- Dr. Timothy X. Merritt
Missionary Training Center – Part 4
Both GFM and Guardian Centers are substantial organizations with many projects competing for resources and attention. The proposed merger involves only small subsidiaries from each organization coming together initially with a heavy research focus. To maximize the cultural benefits of the GFM Clan-Type organizational culture we recommend the new training facility be located somewhere other than at Guardian Center’s existing disaster-response in Perry, GA.
Laborers returning from missionary activities overseas often require a calm and secure environment to recover from the difficulties they have encountered. They require physical security, nutritious food, and access modern medical care …all of which may have been lacking in their previous assignment. New missionaries also need a safe place where they can experience a simulated cultural experience while receiving the most current tactics, techniques and procedures required for traveling to the countries inside of the 10/40 window.
Additionally, we recommend the future site be located in a desert area within the continental United States. Desert areas are extremely common within the 10/40 Window countries. With a whole world full of different cultures that a missionary may encounter, our final recommendation is that the proposed missionary training center abstain from trying to replicate a wide variety of different cultural types, and instead only focus on one specific cultural type that all Christian missionaries everywhere can identify with, and yet provides endless opportunities for developing and refining the missionary craft – the first century Christian village model.
Adoption of the first-century Christian village model is practical in the sense that many of the poorest regions of the world face problems that are essentially unchanged since the time of Jesus. Moreover, a calm and peaceful working farm setting staffed by experts assembled from various fields will simultaneously prove that life in a developing country need not be unnecessarily harsh while also providing returning Christian laborers with the inspiration and support they need to renew their spirit and hopefully to continue their work.
Merritt Consulting Ltd. is excited about the prospect of working with both organizations to craft what is sure to be a breakthrough in Christian missionary training. We are confident that the scenario-based training expertise of Guardian Centers will couple seamlessly with the supportive and nurturing atmosphere of Global Frontiers Missions to breathe life and meaning into the proposed first-century Christian village setting.
The final stage of our consulting efforts will be to bring the key leaders and staff that were previously identified through the OCAI surveys as likely to be successful in this new environment and facilitate a process of internalization of the newly developed concepts.
We expect that the initial merged organization will focus primarily on developing an intensively research based organization consisting of small close-knit teams of intensely dedicated staff. Over time it is normal for successful organizations to grow larger and more sophisticated and experience the myriad organizational crisis that are naturally generated. For example, when the research reaches a level of completeness that makes it necessary for the missionary training center to develop more of a market focus (i.e. what do working missionaries really need to know about in the field?) When that time comes, Merritt Consultants Ltd. will be at your service to guide you successfully through your organizations next cultural chapters.
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1. Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E., (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass Books
2. Global Frontiers Mission (2018). Start here. Retrieved online: https://globalfrontiermissions.org/start-here-gfm-website/
3. Guardian Centers (2018). Home page. Retrieved online: https://guardiancenters.com/
4. Hartz, S. (2015). What I wish I’d known about missionary burnout. Retrieved online at: http://www.saritahartz.com/what-i-wish-id-known-about-missionary-burnout/?utm_content=bufferf7d64&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
5. Hultman, K. (2002). Balancing Individual and Organizational Values: Walking the Tightrope to Success. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass Books.
6. Joshua Project (2012) What is the 10/40 window? joshuaproject.net. Retrieved: https://joshuaproject.net/resources/articles/10_40_window
7. Schein, E. (2017). Organizational culture and leadership. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.