Learning is a humbling experience, it shows you just how much you need to grow. And being a missionary is a job of constantly learning, constantly evaluating what you thought you knew, and looking at things in a new light, or at least a new frame of reference. If you stop learning, you stop being effective.
The whole reason that we learn folk’s language and culture, is so that we can learn to see through their eye-glasses, and see the world as they see it. We start off with the visible material world, and work our way up through social and economic relationships, values, and finally get to the unseen belief system. Learning this makes us more effective teachers, because when you don’t know the people’s world view, how they see the world, there are going to be problems, and you’re probably going to be the last to know about it.
NTM does a good job at training folks in the Bible Schools, and Missionary Training Center for things that they will face on the field. (You can learn more about the Bible schools atwww.ntbi.org ) And they continue training folks, even after they are on the field with orientation and national language learning programs. But it doesn’t stop there, there are workshops for on the field training, and for sharing knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. And there is a good consultant program, from other people who are life-long learners, and walking down the same path just ahead of you.
But, if you are going to be a missionary, it is more than the sum of your training. You need to have a lifelong attitude of a learner. And the best place to learn, is sitting at Jesus’ feet. He has promised us a lifetime of opportunities to grow in our daily walk with Him, to become more like Him. And we can say from personal experience, we’ve have many opportunities on the mission field to continue learning.