EVENT: Student Mission Conference Approaching


Source: CROSS Conference

There’s nothing like the CROSS Conference. It’s a four-day mission gathering that challenges college-aged young people to boldly advance the gospel among the least-reached people. The event will take place at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, December 27-30. Speakers include John Piper, Matt Chandler, David Platt, and others; representatives from many mission organizations will be there as well. Sign up now if you plan to attend, as rates will go up as the event comes closer.

» Learn more or register to attend. You might also have a use for video content from previous conferences held in 2013 and 2015.

» Find yourself in a different phase of life? Check out A Mom Embraces God’s Mission and other resources from Weave family ministry.

BOOKS: Insights from Scripture on Crossing Cultures

crossing-cultures-in-scriptureInterVarsity Press has just released two new books that dig into scripture for insights on cross-cultural ministry. I enjoyed both and hope many of you, too, can put them to use.

In Crossing Cultures in Scripture: Biblical Principles for Mission Practice, Marv Newell of Missio Nexus explores many of the cross-cultural encounters described in scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and what we can learn from each one to apply to a variety of cross-cultural situations today. This helpful book fills a gap in our biblical theology of culture and missions and includes many thoughtful practical applications. It would make a great resource for a teaching or preaching series; check out the table of contents to see the scope.

» Learn more or purchase for US$13.97 from Amazon (or elsewhere). The Kindle edition is US$9.99.

honor-shame-book-coverMinistering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials explores issues you may have learned about in co-author Jayson Georges’ previous book The 3D Gospel or his website HonorShame.com, or perhaps the writings of Kenneth Bailey, Rolland Muller, or Werner Mischke. This well-researched volume is more complete. It invites readers to see the Bible through the lens of honor and shame and illustrates principles through the authors’ experience in Central Asia, Latin America, and beyond. Published by IVP’s academic branch, it may be most helpful in the classroom or the hands of global workers.

» Learn more or purchase for $16.95 from Amazon (or elsewhere). The Kindle edition is US$9.99. Download a great chapter with eight guidelines for relationships in honor-shame cultures for free, or sign up for the November 3 Missio Nexus webinar on honor and shame (see below).

BOOK: Mission in Motion

Source: William Carey Library

mission-in-motionMission in Motion: Speaking Frankly of Mobilization, by Jay Matenga and Malcolm Gold. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2016. 298 pages.

This study, nearly a decade in the making, explores what motivates and mobilizes Christians, globally, to the task of world mission. In it nine researchers draw on interviews with mission mobilizers, mission leaders, church leaders, and church mission advocates in eight world regions.

Mission in Motion builds on the work of respected South African missiologist David Bosch whose (rather dense) work Transforming Mission explored historical paradigms of world mission, concluding that mission thinking was in a state of transition. Matenga and Gold’s findings, 25 years later, support this. The church and mission leaders interviewed lack a common understanding of what is and isn’t “missions.” While inclusiveness and focus each have their advantages, this data helps explain a question mission mobilizers grapple with: What is it we are calling Christians to, anyway?

Mission in Motion also describes the history of mission mobilization and some of the typical approaches before focusing in on what might be most useful section, an analysis of the factors that help and hinder Christians pursuing global mission roles.

World mission “accelerants,” they find, include the example, encouragement, and support of family members (following in the footsteps or catching the vision of a relative), as well as relationships with missionaries and church leaders. Books, conferences, and courses may help. But according to the data, those things did not seem to initiate a missions interest. They were accelerants, not the spark. The spark was something much more transcendent.

World mission “retardants,” the research finds, include funding and fundraising challenges (especially for non-Westerners), burdensome structures and requirements, gender disparities, and cultural trends toward secularism, individualism, and materialism.

» Learn more or purchase the book at the special price of US$15.95 from William Carey Library, for a limited time. Preview it through Facebook. We’ll try to let you know when it’s on Amazon and/or available as an ebook, or if findings are published in articles you could more easily share and discuss with others.

ARTICLE: Will Second Language Acquisition Die? Should It?

Source: Brigada Today

Is it just my imagination, or are more and more missionaries assuming they will “train nationals because they understand better the language and culture?” Maybe it’s due to economic realities. Churches and foundations want to stretch every dollar so that it can be as efficient as possible. Or maybe it’s pragmatic: Recent shifts in strategy involve training nationals to multiply ministry anyway. So why bother with language acquisition, especially when national partners already speak English anyway?

» Give some thought to the role of language learning, then join the conversation at Brigada Today.

EVENTS: Upcoming Conference, Courses, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

Note: As ministries post information about their 2017 events, we will be adding those to the list and preparing a special 2017 calendar edition of Missions Catalyst to send out December 28. Got something you’d like to see included, even if your website hasn’t been updated to include it yet? Please let me know. Thanks!

November 2016

November 2-4, Your FOCUS on the World Coach Training (Lenexa, KS, USA). Church mission coaching training from Catalyst Services.

November 3, 10 New Ideas to Transform Your Mobile Ministry in 2017 (online). Mobile Ministry Forum webinar; free.

November 3, Ethics & Discipleship in Honor-Shame Cultures (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

November 3-5, Oasis National Conference (Houston, TX, USA). Crescent Project annual event about reaching out to Muslims in North America.

November 3-5, Canadian Network of Ministry to Muslims Annual Conference (Richmond Hill, ON, Canada). Creating a welcoming community.

November 4-5, Crisis Management Workshop (Minneapolis, MN, USA). Provided by Crisis Consulting International.

November 6-12, Recalibrate! (Aurora, IN, USA). Five days of group and personal missionary debriefing, programs for children of all ages.

November 6 or 13, International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (global).

November 7 to March 19, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program. New classes start nearly once a month.

November 8, Do Agencies Hurt Churches When They Do Missions “For” Them instead of “With” Them? (online). Discussion from The Mission Table.

November 10-12, Global Missions Health Conference (Louisville, KY, USA). An annual event.

November 17-20, International Conference on Missions (Lexington, KY, USA). Conference of the Christian Church/Churches of Christ.

November 18-19, The Journey Deepens (Renton, WA, USA). Retreat for prospective missionaries.

November 19, UPG Tech Conference (Harbor City, CA, USA). One-day TED-Talk style event on using technology in ministry to the unreached, from CyberMissions.

November 23-26, GO Equipped Tentmaking Course (Hattingen, Germany). Provided by Global Opportunities.

December 2016

December 5-6, Support Raising Bootcamp (Orlando, FL, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

December 6-8, Finishing the Task Conference (Lake Forest, CA, USA).

December 27-30, Cross Conference (Indianapolis, IN, USA). Conference calling students to the unreached.

December 27-31, Chinese Missions Convention (Baltimore, MD, USA).

» View the calendar. For additional information about a specific event, please contact the organizers.

» See also the UK-based mission information service OSCAR, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Christian Community Calendar, events with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, and an international calendar of network meetings at Linking Global Voices.

EUROPE: Nine Obstacles to Faith in the Former Communist Countries


Source: Pioneers in Europe, October 2016

Many [missionaries] serve in nations that are currently communist or have been communist within recent history. Current communist nations include China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea. Previous communist nations in Europe include Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.

What happens to a people group that has endured communism? What barriers does communism create for gospel receptivity? The list below was compiled with input from Pioneers [members] located around the globe, serving in nations that are currently or formerly communist.

  1. Communism creates a culture of secrecy.
  2. Under communism Christians often become desensitized to compromise.
  3. Communism [celebrates] the material world, science, and intellect.
  4. People who live or have lived under communism find the concept of grace very hard to digest.
  5. On the opposite side of the same coin, communism produces people who work to earn favor.
  6. In communist cultures leaders are not kind or trustworthy.
  7. Under communism the collective good of the people is considered far more worthwhile than the independence of individuals.
  8. People under communism are very afraid of the repercussions they will face if they believe.
  9. Missionaries often find life in communist or post-communist cultures very difficult and oppressive.

Pray for people groups around the globe who currently suffer under communism or have been raised under communism and have not yet shed its oppression. Pray that the God of grace would move hearts to believe and follow him, that his grace would be found sufficient for them (2 Corinthians 12:9), and that he would be exalted among the nations and in all the earth (Psalm 46:10).

» Read full story and see How Did the Church Survive? (Pioneers USA).

WORLD: Refugee Hoax Exposed

Source: INcontext Ministries, October 4, 2016

In September 2015, reports were published on social media stating that a furniture shipment that was supposed to go to refugee camps in Europe was actually filled with 52 tons of guns and ammunition. This was supposedly discovered by the Greek Border Securities.

Social media users pointed to a global conspiracy, which was supposedly the reason why the media never reported the incident. A question was posed about how long they will “continue with this charade,” and the claim was made that it would be until “they are being killed by these Arab hooligans.”

This email [like a version which resurfaced in September 2016] is false and constitutes an intentional effort to create suspicion and fear about refugees in Europe. Please forward [a link to this story] to anyone who sent you this email.

The accompanying pictures published were actually of Greek authorities seizing a freighter carrying an undeclared shipment of weapons en route from Turkey to Libya.

» Full story includes links to more information and the text of the email being circulated.

» You might also be able to use A Biblical View of the Refugee Crisis, a short video featuring IMB president David Platt.

GERMANY: Refugees Foil Terror Plot

Source: Missions Network News, October 16, 2016

Last week, three Syrian refugees in Germany helped capture a fellow refugee who was allegedly planning to bomb a Berlin airport. Investigators say the would-be bomber, Jaber al-Bakr, was likely an ISIS allegiant. His captors are being hailed as heroes.

Al-Bakr had been on the run for two days. Security forces raided his apartment and circulated the suspect’s photo on social media. According to USA Today, al-Bakr approached three fellow Syrian refugees at a train station and asked if he could stay at their apartment. One of the refugees, identified by German media as Mohamed A, said they took in al-Bakr because they recognized him and knew they had to turn him in. Mohamed A told German press, “I was so angry at him. I won’t accept such a thing—especially here in Germany, the country that opened its door to us.”

The three friends trussed up al-Bakr on their couch, refused his monetary bribes, and turned him over to the police. German authorities have issued public gratitude to the three men for taking a stand against terrorism. The suspect committed suicide in jail later in the week. Although Syrian refugees in Germany have left the war in Syria behind, the trauma still follows them.

» Read full story.

» Also read Life for Some Christians in German Refugee Shelters “Still Unbearable” (World Watch Monitor) and watch a video report about how a church in Macedonia is responding to the refugees passing through their country (SEND International).