Team Leader Manual

Thank you for your willingness to assume the extremely important servant role of Team Leader as you equip the saints for ministry! Your godly, encouraging pastoral guidance is a key to your Team's effectiveness. This information is designed to assist you in building Team unity before leaving for Africa and in scheduling essential tasks. We want to provide the best possible experience. Please first become very familiar with the contents of the Africa Christian Training Institute Travel Manual.

A clear line of authority should be present within each Team so that Ugandans will have clear signals from your Team. While delegation is encouraged, overall Team leadership should not be rotated among Team members, particularly when working with Ugandans. You may have to make very difficult decisions while on the field. Consider obtaining the email address of your pastor and/or another godly counselors in case of need. 

Recruitment of Team Members 

  • Luke 10:2 is the best counsel available for recruiting—namely, pray that the Lord of the Harvest will motivate, fund, and get workers into the Harvest. This is so simple, that we overlook this basic, powerful strategy. When God puts a burden on someone's heart either to go or to send, all we need to do is to assist and facilitate what God wants to accomplish.
  • Your pastor may suggest some people in your church who might be interested in going.
  • To each prospective Team member, give the 1-page ACTI Information overview, the 12-page Training Manual, an application and the Waiver of Liability form for completion. File the Waiver at your church, according to the two or three year statute of limitation in many states. Note any special medical needs on the completed application forms. 

Pre-trip Planning 

  • Try to obtain the Culture Link "Help! We’re Going on a Short-term Trip!" Team Leader’s Manual, by Larry Ragan. While a single manual cannot be culture-specific, it excels in Team-building procedures and Team-direction suggestions.
  • Delegate responsibilities to Team members, such as someone to be baggage captain, and someone to contact Team members for meetings and to coordinate foods for a Team pot-luck. You may also want to assign the leadership of an entire meeting to a Team member, giving an outline of what needs to be accomplished.
  • Especially important is having your Team mobilize their prayer supporters, who will pray for them and the Team each day during the trip. They should provide a prayer guide to such intercessors, perhaps by email.
  • If you do not have access to the Culture Link materials, focus upon at least four meetings of your group prior to departure. The more you function as a Team here, the more your effectiveness there. Here are some ideas for meetings:
1st Meeting

Start at least 6 months in advance of departure

Objectives: (1) getting acquainted (2) initiating prayer (3) initiating study of Uganda (4) initiating study of cross-cultural ministry (5) intercessory prayer

  1. A potluck meal format is excellent, with each contributing something.
  2. Ask each person for an introduction and personal testimony of salvation.
  3. Discuss their goals for going to Uganda, their questions concerning going, and then discuss facts about the country of Uganda, including its location. Ask them to write down their goals, and evaluate them upon their return, in the follow-up debriefing meeting.
  4. You may wish to assign homework to each of the Team members to present to the group some aspect of life in Uganda at your next meeting. Examples are: AIDS/health, culture, History before President Amin and since Amin, religion, geography/climate/economy, the military/rebel, and the orphan situation. Use the Websites given in the travel manual.
  5. Assign each person to read Ministering Cross-Culturally: An incarnational model for personal relationships,: An incarnational model for personal relationships, by Lingenfelter and Mayers (Baker, ISBN: 0-8010-5632-2). Highly engrossing, this book will deal with issues such as time perception, goals, issues of self-worth, and is short. Other excellent books are Sowing the Mustard Seed, by President Yoweri Museveni (Macmillan, ISBN: 0-333-64234-1), and A distant grief, by Kefa Sempangi. See the attached bibliography.
  6. Begin the passport application process, allowing at least three months.
  7. Remind the Team to exercise sufficiently for the increased walking/hiking in Uganda.
  8. Have each person take the cross-cultural assessment in Ministering Cross-Culturally (2nd Ed.). Send in $2.00 @ for the rights to use the test to the publisher.
  9. Have Team members begin praying for the other Team members, for God to empower, and for favor and receptivity of Ugandans to ministry.
2nd Meeting

Objectives: (1) Uganda up-close (2) fund raising procedures (3) distribute essential forms (4) monitor medical preparations (5) intercessory prayer

  1. Focus upon the assignments given at the last meeting, including reports for assignments dealing with aspects of Ugandan culture.
  2. You may wish to present "A Day in Uganda" in pictures, or even in skit form, noting both the joys and the challenges.
  3. You might wish to share your most memorable experiences of a previous trip!
  4. You could present our Ugandan hosts and co-workers in some format.
  5. Discuss the results of the cultural survey.
  6. You could distribute passport applications, available from the Post Office, as well as the Travel Manual, ACTI Information sheets, and Waiver of Liability papers.
  7. You will need to address the fund-raising procedures and deadlines. Complete funding is needed in the ACTI office a month prior to departure in order for our Ugandan office to finalize and, in some cases, make deposits, for ministry at various venues. You might suggest that each person pray for an advocate who will help to raise funds, but prayer is the key.
  8. Monitor the Team getting immunizations, appointments for which should be made so that shots are given at least two weeks before departure. Members will also need to make an appointment to see their doctor to obtain prescription medicines for the trip (see the Manual).
  9. Arrange for the next time and location for meeting.
  10. Take prayer requests for each other for the weeks prior to departure, and then take time for each person to pray for one another before ending the meeting.
  11. Give each person a copy of the travel insurance application brochure, available from Overseas. You will need to obtain short-term trip insurance prior to departure. You may need coverage from more than one company if some team members do not qualify due to age (read "too old"). Currently we use HTH Travel Insurance, and have found that it is cost effective for its provisions. You can also locate medical facilities in many destinations before departure. Older team members may obtain coverage from New York International Group, which we have also used.
  12. Intercessory prayer.
3rd Meeting

Objectives: (1) collect completed forms and papers (2) monitor medical and fund-raising progress (3) discuss intercultural issues raised by Lingenfelter (4) continue intercessory prayer

  1. Check on fund raising progress.
  2. Monitor lesson/sermon/teaching materials development.
  3. Obtain a photocopy of the photo page of each Team member's passport. You should leave one copy of the passport at the church and bring another photocopy of the passport with you to Uganda, in case it is lost/stolen. They are more easily replaced at the American Embassy if the passport number and place of issue are known. The US Embassy website in Kampala is
  4. Discuss the book Ministering Cross-Culturally.
  5. Discuss the authority structure of the Team, and policies that your own Team might want to initiate.
  6. Have each Team member next time bring the phone number of someone who will be the hub contact for news and prayer request distribution to their own network.
  7. Arrange for transportation to the airport and for someone to pick up the Team when returning to the gateway airport. Make sure that each Team member's family knows the times of departure and return.
  8. Discuss the importance of praying for each other, and for Team prayer in Uganda. Obtain a commitment from each Team member to reveal to you if they are experiencing interpersonal problems with other Team members, so that you can intervene.
  9. Pray for each other's areas of need. You might discuss what each would like God to do for him or herself and for the Ugandans on this trip. 
4th Meeting

Objectives: (1) Pack all gear except carry-ons (2) policy development as needed (3) checking for essential papers (4) check on medical preparations (5) check on finances, including insurance

  1. Pack Team gear as a Team-building exercise, as well as for mutual encouragement in this sometimes tedious work. Make sure that you have scales, duct tape, colored ribbon and locks, as well as a designated baggage captain, who will make sure that all bags get from point to point. Be sure that boxes and baggage conforms to your airline's restrictions for checked bags, for carry-ons and for the cost of extra baggage of regular dimensions and of greater weight and/or dimensions, as needed. 
  2. The more you get to know one another prior to departure, the better the Team will adjust on the field.
  3. Discuss how your Team would handle sickness that would necessitate a Team member being sidelined.

    Being sick has been the low-point for some short-termers who have gotten sick from mostly intestinal difficulties. We try to take full preventive medical precautions, but cannot claim to keep people from all illness. Ask Team members to ask their prayer supporters to pray against sickness for all the Team, and to have those supporters pray DAILY for their ministry in Uganda.

  4. Check that each one has a passport holder.
  5. Check that each person has airline tickets.
  6. Has each given a list of daily/weekly prayer requests, according to specific venues, to those who will pray?
  7. Collect completed insurance forms or proof of overseas insurance coverage, waiver forms and information forms.
  8. Intercessory prayer
5th Meeting

Objectives: (1) provide closure to the trip (2) share reflections, experiences and lessons learned on the trip (3) assure that donors have been given a report and thanks (4) plan for church preparations (5) intercession for Uganda

  1. Set a date for a de-briefing Team meeting, with spouses, allowing time for pictures to be developed. This meeting is very important by providing closure. You will have lived very closely and may never be together again as a group.
  2. You might ask for trip high-points and low-points, how the trip changed thinking or perspective, and what God taught them. Check to see if Follow-up Surveys were returned. Your own evaluation will be very welcome.
  3. Pray for Uganda and your vision for what you believe God wants us to do as a result of the Uganda sojourn.
  4. Make sure that all donors have been thanked and a report sent to each.
  5. Encourage each to fulfill any promises made to Ugandans while there.
  6. Plan to make Team presentations, as applicable, to supporting churches.

Team Leader Issues

  • As Team leader, you will have to address inappropriate thinking and behavior as it may arise, both in training and on the field.
    • Selfishness, failure to attend meetings and to prepare assignments, a poor attitude, and failure to submit to leadership here in America will be far more difficult to handle in Africa. Consider all Team members "on probation" before the trip.
    • Unless a Team member is willing to pay the extra cost to change flights and to pay for the extra transportation costs that might be involved, s/he will need to stay until the Team departs, as scheduled.
    • A poor attitude on the field has discouraged other Team members, and works to destroy the Team testimony before Ugandans.
  • Ensure team members prepare their teaching, messages, and conferences before arriving in Uganda, since preparation time is very limited, and even lighting may not be available for such work. Using 8.5" by 11" page protectors for teaching has proven very useful. Ask to see their teaching materials before departure.
  • Advise Team members to be in physical shape for walking longer distances. They may need to hike in hilly areas with their personal gear. You might even organize a Team hike and picnic.

Travel to Uganda

  • Currently, a long layover in London may be possible on British Airways, such that a day-trip can be accomplished. Unless another Team member knows London better than do you, pre-planning your trip is advised, taking into consideration what members want to see within some proximity to Victoria Station. See the Travel Manual for suggestions.
  • Make sure that someone watches your carry-on baggage at all times, unless you check it
  • Using a credit or debit card saves carrying cash and eliminates the need to exchange dollars for those purchases. The London duty-free shops may be less expensive than those in Uganda, so you might comparison-shop en route for perfumes, etc.

On the Field

  • While on the field in Uganda, you are under the authority of the ACTI Uganda Director and representatives. You will find them to have true servant's hearts, but, being Ugandans and expert in their culture, and responsible, their judgment is final. While no one is infallible, trust the judgment of the Ugandan ACTI staff. They are mature Christians, and have assisted many Teams before you. They want you to have the best experience possible.
  • Plan to begin each day with Team prayer and a brief meditation or reading (perhaps 5-10 minutes) by a Team member. However, be careful to allow for private devotional time for each Team member.
  • Encourage Team members to tell you if they have any health needs, even embarrassing ones, so they can be helped. Try to have on hand BOTH laxatives and anti-diuretics. You may wish to combine your first aid kits, keeping in mind that Teams of two and three may be going to other venues on a given day.
  • If you observe your Team becoming weary, consult with the Uganda staff to dedicate a day other than Sunday or a travel day, for rest, meditation and prayer. If your spiritual and physical resources become depleted, you will have little or nothing to offer in ministry. Longer missions (two weeks and more) particularly need this spiritual and physical refreshment.
  • Know where your Team members are and encourage them to be punctual for meetings. Ugandans will vary in punctuality, but the ACTI staff will be far more Western in keeping appointments.
  • If you have questions, we encourage you to ask a Ugandan staff person. 

After Returning Home

  • Please give each Team member a Follow-up Survey form to help us improve this ministry. Please collect them and mail them together, or have them emailed individually to the US Director, to improve this ministry.
  • If as a result of the experience someone would like information about preparing for a career in missions, please ask him or her to contact us.
  • You would help any future Team if you could give a brief evaluation of you experience at each venue, giving the name and location of the church, the pastor, dates of service, and general observations, including possible future projects and ministry needs for that venue. Please email this to the US Director and to the Ugandan Director.
  • Arrange with your Pastor a time for your Team to present to the church what God has done on your journey. Ask God to use you to encourage others to go to the ends of the earth, for the sake of the Name. 

Selected Bibliography: * indicates strong recommendation

  • *Allen, Roland. 1927. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? London: World Dominion Press
  • Anderson, Courtney, The Golden Shore (Adoniram Judson)
  • Andrew, Brother. Battle for Africa
  • Andrew, Brother, God's Smuggler
  • *Aroney-Sine, Christine. Survival of the Fittest:Keeping yourself healthy in travel and service overseas. ISBN: 0-912552-88-3 MARC
  • Brainerd, David, The Life and Diary of David Brainerd
  • *Bonk, Jonathan J., 1991. Mission and Money: Affluence as a Western Missionary Problem. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. American Missiological Society Series #15.
  • Buckingham, Jamie. Into the Glory (jungle aviation)
  • Cheyne, John R. Incarnational Agents: A guide to developmental ministry. MARC
  • Davis, Raymond. The Winds of God. SIM Ethiopia. 1984.
  • *Eaton, Chris. Vacations with a purpose. Team member's manual: a handbook for your short-term missions experience. NavPress. l991.
  • Elliot, Elisabeth. Shadow of the Almighty: the life & testament of Jim Elliot
  • Elliot, Elisabeth. The Savage My Kinsman.
  • Elliot, Elisabeth. Through Gates of Splendor.
  • Elliot, Jim. The Journals of Jim Elliot.
  • *Elmer, Duane. 1993. Cross-cultural Conflict: Building relationships for effective ministry. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
  • Eshleman, Paul. "I just saw Jesus" (Motion pictures in evangelistic work.)
  • Eshleman, Paul. "The touch of Jesus". " " ' "
  • Evangelical Missions Quarterly
  • Estes, Steve. Called to die. The story of linguist Chet Bitterman, slain by terrorists
  • Gehman, Richard. Let My Heart Be Broken. Bob Pierce. World Vision.
  • Goricheva, Tatiana, Talking About God is Dangerous (diary of Russian dissident)
  • *Grigg, Viv. 1990. Companion to the Poor: Christ in the urban slums. Rev. ed. Monrovia, Cal.: MARC. ISBN 0-912552-69.
  • Grubb, Norman, C.T. Studd
  • Guth, Charles.comp. Escape to the Jungle. SIM missionary stories.
  • Harrison, Eugene Myers. Giants of the Missionary Trail.
  • Hefley, James C. God's Tribesman; the Rochunga Pudaite story.
  • Hiebert, Paul. 1983. Cultural Anthropology. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House. ISBN: 0-8010-4273-9
  • Hiebert, Paul G. 1985. Anthropological Insights for Missionaries
  • *Hiebert, Paul. 1994. Anthropological Reflections on Missionary Issues. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.
  • Hilfiker, David. 1994. Not All of Us Are Saints: A doctor's journey with the poor. New York, N.Y.: Hill and Wang.
  • Horne, Shirley. An Hour to the Stone Age. 1973. New Guinea people.
  • *Howard, David M., What Makes a Missionary, ISBN: 0-8024-5204-3
  • Inglehart, Charles. Cross and Crisis in Japan.
  • *Johnstone, Patrick. Operation World: a day-by-day guide to praying for the world. 1993.
  • *Kinoti, George. 1994. Hope for Africa and What the Christian Can Do. Nairobi: Aisred. ISBN: 9966-9922-0-0
  • *Kohls, L. Robert. 1984. Survival Kit for Overseas Living: For Americans Planning to Live Abroad. Second ed. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press. ISBN: 0-933662-59-9
  • Kuhn, Isobel. Green Leaf in Drought-Time (China)
  • Kuhn, Isobel, In the Arena
  • Kyle, John. comp. The Unfinished Task (Perspectives on the unfinished task - David Bryant)
  • Lamb, David. 1987 ed. The Africans. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN: 0-394-75308-9
  • Larkin, William J. and Joel F. Willians, eds. Mission in the New Testament: An evangelical approach. MARC
  • Lindsell, Harold. Missionary Principles and Practice. 1955.
  • *Lingenfelter, Sherwood. Ministering Cross-Culturally 1986.
  • *Miller, Basil, George Muller
  • Miller, Basil, Praying Hyde
  • Miller, Basil. Ten Famous Missionaries.
  • Miller, Basil, William Carey
  • *Museveni, President Yoweri. 1997. Sowing the Mustard Seed, Macmillan, ISBN: 0-333-64234-1
  • Myers, Rryant L. The New Context of World Mission. MARC. ISBN: 1-887983-00-7, $8.95
  • *Nida, Eugene A. Customs and Cultures. 1954. New York: Harper and Row Publishers.
  • *Nevius, John The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches.
  • *Olson, Bruce. Bruchko. (updated version on the book above)
  • *Packer, J.I. 1991. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. Downer's Grove, Il.: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-1339-X. [Short—tremendous!]
  • *Packer, J.I. 1993. Knowing God. 20 anniv. ed. Downer's Grove, Il.: InterVarsity ISBN 083-081-650-X.
  • Piggin, Stuart. 1985.The St. Andrews Seven.
  • Pollock, John Charles. A Foreign Devil in China: the story of Dr. Nelson.
  • Richardson, Donald Charles. Lords of the Earth (Papuan people; Indonesia)
  • Richardson, Donald Charles. Eternity in Their Hearts.
  • Richardson, Don. Peace Child. Indonesia
  • Robinson, Paul. A Vision With Wings. 1992. Aeronautics in miss. work.
  • Roddy, Lee. On Wings of Love. MAF Biog.
  • Sargunam, M. Ezra. Mission Mandate. 1992. India.
  • Scott, Jack. Missions, A Family Affair. A study of Biblical missions.
  • *Schaeffer, Francis A. 1971. True Spirituality. Wheaton, Il.: Tyndale House Pub. ISBN 8423-7351-9. (Schaeffer's works generally)
  • *Sempangi,Kefa. 1979. A Distant Grief. Ventura, Cal.: Regal Books. ISBN: 0-8307-0684-4
  • Siewert, John A. and Edna G. Valdez. Mission Handbook 1998-2000: A guide to US and Canadian Christian ministries overseas. ISBN: 1-887983-02-3, MARC
  • Sider, Ronald J. 1994. Cup of Water, Bread of Life: Inspiring stories about overcoming lopsided Christianity. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publ. House.
  • *Smith, Donald K. 1992. Creating Understanding: A handbook for Christian communication across cultural landscapes. Zondervan, Academic Books.
  • *Storti, Craig. 1990. The Art of Crossing Cultures. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, Inc. (POB 700, Yarmouth, ME 04096).
  • Stott, John R.W., Christian Mission in the Modern World, ISBN 0-87784-485-2
  • Swift, Catherine, Eric Liddell
  • Taylor, Howard, Mrs. John and Betty Stam.
  • *Tucker, Ruth. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: a biographical history of Christian missions.
  • *VanCise, Martha. Successful Mission Teams: A guide for volunteers. MARC
  • Van Engen, Charles and Jude Tiersma, eds. 1994. God So Loves the City: Seeking a theology for urban mission. Monrovia, Cal.: MARC. ISBN 0-912552-86-7.
  • Walker, Clarence. 1992. Biblical Counseling with African-Americans: Taking a ride on the Ethiopian's chariot. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Walker, Deaville, William Carey
  • *Ward, Ted. 1984. Living Overseas: A Book of Preparations. New York, N.Y.: The Free Press. ISBN: 0-02-933940-5
  • Winter, Bruce W. 1994. Seek the Welfare of the City: Christians as benefactors and citizens (First-Century Christians in the Graeco-Roman world, Vol. One). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub. Co. pb
  • *Winter, Ralph D. and Steven C. Hawthorne, eds., Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, Rev. Ed. 1992. Pasadena, Cal.: William Carey Library. ISBN: 0-87808-228-X

Jim Sutherland 8/23/13