AN INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR CHURCH LEADERS
WHEN VISITING MISSIONARIES ON THE FIELD
Michael Landon, Hammond, Louisiana and Ed Matthews, Abilene, Texas
The purpose of this interview schedule is to help North American church
leaders ask appropriate questions when they visit the missionaries they
support. The interview is designed to increase knowledge, respect, and
accountability between the missionary and the supporting church.
The interview guide assumes that the church leader knows little about
foreign culture and mission work. For those who possess such knowledge,
several questions become irrelevant and should be omitted.
The schedule is divided into three sections: (1) the needs of the
missionary, (2) the local culture, and (3) the work of the missionary. The last page
contains a short list of resources about missions that might be profitable
for the church leader to read before interviewing the missionary.
The importance of church leaders visiting missionaries they support on
the field can hardly be overemphasized. The value of showing such
interest is beneficial for both the missionaries and the church leaders.
That value is greatly enhanced when appropriate questions are asked in a
sensitive and caring manner. Therefore, it is suggested that the church
State clearly "up front" the purpose of the interview.
Give a blank copy of the interview guide to the interviewees.
Talk to the whole family collectively and (later) to each member
Include the wife (of the church leader) as a co-partner in the
interviewing process and rely on her to privately explore any additional
topics of concern with the missionary wives and single missionary women.
Maintain a relaxed, informal, open atmosphere.
Pace the interview in such a way that if necessary it is divided up into
two or three or more one-hour sessions.
The heart of a strong and enduring relationship between supporting
churches and missionaries is frank and frequent communication. The
suggested interview schedule that follows is an attempt to provide a basis
for such communication to occur.
In view of communication from your supporting church, is it:
a. Adequate in frequency?
b. Helpful in content?
c. How might it be improved?
How is your family in terms of:
a. Physical health?
b. Social involvement?
c. Spiritual growth?
d. Intellectual stimulation?
e. Psychological well-being?
f. Financial support?
What would you like your supporting church to continue doing for you?
What would you like your supporting church to do differently for you?
Considering the local religion:
a. What do people believe about God?
b. What do they think about religion (or other religions)?
c. What do they feel about the church?
d. How do these various beliefs influence their response to the Gospel?
Regarding local family structure:
a. Who makes up the nuclear family?
b. How do members of a family interact?
c. What effect does social structure have on the proclamation of the
Gospel/growth of the church?
In the light of the economy:
a. What is the local unemployment situation?
b. What is the average monthly family income?
c. What is the annual rate of inflation?
d. How does the local economy affect your work?
In the eyes of the government, how do they view:
a. Your presence?
b. Your work?
c. The church?
In the area of local decision making:
a. How are decisions made in the home?
b. In public forums?
c. In the church?
In what types of work are you involved?
d. If you are involved in more than one of the above, what percent of
your time do you spend in each activity?
In view of what you do:
a. What are your responsibilities?
b. What are your accomplishments?
c. What are your measurable goals?
a. How many friends do you have among nationals?
b. How do you make contact with unbelievers?
c. What method do you use to teach them the Gospel?
In your work, what are the greatest:
What kind of a relationship do you have with fellow missionaries?
Describe an average week in your life on the mission field regarding:
d. Family life?
f. Prayer time?
g. Bible study?
How has the work grown:
In what ways is the church learning to:
a. Do evangelism?
b. Minister to those in need?
c. Apply truth to their daily lives?
d. Govern the congregation themselves?
e. Give to the Lord?
In view of the future of the work:
a. What changes will be necessary in your role?
b. What will you need (from your supporting church) to see the mission
task to completion?
c. When do you predict the job will be finished?
d. How are you planning to pass the baton to the local brethren?
SHORT RESOURCE LIST ABOUT MISSIONS
GURGANUS, George, ed.
1976 World Evangelism. Abilene, Texas: Biblical Research Press.
HARDIN, Daniel C.
1978 Mission: A Practical Approach. South Pasadena, California: William
1991 The Paul and Barnabas Syndrome. Fort Worth, Texas: Star Bible
LINGENFELTER, Sherwood and MAYERS, Marvin
1986 Ministering Cross-Culturally. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book
O'DONNELL, Kelly and O'DONNELL, Michele, eds.
1988 Helping Missionaries Grow. Pasadena, California: William Carey
SLATE, C. Philip, ed.
1988 Perspectives on Worldwide Evangelization. Searcy, Arkansas:
WINTER, Ralph and HAWTHORNE, Steve, eds.
1981 Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Pasadena, California:
William Carey Library.
This site mirrors the JAM site at the ACU web site.
Mirrored by permission of ACU Missions Personnel
Direct questions and comments to Ed Mathews,
Last updated on February 4, 2013
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