Trade-language Strategists are easily distinguished from other segments because they do not emphasize ministering in a heart language, nor do they strongly pursue language fluency. Trade-language Strategists tend to live and work in settings with multiple peoples, languages and faiths.
In diverse cultural settings there are many reasons for working in a trade language:
– Expectations: In urban centers, when everyone uses a trade language; suspicions are raised if a cross-cultural worker seeks to speak anything else.
– Ministry Scope: Workers involved in business as mission, teaching, media, etc., all have good reasons to emphasize a trade language.- Neutrality: When working with multiple language groups, focusing on one language could send negative signals to speakers of other languages.
– Efficiency: Time is of the essence. Language learning may not be the best use of a worker’s time, especially for highly complex languages.
– Indirect Contact: Many workers play supervisory or training roles that involve more contact with workers and less with those being reached.
Trade-language Strategists tend to be comfortable using information. They are the group most likely to use pr- and on-field research. They are willing to adapt their approach based on reflective evaluation or in light of new ideas. They are the segment most likely to emphasize using a variety of gospel-communication methods.
Trade-language Strategists tend to have a big-picture approach to ministry with emphasis on reproduceability of methods and ministry. They are the group most likely to emphasize relationships with local leaders and to promote self-governance of emerging fellowships. They support the use of indigenous forms of worship.
Members of this segment tend to be team oriented, encouraging teammates in love and seeing the giftedness of team members used appropriately.
Trade-language strategists are especially well represented among Malay/Southeast Asian, Eurasian and Horn of Africa peoples.
About one in six Vision 5:9 Network workers is a Trade-language Strategist.
Trade-language Strategists are encouraged to consider and discuss the following:
- How does diversity in your ministry environment create or inhibit opportunities for Gospel multiplication?
- One strength of this segment is the ability to identify and incorporate new ideas and information into ministry. What are some ways that you and your team have done that? Are there ways that you could encourage or assist others in that?
- To what degree does your team test or try out new methods or ideas? How does that process work? How do you share what you learn with others?
- Research indicates that heart-language fluency often correlates with fruitful outcomes. What ministry opportunities might come from adding to or enhancing your team’s language skills? What next steps, if any, could be explored?
- Members of this segment are attentive to team roles and giftedness. What additional roles or giftedness are needed in your setting? Where might those be found?
- Local reproduceability of ministry and methods is another interest of Trade-language Strategists. What factors enable transferability and reproduction? What factors suppress it? Whom do you know who might need help or encouragement in this area?