Unreached Network

Field Partner International Survey Report

Crossing Cultures for the Gospel: Challenges, Preparation and Support

As a global family of Newfrontiers Churches and in the face of our lost and hurting world, I trust we all agree that Christ is the only real hope for all the nations. And that therefore, in response to God’s saving mission, church planting and taking the gospel to those who are unreached or under-reached has to be right up there in our order of priorities for 2024 and beyond. 

This being so, a new research report by FieldPartner International, Crossing Cultures for the Gospel: Challenges, Preparation and Support is an absolute must-read. Particularly for those churches who are sending their members on mission overseas as cross-cultural workers, for those who are planning or preparing to go and for those who are ‘on the ground’ overseas or returning from the field.

You can access the full report or a summary here: 

The report shares the responses of 137 people involved in cross-cultural overseas mission – whether as those who are either pre-field, on the field, returning from the field or ‘senders.’ 

View the Infographic or Read the Report 

A few highlights from the research:

  • Most of the cross-cultural fieldworkers experience challenges on the field that they did not anticipate
  • Only slightly over one-half of senders feel that they are or have been ‘very effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ in helping their members to manage their challenges
  • Only a small percentage of field workers felt that the pre-field training they had received was adequate and most field workers want additional training now
  • More than one-quarter of post-field respondents ended up leaving the field early because of challenges
  • Having a supportive sending church or organisation as partners in a field-workers mission is instrumental in their ability to adequately prepare for and manage challenges on the field.

There is much more to learn from this important report. One thing is certain: as sending churches we need to ensure that we are fully cognisant of the issues and challenges that our field workers may face or are facing and that we help them to access the relevant pre-field, on-field and post-field training and support that they need to better meet these challenges and to thrive. As senders, we too need to access the learning opportunities that exist so that we have the ability and confidence to support our fieldworkers to the best of our ability. 

And of course, as field-workers we too need to make ongoing learning a priority; to share our challenges as well as our successes and to actively seek the support we need so that we are better able to serve well and to flourish in all that God has called us to.

How can we serve you?

At Unreached Network, we are on a journey to create or commission training resources and opportunities for those interested or involved in cross-cultural mission and to point to other agencies who offer training resources and support. Please contact us at the Unreached Network if you would like advice or guidance around existing cross-cultural training courses and resources. Check out our Training and Events pages for the latest in Cross Cultural Mission training, events and resources.