Preparing Missionaries for Intercultural Communication: A Bicultural Approach

These quotes come from another good book Preparing Missionaries for Intercultural Communication: A Bicultural Approach by Lyman Reed.

“Since missionaries represent and serve the King of Kings, they deserve the best preparation possible for His service.”

“It is very easy for Western missionaries to adopt an attitude that communicates the feeling that the way we do things here at home is the right and proper way to do so, whatever it maybe.”

“The single most important area of your life and ministry will be in the realm of attitudes.”

“Is what I am doing, thinking, or saying building trust or is it undermining trust?”

“It is not difficult for others to discern whether or not the missionaries accept them as persons. Their attitudes and actions soon give them away.”

“They are not inferior or less valid — just different!”

“Thinking positively about language learning is a crucial aspect of the learner’s approach.”

“You can successfully learn another language. Successful language learners — both children and adults — begin with an underlying knowledge that a language is learned rather than taught. And they know how to take advantage of the abundant resources available to them. These resources are the people who speak the language.”

“It is motivation that determines ultimate proficiency in a second language.”

“Language learning is a social activity and it must be learned through relationships with people.”

“One has to make mistakes in order to learn from his mistakes”

“The problem is not one of ignorance but of cultural isolation.”

“..failure to learn foreign languages results primarily from false attitudes towards culture.”

“Fear caused by anticipation of the new cultural experiences can be a cause of culture shock. There is a sense in which fear breeds fear. Larson and Smalley comment on this reaction: ‘Culture shock is sometimes aggravated by anxiety resulting from the very knowledge that aliens over seas are likely to suffer from it. It can produce its own vicious cycle.’ There is no need for such fear if one is prepared to expect culture shock and how to cope with it; nevertheless some people seem to prefer anxiety to careful preparation for the task ahead.”

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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