Post your comments to the ACLAME Blog!
Cynthia Nicholson’s excerpts and application taken from Larry McNeill’s outline – “Paul’s Affectionate Attention to Esteemed Colleagues: A Missionary’s Cross-cultural Relationships”
Intro: Paul cultivated relationships with a large number of persons he mentions by name (Col. 1:9-11). To whom is your first level of relationship responsibility?
Spouse Children fellow missionaries
AD, RD AGWM national executives
District leadership supporting pastors supporting churches
Relatives recipients of ministry
1. Thessalonians 1:1 – Paul acknowledges Silas and Timothy as participating with him.
-- Give credit and share credit, as a writer quotes a source
-- Negative example: newsletter that intimates the results are solely because of the
efforts of the reporting missionary
2. 1 Corinthians 16:18 – Paul says these people deserve recognition
-- Honor to whom honor is due
-- Example: Lorene Gould explained in Paraguay’s 50th anniversary why
missionaries stay and even come back after retirement; they feel loved and
accepted, despite flaws.
3. 2 Corinthians 7:6 – Paul recommends Titus to them, acknowledging his enthusiasm and his personal initiative.
-- Give room to the “movers and shakers” and those with different styles
4. Romans 16 – Relationships with Co-workers
-- Phoebe: “servant” is translated “deacon” whenever the same word
applies to a male
-- Priscilla and Aquila – juxtaposed names
-- Junias (clearly a female name) – imprisoned with Paul, listed among the
B. Timothy (v. 21) – no one else like him
-- some rise to the top
5. Philemon – (v.10-23) Onesimus and Epaphras
-- slaves and prisoners are equals
-- all people are bearers of the imago dei, whatever their education, race or status
6. Colossians – 10 Coworkers
A. Recommendations for how to build relationships over time
1. Recognize that love comes from God
-- ask him to help yo see that person through his eyes
-- build trust by sharing personal stories, adding more intimate
details over time (as safety is established through trustworthiness)
B. Stages of team building for projects and specific purposes
1. forming – establish roles, goals, rules
2. storming – members disagree, are defensive, compete, choose sides,
clash for control, blame team
3. norming – begin to understand one another, harmony is established;
confidence built, cohesion, spirit unifies
4. performing – effective, cohesive unit, constructive self-change (can take
on a new member or two at this point)
5. adjourning – bittersweet good-byes, lifelong friendships result.
C. Effective Communication: ICU model for both speaker and listener, focusing
on the feelings behind the words
1. I – Identify the feelings
2. C – Care
3. U – Understand
Conclusion: Personal investment in interpersonal as well as cross-cultural relationships will benefit the missionary as well as all those with whom he/she connects.