When I was growing up I spent a lot of time playing sports – soccer, basketball, and track. We spent about 4 days of practice for each game. Why do we train? What would happen if we showed up to games alone?
Could we win games?
From time to time, maybe.
Would we reach our full potential as individuals and teammates?
Would we represent our school/church/league well?
Would we do the best job that we were capable of?
When we train we learn about ourselves and the game. We learn about the other team. We train our bodies to be able to run and jump throughout the game without injuring ourselves. We practice skills and plays to use during games so that we can be the best we can be and accomplish our mission.
This is why we do Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) before sending our Project Nexus participants onto the mission field for the summer. In PFO we learn about team building, spiritual development, conflict management, cultural awareness, communication, and leadership.
We follow that week up with a week of Group Services training where we focus on the specifics of building an Amor house, work site safety, and how to effectively serve a group.
All of these things are tools they keep in their tool box during the summer to help them be effective in ministry and learn and grow along the way. If we sent them into the mission field without training, the effect would be similar to a sports team not training. They would not have the tools to represent God or their mission well. They wouldn’t know about the culture they are going into, and so would be unprepared to effectively serve. They would have the potential to emotionally or spiritually injure themselves or the people they are serving . And they definitely would not have as much personal growth or accomplish their mission to the fullest.In our experience we have seen how a good PFO contributes to successful Project Nexus team members, the overall team, and the mission of Amor.