Missions Trends in a Post COVID-19 World

The Mission Matters is a partnership of Misso Nexus and Sixteen:Fifteen Missions Coaching. Our subject today is missions trends in a post COVID-19 world.

Co-Hosts: Ted Esler, President of Missio Nexus and Matthew Ellison, President of Sixteen:Fifteen

On this episode Matthew and Ted look at missions trends in a post COVID-19 world with guest Amy Young from Global Trellis.

Transcript
(unedited)
welcome to the mission matters the
mission matters is a partnership of
missio Nexus and 1615 who have a shared
passion to mobilise God’s people to be a
part of his mission on this episode of
the mission matters we’ll look at
missions trends in a post covet world
our guest today is Amy young from global
trellis Amy is a writer speaker and
advocate for embracing the messy middle
in life after nearly 20 years in China
she founded global trellis which
provides spiritual and professional
development to cross-cultural workers
where they are no travel needed Amy also
helps cross-cultural workers flourish by
writing books such as looming
transitions enjoying newsletters in her
most recent book getting started
though she misses steaming dumplings in
Beijing and he currently lives in Denver
Colorado where she enjoys cheering for
the Broncos today’s program is hosted by
Matthew Ellison from 16 15 missions
coaching and ted Esler president of
missio Nexus and with that you begin
this episode of the mission matters with
Matthew Ellison and Ted Esler welcome
once again to the mission matters
podcast I’m Matthew Ellison president of
1615 and as always i’m joined by my good
friend and co-host ed s with ted good to
see you my friend
great hey listen I thought I would start
off today with a quote from Mark Twain
it’s one of my favorites it’s about
travel and I think it is so relevant for
the time that we’re in right now his
wisdom with really timeless listen to
this travel is fatal to prejudice
bigotry and narrow mindedness and many
of our people need it sorely on these
accounts broad wholesome charitable
views of men and things cannot be
acquired by vegetating in one little
corner of the earth all one’s lifetime
so what one of my concerns about the
travel restrictions that were
experiencing not only domestically but
internationally is we’re going to travel
less and I think travel is so good for
the soul it gives us
and with that in mind said I want to
know how many countries you’ve traveled
to and the strangest food you’ve ever
eaten let me answer first and then I
want you to ask our guests the same
question after you introduced her so
since 92 I think I’ve been through about
50 countries and I really consider that
a gift from God I’ve learned about so
many cultures it’s just been a treasure
to travel and the strangest food I’ve
ever eaten I’ve eaten a lot of weird
foods as I’m sure you have to Ted but
the strangest at the top of the list is
still balut the Filipino delicacy which
is the fertilized duck egg so you’re
eating a duck egg with an embryo on the
inside beak bones it really doesn’t
taste that bad it’s just the texture
that’s really off-putting so I’m gonna
transfer you Ted why don’t you let us
know about your two questions right
there – all right so I think the last
time I found in countries it’s a hundred
and nineteen countries oh my gosh and
the strangest food I’ve ever had was in
Mongolia I had a chance to drink
fermented mares milk and they serve tea
and a little goat bag that’s been
hanging there in the Nagar for a few
weeks and it’s very strange and unusual
but when I lived in the Balkans they
liked to have kind of sour milk and the
flavour is similar so in some ways it
was strange because it has that little
alcohol we’re gonna taste to it yet at
the same time it felt a little bit like
Bosnia but that’s a strange one so today
on the podcast we have Amy Young with
global trellis and Amy welcome we’re so
glad you’re here thank you I’m so
excited to be here to know in a minute
we’re gonna get into what Amy does and
what their what their organization does
but less same question to you how many
countries if you know and what’s the
strangest thing you’ve ever read well I
was just mentally quickly doing some
math and it’s probably about 15 or 20
it’s not nearly as many as you gentlemen
and probably the strangest food and it’s
just hard I think the strangest is when
it’s an organ and I think about it so I
wanted a banquet and it was duck tongue
and so to think about how many Ducks had
to give their tongues a duck tongue is
very small and yeah so I think it’s some
of those organs what I really think
about wow you have to a lot of animals
had to give their lives for this
delicacy yeah that’s a bit like bees you
know teaspoon of honey represents I
think two million trips to flowers yep
we just kind of plow through it not
think about that crazy crazy
Matthew can I just one more thought
about that travel quote yes this morning
I was doing an errand here in town how
does he do a podcast about poverty and
try and the person that was being
interviewed just said hey you know a
great way to think about poverty in the
u.s. in Canada is to consider the fact
that our poverty is usually about the
30% of the lowest run economically and
then the guest
and then the person speaking said but
when you travel overseas you begin to
see what poverty looks like in other
places you begin to realize what real
poverty is like and kind of a sobering
thought but it’s it kind of goes in line
with what Mark Twain said there so yeah
well Amy let’s kick this off just I have
a feeling that a lot of our listeners
might not know about global trellis and
so could you tell us first of all who
you are and then what brought your
ministry about and what you do excellent
well I’m just again delighted to be here
and to share with you guys a little bit
about me as I’ve been on the field about
20 years I lived in China lived and
served in China and I was on leadership
of our organization and so have
literally helped hundreds of people
transition to and from the field so been
a part of pre field orientation and
training and preparation and then while
they’re on the field ongoing training
and preparation and then getting ready
to leave the field so sort of all of
those three stages of life on the field
when I myself transitioned back to the
u.s. I helped found an organization
called velvet ashes it’s
an online community for women serving
overseas we don’t use the M word just
because of creative access countries and
then so that’s kind of been bred out of
my language but we’re all about Kingdom
minded and all of that and so helped get
that up and running in velvet ashes has
been we are in our seventh year about a
year and a half ago transitioned away
from velvet ashes to start global
trellis so maybe you haven’t some of you
haven’t heard of it because we’re
relatively young we’re not even a year
old yet but just like a trellis is in
the back of the garden and the whole
point of the trellis is to help the
plant that’s planted there thrive and
grow as high as it can that is the idea
behind global trellis how can we
maintain ongoing development while
someone is at whatever stage they are
pre field on the field or even
transitioning off the field in post
field that’s great Amy I’m glad to learn
about you I just learned about you
through Ted recently and I look forward
to more conversations about partnership
as well so listen there’s been a big
shift to online work we all live online
now and with that pivot going on I’m
curious how do you see that impacting
the training and development of
missionaries I see it actually
broadening and and and enriching with
now places like global trellis can
provide material that an agency can use
and so an agency is not having to put as
much time and effort into creating
material they can then use that material
and have richer discussions either in
person or online but with they know
their people they know how to take some
material and then adapt it to the needs
of their people on the field were you
guys already doing virtual as your
primary delivery method before kovat or
have you adapted and changed or what’s
been your no I will say because of
velvet ashes I was sort of on the front
edge of what’s possible digitally so
velvet ashes started in November of 2013
and we were all digital and so we were
figuring out how to do
digital things before there were things
like zoom and and so all of global
trellis all of Belva dashes has been
digital okay well so aside from the
pulpit 19 and the tea that’s kind of
forced us out through what are some of
the other kind of big picture changes or
trends do you see in the world of
missionary preparation and training and
ongoing support one of the big trends
that I see that I personally think is
very exciting is before when we were
locked into in-person you’re locked to
certain windows okay this month getting
everyone together so in an organization
maybe people can physically only be in a
shared space once every 12 months maybe
once every 24 months and even then in
those shared spaces I’m sure you
gentlemen have been at conferences like
this where because you’re suddenly all
together a bug goes through and half of
the people are actually back in hotel
rooms throwing up or having diarrhea and
so even the in-person experience isn’t
just there’s so much weight on the
in-person experience what I think
digital frees up is for the in-person
space to be more about relationships and
community and fellowship and having
training be spread out a little bit more
humans can only absorb so much
information at one time and and so with
digital stuff you can do something one
month revisit it
a month later where there’s been a
little bit of time for it to sink in for
it to go a little deeper and so there’s
less pressure on the in-person and
there’s I think longer term benefits
because it can be spread out over time
so you have you guys never done
face-to-face event so do you do them as
well with global trellis we’ve never
done face-to-face events yeah it’s
interesting is it you know so in our
world we do this big annual mission
leaders conference I love it by the way
yeah thanks and we noticed that in our
evaluations it’s the networking in the
face-to-face that’s the big thing that’s
what I love about missio Nexus you know
it’s the networking
so one of the questions I have Amy is
with so much you know becoming virtual I
think we run the risk of losing some of
those things are you having to look out
for you know what are we missing by
doing us virtually and how do we
supplement it so we don’t miss some of
that learning as Ted mentioned that
happens when you connect skin to skin
face to face absolutely and I I would
always say my preference would be in
person
I love in-person events but when when
that is the only you know we’ve heard
the example when you only have a hammer
in your toolbox then everything looks
like a nail and so I think it’s
broadening the tools so that we can have
more appropriate tools in settings and
we’re not requiring a setting to be all
things to all people for all of the
needs and it’s able to actually have a
more rich experience in person or in the
digital space and so I’m not at all anti
I just think in the end world digital
was underutilized and so maybe I was
kind of on that edge of pushing for it
to get on the table I don’t expect it to
be like the meal I want it to just have
a place at the table yeah we’re
experiencing the same thing thank you a
lot virtually we’re pivoting as well
yeah and we do missions coaching one of
the things we talk about all the time is
that transformation happens in the
context of relationship yes right you
can’t program transformation it happens
when dots people interact and they work
together through a process so we’ve got
to pivot as well but I appreciate what
you’re saying it’s not a replacement
it’s a supplement exactly that’s good
when you look at the various programs
that you offer and what are the topics
that you find people are most hungry for
in your in your menu of offerings well
probably like all leaders listening to
this some of the things are near and
dear to my heart that I think are not on
other people’s radars I think that’s
part of the role of leadership is to put
some things on people’s radars the
things people are really hungry for are
the interpersonal stuff whether it’s
team whether it might be we just our
most recent workshop is called
counseling 101
for laypeople and so all of those sort
of counseling situations people find
themselves on the field whether it’s
with teammates whether it’s with locals
but feeling under-equipped for some of
the relational pieces I think that’s
important but I also think as member
Kara wareness has grown it’s almost now
I don’t want to say getting too big
because can we ever care for people too
much but I think some of those other
pieces and so part of the idea of
building a trellis is we’ve got a team
of specialists to try to say you don’t
just hear something once and you get it
in your change and you never have to
revisit that topic but to be a whole
integrated person there’s got to be the
soul and the skills and that’s kind of
the heartbeat of global trellis is a lot
of spaces are for the sake of focus
vision whatever forced to choose we’re
either all member Karen Soule attending
or either all like the leadership skill
building and I just think too many
people are missing that integration
piece and so for example our specialists
we’ve got a grief specialist because as
you guys know in the life of ministry
grief is just woven in we have T CK
because parenting issues so important
we’ve got a life coach who’s focusing on
all of the transitions that are involved
in life on the field we’ve got a
financial person because I find so many
people in full-time ministry money and
the whole financial piece freaks them
out they don’t know how to do they don’t
know how much should I be saving for
retirement this that Ted what you’re
talking about when you’re exposed to
that awful poverty that is a part of so
much of the world then it’s just very
confusing what is the role of money when
you’re in full-time ministry so just
someone that talks about that
we’ve got culture specialists we’ve got
a language acquisition specialist and we
have two spiritual directors so each one
of them will post once a quarter just
knowing if we revisit these topics just
once
that’s not overly transformative but
that’s helpful information but to be
exposed to these over and over so there
is a blog so posts where those are just
sort of the little drips of information
then we also have monthly workshops
where you can spend an hour going a
little bit deeper into a subject so
that’s sort of that trend that it is the
little drips but it’s also the slightly
deeper but not and then we’re in the
process of building some courses for
subjects that would go a little bit
deeper than that that’s really great
yeah
no Amy something that I’ve observed Ted
and I’ve talked about this is mission
agencies are less and less requiring
formal education for candidates there
was a time where I think you needed at
least a Bible college degree and for
some orgs and denominational missions
you actually had to have a bachelor’s
degree and so that’s less and less a
requirement do you believe there’s still
a role for formal education when
developing and training machiners well
you have just hit one of my buttons so
internally I’m telling myself Amy it
cool because I okay again you hit my
button so I have to you know you know a
little storm is going on in your brain I
feel very strongly about formal
education and maybe what I mean is I
feel very strongly about preparation and
taking it seriously if we have been
called to go and serve I think we do a
disservice when we show up underprepared
under-equipped
for the call that God has given us I
feel very strongly that preparation is
important and that life is long and if
God has called you spend a couple of
years getting equipped to go and be a
part of the Great Commission all right
so what you do in global trust then is
not intended in any way to be a
replacement for that type of training no
I really view the role of global chollas
is ongoing training on the field I am a
lifelong learner I love Luke 2:52 Jesus
grew in wisdom and stature and found
favor with God and man I think we are
called to holistic growing and the whole
thing global trellis is trying to fill
it is I think there’s many organizations
have wonderful pre-field training and
and then there are organizations
do the post field debriefing but there’s
a lot of gap on the field of how do
people just continue growing and
developing mm-hmm that’s it that
preparation theme of just one more maybe
a question or two more okay um so let’s
say you’re in a church out somewhere and
I don’t care we’re in the Midwest and
you’re anyway this is later maybe a
missions pastor and you’re looking at
people that are interested in going what
type of preparation things would you
suggest those mission pastors and
leaders look at I think there are a lot
of places like global trellis we have a
resource tab and so there’s a lot of
digital libraries to go and review and
and I would encourage reading some books
I mean listening to some podcasts I
think these types of podcasts so even
just conversations that it’s in your
head things to think about asking
questions to ask
okay how about Sanai they’ve joined an
agency what should a gence Eze be
thinking about in terms of missionary
prep well I’m hoping that most agencies
that I know that’s not true that they
are that they value pre field training
so if they themselves are small enough
that they don’t have their own pre field
training that they would partner with
another agency that does some pre field
training like here in I live in Colorado
down the springs there’s an organization
called MTI and mission training
international and they have several
tracks for pre-field how do you approach
culture how do you approach language
what are some biblical things that you
need to know so I would really encourage
outsourcing if it’s not provided
in-house hmm so ten I want to drop
something in here and maybe it’s related
to something God’s been speaking to me
personally lately my own devotions and
we all know this but prayer right I
don’t know if it was chambers or Sanders
J oswald chambers or i anyway j
household sanders or key as well
chambers right prayer does not fit us
for the greater work it is the greater
work and
it’s been a conviction we’ve had lately
as an organization especially in the
time that we find ourselves in I mean
nothing can compare to preparation in
prayer and of course we all know that
but I just want to throw that out and
encouragement we marginalize that so
much we give our you know selves to the
things that seem to be more urgent more
practical more strategic and we need to
focus on those things but they’re a
source of our power it gets neglected I
totally agree and that’s why they said
we have soul tending Tuesday’s and skill
building Thursday’s because when your
job is God quote-unquote I think it can
be easy to neglect your own relationship
that we that it really it is the work of
the Spirit and and so all of that prayer
personal prayer prayer for the ministry
and yeah not to get so utilitarian that
we miss the beautiful mist mysterious
work that the Lord does when we’re on
our knees amen you know Amy it has been
really great to get to know you I look
forward to ongoing conversations and
exploring partnership together and Ted
you know this is the part of the show
where we have a segment with you we have
random questions the beginning and then
we turn to you okay something I like now
this is this is kind of a new thing for
me but I’ve known about Kindle unlimited
for a long time Kindle unlimited is this
program on Amazon where you you know I
think you pay $11 a month 1095 and then
they have all these titles out there
that you can download it’s kind of like
a library at that point not all their
books are on there I would say not even
all their best books are on there but
what I love about it is if you enjoy
audiobooks and I do I mean I listen to
audiobooks whenever I’m doing something
you know along the lawn or taking a
drive or whatever it is incredible for
audio books yet augments overdrive in
the use of the library I use that as
well but I have really enjoyed being on
Kindle unlimited so this this podcast
episode there’s something I like is
Kindle unlimited well Amy again thank
you for being with us today
thank you so much for having me I love
these kind of conversations they
energize me they help me think
better so I really appreciate this time
with both of you yeah sure I hope many
of our listeners will check out your
website and get to know who you are in
perhaps they could band some of your
programs well thank you so our guest
today has been Amy young with global
truss and I do encourage you to check
out their website so a website will be
in the show notes and everybody with in
the listening range of this podcast have
a blessed day wherever you’re at and
that brings to close this edition of the
mission matters with Matthew Ellison
from 16 15 missions coaching and ted
Esler president of missio Nexus our
guest today has been Amy young from
global trellis before we end let me give
you the websites for our two sponsors of
mission matters please take note of 1615
org and missio Nexus org where you’ll
find a wealth of interesting and
challenging information about the state
of the great commission again that 1615
org and missio Nexus dot org we’ll be
back next time on the mission matters
the mission matters is presented through
a partnership of 16 15 missions coaching
and missio Nexus
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