Three weeks ago, with great joy and hopeful expectation, we officially announced and launched registration for the first ever Kindred Conference!
As you all have confirmed your interest and claimed your place at this opportunity to learn together, we have continued to thoughtfully pray over, prepare for, and dream about our time with one another.
It fills us with gratitude to realize that our vision for this conference that we have tried to intentionally nurture and navigate for the past several months on the future of short-term missions is resonating with you in felt importance and urgency.
It is our sincere hope that the impact of Kindred Conference will extend far beyond July 17th and that you would come away with more than just new information.
Though we do hope that you come away feeling as though you have been introduced to new material, we also want this conference to be deeply enriching, intentionally encouraging and directly practical to your efforts in engaging across cultures by way of, or in coordination with, short-term practices.
Out of the desire for our time together on July 17th to be as rich and robust as possible, we have decided to put together lists of resources to help us collectively engage our thoughts, open our minds, and align our hearts in preparation for coming together.
This week, we wanted to start by sharing resources that have been produced by people and ministries that are directly integrated in Kindred Conference 2021. Below you will find articles written by two of our conference speakers, our executive director, one of our coaches, and one of our conference partners.
If you have not yet confirmed your tickets to join us on July 17th, we hope these resources will give you insight into the depth of knowledge, experience, and the collectively held conviction of those leading to pursue better, more healthy, whole, and holy ways forward in our short-term exchanges abroad -- and, we hope you’ll decide to join in and continue this conversation with us.
From our Speakers:
Dan Bouchelle: President, Mission Resource Network
Rebooting Short-Term Mission Trips -- In this article, Dan Bouchelle addresses the opportunity that the pandemic lockdown has provided in regard to creating space and time for us to re-imagine short-term missions (STMs). Here, he outlines four categories of valid types of trips to make cross-culturally and provides guidelines to evaluate the ethics and effectiveness of your engagement.
The Danger of Making Yourself the Hero of God’s Story -- This post discusses the importance of addressing our desire to center ourselves as the heroes and focus of the work and ministry that we are participating in, and how critical it is to relinquish our own messiah complexes to truly be able to glorify God.
What in the World is God Doing? -- This article unpacks the foundational nature of prayer and the nature our communication with God holds as being mission work itself.
Rachel Pieh Jones: Speaker & author of Pillars, Stronger than Death, Finding Home, Djiboutilicious, The Expat Cookbook, and Welcome to Djibouti.
When Rich Westerners Don’t Know They are Being Rich Westerners -- In this post, Rachel provides explanations of various ways that we, as rich westerners, often portray and perpetuate a narrative of superiority that is dependent on making those we are engaging with out to be weak and in need of our rescuing. This is the first of a three blog sequence on evaluating the ethics of our cross-cultural exchanges.
Good Intention, Good Practice -- Following “When Rich Westerners Don’t Know They are Being Rich Westerners,” this post unpacks the ways that our practices can become misaligned from our intentions and the importance of be willing to re-evaluate, apologize, and re-align often.
Earning the Right to Help Without Hurting -- The third post in Rachel’s 3- blog sequence on engaging more ethically addresses the importance of building relationships and creating trust, of acquiring cultural competency and being willing to learn and confront our assumptions-- especially when we steward the stories of the people and places we are engaging with.
Beyond Culture Shock: Culture Pain, Culture Stripping -- This piece, though maybe most applicable to those who have lived cross-culturally for substantial amounts of time, explains the continual progression of moving from being shocked by the reality of your new context, to being pained by it, to then beginning to be able to give layers of your former culture and context to be able to more fully embrace your new one. This process is important in continued short-term exchanges, too.
13 Things I Want American Christians to Know about the Stuff You Give Poor Kids --Here, Rachel examines the dynamics of gift-giving cross culturally and illustrates the importance of being willing to critically question and examine the complexities of the impact of our well-intentioned giving that can sometimes carry a greater burden than blessing.
From our Team Members:
Dr. Lauren Pinkston: Founder, Executive Director, Kindred Coach
Go Ahead, Invite Yourself Over -- In this post, Lauren uses the story of Zacchaeus to illustrate the importance of not just being hospitable within the environments that we control and are comfortable with, but to be willing to let others practice hospitality towards us -- even if it means getting a little uncomfortable and surrendering control.
We Have Never Had the Power -- This post is about the importance of realizing that when it comes to saving the world, God is the only one who is capable. However, in giving up the need to be the one doing the saving, we are given the opportunity to savor the world instead.
The Disempowerment of Charity -- Here Lauren provides a critical look into the ways that charitable giving can produce undesirable, unsustainable, and ineffective results while also holding to her knowledge that charitable aid and opportunities for charitable giving can also be right and good and justified.
How Ethnocentrism is Lost in the Wanderer’s Heart -- This post is on the battle of ethnocentrism and how the more expansive our world experience becomes-- the more we humbly commune with people in contexts that are different from our own-- the less capable we become in being able to assert that our own singular experience of life is the one right way.
Rob Touchstone: Kindred Coach
Business as Mission -- In this post, Rob shares 15 key foundational components to using business as mission that he teaches to his students at Lipscomb University.
From our Partners:
Lipscomb Missions: Lipscomb University
Not a Trip Not a Trip is a podcast that is produced by the Lipscomb Missions team that discusses all of the various forms and functions of mission in our lives, contexts, and interests. On one episode of this series, you can listen to our team members Dr. Lauren Pinkston and Rob Touchstone discuss using business as a vehicle for living a life on mission.
Also… do not forget about our blog! Over the last several months we have had a host of writers cover a variety of topics and would love for you to check them out!
Join us on July 17th for the first ever Kindred Conference. Save your seat and register today! Get 10% off any ticket using the code: KINDREDBLOG.