1. To complete the “Basic Values Inventory” by Lingenfelter and Mayers.
  2. To identify challenges faced when basic values collide on a multi-cultural team of missionaries and national coworkers.

The Four Culture Game

Description – This game gives the participant the opportunity to design and act out a certain cultural rule. Each participant will be placed in one of 4 groups and each group will receive a printed Trait Description and an Instruction Sheet. Each group will then develop their own cultural way of expressing themselves, following the instruction sheet and keeping in mind the trait that is distinctive to their group. Each group will then visit the other cultural groups.

  1. To experience the cultural clash between people of different cultures
  2. To assist participants in learning how to adapt in different cultural settings
  3. To examine the scriptural connection between a person’s culture and their view of God.

Coping with Cultural Stress

Description: This session begins with a card game called 5 Tricks. This game is used to facilitate a discussion on culture and culture stress. After the game and initial debrief, we continue the session with a discussion of the reality of culture stress, some signs of cultures stress, and ways to deal with culture stress.

  1. To realize that different cultures perceive things differently, and/or play by different rules.
  2. To realize that cultural differences may bring more of a “clash” when hidden amidst apparent similarities.
  3. To identify signs of culture stress.

Cross-Cultural Servanthood

Description - What does it mean to be able to understand a culture enough to really serve? Duane Elmer suggests that in order to visualize understanding, we might think of a very big jigsaw puzzle dumped on a card table with no picture to guide us in putting it together. Entering a new culture may often feel like we are facing a big puzzle with no idea how to begin putting the pieces together. The beauty of such an illustration is that when we have a guide or picture to follow, the many pieces eventually create a beautiful design. This session will be an opportunity to discuss the concepts in Elmer’s book, Cross-Cultural Servanthood , with the end goal that each participant will have a guide to reference as he/she enter a new host culture.

  1. Read Cross-Cultural Servanthood
  2. Understand the Biblical view of being a servant
  3. Interact and respond to illustrations from cross cultural examples as we look at steps in the “process of becoming servants.”
  4. Understand the challenges of servanthood as the unique aspects of various cultures are presented
  5. Come to a greater understanding of how he/she may react when encountering a new culture

Multi-Cultural Teaming

Description - The objective of this session is to examine some of the factors in effective teamwork when team members are drawn from varying cultural backgrounds. The session will address the importance of sensitivity to SEND’s multicultural nature and increasing internationalization, dimensions of cultural values that distinguish different ethnic peoples with a view to understanding the impact of cultural differences on relationships in a ministry team, and fundamental principles for effective multicultural teaming in the various contexts of SEND International.

  1. Express the significance of the corporate SEND value of “unity in diversity” for mission relationships;
  2. Explain five dimensions of cultural values and their impact on relationships and team ministry;
  3. Identify their personal cultural value profile and reflect on the points of comparison or contrast with their target culture and potential team cultures;
  4. Explain the basic model of team formation and five key dysfunctional patterns to be avoided in team ministry.

Leave & Cleave

Description – Research has uncovered the most powerful factors for cross-cultural effectiveness. This session examines those factors in relationship especially to the tremendous pressure our "connected" world brings on us.
1. To understand and focus on three key factors of effectiveness.
2. To consider how instant communication is going to both enhance and inhibit my acculturation process.

Saying Goodbye

Description – Moving and saying goodbye are frequent occurrences for missionaries and their families. How do we deal with the grief and loss that are a normal part of missionary life? How do we help MKs deal with the pain (our own and our coworker’s children)? This final session takes a look at these issues and offers some practical advice on being proactive in the frequent changes we confront as missionaries. We spend some time as a group practicing saying goodbye to each other and responding to any last minute questions.

  1. To identify the unique experiences encountered by missionaries that produce feelings of grief and loss.
  2. To discuss healthy principles for saying goodbye and practice a healthy goodbye as we conclude our program.

Personal Development

Leading Your Family Cross-Culturally

Description - This session will examine the dynamics and habits of life that promote healthy family life in the cross-cultural mission setting.

  1. To describe the missionary family “on mission” in terms of the values and habits that define it.
  2. To identify the habits of family life that promote a healthy and fruitful ministry family.

Marriage in a Cross-Cultural Setting

Description - This session will identify key habits of successful marriages in cross-cultural settings that promote continuously growing and God-honoring marital oneness as a platform for a fruitful missionary career.

  1. To identify God’s purposes in biblical marriage
  2. To identify key habits of successful marriages in the missionary setting.
  3. Reflect on the impact of personality type, season of life, and attitudes toward change on their marriage.
  4. Sense freedom to seek help needed in dealing with transitional stress on their relationship.
  5. Focus on one or two habits for development in the coming year.

Going By Myself, But Never Alone

Description - Often one of the greatest fears for men and women who are single and considering cross cultural ministry is the fear of never finding anyone to marry. As we honestly look at the statistics, the reality creates even more angst. However this session will be a time for singles to celebrate what God has done and is doing in our lives. We will affirm our belief that God has a good plan for us as we remind one another that along with God’s leading is also His provision for all our needs- including companionship, fellowship, and relationships. The blessings of being single will be affirmed and the challenges looked at realistically. We will consider how we will live our lives as we wait for God to provide a spouse or not. Further, we will discuss how to keep our hearts and minds pure in our service and ministry. If we have time, we may even broach the subject of what to look for in your “missionary mate.”

  1. Engage in developing a “theology of singleness” based on the truth of scripture
  2. Understand the blessings and challenges of single life while living cross culturally
  3. Be encouraged to trust God to meet all his/her needs, in accordance with HIS perfect will

Spiritual Life and Disciplines

Description - These sessions are an interactive, discussion-oriented focus on participants walk with God as a missionary, or maintaining and nurturing an ever‑deepening intimacy with God while serving as a missionary. This is divided into several sessions:

  1. Study
  2. Journaling
  3. Meditation
  4. Fasting
  5. Prayer
  6. Nurturing your spiritual life (on your own and through the national church)
  7. Preparation for the Day Alone with God
  8. Day Alone with God


  1. Remind participants of how critical their walk with God is to their success and fruitfulness as missionaries and have them do a self-evaluation.
  2. Motivate participants to commit to making intimacy with Christ their number one priority, to resolve to be like Mary (rather than Martha), and to develop a plan for how they will do so.
  3. Provide participants with practical suggestions for how to nurture intimacy with Christ on a daily basis.
  4. Help participants prepare for a meaningful Day Alone with God.

Moral Purity

Description - This session will focus on the various aspects of sexual purity for singles and married couples, explore reasons why maintaining sexual purity might be harder for missionaries than for Christians living in their home country, and help the participants begin to develop a strategy for maintaining their sexual purity.

  1. Identify sexual or other issues from their past that they should consider discussing with a trained counselor.
  2. Understand the dynamics of sexual temptation.
  3. Recognize the dangers inherent in Internet Pornography.
  4. Understand why moral purity is often harder to maintain for on-field missionaries.
  5. Value the importance of having accountability partners that one can be completely honest and transparent with.
  6. Develop a strategy for maintaining internal moral purity as individuals in their thought and emotional life.
  7. Develop a strategy for maintaining external moral purity in their relationships with others either as a married couple or as a single.

Thriving as Missionary Women in SEND

Description - Women have incredible opportunities in missions today, yet face unique challenges as they leave the familiarity of their home cultures to cross cultural boundaries. How can they best prepare for this important task? In this interactive session participants will be introduced to five of the greatest challenges missionary women face in cross-cultural ministry. They will not only identify the challenges, but also investigate and discover some helpful tips to prepare them to deal with these challenges in a healthy way and ultimately thrive in cross-cultural ministry. This session is geared to both the married and single missionary woman.

  1. Understand the challenges that most women face in cross-cultural ministry.
  2. Identify practical “tips to thriving” in ministry while facing each challenge.
  3. Be aware of resources available to help them in their journey.

Spiritual Warfare

Description – Many missionaries engage in work in another culture with little or no experience and understanding of Spiritual Warfare. Since many come from a western world view that is blind to many of the phenomena and realities of the supernatural world, this isn’t too surprising. The reality is that many missionaries will face spiritual warfare like never before once they arrive on the field. This session will look at spiritual warfare in the ministry of Jesus, levels of spiritual warfare, the realities of spiritual warfare in new converts, and have a panel discussion with SEND International missionaries who have served in a variety of countries. An extensive outline and list of resources is provided.

Shepherd Groups

Description – Sometimes participants can walk away from an intense training program like MOP and be overwhelmed with information. Over the course of our two week training program participants will meet in small groups several times to get to know one another better, ask questions, discuss what we are learning, and reflect on the book Have We No Rights? by Mabel Williamson. This is an informal time for sharing and prayer led by the staff of the International Office of SEND.

  1. Read and discuss the challenges presented in Mabel Williamson’s book “Have We No Rights? ”.
  2. Discuss challenges presented in daily sessions and the participant’s response to those challenges.
  3. Encourage one another in prayer as participants

SEND Structure & Practices

SEND History and Structure

Description - This session opens with a reminder of what lies at the core of SEND: seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). A brief overview of the origins and growth of SEND International highlights key turning points in the mission's history. A discussion of what our values look like in action is followed up with what it means to live in covenant community. A brief description of our structure is included.
1. To establish the framework for why we do our work
2. To understand the rich heritage from where we have come
3. To get acquainted with our core values and be able to articulate what they look like in action
4. To be able to describe what it means to be a covenant community on task

SEND Mission Statement: Mobilize

Description – What does it look like to mobilize a person into missions? What are our biggest opportunities? Or biggest barriers? How can everyone be involved in mobilization? This session will include an interview with Phil Baur, our US Director. It will also describe SEND's strategies for mobilizing non-North American missionaries onto our team.
1. To clearly understand what mobilization involves
2. To gain a vision for "internationalization"

SEND Mission Statement: Engage

Description – We will never establish reproducing churches unless we are effective at engaging the unreached. Through case studies and group discussion, we will examine what effective engagement looks like. Special attention will be given to understanding the various components of a typical journey to Jesus.
1. To gain an understanding of what all is involved in effective engagement
2. To be able to describe a typical "journey to Jesus"
3. To determine what makes up an effective gospel presentation

SEND Mission Statement: Establish

Description – We are not trying to bring "church in a box" to every people. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to how people gather and worship our LORD. Yet there are some common markers of a faithful community of Christ. What are those? This session will help articulate some irreducible minimums of church and illustratve how you can pursue establishing a reproducing church.
1. To be able to articulate our key objectives in church planting.
2. To gain some insight on what the process of church planting looks

Introduction to Church Planting

Description: This session casts a vision for facilitating church planting in our context and reviews what Eph 3:8-12 says about the centrality of the Church in God's overall plan. The session concludes with an interactive presentation of the Scoggins and Rockford church planting phases using the NCE plant analogy. The interactive presentation will facilitate the retention of the 6 basic Church planting phases.
- Each participant will have a deeper appreciation for the role of the Church in God's plan for reaching the world.
- Participants will be able to list the 6 Church planting stages.
Background: The Church is the very heart of God's plan to reach a lost world (Eph. 3:10) hence for SEND International, church planting is the very heart of what we do. This is not to say we do not do acts of compassion. We do, because Christ also did them with the end goal being the establishment of his Church and His Kingdom.

Well Done

Description - We all long to hear those cherished word "well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your master's happiness." What does it look like to do your ministry "well"? Reviewing the concept of an individual's call, we will consider biblical markers of successful ministry.
1, To understand the apostle Paul's markers of successful ministry
2. To discuss the whole aspect of "measuring" in mission with its usefulness and hazards

Description – What is a pool? Not a swimming pool, but the SEND International Missionary Pool System for finances! This short, interactive session discusses what our pool system is, how it works, and why SEND operates with this system.

  1. Understand SEND’s philosophy of member care, sharing, and mutuality through our pool system.
  2. Understand how the money flows from donors to sending area and receiving areas each month.

U.S. Office Insurance

Description – Help! I’m a US citizen, but have no idea how to use my SEND health insurance! If this is you, then this elective session will give you the knowledge and tools to use your US health insurance while overseas and while on home service.

  1. To be able to explain what it means to be in a pooled health insurance plan.
  2. To know how to submit claims electronically from overseas for reimbursement.
  3. To know how to use Group Health Mangers/Cofinity card, pharmacy card, and the medical travel card to access doctors, prescription medication and help when out of your network in order.

Safety & Security

Description – Why do we devote a 2+ hour session to Safety and Security? Our manual states that, “SEND International believes that our members are our greatest resource. In the fulfillment of our mission and commitment to our membership, SEND International endeavors to provide our members with security resources and knowledge to enable them to function effectively as Christ’s servants.” This session highlights policies and procedures to keep you and your family safe while living abroad. We touch on travel, evacuation, government registration, and our Child Protection Policy.

  1. To be familiar with our Safety and Security Manual and Child Protection Manual.
  2. To understand safety precautions while traveling and living abroad.