14) What if This TedTalk Could Revolutionize Your Mission Work?

What if cross-cultural training is only half the battle? What if language acquisition, important though it may be, isn’t as strong of a predictor of who survives? What if becoming resilient has less to do with talent, resources, and placement? There is no doubt that biblical knowledge matters. No doubt in the world. But we’ve all known really smart missionaries with lots of Bible training who for some reason, just didn’t survive in the mission field. So what DOES cause someone to follow through? What powers a person to be resilient when all outward signs point to failure? This researcher calls it “grit” and you’ll be fascinated by her research in it.


What if we could figure out how to measure grit? Maybe we don’t know how to train it into someone — but what if we could at least spot it where it exists? It will take you 6 minutes to watch the video. But it might change your organization or church for years to come. (Thanks Jenny!)

3 Responses to 14) What if This TedTalk Could Revolutionize Your Mission Work?
  1. Julia Reply

    Would you only accept mission candidates who were called and gritty? It’s an interesting TED talk but sometimes we don’t understand when people leave the mission field and yet we still have to trust that God is working all things for good for those who love him.

    I certainly think that questions about how someone has persevered are relevant for mission interviews.

  2. Steve Wibberley Reply

    In my 33 years of experience as a mission leader, I have definitely noticed a decline in the endurance level of new recruits–they have, in general, less grit. Biblically endurance comes from facing and embracing difficulties (James 1:2, Romans 5:1-3). The internet provides a convenient way for people to escape difficulties, as they turn away from relationships to ytube, email, pornography, twitter, etc. Grit is not developed. There is a book which would help people develop grit, specifically for the mission field: EQUIPPED! 12 Empowering Truths, available on Amazon.

    • Editor Reply

      Steve, would you help us find a link to that book? When I search Amazon for “equipped: 12 empowering truths,” I get nothing. If you could help, we’d be grateful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.