Thanks for taking time to prepare for your mission trip to Florida. As you go through these sessions, follow along using you Pre-Trip Training Participant Guide and the set of 3 CIRCLES that were provided for you. If you haven’t yet received these resources, please contact the Next Team at the East-West office. We are looking forward to serving with you and to seeing how God works in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
Start by watching this video to learn a little more about the vision of NEXT Teams and our hopes for what this mission trip will accomplish.
Pause now and take a few minutes to reflect on what you are excited about or nervous about as you anticipate this trip. Write a few of those things down in the space provided in your training guide, and then watch the video below, “Our Strategy.”
Pause now and spend a few minutes praying for the ministry that is already taking place in your ministry site. Pray for wisdom and encouragement for the church-planting partners. Pray for the people there that don’t yet know or understand the gospel. After you have prayed, watch the next video to learn a little more about what to expect on this trip.
Audrey just reminded you to be flexible, to prepare yourself, and to remember that you are a part of a team. As you think about being a team player, read over the “Release of Rights” on page 39 of your training guide and consider what commitments you need to make now to yourself and the rest of your team so that you can be the most beneficial team member possible. In the next video we will introduce you an evangelism tool. The 3 CIRCLES is a tool we use on the field to engage in spiritual conversations with others. Learning this tool will be a huge step in being prepared on the field to participate in the ministry our church planting partners are doing.
In this session you will begin learning about cultural differences and how you can adapt to new cultures in order to have effective ministry. You will also continue learning how to use the 3 CIRCLES evangelism tool.
Pause now and read the articles on pages 40-41 of your training guide and then make a list of several things you can do to avoid cultural egotism as you prepare for this trip. once you have completed this exercise, watch the following video about adapting to new cultures.
Taking the position of a learner is a huge step towards adapting to a new culture. With that in mind, pause now and spend a few minutes in prayer asking God to give you a humble heart that is ready to enter new cultures as a learner, and then watch the next video.
The gospel came to you on the way to someone else. Pause now and thank God for those who shared the gospel with you and for how it has transformed your life. Ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel with others now and on your trip. When you are finished praying, watch the next video which will continue your training on using the 3 CIRCLES.
In addition to learning the 3 CIRCLES, in this session you will learn some tips for evangelism, and you will learn about different sets of values that are sometimes at work in other cultures. First, let’s learn from some former trip participants about their experiences sharing the gospel with others.
One place where trip participants usually struggle in sharing with others is in simply beginning the conversation with them. On page 42 of your training guide there are several scenarios of people you may encounter on your trip. Don’t read them! Ask a friend or family member to pick one or two of those scenarios and to take on the persona of the person described there. Your goal is to have a conversation with them and discover as much about their fictional persona as possible. Once you have spent some time practicing asking questions and having conversations, watch the next video about differing cultural values.
Different cultures are so fascinating! On page 46 of your training guide you will find a list of common stereotypes people around the world have. Take a few minutes to read over those and then answer the questions at the bottom of page 46, and then read the tips for adapting to new cultures on page 47. When you are finished, spend a few minutes in prayer asking God to give you wisdom as you seek to understand and interact with those who are different than you.
We will start this session by learning the final 3 CIRCLES. Then we will learn more about how the gospel is affected by culture and about some of the primary spiritual beliefs of the people of Florida.
Now that you have learned the 3 CIRCLES, take a look at the next video to learn about how culture affects the way you share the gospel.
On pages 49-54 of your training guide there is an article that dives deeper into the spiritual beliefs of people groups around the world. Take a few minutes now to read that article and make some notes on things that will be important to keep in mind as you share with people at your ministry site. Once you are finished, watch the final video of this session about gospel-centered conversations.
Before you finish this session, spend some time praying for the people you will encounter on your trip. Pray for hearts that are open and ready to respond to the gospel. Pray that God would speak boldly through you to accomplish His purposes.
In our final training session, you will learn to share your personal story along with the 3 CIRCLES, and you will learn about working with translators. First, take a look at this video about sharing your story.
Take some time now to think about your story. Read over the tips for sharing your story on pages 55-56 of your training guide and then use the worksheet on pages 57-58 to write out your testimony. Once you have completed this, watch the next video about working with translators.
Pause now and pray for the individuals who will be translating for you in Florida. Pray for their spiritual growth. Pray for their understanding as they translate, and pray for boldness and clarity as you share the gospel together. After praying watch the final video of your pre-trip training.
Congratulations! You have completed pre-trip training. Don’t forget to keep practicing the 3 CIRCLES between now and your trip departure.