At home as it is in the field: applying your calling when you coach champions from a distance

I’m really going to have to encourage World Gospel Mission‘s Todd Eckhardt to write a blog, or at least guest-write on mine. Brother’s got a knack for Transformational Giving, and I love reading everything he writes.

One of the principles Todd utilizes in coaching WGM’s missionaries is that your calling is not something that you turn on and off like a light switch. If you work with kids on the mission field, work with kids when you’re on home missionary assignment. If you oppose gambling while on the mission field, help your champions oppose it when you’re back home. It’s a great approach because it keeps the cause center stage. In addition, you’ll be equipping your champions to imitate you as you imitate Christ in relation to the cause.

Eavesdrop with me as Todd coaches a WGM missionary who serves at a hospital in Africa on how she can coach her champions from the field.

The missionary writes:

I just finished reading Coach Your Champions during my recent vacation and enjoyed the book.

However, I am a bit confused because my support team isn’t “next door” to me, so I am not sure how I could get them involved actually seeing the work when they can’t just jump in the car and come to the hospital in Africa to a birthday party of one of my “grandkids” because I have lots of “kids” as our students and graduates.

It seemed much easier in the book to get the Champions involved and involve others when they were “next door”.  Maybe you can explain how to help get them personally involved except for prayer and financially for many of my champions.  Or are they supposed to personally help nurses in the USA and pray for me in Africa?

Replies Todd:

It is true that your champions cannot pop over for a ‘party’, however this does not prevent them from acting in other ways, both for you and for their home community.

For example:  Every nurse taking one of your exams would love for people to pray for them.  Sometimes my kids will call their grandma the night before a test and ask grandma to pray for them.  You can do the same with your students.  Ask some of your champions if they would be willing to be assigned a student and then they can pray for the student. Perhaps even have the champion and student exchange emails so that when a student faces an exam or a difficult time they can email their “grandma/grandpa” and ask them to pray.  Then a day or two after the exam the champion can email back and see how the exam went.  If a student does not have email perhaps you would be able to facilitate this with your email. The champion could also reach out to a local nurse as you suggested.

Just think if a woman’s group at a local church organized with a hospital or doctor’s office to come once a month during lunch or break time and had 10 minutes of prayer with the nurses?  They could ask the nurses to share needs and pray for them.  Then if they ask why they can tell them about Jesus and about you and how you are nursing in Africa and through you touching their lives as your champions they wanted to touch other nurses lives to ‘pay back’ in the name of Jesus. They could even have your prayer cards with them in case they would want to connect with you and your nursing role in Africa.

Deb Cunningham, a WGM development officer (and a nurse herself by background), added this terrific response as well:

As far as nursing (me being a nurse and a Parish Nurse), I am intrigued with the total care and chaplaincy (spiritual) care that is taught and practiced at the hospital in Africa. I did not know if you had something like that in your area in the States and sharing that with nurses and engaging them this way. It would be a way to teach principles to the nurses here as well as make them aware of your ministry in Africa. I could talk to you more about it.

Todd and Deb, my TG bully pulpit here is open any time you have a word to share. Great job coaching your missionary champions on how to coach their champions!
I just finished reading Coach Your Champions during my recent vacation and enjoyed the book.
However, I am a bit confused because my support team isn’t “next door” to me, so I am not sure how I could get them involved actually seeing the work when they can’t just jump in the car and come to Tenwek to a birthday party of one of my “grandkids” because I have lots of “kids” as our students and graduates.  However I do think my emails help people with email access to “come and see” and hear what they are doing as I send out my picture emails.
It seemed much easier in the book to get the Champions involved and involve others when they were “next door”.  Maybe you can explain how to help get them personally involved except for prayer and financially for many of my champions.  Or are they supposed to personally help nurses in the USA and pray for me in Africa?

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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2 Responses to At home as it is in the field: applying your calling when you coach champions from a distance

  1. Glenn says:

    So where can the rest of us go to find Todd’s stuff? Sounds worth reading

    • EFoley says:

      As of today, the only place to read Todd’s stuff is Todd’s email out box or here on this blog, since he doesn’t yet blog or write for publication. But I’ll let Todd know your appreciation so that he’ll continue to share his good work with us!

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