Resource Reviews


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In This Issue: Road-trip reading, Ramadan, and more

Dear Readers,

In a few weeks my husband and I plan to drive some 3,000 miles across the country to take up residence in Columbia, South Carolina. If Missions Catalyst slows down a bit during the transition, you’ll understand why! With such a long car trip ahead of me, I’m looking for podcasts and audio books to inspire and edify me along the way. Recommendations? Let me know!

History suggests that many Missions Catalyst readers will also be traveling in the next few months. Want a good read for the plane, train, car, or beach? The first item in this edition highlights some of our recent reviews and other finds and might give you some ideas.


BOOKS: Summer Reading Suggestions

Sources: Various

Got kids? Check out the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series, by Janet and Geoff Benge, to interest them in world missions. A growing number of these are now available as audio books. The Not-for-parents Travel Book: Cool Stuff to Know about Every Country in the World could also be a good choice for a long car ride. If you (or maybe your favorite cross-cultural worker) is taking little ones overseas, get a copy of Jim Jobe’s Hudson on a Mission.

Need encouragement? Where There Is Now a Church, by James Nelson, is one of several recent books describing the Christ-ward movements taking place in the Muslim world, though this little gem might get lost in the shadow of more widely promoted books like A Wind in the House of Islam and Miraculous Movements (which we also recommended). Find reviews of all three in our archives.

How about a mission biography? We recently wrote about Unbelievable, by Graham Bee. Elisabeth Elliot’s books are sure to be on many people’s re-read lists this year. And I just finished (and would recommend) Kay Bruner’s moving story, As Soon as I Fell.

The team I serve with at Pioneers likes to read and discuss books we think might be good picks for church mission leaders. We really liked Mission Smart: 15 Critical Questions to Ask Before Launching Overseas, by David L. Frazier and Finish the Mission, by David Mathis, John Piper, and others. David Horner’s When Missions Shapes the Mission: You and Your Church Can Change the World is no beach read, but it gave us plenty of food for thought and might do the same for you, as did Gospel Meditations for Missions.

» Share your suggestions with other readers on our website.

ARTICLE: Ramadan, an Opportunity

Source: SBC International Mission Board

With more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, you are likely to be around Muslims at work, at school, or in your community. Your attitude toward them could be a determining factor in their openness to the gospel. Will you take the opportunity of Ramadan to reach out to your Muslim neighbors?

Ten Practical Ways to Reach Out

  1. Prepare a bag of dates and nuts to pass out to Muslim neighbors right before sunset and introduce yourself.
  2. Visit a mosque in your city with a friend.
  3. Fast and pray each Friday throughout the month of Ramadan.
  4. Ask a Muslim neighbor or friend about Ramadan.
  5. Invite some international Muslim students from a local college or university to your house to break the fast one night.
  6. The “Night of Power” falls on July 13. Plan to stay awake through the night with other believers praying for Muslims.
  7. Prayerwalk a neighborhood that has a significant Muslim population.
  8. Go to an evening meal at a Muslim family’s house.
  9. Visit and eat at a Muslim-owned restaurant that is offering the evening meal.
  10. Make plans to connect with Muslims you have met after Ramadan.

» Read and/or share the rest of this article, an excerpt from RAMADAN: An Opportunity. Download the complete prayer guide to gain an understanding of what Muslims believe and learn how to effectively pray and share the gospel with them.

» See also the widely distributed 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.

SURVEY: Effective Mobilization

Source: Launch Survey

Long-time mission mobilizer John McVay and a few others are exploring what it would take to effectively launch more people into long-term global service. They need our help!

If you are currently serving in an international, long-term mission capacity (or have done so in the past), would you be willing to participate in a survey about your journey to the field?

  • Questions are multiple choice or require brief answers.
  • The survey should take about 10 minutes.
  • The survey uses a secure website and avoids terminology that could endanger those serving in sensitive locations.
  • Participants can fill it out anonymously or provide an email address to get the survey results.

If you serve on a team or through a sending agency, could you invite your colleagues to take it too? Even if you aren’t serving overseas, please consider forwarding this email or sharing the link with others you know. Please contact if you have questions or comments.

Your participation could help raise up a new generation of global servants!

» To get started, just go to

TRAINING: Zwemer Center

Source: Columbia International University

Have you heard about the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies? Since 1979 they’ve been equipping Christians to reach out to Muslims.

Now they’re also making many resources available online. The new virtual Zwemer Center is live at Designed to train Christians to understand Islam and build relationships with Muslims for the purpose of an effective witness in the model of Samuel Zwemer, the site offers an online Masters Degree in Muslim Studies, non-degree certificate-level courses, and church training modules. It also includes articles and podcasts by prominent scholars and missiologists as well as practical training guides.

The Zwemer Center is a part of the College of Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University, which for 90 years has been educating students from a biblical worldview to reach the nations for Jesus Christ.

» Learn more. Editor’s note: As I’m pursuing a CIU degree myself (part of the upcoming move to South Carolina), I’ve taken several Zwemer classes in the last few years and found them very helpful.

EVENTS: Conferences, Training Events, and More

June 24 to July 4, Breathe Conference (Wilderswil, Switzerland). Ten-day retreat for renewal and encouragement for cross-cultural workers.

June 25-27, National African-American Missions Conference (Vienna, VA, USA).

June 30, Four Things Every Team Leader Should Do After a Short-term Mission Trip (webinar). Provided by DELTA Ministries.

July 5-15, Refresh! (Thailand). Retreat for cross-cultural workers, provided by Heartstream Resources.

July 6-9, Global Consultation on Music and Missions (Chiang Mai, Thailand).

July 6 to November 8 Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

July 7, Do Missionaries Destroy Culture? (online). Free, interactive webinar from The Mission Table.

July 12-17, ABIDE (Joplin, MO, USA). Re-entry and debriefing for singles, couples, and families. Provided by TRAIN International.

July 14-17, Thrive Retreat (Breckenridge, CO, USA). For North American women serving cross-culturally.

July 15, Making Disciples Across Cultures: Tools for Evaluating and Recalibrating Methods (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus

July 16-17, Disciple Making Movements Experience (Nashville, TN, USA). Hosted by Long Hollow Baptist Church.

July 18-25, New Wilmington Mission Conference (Western Pennsylvania, USA). Annual, week-long multi-generational mission conference; a tradition for more than 100 years.

July 19-25, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (Grapevine, TX, USA). One-week intensive.

July 19 to August 7, Manarah (Detroit, MI, USA). Muslim evangelism training provided by Christar. Also offered elsewhere in Spanish.

July 22-23, Support-raising Bootcamp (Rogers, AR, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

July 28, How to Protect Yourself after a Short-term Mission Trip (webinar). Provided by DELTA Ministries.

July 26 to August 1, ReBoot Re-entry Program (Kitchener, ON, Canada). For returning missionary kids, ages 17-20, transitioning to life in Canada.

August 3-9, MK/TCK Re-entry Retreat (Gaston, SC, USA). Retreat designed for teens transitioning to college from missionary families.

August 8-14, ReBoot Re-entry Program (Calgary, AB, Canada). For returning missionary kids, ages 17-20, transitioning to life in Canada.

August 9-15, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (Pittsburgh, PA, USA). One-week intensive.

August 11, Four Things Every Friend of a Short-term Missionary Needs to Know (webinar). Provided by DELTA Ministries.

August 17 to December 20, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

August 20-21, Support-raising Bootcamp (Blooomfield, NJ, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

» View the complete calendar and/or submit an item.

CURRICULUM: The Prayer Course


Source: Alpha International and 24/7 Prayer

Looking for something simple and practical to grow and help others grow in their relationship with God? We just came across this resource from the UK. Alpha International (creators of The Alpha Course) and 24-7 Prayer developed a free prayer course based on the Lord’s Prayer and designed to fuel discussion and deepen the prayer life of your church.

Each lesson includes a short video, leader’s guide, and questions to help small groups explore topics such as worship, intercession, dealing with disappointment, learning to listen, and spiritual warfare. The leaders say the course has been used in 104 countries in the 20 months since it began.

» Learn more or download materials. You might also check out a recent article from 24/7 about prayerwalking as part of the strategy for reaching your city.


Source: Weave and CMM Press

Take your kids beyond the ordinary to the amazing spectrum of peoples and cultures in the world with the newly revised THUMB Coloring Book. Every fun drawing includes a caption with a cultural fact about each of 25 vibrant people groups in South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Activities will engage kids ages 4-10 in learning about these unique groups and their need to hear the life-changing gospel message of Christ.

This coloring book is built on the THUMB acrostic—a fun, easy way to remember the major non-Christian belief systems found around the world. You can teach your kids to remember and pray for people with these beliefs by using this acrostic:

  • T is for Tribal
  • H is for Hindu
  • U is for Unreligious (or Atheist)
  • M is for Muslim
  • B is for Buddhist

Includes important facts about other belief systems, focused prayer points, a world map indicating where each people group lives, and suggestions for using this book with your family or church class.

» Learn more or purchase for US$3.99 from CMM Press. A digital download version, US$20, grants you a license to make as many copies as you need.

ARTICLE: When Missionaries Come to Town

Source: Catalyst Services

Brief home-assignment visits can leave missionaries and churches feeling disconnected. Real relationships require more than a quick Sunday school update and a “Moment for Missions” report in the worship service before saying goodbye for another two to four years. What’s the solution when missionaries’ time is limited?

Better planning can help churches and global workers maximize the impact of even short visits. The April edition of Postings includes suggestions for both churches and missionaries as well as a customizable planning tool to clarify goals and make the most of your days together.

» Read the article or download it as a 6-page PDF. We’d also encourage you to subscribe or browse the archives.