In This Issue: Advent prayer chains, mission team training, and more
The countdown to Christmas is on! Focus your family on God’s global heart and purposes this advent season. Jesus came to redeem all peoples. Create an Advent Prayer Chain and set aside time each day to intercede for those who have never heard the gospel. Each link of the chain represents a people group – tribal, Hindu, unreligious, Muslim, or Buddhist – with simple descriptions and prayers in child-friendly language.
Nice job, Weave: an easy, kingdom-focused craft project and holiday decoration all in one!
» Karen at Weave also told us about “a pretty cool prayer journal for families to pray for the world.” Check out 40 Days 40 Bites: A Family Guide to Pray for the World, written by Trudi Parkes of WEC. Available in the US from Amazon for US$7.03.
Source: Catalyst Services
Postings is a free, monthly e-newsletter of thoughtful and practical articles for church mission leaders. All the articles are posted on the web so you can download and share them with your missions team and other leaders. Take a look at these editions from 2014:
- Charting the Path: Guiding future workers toward global engagement.
- Supporting Home Staff: Should churches fund headquarters personnel?
- Missionary Care: Where does a church begin?
- The Generosity Movement: Can it really benefit world missions?
- Using Your Church’s Global DNA: Seven churches share how they use their unique traits.
- Engage the Professionals in Your Church: Ten keys to involving leader-level adults in missions.
- Evaluating ST Team Impact: A tool to analyze strategic results.
- Avoiding Duplication: How Western churches can avoid redundancy, especially in leadership training.
- Discernment and Development: How one church helps guide present and future workers.
- Global Missions in Smaller Church Contexts: Four very different churches tell their stories.
- Sending Kingdom Professionals: A tool for churches’ assessment process.
» Learn more or subscribe to receive monthly editions.
Source: Delta Ministries
Looking for an online training curriculum you can use to equip mission team participants? Check out Short-Term Missions 101 from Delta Ministries. This new online course provides ideas, techniques, and skills designed to maximize the on-field experience for adults and youth serving on a short-term mission. Training includes eight self-paced sessions, each of which should take typical participants about three hours.
Topics include character transformation, cultural adaptation, team building, evangelism training, and some field-specific modules. Registration includes access to the online biblical DISC personality profile assessment.
» Learn more or register for US$45. Note that Delta Ministries offers many other resources for short-term teams, some of them free.
Source: GMI Books
Know & Go: Inspiring and Informing Global Mission, edited by Jon Hirst. GMI Books, 2014. 85 pages.
“From the Apostle Paul to William Carey to Billy Graham, the Church’s greatest evangelists and missionaries combine zeal with real-world data about the people they seek to reach,” says the new GMI book, Know & Go, which features articles by top researchers with GMI, OC International, and Joshua Project, as well as a foreword by Paul Eshleman of Campus Crusade for Christ.
This book makes the case for why knowing about your world is important. It addresses the opportunities and tensions that come with living in the information age and offers perspective on how to respond. It includes a history of Christian map-making and celebrates some milestones in the ministry of GMI and its sister organizations in the world of mission research, but also includes a great chapter with practical thoughts on how to do research on a budget.
This quick, inspirational read may only find a small audience but it does a great job of encouraging people to see research as something they can do within their ministry context.
» Learn more or purchase the Kindle edition from GMI for US$9.99; US$14.99 for the paperback. But from now until Monday, it’s 50% off ($4.99 and $7.49). Several other GMI books are also 50% off during this period.
Have you seen TWR360? Both the website and the related apps provide a portal to inspirational, Bible-based Christian media to enjoy and/or share with others. Access audio and video material from dozens of ministries, study guides, scripture, Christian music, the Jesus Film, and other discipleship resources.
One of the most distinctive features of TWR360 is its ability to detect the language of a visitor’s browser and automatically function in that language. If a visitor selects one of the displayed topics, all available material on that topic in the visitor’s language will be presented. Nice.
» Is this something you could recommend to a friend showing interest in spiritual things or wanting to grow? Pass it on. Materials in two more languages, Vietnamese and Indonesian, will be added soon.
Not much on the calendar for December, though January is filling up. Please let us know about events you think we should add for 2015. Much thanks.
December 4, To the Unreached Peoples Scattered Everywhere: A New Era of Frontier Mission (online). Missio Nexus webinar with Cody Lorance.
December 11-13, Cat and Dog Theology Speaker Training (Nicholasville, KY, USA). Become a certified “Cat and Dog Theology” speaker.
- BOOK: The Finish Line, Stories of Hope through Bible Translation
- VIDEOS: Pray for Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and More
- CURRICULUM: Helping without Hurting in Short-term Missions
- CHILDREN’S BOOK: Hudson on a Mission
- BOOK: Spiritual Equipping for Mission
- EVENTS: November Calendar
See how a devastating tsunami changed the work of Bible translation in this new documentary from Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Source: Wycliffe Bible Translators
The Finish Line: Stories of Hope through Bible Translation, by Bob Creson (with Carol Schatz). Wycliffe Bible Translators, 2014. 148 pages.
Until the year 2000, the number of languages researchers believed would need their own translation of the Bible was growing. It topped out at around 3,000, and then, for the first time, began to drop. Today, due to new technologies, strategic alliances, and the sacrificial service of translators worldwide, the number keeps dropping. “We are participating in the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation ever witnessed by the Church,” says Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA. “In light of the current pace, we know that the last translator—the translator for the last language needing Bible translation—is alive somewhere in the world today!”
The Finish Line is a book about the task of Bible translation and includes stories from the experiences of Creson and his family as well as many others. It’s an inspiring and easy read and of course includes suggestions for how we can be part of this work. At points this feels a bit like a Wycliffe infomercial, though a winsome one, but the ministry’s commitment to celebrating partnership with other organizations lessens that effect.
» You might also be interested in Arop, a recently released 30-minute video from Wycliffe. It beautifully tells the story of what God did through a translation effort in Papua New Guinea and can be watched online or downloaded for use with groups.
Prayercast, producers of high-quality, free videos that encourage prayer for the nations of the world, are now working on materials to inform and inspire prayer for the followers of various world religions. As with the “nations” videos, each one is narrated by the prayers of someone from the same background as those for whom they are praying.
Be sure to check out some great related materials, including succinct summaries of each religious group’s background, beliefs, what God is doing among them today, and how we can pray, as well as audio files in which the narrators tell their own stories of coming to know Jesus Christ. These and the videos could be good resources to use with groups and classes.
So far, there are pages about Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism, and Occultism, and more are to come. I found the material about praying for atheists particularly insightful.
» Watch videos and learn more. Note that the world religions map is interactive: scroll over the name of a religion to see where followers are concentrated. See also a new video about praying for the Ebola crisis.