Resource Reviews


  1. INFOGRAPHIC: Beyond Prayer Flags and Statues
  2. PODCAST: Sabbath Rest in Missions
  3. BOOKLET: Ten Tips for Exegeting Your Culture
  4. BOOKS: New Titles in Missiology
  5. TRAINING: Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills
  6. EVENTS: Upcoming Conferences, Courses, and More


Feel the need for some time out to rest, reflect, or retool? This month’s resource reviews have something for you… or maybe something you can share with others in your ministry or circle. Found something new, helpful or inspiring, or worth sharing with other readers? I hope you’ll let us know.

One more thing. We just got word from friends at Global Mapping International (GMI) that after 33 years providing vital information and insight to the global church (see, for example, a piece from their Missiographics collection below), they are closing their doors June 30. We are sad to see them go!

Yesterday’s press release says,

“As it winds down its pioneering work, GMI is taking the unusual step of granting to other organizations in the mission community much of the intellectual property it has created, to ensure ongoing access to these essential tools and information.”

Connected to an organization that might be interested in stewarding some of these great knowledge resources? Learn more about what you can do. And please pray for their staff in this transition. Thanks!


INFOGRAPHIC: Beyond Prayer Flags and Statues

Top Ten Buddhist GroupsSource: GMI Missiographics

Do you know the top 10 Buddhist people groups? What are you doing to shine the light of Christ into these precious people’s lives?

See Buddhism: Beyond Prayer Flags and Statues (2014) and two of the latest Missiographics publications, one on the state and needs of the Chinese Church today and another about the unfinished task of missions.

PODCAST: Sabbath Rest in Missions

Source: Global Missions Podcast

The GMP, produced by the Jaffray Center for Global Initiatives at Canada’s Ambrose University and Send International, just hit a couple of milestones: more than 25,000 downloads and the completion of their fiftieth episode. Worth celebrating!

You might be interested in listening to or sharing one or more of these recordings with a friend. For example, you could sling up your hammock and pour a cool drink to listen to a recent episode with Mark Buchanan on Sabbath rest and avoiding burnout. Good stuff. Detailed show notes will help you quickly assess the scope and focus of each episode.

» Learn more or listen to the Global Missions Podcast.

BOOKLET: Ten Tips for Exegeting Your Culture

Source: Brigada Today, April 16, 2017

Suppose you’re a pastor of a small church wanting to make an impact on your town or city. How do you start? What if you “think like a missionary?” Ed Stetzer is good at helping people stretch their minds, measure reality, and think “outside the box.” He also knows something about cross-cultural work and missions.

“Exegete Your Culture: Ten Checkpoints for Knowing and Reaching Your Culture” is a great (and relatively short) instructional booklet for getting started in any town or city.

» Download the uncopyrighted PDF or learn more about Ed Stetzer.

» Readers might also be interested in the new book Breaking the Huddle, which explores how churches and ministries can break the patterns that keep them focused on their own needs and start reaching out winsomely to those around them (IVP Books).

BOOKS: New Titles in Missiology

Source: IVP Academic

It’s giveaway time! On my shelf are four complimentary books from IVP Academic that all look worthwhile—though weighty—and I don’t think I’m going to have time to read them. The first person to ask and to provide a US address for shipping can have any one of these volumes free of charge. My only condition is that you honor the publisher’s generosity by posting a review on and/or another commercial site.

Polycentric Missiology: Twenty-First Century Mission from Everyone to Everywhere, by Allen Yeh. IVP Academic, 2016. 258 pages; paperback. Missiologist Yeh chronicles the latest issues in world missions through the lens of five landmark mission conferences, showing how world Christianity has developed since Edinburgh 1910.

Intercultural Theology, Volume 1: Intercultural Hermeneutics, by Henning Wrogemann. IVP Academic, 2016. 435 pages; hardback. Described as the most comprehensive textbook on the subject of Christianity and culture today and the first English-language introduction to the field of intercultural theology, this is the first of three volumes translated from the German.

Transcending Mission: The Eclipse of a Modern Tradition, by Michael W. Stroope. IVP Academic, 2017. 459 pages; paperback. Are words like missions, missionary, and missional, all coined in modern times, the best and most biblical way to describe how the church interacts with the world, or, as Stroope concludes, a barrier to faithful witness?

From Bubble to Bridge: Educating Christians for a Multifaith World, by Marion H. Larson and Sara L. H. Shady. IVP Academic, 2017. 209 pages; paperback. The first book of its kind to explore why Christians are reluctant to step out and engage with those of other faiths and provide both a rationale for doing so and concrete suggestions for implementation.

» Click on the titles to learn more about each book. Write me if you’d like one of the free copies. Thanks!

TRAINING: Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills

Source: International Training Partners

Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills workshops have helped thousands of Christian workers worldwide (including me!). Each workshop is designed to enhance the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of Christian workers for relating well with family, co-workers, friends, and those from other cultures.

Participants work and share together in pairs, small groups, and as a whole group, and practice the skills with each other. Trained facilitators use the best methods of interactive adult education to help maximize learning. Workshops are normally five days in length.

Now SYIS is also offered in an online format, providing access and offering advantages the five-day intensives can’t match. The training is broken down into four courses. Each course including six weeks of interactive online work and another six weeks of personalized follow-up coaching with a qualified facilitator. The cost of each online course is US$250, with a 20% discount if you sign up for the whole program (US$800 total).

Is this something you, your ministry team, or your organization can use?

» Learn more about SYIS and SYIS Online.

EVENTS: Upcoming Conference, Courses, and More

Source: Missions Events Calendar

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

May 1 to September 3, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided by the Perspectives Study Program.

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

May 4, Inspired HR: The Intersection of Law, Spirituality, and Common Sense (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

May 11, Diaspora Missions: OK, We Get It! Now What? (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

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 17, Mind the Gaps: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care (online). Free webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen.

May 18-19, Personal Support Raising Boot Camp (Hawthorne, NJ, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

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

May 22-25, Global Children’s Ministry Equip Conference (Nairobi, Kenya).

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

May 24-28, TENTmaking Course (Bergen, Norway). Provided by Tent Norway.

May 25, STM Emergencies: Preparing Team Leaders to Respond in a Crisis (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

May 27 to June 25, 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World (global). Join millions of Christians around the world who regularly participate in this largest ongoing international prayer focus for our Muslim neighbors.

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

May 31, Advisory Forum: Serving Safely—Duty of Care for Your Organization (Atlanta, GA, USA). Free presentation from Raptim Travel and held at the Delta Flight Museum.

» View the complete calendar, with many more events recently added for June and July. Please let us know about mistakes or omissions. To learn more about a specific event, though, contact event organizers.

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!