The International Missionary Training Network

The heart of cross-cultural ministry is interpersonal relationships. Effective interpersonal relationships! Yet recent research has uncovered that one of the major obstacles to effective team work on the field is the inability of missionaries from the same or different countries to get along with each other.

The learning resources in this section are designed to increase the knowledge, attitudes and skills of cross-cultural workers in how they relate to family, co-workers, fellow missionaries, and peoples in other cultures.

Background: In the late 80s, Dr. Ken Williams of Wycliffe Bible Translators, working with missionary trainers and interpersonal specialists in numerous churches and mission organizations, created a highly interactive course known as “Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills.” He based his design on his experience in Bible translation, counselling, and missionary training. The knowledge, attitudes and skills are solidly based on practical application of God’s Word.

In the last 25 years, thousands of missionaries around the world have values from their participation in this course. Because of the wide availability of this course, we feature it here as a “best practice” training experience that can be easily accessed by your organization.

Methodology: Interpersonal skills are only learned in an interactive setting. Participants work and share together in pairs, small groups and in the whole group. They practice the skills with each other. They best methods of adult learning are utilized so that maximum learning takes places, in whatever culture the workshop is offered.

Partnering Organizations: Presently there are over 40 organizations who have sponsored workshops and who have qualified facilitators who can provide these workshops. Check the website below for a list of these organizations that might have facilitators near you.

Issues Addressed: The issues addressed in a particular workshop may differ somewhat, depending on the needs of the participants. Some topics require two sessions. The length of a typical workshop is four and one-half days.

Here are the topics normally addressed. For a more complete description of these topics, see the website:

  • Biblical Foundations for Interpersonal Relationships
  • Loving Listening
  • Drawing People Out
  • Helping Others Solve Problems
  • Confronting in Biblical Ways
  • Receiving Confrontation Well
  • Helping Others Manage Conflicts
  • Building Trust
  • Living in Community in Ways that Glorify God
  • Managing Loss and Grief
  • Maintaining Margin
  • The Battle for Moral Purity
  • Being an Encourager

Financial Policy: Workshops are provided by International Training Partners and conducted on an expenses-paid basis. No other payments are required. Honoraria are welcome. When workshops are sponsored by other organizations, charges are determined by them.

For More Information: International Training Partners also provides training to qualify missionaries as SYIS facilitators, as well as workshops in interpersonal skills for administrators, and in adult learning principles for missionary trainers.

You may contact:International Training Partners, Inc.

PO Box 64408
Colorado Springs, CO 80962 USA

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


To Attend a Workshop:

  1. Go to and click on “Workshops Provided.”
  2. Look at “Upcoming SYIS Workshops” that are Currently Open to Participants. If one is convenient, click on the name in the “Contact” column.
  3. Send an email to that person requesting information.

Selected Resources:

Em Griffin. Making Friends—and Making them Count. IVPress, 1987.

Wayne Jacobsen and Clay Jacobsen. Authentic Relationships. Baker Books, 2003.

Jon Johnson. Walls or Bridges: How to build relationships that Glorify God. Baker, 1988.

Sherwood G. Lingenfelter and Marvin K. Mayers. Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Baker Books, 1986.

Gerald L. Sittser. Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For. IVPress, 2008.

Tim Stafford. Friendship Across Cultures. MARC Europe/STL Books, 1984.