Professor’s Corner – Rev. Charles McCordic
Seeing Our World Through God’s Eyes
Charles McCordic, Director of Global Ministries at Heritage:
“I have such a passion for global missions because God does! World missions is not an option; it is the program – He started it, and I want to be part of it! Come and join the Harvest. It’s what you were created to do!”
If you want to hear a good story, sit down beside Charlie McCordic. Rev. Charles W. McCordic, a missionary kid, the oldest of four boys, raised in Chad, Central Africa, who became a missionary to Chad, now serves as the Eastern Canada Director for TEAM and the Director of Global Ministries at Heritage College & Seminary. Charlie is married to Cindy, another missionary kid from Brazil, and they have three sons – Chad (26), Colin (24), and Cameron (22).
Charlie’s life and education have prepared him well to equip others for cross-cultural ministry. He graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Studies from Central Baptist Seminary, Toronto, one of the two founding schools of Heritage, and then completed paramedic training at Humber College, Toronto. In 1986-87, he studied at the University of Paris and served as an assistant pastor of a French church in preparation for his ministry of training pastors in Chad, Africa. He later received his MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School. In 1992, Charlie returned to Chad to co-ordinate a network of vernacular Bible Schools and trained the trainers. Later, he relocated within Chad to the Sudan border area to open up new ministries, while continuing to train field leaders. Because of Cindy’s health, the family returned to Canada in 2001. Charlie’s heart beats for Africa. His energizing passion is to “see the world as God sees it, and getting others out to the most spiritually needy parts of the world”.
What kind of person makes a good cross-cultural worker?
- Self – esteem – You will need a reasonable dose of self esteem – to be able to accept yourself as God created you.
- Humility – you do not have all the answers, and you don’t have to be the top dog.
- Flexibility – able to adapt to other worldviews and value systems.
- Good listener – Interested in people, good social and people skills.
- Good questioner – Curious – about people, ideas, cultures, languages.
- Non-judgmental – able to reserve judgment as you realize that you do not have all the information (and in some case you may never have it!).
- Risk-taker (somewhat!) – willing to go out on a limb, even be embarrassed. It’s going to go beyond your comfort zone.
- High “ambiguity quotient” – able to live with not so “black and white” situations.
- Good “perspectivism” – the ability to see things through other people’s eyes, rather than simply from one’s own perspective.
Tell us about a student experiencing a different culture for the first time.
One of my best memories is of our alumni grad, Jenny Casselman, part of our Global Adventures team in 2006. Jenny had never been out of Canada, nor had she ever even flown in an airplane. I often tease her, because she began to smile on takeoff from Toronto, and never stopped all the way to Turkey. Everyone goes through some kind of culture shock; the process of adapting to a new culture in which one suddenly finds oneself immersed. For Jenny, any of the stress of this process was more than compensated for by the sheer joy of discovery – discovery of another world, and, even more, the discovery that God could actually use her in this strange and fascinating new place. She ended up staying on almost a full month after our two month stay was over, and today has her sights set on long-term cross-cultural service as a missionary nurse.