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Developing Leadership for Cross-Cultural Ministry

A missionary leader looks at using the model of Jesus for developing leaders in a cross-cultural setting.

The training is so interesting I love it thank God for the teaching.

A major key to the success of missionary activity lies in developing leaders who will be able to reproduce and multiply the life and character of Jesus regardless of whether it is in church, humanitarian ministries, or even in secular occupations. Indeed new churches that are planted need to be led by local leadership, financed out of the local congregation and able to propagate new churches without any outside assistance. The same is true with any developmental program that assists the poor and needy in other cultures. How this can best be done is to turn to Jesus and examine his method of discovering leadership potential, and then training and empowering future leaders to continue the work of the Kingdom of God.
No one has been more effective or successful than Jesus in all of history. Learning from his model where he is able to impart godly principles into fragile and messy human endeavors is the key to developing a leadership mentality and style that will afffect not just the people a leader trains, but the multitudes those trained leaders will impact for generations to come.

This course invites us to examine those principles and discuss their implementation with each other.

Module Details

Part 1 - Jesus and Missional Leadership

We will examine Jesus as the perfect example of a leader, seeing how he is intentional, purposeful and successful. We'll think about the 'training plan' Jesus led his apostles through, and how it can be applied in different cultures, and how we can train people in the same style and methods as Jesus used.

Part 2 - Identifying Leadership Potential

A lecture format, as Brad shows us the way Jesus identified his disciples and their potential, using examples from the gospels. We'll then consider the way he invested in his twelve disciples, but also in others beyond this core group. There is much we can learn from Jesus' approach to apply to our own context.

Part 3 - The Methodology of Jesus

In this lesson Brad shows us how Jesus begins by focusing on personal, individual relationships, before implementing an apprenticeship method, using real-life situations as training opportunities, empowering them for the ministry of their own. We'll also consider the way Jesus had to 'translate' the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven into the language of the kingdom of the earth. We can also apply these principles to ourselves in cross-cultural mission.


It is important for all church leaders to learn this course.

Part 4 - The Objective of Leadership Training

What was Jesus aiming to produce from his disciples? Looking through the book of Colossians will give us clues. As we develop the relationship and conflict between the two cultures of the kingdoms of heaven and earth further, we'll look at the way Jesus taught his followers to reproduce his own actions. If we are to live out the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven then we need to have Jesus as present in our lives as the disciples had him in theirs! We'll also look at some key qualities for leaders.

Part 5 - A Commitment to Reproduction and Multiplication

As well as reproducing the character and qualities of Jesus in ourselves and our own ministries, it is important to consider how we should grow and expand, examining the way Jesus prepared for this to happen, and considering how we can apply that in our own ministry.

Part 6 - Practical Steps Towards Leadership Development

In the final session, we will look at some key principles that will help you beyond the end of this course to continue growing as a leader, including some recommendations of further reading material for going deeper. We'll also review the lessons we've learned in previous sessions.

Your Instructor - Brad Thurston

A passion, a dream and a vision to see peoples, cities and nations affected by the Gospel of Jesus Christ can become reality as evidenced in the life of missionary Brad Thurston. Born in the US in 1951, Brad was raised the son of missionary parents in Beirut Lebanon. His dramatic personal encounter with Jesus Christ in 1972 birthed in him a passion to “win the world for Jesus”. His pastoral and evangelistic experiences led him to minister in the US, East Africa and Europe, moving to Britain in 1977. In 1990 Brad and his wife Jan founded Globe Mission, a German missionary sending agency. Since then Globe Mission has trained, and served more than 200 missionaries and interns who have ministered in over 45 countries around the world -changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. At the end of 2013, the Thurstons handed off the leadership of the mission agency to a younger generation in order to concentrate on training and mobilizing more workers, particularly in the majority world.

I am so happy with how I am gaining so much from this course!

Curriculum Breakdown

  • Part 1: Jesus and Missional leadership (29:38)
  • Part 2: Identifying leadership potential (13:29)
  • Part 3: The Methodology of Jesus (13:19)
  • Part 4: The objective of leadership training (14:58)
  • Part 5: A Commitment to Reproduction and Multiplication (13:56)
  • Part 6: Practical steps towards leadership development (15:01)

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.

Where will I access the course?

Our online learning takes place on our dedicated training platform, found at courses.fieldpartner.org.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

What if I have a problem with the course?

If you have any issues with accessing the course, or with its content, please get in touch, we'd be happy to help! You can contact us at fieldpartner.org/contact.

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Reviews of FieldPartner

  • Jackie Pullinger, Cross cultural Missionary to Hong Kong

    Jackie Pullinger

    Missionary to Hong Kong since 1966
    Founder of the St Stephen's Society
    Ross & Christine’s training and ministry have always had a biblical base, integrity and practicality. This material meets a need vital for the mission field and use on the ground. It will help to make Jesus known in different cultures.
    George Verwer, Operation Mobiliation - for sharing the gospel

    George Verwer

    Founder and former International Director
    Operation Mobilization
    I have followed Ross since his student days at Cambridge when he also joined OM for a short time. I have seen God using him and his wife in wonderful ways and their commitment to China is outstanding. They have a teaching ministry that has impacted many lives and you will be blessed as you take time to read and listen.
  • Simon Guillebaud

    Founder And International Director
    Great Lakes Outreach
    The Patersons have been a lifelong inspiration to me in laying down their lives for the call to cross-cultural missions. I cannot think of any better training available on the web than FieldPartner, which is the synthesis of their five decades of learning on the ground as authentic practitioners.
    Rachel, Missions student from Taiwan


    From Taiwan
    Before going on a short mission trip to China, I learned a lot at the Barnabas School of Missions, which was built by the Antioch Missions founder Ross Paterson and his wife Christine. The program provides training to challenge us to want to see God glorified among the nations. Ross and Christine’s 48 years of mission experiences taught me how to do it - and how not to do it!
  • "I am a huge fan of cross culture training before hitting the mission field... I would go as far as to say is absolutely the difference between being successful and lasting out long-term on the mission field and burning out within a short period of time and having to head back home"
    Lydia, attended Ross and Christine's Cross cultural training

    Years of mission experience
    in Asia and Middle East

  • Simon Guillebaud, Founder at Great Lakes Outreach for cross cultural missions


    Student of 'Crossing Cultures 101'
    ...a total revelation for me and it helps to explain some of my past struggles in cross-cultural experiences. As I've been exposed to several cultures, I often wonder what's my true identity and have this constant longing for a sense of belonging, while at the same time I appreciate the fact the exposure has made me more adaptable...Thank you!
    Rachel, Missions student from Taiwan


    Student of 'The Antioch Factor' &
    'Crossing Cultures 101'
    That was excellent and very insightful...I need to think on this more, a lot more! So much to take in and think over in this module. This should be part of all church discipleship programmes.
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