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.

EVENTS: April Calendar

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

April 9-10, Support Raising Bootcamp (Rogers, AR, USA). From Support Raising Solutions.

April 8-11, Offering Healing and Hope for Children in Crisis (Orlando, FL, USA). A training-for-trainers event is also offered the following week. Provided by Crisis Care Training International.

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

April 16, Contributing to Poverty Alleviation Through Short-term Missions: It’s a Difficult Dance (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus.

April 16-18, Intercultural Fusion (Atlanta area, GA, USA). Ethnic ministries summit, sponsored by the Ethnic America Network.

April 17-18, Care ConneXion (Beaverton, OR, USA). A Mission ConneXion event.

April 17-18, Mobile Ministry Forum Consultation (Zelhem, Netherlands).

April 18, Bridges Seminar (Houston, TX, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.

April 18, Day of Prayer for Turkey (global). Remember the three men being killed on that day in 2007 in Malatya.

April 21-24, iDisciple Conference (Gilbert, AZ, USA). On disciple-making movements.

April 22 to June 17, Mobilizer Equipping School (Chiang Mai, Thailand). Provided by Student Volunteer Movement 2.

April 23-25, Christian Community Health Conference (Atlanta, GA, USA).

April 24-26, The Journey Deepens (Charlotte, NC, USA). A weekend retreat for prospective missionaries.

April 25, Reentry Care (Holland, MI, USA). Training teams to teach churches how to care for returning missionaries.

April 27-30, Thrive Retreat (Lima, Peru). For North American women serving cross-culturally.

April 28, Planning Your Own Trainings and Meetings (webinar). For short-term mission teams leaders; provided by DELTA Ministries.

April 29 to May 1, International Wholistic Missions Conference (Peoria, AZ, USA). From the Global CHE Network.

April 29 to May 3, TENTmaking Course (Bergen, Norway). Provided by Global Opportunities and Tent Norway.

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

VIDEO: Is Every Christian a Missionary?

the Mission Table 2

Source: The Mission Table

Every follower of Christ is a missionary… or are they? Missions has traditionally consisted of international or cross-cultural ministry for spiritual purposes, says Matthew Ellison of Sixteen:Fifteen. But today in many churches missions has come to include outreach ministries that are within our own community and culture. This broadening definition of missions has inevitably led to a philosophy that says every follower of Christ is a missionary. What are the implications of this philosophy? Is it biblical? Is it helpful? Does it lead to more missions work being accomplished, or less?

This is the first in a series of free, web-based dialogues about critical, controversial claims made about missions today. Each includes a video about 15 minutes in length, followed by a live webinar discussion a few weeks later (in this case, March 3). A May episode will explore whether native missionaries are more effective, and one in July will ask, do missionaries destroy cultures? If debate is not your cup of tea, these conversations may make you squirm, but they may also make you think (and see another point of view).

» Join the conversation. Watch the first video or subscribe here to be notified when each video episode is released and registration for each live webinar begins.

BOOK: Overcoming Obstacles to Serving

Hold Fast: The Mission of God & the Obstacles of Man, by Josh Cooper. Book Villages, 2013. 160 pages.

In his ministry with The Traveling Team, Josh Cooper has visited more than 150 U.S. college campuses to teach students about God’s heart for the world and challenge them to consider their part in world missions. He came to recognize nine frequent obstacles these students faced which kept them from full-time missionary service: unawareness of God’s mission purposes, a focus on needs closer to home, materialism, romantic relationships, family opposition, theological issues (e.g., pluralism), uncertainty about their calling, the burden of debt, and concerns about raising support.

Hold Fast addresses each one of these struggles, shares stories of those who have overcome them, and provides encouragement to keep moving moving forward. This is the kind of book you could put into the hands of college students to help them recognize what might be holding them back and find courage to press on. Better yet, ask them to read it and then discuss the points they find most relevant. Some of the illustrations, drawn from a variety of sources, are quite powerful and memorable. I may snag some of them for my own use!

It should be noted that this book does not attempt to provide a balanced view of ways one might live a missional life; it’s really written for would-be missionaries and encourages them to consider serving among the millions of people without access to the gospel. In places it seems to assume too close an equation between following God and going to the unreached.

» See the book website to learn more. You can purchase the ebook for US$7.99; the paperback is US$14.99. Bulk discounts are available. You might also want to learn more about The Traveling Team and see if they’re coming to your region.

BOOKS: Disciple Making Movements Books on Sale

In January we reviewed Contagious Disciple Making, the new book from our friends at City Team and Thomas Nelson. The Kindle edition of this book, by David and Paul Watson, and its two companion volumes Miraculous Movements (by Jerry Trousdale) and The Father Glorified (by Patrick Robertson and David Watson) are all currently on sale at Amazon. All three tell the stories and describe the methods behind some of the world’s fast-growing disciple making movements.

» Buy Contagious Disciple Making or either of the other two books for US$2.99 (if you live in the US). We don’t know how long the sale will last.