BIBLE STUDY: God’s Heart for the Nations

GHFTN_Cover__74282.1427221033.500.750God’s Heart for the Nations, by Jeff Lewis. BottomLine Media, 2015. 63 pages.

Looking for an affordable, effective tool to open eyes to God’s global purposes as revealed in scripture from Genesis to Revelation?

God’s Heart for the Nations is an inductive Bible study that explores how God’s blessings and global purposes are woven together. Originally published in 2002, it has recently been revised and updated by the author in collaboration with Pioneers, which now distributes the booklet.

The eight lessons include more than 100 Bible passages to explore along with memory verses, mission quotes, people group profiles for prayer, and suggestions for reflection or further study. There’s also a video introduction for each lesson.

You might work through it on your own, include it the curriculum for a class or small group, or use it to prepare a short-term mission team.

Jeff Lewis is a professor at California Baptist University and also has a ministry teaching and consulting with churches and other groups about seamlessly integrating God’s heart for the nations into their lives and ministries.

» Learn more or purchase from Pioneers for US$6 (with discounts available for bulk orders) or get it from Amazon. Not available electronically.

» See also these resources of similar scope and purpose: Witnesses to All the World: God’s Heart for the Nations, by Jim and Carol Plueddemann and Missions: God’s Heart for the World, by Paul Borthwick. You could also download Embark, a free four-week study from Frontiers.

FOR USE WITH CHILDREN: Fabric Map and Lesson Plans

Parents and teachers might be interested in a new attractive fabric map to use in learning about and praying for the world. This large, hemmed 29” x 40” cloth map is brightly colored and each country clearly identified. The map also comes with suggestions for fun family activities.

» Preview or purchase fabric map from CMM Press for US$12.00.

A series of 24 downloadable lessons for teaching kids about the world has recently been “freshened up.” Most are designed for a 30-minute time slot. They introduce children to kids around the world and different issues affecting their lives.

» Learn more or purchase lessons from CMM Press for US$5.00 each.

» Visit the CMM Press store for additional resources for children, parents, and teachers written or collected by Weave Family ministries. See also the extensive resource lists on the Weave Family website.

BOOK: Missiographics 1.0

Missiographics 1.0, by Justin Long. GMI Books, 2015. 80 pages.

In an age of data and information overload, images may be the best way to tell the story of global missions. That’s why our friends at GMI started publishing Missiographics, a series of free, compelling, mission-related infographics to help mission leaders, mobilizers, teachers, and students see the world through new eyes.

Missiographics 1.0 collects 16 of the most helpful graphics in this series and supplements them with thoughtful essays from researcher Justin Long addressing the “so what?” questions they evoke.

» Learn more or purchase one of several ebook editions from GMI for US$9.99. This is the kind of book you might want to have on paper, though, and the print edition is US$14.99.

» Also see the complete Missiographics library or subscribe to newsletters.

BOOK: Mission Mobilization Fiction?

Child of Ishmael, by James Wright. CreateSpace, 2015. 418 pages.

Mission books don’t tend to make the best-seller lists, and mission fiction is almost non-existent. So when an author whose previous book we’d reviewed and enjoyed told me he’d written a novel to help mobilize people for missions, I thought you’d want to hear about it. An unusual resource!

The novel deals with the awakening of a somewhat naive Iowa college-town pastor and his community when a mosque goes up across the street from their church and brings them face-to-face with Islam, apparently for the first time. They start questioning their assumptions about faith, world religions, and how the church should respond. You probably know people who hold the same views or struggle with the same questions. Several characters even end up traveling to Central Asia to solve a few mysteries and visit a man they met through the mosque.

» Learn more or purchase the Kindle edition for US$8.99 from Amazon ($14.99 for the paperback). See also Fields of Gold: Planting a Church among Central Asian Muslims, or read our review of it.

EVENTS: May Calendar

EVENTS: May Calendar

May 1-3, TENTmaking Impact Seminar (Seattle, WA, USA). Provided by Global Opportunities.

May 5, To Send or Not to Send? Webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen. Part of the series The Mission Table; free.

May 6, Is There Any Good News in the Muslim World? Webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen with Keith Swartley; free.

May 7, Megacities and the Urban Future. Webinar from Missio Nexus with Douglas Batson.

May 8-9, MissionNext Forum (Arlington, VA, USA). Find your fit in missions.

May 11-17, Single Vision (Hong Kong). Renewal for single missionaries.

May 13, Maintaining the Vision for the Long Haul and Staying Encouraged. Webinar from Missio Nexus, with George Verwer.

May 14, Organizing to Reach the Diaspora: A Case Study in Changing Overseas Structure from Geographic Components of Global Affinity Groups. Webinar from Missio Nexus, with Jerry Rankin.

May 15-16, The Journey Deepens (Portland, OR, USA). A weekend retreat for prospective missionaries.

May 18-19, Support Raising Bootcamp (Nashville, TN, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

May 18-30, Theology of Honor and Shame (Simi Valley, CA, USA). A 3-unit intensive course at Eternity Bible College developing a biblical missiology for Majority World cultures.

May 19, How to Keep Social Media from Wrecking Your Short-term Mission Trip. Webinar provided by DELTA Ministries.

May 21, Beyond Welcome Back, 10 Things You Need to Know About Reentry. Webinar from Missio Nexus, with Lisa Chinn.

May 23-31, Darshan (Chicago, IL, USA). Hindu evangelism training provided by Christar.

May 24, Global Day of Prayer (international). An annual event.

May 27-29, 2015 COSIM Conference (Nashville, TN, USA). Annual conference of the Coalition on the Support of Indigenous Ministries.

May 28, Identifying Doors God Opens for Shorter Term Mission Endeavors and the Cost of Effective Integral Engagement. Webinar from Missio Nexus, with Gil Odendaal.

May 28-30, Serving Internationals (Wheaton, IL, USA). Annual conference by the Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI).

May 28-30, Global Children’s Ministry Equip Conference (Chiang Mai, Thailand).

May 30-June 6, Sahara Challenge (St. Paul, MN, USA). Intensive training for ministry to Muslims, from Crescent Project.

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

BOOK: A New Prayer Resource from Operation World

Pray for the WorldSource: InterVarsity Press

Pray for the World, editorial advisor Molly Wall; foreword by Patrick Johnstone. IVP Books, 2015. 313 pages.

For decades, Operation World has been the world’s leading resource for people who want to impact the nations for Christ through prayer. Its twofold purpose has been to inform for prayer and to mobilize for mission.

Chock full of facts and figures, it’s seen just as much use as a reference book. And we have to admit that at more than 1000 pages, it is a bit overwhelming.

Pray for the World is an abridged and simplified paperback version of the 2010 edition of Operation World and designed to take the material to a larger audience. The maps and key data are still there, but this volume is only some 300 pages long and more easily used as a resource for prayer and mobilization. “We wrote Pray for the World especially with non-native English speakers, translators, and students in mind,” say the editors, “but we know its streamlined size and focus will help us ALL pick it up and pray!”

You could put copies in the hands of supporters, disciples, short-termers, or small group leaders. Save some money if you buy them by the case.

» Learn more, preview contents, or purchase for US$11.10 from Amazon (or elsewhere).

» Readers might also be interested in another newly released book, Serving God in Today’s Cities: Facing the Challenge of Urbanization, by Patrick Johnstone with Dean Merrill (GMI Books).

VIDEO: Alex Was an Atheist

Source: Moving Works

Alex Pan was a Chinese immigrant, a science student, and an atheist attending a prestigious university in a post-modern city. Then a friend invited him to church and things got interesting…

» Watch the four-minute video. Please feel free to use it in any way that can benefit your ministry.

Here’s another interesting film from Moving Works: Raised? is a set of videos and two-minute video shorts that follow a couple’s journey from doubt to faith in Christ. While you can use the videos on their own, they’re designed to accompany the Zondervan book Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection, by Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson. A free small-group study on journeying through doubt is also available, along with other tools you could use with your church.

BOOKS: Three about Generous Giving

Sources: Various

Several publications dealing with giving have come our way. Take a look!

Biblical Perspectives on Generosity

Ignite Your Generosity: A 21-Day Experience in Stewardship (revised). By Chris McDaniel. IVP Books, 2015. 80 pages.

The original 21-day devotional is now expanded with a four-week small group guide for individuals or groups. Each day’s reading features an engaging story, Scripture for further study, and personal reflection questions to grow in the area of stewardship. IVP is also offering the “Generosity Challenge” as a free download.

Historical Perspectives on Generosity

Gospel Patrons: People Whose Generosity Changed the World, by John Rinehart. Reclaimed Publishing, 2014. 117 pages.

You know about William Tyndale, George Whitfield, and John Newton, but what about Humphrey Monmouth, Lady Huntingdon, and John Thornton? This engaging book tells the stories of these three “gospel patrons” whose generosity was a catalyst for great movements of God. Download the audio book, join the author’s mailing list to get the PDF for free, or purchase hardback or Kindle editions.

Global Perspectives on Generosity

Christ-Centered Generosity: Global Perspectives on the Biblical Call to a Generous Life, edited by Scott Rodin. Kingdom Life Publishing, 2015. 200 pages.

“A theologically sound, biblically based resource for Christian leaders, pastors and the body of Christ on the theme of our call to be faithful stewards who live lives of generosity and joy.” Features 33 contributors from 22 countries. Available in early April, but you can pre-order it now. Learn more from the Global Generosity Movement.

EVENTS: Webinars for Short-term Mission Leaders

Source: DELTA Ministries

DELTA is offering a series of interactive, one-hour webinars grappling with difficult and controversial issue in short-term missions, equipping mission team leaders, and offering guidance on determining what kind of mission trip is right for your church or organization. The staff at DELTA know what they’re talking about and share it here at a reasonable price—just US$10 per webinar. Dates and topics  include:

  • April 28: Planning your own trainings and meetings
  • May 19: How to keep social media from wrecking your short-term trip
  • June 30: Four things every team leader should do after a short-term mission trip
  • July 28: How to protect yourself after a short-term mission trip
  • August 11: Four things every friend of a short-term missionary needs to know
  • September 29: Do your short-term mission trips measure up?
  • October 27: Evaluating and managing risk on your short-term mission
  • November 17: Who is your mission trip really for?
  • December 8: Getting the most out of The Next Mile curriculum

» Learn more or sign up. See also their online training course for short-term mission participants and other resources for training, debriefing, and more.

» Editor’s note: Several of the upcoming webinars from Missio Nexus also deal with short-term mission issues and feature subject-area experts you may know.