Debbie had spent several years preparing for what God had called her to, teaching in a Christian international school where she could reach nationals and help other third culture kids (TCKs) like herself. However, she was disappointed by what actually happened.
Her principal was very difficult. Although she was new at the school and new to the culture, she had been given most of the problem students as well as a poor schedule. At first she thought it was just her, but she soon found out that other staff found the principal difficult as well. The principal freely gave criticisms but seldom gave compliments. Usually, when there was a disagreement with parents, the principal failed to support the teacher, even when it was obvious that the parents were wrong.
By the end of the first month of teaching Debbie was so discouraged that she began seriously considering giving up and going home, or at least not retuning next year. How could it be that such poor leadership was here where God’s work was so vital? What could be done about it?
Who are the difficult leaders?
A poor leader can be anyone who has authority over missionaries. Here are a few examples.
- Principals who supervise teachers and other staff at mission schools.
- Field directors who direct the activities of missionaries over a whole country.
- In the passport country department heads who make decisions that influence the lives of missionaries around the world.
- National church leaders who have authority over the activities of expatriate missionaries.