BOOK: Missionary Monasticism

Missionary Monks: An Introduction to the History and Theology of Missionary Monasticism, by Edward L. Smither. Cascade Books, 2017. 202 pages.

You may remember the desert fathers from church history… and if you’re a mission history buff, also recall the significant role monastic movements played in reaching Europe, or have some stories about the Celtic church, the Eastern church, or the Jesuits. In this new book, we can “journey with monks and monastic orders who led the way in global mission from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries.” Quite the scope! Meet mystics and leaders like Patrick, Boniface, Anskar, Cyril, and more, exploring their ministries in context as well as drawing lessons for today from their approaches to mission. This book is a good read and a great resource for those who may teach on these topics.

The author is Professor of Intercultural Studies and History of Global Christianity and Dean of the College of Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University (my recent alma mater).

» Learn more or purchase this book from Amazon (or elsewhere) at US$9.99 for the Kindle edition and US$25.00 for the paperback. A substantial excerpt on the author’s website will give you a good sense of the book’s tone and contents.

Editor’s note: After our comments in last week’s edition about leveraging Saint Patrick’s Day for mobilization, a number of readers wrote in with resources and ideas. Much thanks!

ARTICLE: Stuck: How to Overcome Five Church Mission Impasses

Source: Catalyst Services, February 2017

“Do you or your missions team sometimes feel stuck? You’re not alone! Many churches wrestle with similar feelings. The enemy would like you to believe that you can’t do more in global outreach. Refuse to accept the status quo! Here are five common places churches bog down and some ideas to get moving.”

Don’t miss the practical suggestions and the stories of four churches that have successfully gotten their missions program moving again.

» Read the article, a four-page PDF, and see a related blog post with four ideas for mission committee field trips to stimulate ideas and motivation.

» You might also be interested in asking your team to set aside a few hours for OnMission 2017, a free, virtual conference for church mission leaders from Missio Nexus.

TRAINING RESOURCES: Coaching in Ministry

Source: Creative Results Management

Looking to multiply your ministry impact? Consider getting some training in the art of “coaching.” Christian Coaching allows you to develop both skills and character in other people, while doing ministry. Rather than giving advice, asking powerful questions will draw out what the Holy Spirit has put in. Many missionary trainers, leaders, and missionary-care specialists use these skills to encourage the personal and professional development of their workers, but the same principles can also help people grow in evangelism, discipleship and leadership development.

Creative Results Management, founded and led by Keith Webb, is a Christian organization providing training to help multiply ministry impact internationally. They have worked extensively with missionary and mission agencies. Begun in Southeast Asia and now based in Seattle, they provide regular training on every continent, mostly for mission personnel. You might want to check out their Coaching Mastery course and the Coaching Workshop for Christian Leaders, as well as specialized courses in cross-cultural coaching.

» Learn more about upcoming coaching classes or get a good start by reading Webb’s 2015 100-page book, Coaching In Ministry: How Busy Church Leaders Can Multiply Their Ministry Impact.

EVENTS: Upcoming Conference, Courses, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar


April 5, OnMission 2017 (online). Free, virtual conference for church mission leaders from Missio Nexus.

April 6-9, Catalyze Northeast (Hamilton, MA, USA). Join us as we explore the concepts of effective ministry among Muslims; provided by Frontiers.

April 7-8, Mobile Ministry Forum 2017 Consultation (Zelhem, Holland). Leading mobile ministry innovators and practitioners.

April 7-9, Entrepreneurial Readiness Workshop (College Station, TX, USA). Sponsored by the Global Enterprise Network, a ministry of The Navigators.

April 9-14, ABIDE (Joplin, MO, USA). Re-entry and debriefing for singles, couples, and families provided by TRAIN International.

April 10-11, The Journey Deepens (Portland, OR, USA). A weekend retreat for prospective missionaries.

April 14, Global Day of Prayer for the 4/14 Window (global). Praying for the world’s children (especially those aged 4-14).

April 17 to May 26, Ministering in a Muslim Context (online). Six-week course from COMMA and the Grow2Serve network.

April 17-18, Personal Support Raising Boot Camp (Rogers, AR, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

April 20-22, Legacy Conference (Edmonton, AB, Canada). A conference about Muslims, missions, and the heart of God; provided by Horizons International.

April 23 to May 5, Second Language Acquisition (Union Mills, NC, USA). Provided by the Center for Intercultural Training.

April 24-27, Thrive Retreat (Dubrovnik, Croatia). For North American women serving cross-culturally.

April 24 to May 7, ORIENT (Joplin, MO, USA). Learn key skills for surviving and thriving cross-culturally. Provided by TRAIN International.

April 26-28, Mission Influencers Conference (Raymond, WA, USA). Annual conference sponsored by World Venture.


May 1-2, Standards Introductory Workshop presented by Standards of Excellence in Short-term Missions (Phoenix, AZ). A pre-conference workshop at the International Wholistic Missions Conference.

May 3-5, International Wholistic Missions Conference (Phoenix, AZ, USA). From the Global CHE Network.

May 12-13, People Raising Conference (Oak Brook, IL, USA). Be equipped for raising personal support.

May 15-20, TOTAL It Up! Taste of Translation and Linguistics (Dallas, TX, USA). Provided by Wycliffe Bible Translators.

May 18-20, Christian Community Health Conference (Cincinnati, OH, USA). Provided by the Christian Community Health Fellowship.

May 22-27, TOTAL It Up! Extreme – Taste of Translation and Linguistics (Waxhaw, NC, USA). Provided by Wycliffe Bible Translators.

May 25-27, Global Children’s Ministry Equip Conference (Nairobi, Kenya). An annual event.

May 27 to June 25, 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World (global).

May 28 to June 3, Single Vision Retreat (Dolphin Bay, Thailand). A member care program for singles in the mission community.

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

BOOK: Parents of Missionaries

Source: Parents of Missionaries Network

Parents of Missionaries: How to Thrive and Stay Connected When Your Children and Grandchildren Serve Cross-Culturally, by Cheryl Savageau and Diane Shortz. InterVarsity Press, 2012 (reprint of Authentic Media edition, 2008). 305 pages.

Find yourself in the sometimes-unwelcome position of sending your kids and grandkids overseas? Just want to help those who are? This is one of few resources we’ve found that are specifically designed to address the challenges and opportunities faced by parents of missionaries.

The book combines a counselor’s professional insight and a parent’s personal journey, plus ideas and stories from dozens of missionaries and POMs—a valuable tool for missions mobilizers and educators as well as parents and families. It may have a greater audience with believers, but much of the content is applicable to those who do not share their children’s faith or priorities as well. Little of it seems out of date.

I’m not sure to what extent their National Network of Parents of Missionaries is still active, but the website is still up. Anybody know?

» Purchase this book from Amazon (or elsewhere) at US$9.99 for the Kindle edition and US$11.22 for the paperback, or check out the authors’ Tip Sheets for Parents of Missionaries.

» See also a recent article with practical wisdom for parents of missionaries (The Gospel Coalition) and a piece we mentioned not long ago about Wycliffe Germany’s annual parents weekend.

ARTICLE: Five Surefire Ways to Start a Conversation with a Muslim

Source: Muslim Connect

We’re thankful that so many of you have signed up for our own Shane Bennett’s new 300-word weekly newsletter, Muslim Connect—now four weeks old. You might want to check out the February 16 edition on striking up connections with Muslims. If you find it helpful, share it with your friends.

» Read Five Surefire Ways to Start a Conversation with a Muslim. Handy links across the top will let you subscribe, share, or read past editions.