What happens at a MAC?

by Allison Hurtado, staff writer
missionary assessment center

So you want to participate in a MAC? Here is what it is: The Missionary Assessment Center is a three-day process to help you. You'll be evaluated by professional assessors. At Converge, we have 15 building blocks we look at in your life to see if you have the right skills and gifts to be a successful cross-cultural missionary. If you sense God calling you to the mission field then taking the time to discover your strengths, unique and giftedness through the MAC would be wise. Staff writer Allison Hurtado stopped by the MAC that wrapped up on July 10. Here's her inside scoop:

The Missionary Assessment Center was in full swing this past week at the Orlando office. Eleven people from Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio and Minnesota participated. Larry Caldwell, director of Strategy and Training, led the participants in a card game. The number one rule was no talking.

As an observer, I watched the groups of three or four at different tables read instructions and rules in silence and, at Larry’s direction, start playing the game. It might be helpful to note: I am not good at card games; Go Fish is my specialty. No matter what the game was, I was impressed with shuffling skills and how quickly the potential missionaries learned the rules. After a few minutes, the games seemed to be going well in silence. Larry called an end to the practice round and reminded everyone of an earlier rule: If you win the game, go up a table; if you lose, go down a table (each table was numbered). I thought this exercise might have to do with missionary strategy.

missionary assessment center

Once people began to win and lose and move between tables, facial expressions changed. Some were still happy, others disgruntled. There was much more sign language going on. I started to wonder if the rules were not the same at each table. It was obvious some tried to go with the flow. Larry kept commenting, refusing to respond to sign language and letting the games continue. At this point I wasn’t sure where this card game was headed.

Once he called it to a stop, he asked the players how they felt. Immediately the hands went up.

“Did everyone have different rules?” someone asked. “I was so confused. I thought an ace was the highest card,” said another. Larry spilled the beans. All four tables had different rules. Some players had figured that out while moving from table to table, and learned to adapt. Others were frustrated players hadn’t read the rules carefully enough. Still others were completely unaware the rules had changed.

How does this relate to missions? When you enter another culture, your rules aren’t the only rules, nor are they always right. What’s a missionary to do? Adapt. Learn. Listen. Pray. And go with the only universal truth: The gospel.

Do you want to sign up for a MAC? Email Susan at susanh@converge.org.

    Point - September 2018

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