CONNECT is designed to be highly flexible and can be adjusted to suit the experience, time frames and intended ministry context of participants. CONNECT is a discipleship program that connects theory to real life in the context of community and the local church. It is a holistic program with learning happening through five avenues.
Participants complete assignments and discussion questions after watching online tutorials.
Participants are encouraged to serve their home church by putting their knowledge and skills to use in outreaches, Bible studies, etc.
CONNECT mentors meet with participants regularly to discuss what God is teaching them.
Regularly throughout the year participants gather together to learn from experienced cross-cultural workers.
Participants use skills learnt in tutorials and workshops and put them into practice in their local community (part time work, university, volunteering, etc.)
Everyone is different, with a whole range of gifts, abilities and skills. And so it makes sense that the way people are equipped should have some variations as well.
The CONNECT team work with participants and their church leaders to develop a learning pathway based on the particular type of ministry they are aiming for. For example, if participants are drawn to a ‘Creative Access’ area, then they might need to do extra study so they have a legitimate basis for living in countries that don’t give visas to religious workers. Or alternatively, to work among a people group living a traditional “tribal” lifestyle, they might need to learn some skills in providing simple medical care.
The CONNECT program uses a cross-cultural curriculum called Cross-cultural Essentials by AccessTruth. CONNECT has worked closely with the AccessTruth Resources team in developing this comprehensive resource package. The materials include all the video, audio and PDF tutorials required for training.
Areas of Training
1. Biblical Foundations – understanding, living and teaching God’s Word as a cohesive whole
- Seeing the benefits in presenting the Gospel within the context of God’s historical actions
- Understanding God’s Word as a seamless revelation of Truth – entirely sufficient for His people in any cultural setting or point in history and to engage in effective, systematic Bible teaching
- Developing a commitment to seeing churches equipped with a comprehensive Bible curriculum in their heart language
- Having a vision for the potential that God places within each part of His Body, and a passion for encouraging it and realize that the responsibility for equipping the local church is one which is to be passed on to each group of believers
- Developing the ability to form and work with a team as true ministry partners in the development of the Bible curriculum for the church
- Understanding that ministry takes place in the context of real relationships
2. Communication Foundations – language, culture and relevance
- Seeing that communication is an inherent feature of the character of God and that He communicates clearly and effectively
- Knowing that God has chosen to use human beings to communicate his message and understand what is necessary for effective communication to take place
- Learning to discern and critique their own worldview and the foundational principles of culture and language acquisition
- Being equipped with the basic elements in a practical culture/language acquisition program – what it will take in terms of time and involvement in the community and an understanding of the basic techniques required for the learning exercises
3. Church Planting Foundations – building blocks of a mature church
- Getting wide exposure to world needs, missions history, Bible translation and current missions activities
- Understanding God’s intended function for the Church, as identified in the New Testament and its role in fulfilling the Great Commission
- Identifying those aspects of the church gathering in their own culture which are specific forms, and be able to evaluate how well they serve function, and envisage how different forms may better serve church function in other contexts.
- Seeing the need for careful church planting as a response to the genuine concern for the lost, and what the practical steps are in genuinely equipping the planted church
4. Contextual Foundations – preparing for a specific ministry context
- Preparing to move into a context adjacent to some of the world’s least-reached people groups
- Benefiting from real relationships with experienced workers and trainers
- Researching the intended area of ministry, including the people group needs, overview of cultures and worldviews, history, religions, languages
- Exposure to people of other cultures and beginning development of a humble and empathetic approach to working with people of other cultures
- Preparation for practical issues related to the intended area of service