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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 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.

 

Safety Plan - Part 2: Psychological Aspects

Safety PlanSome issues I am wondering about just now. How long a perpetrator is required to be disciplined, punished, under observation, or under some kind of special plan? There are psychological aspects of a safety plan in the aftermath of an investigation... 

Safety Plan - Part 1

Child Safety Plan NeededWe’ve talked before about various aspects of child abuse investigations. In this series, I’d like to talk about safety plans. We may talk about several different kinds of safety plans, but to start with... Let’s talk about the legal and psychological aspects of a safety plan. 

Part 4: Psychological Assessment— Legally Acceptable Tests and Knowledge

evaluationsBrent has discussed formal and informal assessments. Informal assessments are probably okay, as long as you don’t ask the “forbidden” questions that would trigger discrimination concerns. I want to dwell a bit more on the formal assessments, and how they might cause concern from a legal standpoint. 

Part 1: Psychological Assessment— Introduction

psych assessmentsI have used psychological assessments for missionary candidates for 34 years. I get questions about what can be done in the interview process, how to do it, what information to ask, and whether it can be done in a nondiscriminatory fashion. 

Response: When You Can Require Counseling for Workers

get help!Brent, this used to be less of a problem, but recent case law suggests that requiring counseling now may be the equivalent of requiring a medical examination. This means there can be implications under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Requiring counseling would then have to be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” 

Question: When Can You Require Counseling for Workers?

get counseling!Often a mission wants a family to come to us for counseling, but the family doesn't want to. While we have had lots of success stories with these people who felt they were dragged to us, I have wondered about the “legality” of this push to get help… 

The Power of Sorry - What Makes a Real Apology

real apologyWhen a situation has gotten to the point where we might consider an organizational apology, we can assume a person has been hurt, relationships have been broken, and there could be legal liability. Let’s think about what an apology would look like... 

The Power of Sorry - Apologies, Legal Liability, Litigation, and the Kingdom of Heaven

apologizingWhy must organizations avoid apologizing? This is a terrific question! I love it because it gets deep into the core question of what law is supposed to do. I believe that a law is one tool to pursue wholeness, completeness, or maturity. This is a philosophy we share, because each of us uses our respective discipline to help clients move in that direction. So—a good legal advisor ... 

Check the Box or Build the Body? Why Legal and Psychological Care are an Important Part of the Mission

member care of missionariesBrent, sometimes your area and mine — human resources and crisis management — are seen as necessary but dull policy stuff that must be taken care of, but are boring and irrelevant to the mission. I disagree — I see healthy psychological and legal services as building up the body of Christ. Member care and crisis management should be embraced as a component of Christian community and the love that marks Christians... 

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