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World mission news, ideas, and resources
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Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews 04.27.22
  1. Article: Break Out of Your Missions Silos
  2. Book: Re-imagining Short-Term Missions
  3. Video: The Power of Multiplication
  4. Book: Culture Learning, The Art of Understanding What No One Can Teach You
  5. Events: Informative Conferences, Classes, and Webinars
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Article: Break Out of Your Missions Silo

Source: Postings, Catalyst Services

Does the Great Commission belong to your whole church or just a select few members?

Congregations large and small often create silos when they divide up the task of making disciples in the body of Christ. Responsibilities are assigned to various departments, then each stewards their own workers, programing, budget, and facilities.

There is a place for specialization in the Kingdom of God. However, in a departmentalized culture, many spiritual disciplines, including the Great Commission, can be outsourced willingly or unwittingly to one department. Instead, Missions Pastor Doug Gamble explains that churches need a new infusion of vision that uses departmental efforts to develop everyone in all the core disciplines.

Doug explains the journey his church took to “un-silo” and how it is creating a climate in which the Great Commission really is becoming every person’s job. (Note that this goes both ways. The author found himself teaching third-graders for the children’s department.)

Read the article.

Catalyst Services also shared a list of some of their Postings most popular with church leaders. Maybe you would find these useful, too.

Book: Re-Imagining Short-Term Missions

Source: Wipf and Stock

Re-Imagining Short-Term Missions, edited Angel Burns and Forrest Inslee, Wipf and Stock, 2022. 301 pages.

Given the diversity of endeavors under the term short-term missions umbrella, it’s hard to find an easier target in the mission world to critique. But many of us have some horror stories to tell from our own experience or that of those we know.

What about you? Ready to think deeply as you relaunch efforts halted by the pandemic? This hard-hitting but ultimately constructive book may be for you. It includes almost two dozen essays written by 40 global contributors. Chapters are grouped around core values they promote: mutuality and unity, humility and repentance, curiosity and teachability, and creativity and contextualization. It includes lots of stories of mission done well.

Here’s how the publisher describes the book:

“This book is for those who suspect that current practices of short-term missions are in need of serious reform. It is a book for those who recognize that, in this decade of global upheaval—and in light of the cultural, political, and demographic shifts affecting churches everywhere—now is the time for change. The essays here are intended to equip and inspire any who want to advocate for change but may not yet know what change looks like.”

Visit the publisher’s website. The book’s a bit pricey but you can get the Kindle edition for US$9.99 from Amazon.

Need help making your mission trips better? Friends at Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission offer a ten-hour seminar and many other resources you may find useful.

Video: The Power of Multiplication

Source: Global Frontier Missions

What if we simply obeyed the Great Commission to make disciples Jesus gave in Matthew 28? What if missionaries didn’t feel the burden to “reach” an entire people group but were faithful to find one or maybe a small handful of available and teachable disciples that they can equip to go out and make disciples as well?

Watch the video below and read a related article. It’s the latest addition to their GFM 101 series, which also addresses topics like the state of the world, God’s heart for the foreigner, who the unreached are, and the biblical basis for missions. The videos are short enough to easily include in a newsletter, message, or presentation.

Also from GFM: Read The Most Promising Attributes of New Missionaries, with reflections on resilience from a panel of mission veterans.

For a deeper dive on multiplication, see A Theology of Multiplying Disciples: Addressing the Seedless Grape Phenomenon (by Warrick Farrah from Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, via Circumpolar).

Book: Culture Learning, The Art of Understanding What No One Can Teach You

Source: Culture Bound

Culture Learning: The Art of Understanding What No One Can Teach You, by Mark Hedinger. Culture Bound, 2021. 168 pages.

Cultures are hard to pin down and always changing; no one can teach you all you need to know or tell you specifically how you should live and work in an unfamiliar culture. But you can learn how to learn, and that will take you further than any expert. At the core is developing active learning skills and attitudes like being intentional, paying attention, asking good questions, taking notes, and withholding judgement. The author provides examples and builds his case on a number of helpful models and metaphors.

This book is directed toward people, and cross-cultural workers in particular, who are living and working within the context of another culture (or who soon will be). It could also be helpful for those whose ministry is geared toward welcoming migrants. Note that the book has a strong Christian perspective. It uses scripture and focuses on ministry applications.

Since such things seem better caught than taught, reading a book is less helpful than going through a training course, but the book is based on tried-and-true training methods and will whet your appetite for more.

You can get it on Amazon for US$15.99 or $9.99 for the Kindle edition. Learn more or find other resources on the Culture Bound website. Mark Hedinger is the president of this ministry based in Portland, Oregon.

Have you experienced the challenges of culture stress and acquisition for yourself? Here are a few recent articles you may appreciate:

Events: Informative Conferences, Classes, and Webinars

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

May 2-3, People Raising Conference (online). Be equipped for raising personal support.

May 2 to July 31, Encountering the World of Islam (online). New online classes start several times a year; also available in other formats and languages. *Cost reduced from $249 to $99 for this class only.*

May 2 to September 4, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (online). New online classes begin regularly.

May 3-4, The Mobilized Church (Kansas City, MO, USA). Provided by Sixteen:Fifteen in partnership with Avant Ministries. 

May 3-5, CEO Peer2Peer Retreat (Scottsdale, AZ, USA). Event for mission organization CEOs provided by Missio Nexus.

May 5, Stay Connected: On-going Coaching Circles (online). Part of a series of Nugget trainings from Beyond.

May 11, Caring for Missionaries from the Local Church (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus and Sixteen:Fifteen.

May 12, Results of Mobilization Research (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus and the Center for Mission Mobilization.

May 12 to June 9, Foundations of Media to Movements (online). Develop a social media outreach strategy; from Media Missions U.

May 14, The Send (Kansas City, MO, USA). Collaborative stadium gathering activating believers to live a missional lifestyle, reaching real mission fields at home and abroad.

May 16-19, Standards Introductory Workshop (online). Training in the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission; offered regularly.

May 16-20, ABIDE re-entry debriefing (Savannah, GA, USA). Provided by TRAIN International.

May 17, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer For Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI and held the third Tuesday of each month.

May 17-18, Support Raising Bootcamp (St. Paul, MN, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

May 18, Thought Leader Briefing: Woke Driving Conditions: Navigating the New Political Environment (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

May 20-22, Evangelical Views on Women in Ministry & Marriage: Differences in Interpretation, Not Inspiration (Post Falls, ID, USA). From the Women’s Track of Missio Nexus.

May 26, Webinar: An Introduction to the Theology and Practice of Cross-Cultural Risk (online). A webinar from Missio Nexus.

May 30 to June 25, COMPASS (Palmer Lake, CO, USA). Language and culture acquisition provided by Missionary Training International.

May 31 to June 3, EMDC gathering (The Netherlands). An international gathering for practitioners of digital evangelism and media ministry.

View complete calendar. Submissions welcome. Note that the calendar has been moved to a Google doc. Our website is still down.

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About Marti Wade

Monthly Resource Reviews are written/curated by Marti Wade, manager and publisher of Missions Catalyst since 2004 and a member of Pioneers USA. She is also a board member for Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission and Mission ConneXion. Marti lives in Hillsboro, Oregon.

About Missions Catalyst

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Missions Catalyst was founded in 1996. Since 2007 it has been a ministry of Pioneers.
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