Cross Cultural Leaders Networks

Every year 5% of all long-term missionaries return home prematurely, and 70% of those are avoidable. The reasons vary—burnout, loss of vision, conflict with co-workers, moral failure—but the result is the same: after years of acculturating and building relationships with nationals, a strategic missionary leader suddenly leaves.

Not only can this attrition devastate the departing missionary and his or her family, but it can be especially hurtful to the national church and its leaders.

In 2007, a team of four veteran missionaries was formed to start a year-long peer learning community for 25 - 30 missionary and NGO leaders in Cambodia. The goal was to adapt CRM’s leadership development and spiritual formation principles to address the specific needs of cross-cultural ministry leaders, to reduce unnecessary attrition among key missionary leaders, and to provide a system of leadership development they could adapt and reproduce within their own organizations and national churches.

The Cross-Cultural Leaders Networks therefore train key leaders from a variety of missionary organizations and sending nations to be effective and sustainable ministers across Southeast Asia. Their ultimate goal is to cut unnecessary attrition so that strategic ministry leaders and their families can thrive long-term on the field and make a significant impact for the Kingdom and God’s church in that nation.

Most of the leaders who have participated in the networks are still on the field and multiplying CRM’s leadership development and spiritual formation principles to their own staff and national workers. From 2012 onward CCLN networks in Cambodia will be self-sustaining, and in 2009 the team began a network in Japan with 21 organizational leaders. The team's primary goal is to run two yearlong networks simultaneously in two different countries, and later in 2012 another new network will begin in a large closed country in Asia. The team hopes to train enough leaders to allow CCLNs to become self-sustaining in each nation in Southeast Asia within three to four years.

Key distinctions of the CCLN process include:

  • Integration of leadership development and spiritual formation
  • Learning through ongoing relational networks and coaching that encourage lifelong learning, accountability, and personal integrity - a process not a program
  • Intentional lifelong developmental framework that gives leaders tools to facilitate their own ongoing growth and that of those they lead
  • Enabling leaders to see how God has worked in their lives and uniquely shaped them so that they can clearly articulate a personal vision and values for life and ministry
  • Reproducibility - giving leaders tools for developing others in their mission organizations and home churches

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