John Taylor: 5 Problems With Money, Nationals, and Helping That Hurts


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More money, more problems. Wealth, generosity, pay scales, financial practices, and differing standards of living can all be hair-trigger issues in dealing with relationships with nationals while serving on the foreign field. Sometimes when we mean to help, we end up hurting those we’re serving in the long-term. And it’s not just limited to developing countries; anywhere we go in the world, different cultures are likely to have different views of wealth. How do we avoid misunderstandings with nationals? How can we avoid fostering dependency on Western missionaries, or unintentionally fostering an attitude of paternalism? ABWE Vice President of Training John Taylor joins us to discuss five problems with the “wealth of nations,” four solutions that don’t work, and some better strategies that do.

John and his wife Jacky were appointed as missionaries by ABWE Canada in 1991 and served in Odessa, Ukraine for more than 22 years. There, they served on the leadership team of two church plants, served as team leaders, and mentored and assisted many Ukrainian church planters and pastors. John was co-founder of the Church Ministries Institute (Eurasia), and served for many years as its president.

John holds graduate degrees in missions, theology and education. John is passionate about facilitating learning in communities of faith, and joined the ABWE training team in 2016, while Jacky has a passion for the lost throughout the world and for developing relationships with unbelievers.

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