Resource Reviews


Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews 9.30.15

  1. WEBSITES: Ten Sites for Those with TCKs
  2. SERVICE: Online Mission Trip Planning Tool
  3. WEBINAR SERIES: Missionary Care for Churches
  4. ARTICLE: “I Wish My Church Understood”
  5. EVENTS: October Classes and Conferences

Dear Readers,

Ready for some armchair travel or training? We’re excited to tell you about great websites for families with third-culture kids as well as a new web-based service for managing short-term teams called “My Mission Journey.”

A good number of webinars and web-based workshops are planned for October. These include a four-session series for mission leaders and several webinars from Missio Nexus. DELTA Ministries has a webinar on managing risk for short-term teams. Sixteen:Fifteen is offering a free, three-part series for sending churches dealing with missionary care (more info on this below).

Several longer courses are about to launch as well, including another six-week course from the Mobile Ministry Forum on using mobile technology for ministry, and an online “Perspectives” class. To learn more, see the events list below (which also includes events where people actually meet face to face!)

I’ve recently learned of several ministries that work with mission groups to provide high-quality online training courses for cross-cultural workers. Check out Crosswired and Grow2serve. I’m also keeping an eye on several newer projects, Culture Voyager and Missions Academy.

Few (if any) of these sites and services could have existed when Missions Catalyst began tracking mission resources twenty years ago. Isn’t it great to see today’s technologies harnessed for the kingdom? May God be glorified!

Marti Wade

WEBSITES: Ten Sites for Those with TCKs

Source: Tim Smith, Pioneers USA

Are you a parent serving cross-culturally? Maybe your church or ministry supports or partners with families serving internationally. One of my colleagues at Pioneers who works with families put together this list of his favorite websites and blogs by, for, or about missionary kids (MKs) and other “third-culture” kids (TCKs). These sites will lead you to many other resources, too.

  • Michele Phoenix: This popular blog by TCK author and speaker Michele Phoenix includes lots of articles for understanding TCKs.
  • TCKid: Site serves as a home for third-culture kids of all ages.
  • The Mama Bear Effect: Site focuses on building stronger families and protecting children from sexual abuse.
  • Slurping Soup: True stories and activities to help TCKs through transition.
  • Cross Cultural Kids Blog: Ruth Van Reken’s website for cross-cultural kids, about whom Ruth Van Reken and David Pollock “wrote the book.”
  • Taylor Joy Murray: Insightful blog of a 17-year old TCK from Japan.
  • Empowered to Connect: Site from Dr. Karyn Purvis on adoption and attachment is not directly about TCKs but excellent for any parent wanting to connect with their child.
  • Among Worlds: Learn what TCKs may become through this publication for adult TCKs. A related blog is no longer being updated but includes interesting articles and links.
  • Denizen: Check out this (secular) online magazine by and for TCKs.
  • A Life Overseas: This popular multi-voice mission blog isn’t just for mission families, but it covers issues that concern them.

» Comment on the Missions Catalyst website or Facebook page to let us know what resources you find helpful.

SERVICE: Online Mission Trip Planning Tool

Source: STM Toolbox

Looking for tools to help you with mission trip planning? My Mission Journey is an online mission trip planning tool for the team members and leaders. Designed to be simple and focused, this planning tool has the following features:

  • Online fundraising capacity
  • Team member blogs
  • Access to team documents and training materials
  • Downloadable helps for leaders

Pricing starts at US$25 per person, and you can “test drive” it before you sign up by accessing demo pages.

This is a brand-new resource, launching October 1, so we can’t tell you about its track record of success. The folks at STM Toolbox have, however, spent the last five years serving churches, schools, and mission organizations as they implement short-term mission strategies and asking those partners what kind of help they need. This resource is designed with those needs in mind.

» Visit My Mission Journey or check out other resources from STM Toolbox.

» See also Software and Services: What tools can I use to track team members, budgets, donors, and details? (

WEBINAR SERIES: Missionary Care for Churches

Source: Sixteen:Fifteen

Does your church send out missionaries? In a free, three-part webinar series through Sixteen:Fifteen, Jeff Jackson of Shepherd’s Staff describes three essential structures you can establish to effectively send and care for your church’s missionaries. You will have to register in order to participate, but there’s no cost. You can sign up for just one of the one-hour sessions, or participate in all three.

  • October 14: Session 1, Making It Practical
  • October 21: Session 2, Creating a Missionary Nurture Team
  • October 28: Session 3, Building a Missionary Crisis Management Team

» Learn more or register for these sessions.

» You might also want to check out this year’s International Conference on Missions, October 29 to November 1 in Richmond, Virginia, which will feature a track on Equipping Local Churches for Missionary Care.

ARTICLE: “I Wish My Church Understood”

Source: Catalyst Services

How can we establish and maintain healthy dialog between global workers and their sending and supporting churches? Transparency and sensitivity on the part of both parties are essential.

The August issue of Postings features hypothetical conversations that highlight what churches sometimes say to their missionaries and what global workers may be thinking. It then suggests alternate church messages that could open doors for greater transparency and benefit.

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

EVENTS: October Classes and Conferences

Source: Missions Events Calendar

October 1-3, Open B4T Expo (Minneapolis, MN, USA). Transforming Nations through Business.

October 1-3, Oasis Conference West (Brentwood, CA, USA). Crescent Project annual conference held on the west coast.

October 2-3, Mission Next Forum (Tulsa, OK, USA). Find your fit in missions.

October 5 to February 15, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

October 6, Mobile Ministry Training Course (online). Start of six-week class, repeated several times a year. Learn how to use mobile technology for evangelism.

October 7, Evaluating and Recalibrating Your Ministry (online). Start of web workshop from Missio Nexus; four Wednesdays in October.

October 8, Missions Funding and Global Missions (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

October 9-10, Missions Fest Seattle (Edmonds, WA, USA).

October 10, Bridges Seminar (Huntington, WV, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.

October 11-16, ABIDE (Joplin, MO, USA). Re-entry and debriefing for singles, couples, and families provided by TRAIN International.

October 14, Missionary Care: Making It Practical (online). Free webinar for sending churches, part 1 of 3 from Sixteen:Fifteen.

October 15, Hospitality and the Great Commission (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

October 16-18, THARS Security Seminar (Mi-Wuk Village, CA, USA). Provided by Morton Security Solutions.

October 19-20, Support-raising Bootcamp (Rogers, AR, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

October 19-22, Thrive Retreat (Rimini, Italy). Refreshment and renewal for North American women serving cross-culturally.

October 19-23, Kairos Course (Louisville, KY). Intensive one-week version.

October 21, Missionary Care: Creating a Missionary Nurture Team (online). Free webinar for sending churches, part 2 of 3 from Sixteen:Fifteen.

October 24, Bridges Seminar (Des Moines, IA, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.

October 27, Evaluating and Managing Risk on Your Short-term Mission (webinar). Provided by DELTA Ministries.

October 28: Missionary Care: Creating a Missionary Crisis Management Team (online). Free webinar for sending churches, part 3 of 3 from Sixteen:Fifteen.

October 29, When Helping Hurts: Cross-Cultural Leader Development (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

October 29 to November 1, International Conference on Missions (Richmond, VA, USA). Conference of the Christian Church/Churches of Christ.

October 31, Heart for Muslims Conference (New York, NY, USA).

» View the complete calendar and/or submit an item. It’s time to start putting together our 2016 calendar. We’d appreciate your help!

GRAPHIC: Great Quotes on the Great Commission

Source: GMI Missiographics

While most of us can recite the famous words of the Great Commission, it’s another thing to walk faithfully in them. Take a moment to look at the Great Commission in light of these powerful words and be encouraged in your outreach.

Great Quotes on the Great Commission includes 17 quotations are all included in the book Expect Great Things: Mission Quotes that Inform and Inspire, compiled by Marvin J. Newell.

» Access full-size graphic in several formats and read some thoughts about how to use it, then browse the Missiographics library or subscribe to receive Missiographics by email.

BOOK: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care

Source: Mind the Gaps

Mind the Gaps: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care, edited by David J. Wilson, Believers Press, 2008.

Trinity Church in Redlands, California, put together a Missionary Care Team which has been developing a system of proactive care for their missionary families since 2008. In this book they share their firsthand accounts along with results of their research on missionary care. Mind the Gaps is designed to equip your church with tools to create your own system of proactive care and reduce burnout and attrition.

A few things about this book are unusual. It’s written by a committee, rather than a single author. It’s written by and for church leaders, rather than from industry professionals. It also covers a broad array of related topics: everything from recruiting a missionary care team and establishing a philosophy of ministry to predicting missionary success and evaluating mission agencies, as well as more traditional topics of missionary care such as meeting spiritual, emotional, and practical needs and walking with missionaries through transitions.

The result is a bit overwhelming, and maybe especially for churches that don’t have a mission pastor and a strong mission committee like Trinity’s. On the other hand, the book covers so much ground and provides so many practical tips that even if your church has a well-developed strategy for missionary care, there’s probably something here that you can use.

» Purchase from Amazon (or elsewhere) for US$10.95. Electronic editions not yet available but expected soon. To learn more:

  1. Visit the Mind the Gaps website. It features links and downloadable resources mentioned in the book.
  2. Attend the Mind the Gaps webinar that David Wilson, Trinity’s Mission Pastor, will lead for Missio Nexus on September 16.
  3. Send people from your church to the Mind the Gaps conference March 3-5, 2016 in Redlands, CA, which will feature some top leaders in missionary care today. More info will be posted on the Mind the Gaps website by mid-September.

PODCAST: Engaging Missions

Source: Engaging Missions

Every episode of Engaging Missions includes interviews with missionaries, ministry leaders, disciple makers, and church planters as they share about God’s work in their lives and ministries.

You can listen online, get updates by email, or subscribe through iTunes or other services. Host Brian Entzminger has recorded about 60 interviews to date. Here are a few of his favorites:

Can You Believe God Did This in the United States?: Gary Stump left business to pastor a church. Then God called him to flip everything on its head and plant a new church using the T4T principles.

How to Impact Lostness: While on a mission trip to Laos, Troy Cooper was convicted about how a “successful” ministry wasn’t impacting lostness. What happened between him and God has shaped his ministry going forward.

How to Get from Hello to a Gospel Presentation: In this episode, Kevin Greeson shares a simple framework to connect with someone through conversation and naturally bridge the gap to the gospel.

How to Recognize and Share God’s Love to a Sikh: After years in the corporate world, God to James Human in a new direction. Now, he’s a bit of an expert and helps train people to share the gospel with Sikhs.

How to Pray, Love and Minister During Ramadan. Don Perry is an expert on Islam but he’s not a pundit. He’s a minister and teacher with a heart for reconciliation and God’s Kingdom. As Ramadan kicks off in 2015, he shares his perspective on Christians and Ramadan.

» Learn more or browse contents.

BOOKS: Three New Titles

Source: Marti Wade

As I head into the final stretch on a grad school degree I’m having trouble keeping up with all the books I’d like to read for my own sake as well as to share with you! So I haven’t picked up these inspirational volumes yet. If you have, can you let the rest of us know what you think of them?

Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic, by Kent and Amber Brantly, with David Thomas. Waterbrook Press, 2015. 240 pages. Get the inside story on the couple’s commitment to serve and their battle with Ebola.

Martyrs of Malatya: Martyred for the Messiah in Turkey, by James Wright. Evangelical Press, 2015. 216 pages. The story of three men who gave their lives for Christ on April 18, 2007. We’ve reviewed several of Wright’s previous books here before.

Boundless: What Global Expressions of Faith Teach Us about Following Jesus, by Bryan Bishop. Baker Books, 2015, 240 pages. Bishop, a writer and researcher with Youth with a Mission, provides firsthand accounts of fresh expressions of faith in Jesus outside the boundaries of traditional Western Christianity.

» Share your thoughts about these books or other new releases you’d like to recommend on our website.