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Missions

This category contains 19 posts

Experiencing Joy

Experiences bring more joy than things you own. Family vacations, mission trips, Christian concerts, and, yes, lively discussion in a Bible study over time become more precious than things you own. My wife and I tackled a major downsizing this past month. We conducted an estate sale and jettisoned sofas, a bedroom suit, at least four entire shelves of … Continue reading

Multiply Your Self, Multiply Your Church

A contrast in missionary work was recently brought to my attention. A missionary-sending group we’ll call Agency A in one year trained their 4,000 missionaries who trained another 21,000 workers who went out and began 14,000 churches. In other words, 4,000 got 14,000 churches started. In the same year with roughly the same number of … Continue reading

Orality in the Face of Persecution

Nik Ripken is a 30-year missionary veteran and author of The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience. It was a pleasure hosting Nik and his wife Ruth for a 3-day conference called Servants in the Crucible. Some 55 of us gathered in Springfield, Mo. He often slipped into Bible Storying mode and much of … Continue reading

Plowing, Planting, and Harvesting

A farmer spent years teaching his son how to plow, plant, and harvest. Through years the farmer grew old. By 1947, the man was a grandfather and his son now had a boy of his own. Together, the two men watched the son plow by himself for the first time. By the middle of the … Continue reading

In the Furnace

After interviewing five men from Central Asia in refugee camps, I asked them what would attract them to actually listen to Bible stories on the radio. After suggesting five or six options, I asked, “Would you listen to conversion testimonies from Muslims, even Muslim religious leaders?” Their eyes grew wide. One asked through an interpreter, … Continue reading

Perseverance: A Witness in Blood

In Fahrenheit 451, author Ray Bradbury depicted book-burning as a way to control the masses. The government in that dystopian future wanted to stamp out dissenting voices. In their place, people were given access to “parlor walls,” which were giant flatscreen televisions airing sappy entertainment and sports. Even Bibles were discarded in the trash or … Continue reading

The WIGtake Question

David Garrison, author of Church Planting Movements, introduced me to WIGtake. It was a phrase being kicked around by missions strategists. The WIGtake question is “What’s It Gonna take to reach a people group with the Gospel?” Prayerfully ask the WIGtake question needed to spiritually transform lives and bring spiritual awakening to your community. A strategy is … Continue reading

Helping the Lost Progress toward Faith and Action

An older church planter startled me. “Mark,” he said. “I appreciated that you said new believers typically know more lost people. In all my years of ministry, I never thought about training up a new believer to share their faith. And I wanted you to know I’ll be going out with them to share Jesus with … Continue reading

Millennials and Evangelism-Discipleship Using Storying

When I led a Sunday School class for our church’s college students for four years, I was astounded one Sunday when one long-time Christian and faithful attender blurted out, “Just tell us what to believe.” My Baby Boomer generation grew up doubting the Establishment with its political corruption, humiliated tele-evangelists, rampant inflation, and unethical business … Continue reading

Equipping for Engagement

The pastor across the table from me saw no need for equipping evangelism team members in his church. He was only concerned that they get out among the lost. “We just let our people learn about missions while they’re doing missions. They grow spiritually when they do missionary work. I don’t mind them meeting to … Continue reading

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