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Questions and Questionnaires, Part 6

Opinions about moral questions have shifted tremendously during the past half-century. Theresa discusses the implications of moral issues in employment for your ministry and how you can respond.

Questions and Questionnaires, Part 5

In this post, Dr. Lindquist offers some thoughts on developing the skill of asking good questions and raises the question of how to treat moral issues at an organizational policy level.

Questions and Questionnaires, Part 3

In this post, Dr. Brent Lindquist asks Theresa how to handle the delicate situation where a candidate gives relevant information that you didn’t ask for.

Questions and Questionnaires, Part 2

In Part Two of the thread on Questions and Questionnaires, Theresa Sidebotham gives an overview of whether certain types of questions in employment pre-screening for missions are likely to implicate legal issues.

Questions and Questionnaires, Part 1

What are acceptable questions for pre-screening questionnaires? In this post, Dr. Brent Lindquist raises this and other issues for Theresa to answer. 

Part 6: Risk and Vulnerability

You raise several questions. The only one I’m going to get to today relates to how to prepare missionaries to go overseas—what kind of vision statement or consent to danger and difficulty would we recommend? Perhaps the most practical approach would be to have a waiver more like the legal documents that we’re familiar with, but have a paragraph in the waiver refer to the missionary’s own vision statement and acceptance of risk as part of that vision statement. Then each missionary could explain what he or she hopes to accomplish, why he or she is called, and why (or whether) such a calling is worth encountering disease, violence, or other disasters.

Part 5: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Theresa. Thanks for this post, and thanks for reminder and link to the article. That was one of the earlier things we discussed, and it is nice to revisit it because it is so useful here.

I really like the idea of the missionary writing the consent in their own language, or at least having the missionary’s position incorporated into the documents.

Part 6: Legal Problems with Pre-Employment Evaluations

There has been a lot of back and forth about how the mission must take care during prefield screening not to run afoul of the ADA. I agree. Under the ADA, before you can give an applicant a “medical examination,” which includes most psychological screenings, you have to first consider all the non-medical information and hand out a conditional offer.

Part 4: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Brent,

The very nature of missions is that we have to be willing to take up our cross and die for Christ. Most of the great missions biographies show us people living very difficult lives and even being martyred. Our brothers and sister in many countries are being martyred right now.

Part 3: Risk and Vulnerability

Well done, Theresa! I thought you tried to cover a lot of things there, some of which we have talked about in other blogs in the past. But you got me thinking about a particular issue that revolves around the theology or missiology of suffering. I have suggested to a number of mission agencies that they intentionally have missionaries take into account the reality of the hardship of cross-cultural ministry, and the fact that there may be very bad outcomes at certain times and in certain places.

Part 2: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Brent. It’s no surprise to me that New Zealand, being fairly socialized, would pass such an Act. One small consolation may be that the Act likely cannot be enforced against those who are not New Zealand employers. For one thing, it would be hard to get jurisdiction over them. And even in New Zealand, it will take awhile to develop a body of case law around the legislation.

Part 1: Risk and Vulnerability

Hi Theresa! A recent issue of the online newsletter Missions Interlink from New Zealand has an article about the 2016 “Health and Safety at Work Act” and its application for missions.

Part 7: Psychological Assessment— Legal Diagnosis as well as Psychological Diagnosis

Brent, you point out correctly that not all problems with people getting along require some kind of psychological diagnosis. Some just relate to spiritual or emotional maturity, and may need pastoral counseling, coaching, or even just plain employment discipline. Some problems with people getting along trigger legal issues, and some do not.


Part 8: After Screening

The discussion continues on interpersonal relationships, proactivity, and appropriate response... 

Part 7: The Lawyer Responds

MeetingKeith mentioned three basic actions that the mission can take. Let me expand on those a little. The mission can indeed ... 

Part 6: The Psychologist Responds

MeetingKeith, your first hypothetical about the teacher with problems raises excellent questions. Here are some thoughts about approaches, both before and after accepting a person. 

Part 5: Tough Questions from a Colleague

Dinner time on the fieldHaving read the first parts of this blog, I think I have understood that a mission has some options for moving forward. Are these the three options? Let me propose a hypothetical case:

Part 4: Talking about Accommodation


Hi Brent, You ask about how to have the interactive discussion regarding accommodation. In the case of your candidate, she has already volunteered that she struggles with depression, so the next logical step is...

Part 3: Do We Need an Accommodation Review?

on the fieldThis was very helpful, Theresa. I am beginning to get a handle on accommodation processes. I do have a continuing question (of course!), and it has to do with asking about issues needing accommodation....

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