Presentation at Missions Interlink ConNEXTions 2013 by: Dr Katherine Thompson Mental Health Social Worker BA, BAppSci(Hons), PhD(PsychMed), BTheol, BSW 164a Warrandyte Rd North Ringwood Vic 3134 0402 343 029 [email protected] Katherine Thompson and Brian Massey Our Heritage • William Carey 1761-1834 – Shoemaker, Baptist Minister, founder of the Baptist Missionary Society, Missionary to India, Bible Translator – “Expect Great Things from God” and “Attempt Great Things for God • William Wilberforce 1759-1833 – Member of the House of Commons, Abolitionist, founder of the Church Missionary Society and the Bible Society – “In an age and country fertile in great and good men, he was among the foremost of those who fixed the character of their times; because to high and various talents, to warm benevolence, and to universal candour, he added the abiding eloquence of a Christian life. Eminent as he was in every department of public labour, and a leader in every work of charity, whether to relieve the temporal or the spiritual wants of his fellow-men, his name will ever be specially identified with those exertions which, by the blessing of God, removed from England the guilt of the African slave trade, and prepared the way for the abolition of slavery in every colony of the empire: in the prosecution of these objects he relied, not in vain, on God” Contextual Influences • • • • • • • Colonialisation / Exploration Modernity and the Pursuit of Progress Science and Rational Thought Protestant Reformation Political Unrest Trade Tyranny of Distance Post-Modernity Current Influences • • • • • • • Globalisation Post- Modernism Technology Individualism Progress / Change / Instability Transience of Place / Migration Transport How do these changes affect the way we recruit and care for staff What we do now 1. Assessment 2. Preparation and Training 3. Support on the Field 4. Re-entry To what extent does this process meet the need? 1. The short comings of psychological assessment: – Individual – Organisational 2. How can the interview and assessment process better prepare candidates? 3. What relevance does this information have for a person’s placement and work? Top reasons why missionaries quit • A survey of 453 mission agencies from 14 sending countries over a 3 year period revealed that 29% of staff quit for reasonable reasons, and 71% for preventable reasons. – 1. Many needed a clearer calling from God to go – 2. Many lacked sufficient or proper pre-field training – 3. Many lacked pastoral care » (From : Taylor, W. 1997. “Too Valuable to Lose”) The need for a paradigm shift • Raising the Standard of Missionary Care1 • “Missions is a team effort” consisting of: – – – – – – – – – Confirming the call Pre-field training The rest of the team Moral support Logistics support Prayer support Communication support Financial support Re-entry support » 1. (Pirolo, N: www.ethne.net/wp-content/.../ethne-mc-neal1-raising-the -standard.pdf): • “This total care unit not only needs training in the skills required, but also in teammanship.” • “Each team member needs to know how his part fits into the whole, how to relate with the other members, how vital his role is, and how his lack of responsibility may be hurtful to the goal.” » (Pirolo, N., p.4) Applying Systems Theory • Biological theory that sees all organisms as systems, composed of subsystems, and in turn part of super-systems. • Systems Theory focusses on connections between individuals, their families, other groups and organisations, and the resources the components contain. • Work Team • New Culture/ Worldview Person • • • • • Family Church Supporters Organisation Culture/Worldview Life stressors threaten stability of the system • Life stressors apply energy to this system • Instability in one or more of the systems around the person contribute to the stress of the person Mapping our systems Church Garden -ing Work 2 Neighbours Close Friends Mother Pilates Pets Ian’s work Work 1 Katherine Ian Other Family Jack People in my neighbourhood Jack’s School Other Hobbies Mentors Other Friends Draw -ing What happens when we change cultures? Church Gardening Work 2 Neighbours Close Friends Mother Pilates Pets Ian’s work Work 1 Katherine Ian Other Family Jack People in my neighbourhood Jack’s School Other Hobbies Mentors Other Friends Draw -ing Rebuilding our systems Language Teacher Church Neighbours Close Friends Organisation Mother Work Pets Work Team Katherine Ian Other Family Jack People in my neighbourhood Local Friends Mentors Relaxation? Other Friends Local Church What is our actual task? 1.Assessments: – Does the person have the capacity to adapt and rebuild their social system? – Is there any risk factor that will stop them enduring the stress they will face? – What place will this person have in the organisation? – What does the organisation need to provide for them? 2. Pre-departure Training and Preparation: – As an organisation how can we partner to secure a good support system in Australia? – How do we ensure the person has the right skills for their work? … And the emotional capacity to manage under increased stress? – How will we actively partner with the person to rebuild their support system in their new context? 3. Support on the field: – How can the systems around the person facilitate their work and meet their personal needs? 4. Re-entry: – How can the systems around the person make transition to life in their home country successful? – What help will the person need for processing their experience and integrating it into their life?