VIDEOS: Urbana Materials Online

Teach us to pray 2Source: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

This music video features a powerful new song about praying for the persecuted church and was performed at the recent Urbana student missions conference. It’s now also available through iTunes.

» Videos of Urbana plenary sessions and audio recordings of many of the 180 seminars are also available on the Urbana website.

SONG: Facing a Task Unfinished

facingatasklandingpageSource: OMF International

Looking for a centerpiece for your church’s next mission focus? Modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty have re-worked Frank Houghton’s much-loved missions hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished,” adding a new chorus in a way that suits a contemporary church music band.

OMF International is partnering with the Gettys to launch the song worldwide on February 21, 2016, in a global event they are calling The Task Unfinished, and praying that this will be a global movement towards completing the church’s mission.

Could you incorporating the song in your worship on (or after) February 21, 2016, and take the opportunity to feature mission in the service?

By signing up you can listen to the song online and encourage your worship leaders and pastors to sign up. When they do, they will get the music scores and event resources they will need to lead the song.

» Listen to the song and learn more. See also 14 ideas for a world missions service.

» See Molly Wall from Operation World presenting on The State of the World: The Task that Remains at last month’s Urbana conference.

BOOK: What Global Expressions of Faith Can Teach Us about Following Jesus

BoundlessSource: Baker Books

Boundless: What Global Expressions of Faith Can Teach Us about Following Jesus, by Bryan Bishop. Baker Books, 2015. 240 pages.

This gracefully written book takes us along on the author’s journey through the world of contextualized religion to discover what might help post-Christian westerners who hunger for a faith more relevant and vibrant than what they have inherited in traditional Christianity.

Bishop, a long-time researcher and writer with Youth with a Mission, visits groups who learn from and worship Jesus using forms inspired by Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and native American cultures (and generally found in those religious settings). He sees his own faith grow and shares his questions and what he learns along the way from groups of believers who honor the centrality of the Bible, focus on Jesus, adopt local practices, and seek truth where they can find it.

Bishop’s honest and engaging travelogue through a landscape often marked with controversy nicely blends scholarship, journalism, and personal reflection. I would recommend this book to any who seek to understand contextualization and its faces, problems, and benefits, and I believe it would hold the interest of those new to these issues as well as those who have long considered them.

» Learn more or purchase the book from Amazon (or elsewhere).

ARTICLES: Lausanne Global Analysis

Source: Lausanne Movement, January 2016

The January issue of Lausanne’s Global Analysis focuses on the witness of the churches in war-torn Syria and how we can support and learn from them; the questions raised by the Chinese government cracking down on registered churches while at the same time initiating dialogue with house church leaders; the trend among some Christians towards turning Jerusalem into a Christian Mecca and how we should respond; and on how developing young leaders with disabilities strengthens the body of Christ.

» Learn more and download the full issue or the executive summary.

» Some might also be interested in a special edition of the Evangelical Missiological Society’s Occasional Bulletin in which various writers weigh in on the missiological implications of the much debated and problematic question, do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? (See also a summary from Christianity Today, which includes links to other articles).

BOOK: A Better Path to Global Engagement (for American Churches)

Walk this waySource: 181 Publishing

Walk This Way: A Better Path to Global Engagement, by Paul McGuiness. 181 Publishing, 2015. 148 pages.

This book is written to an American audience and from the point of view of a church leader. The “better path” it proposes is for American churches that want to engage effectively with global ministry partners, especially where the church already exists (e.g., places like Haiti and Kenya where the author’s church has been working).

I appreciate McGuiness’ winsome, positive approach to this topic and his use of personal examples, analogies, and scripture to support his points. He builds on and directs the reader toward a variety of resources, ministries, and subject-area experts. These are well chosen. The result is a readable, balanced, and practical introduction to global partnership. It would be a good book for church mission teams to read and discuss together.

» Learn more or purchase the book from Amazon (or elsewhere) or see also the book’s website.

» Two other new books to check out for yourself: Paul Borthwick’s Great Commission, Great Compassion: Following Jesus and Loving the World and Steve Addison’s Pioneering Movements: Leadership that Multiplies Disciples and Churches. Both are from InterVarsity Press and look worth reading.

EVENTS: Upcoming Conferences, Training, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Calendar

February 2, Disciple Making Movements Training (online). Start of a seven-week class provided by Act Beyond.

February 3-6, International Conference on Computing and Mission (Mosbach, Germany). An annual event.

February 5-7, Missionfest Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). Free, annual, community-based mission festival for all ages.

February 8, Chinese Lunar New Year (global). Here’s all you need to know to reach out to Chinese neighbors, via the International Mission Board.

February 9 to March 1, Mobile Ministry Course (online). Provided by the Mobile Ministry Forum several times a year.

February 10 to March 20, Seek God for the City (global). Annual 40-day prayer campaign. Materials available from WayMakers.

February 11 to April 8, Mobilizer Equipping School (Chiang Mai, Thailand). Provided by Student Volunteer Movement 2.

February 14-19, ABIDE (Joplin, MO, USA). Re-entry and debriefing for singles, couples, and families provided by TRAIN International.

February 19-20, Short-term Mission ConneXion (Portland, OR, USA). Training event provided by Mission ConneXion.

February 19-21, Missions Fest Alberta (Edmonton, AB, Canada). Free, annual, community-based mission festival for all ages.

February 22-25, Thrive Retreat (Dubai, UAE). For North American women serving cross-culturally.

February 25-26, Support Raising Bootcamp (Dallas, TX, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

February 26-27, Midwest Conference on Missionary Care (Bloomington, MN, USA).

February 27, Bridges Seminar (Greenbelt, MD, USA). Building bridges to reach Muslims. Provided by Crescent Project.

March 3-5, Mind the Gaps Conference (Redlands, CA, USA). Engaging churches in missionary care.

March 4-8, TENTmaking Course (Bergen, Norway). Provided by Global Opportunities.

March 5, Sending New Missionaries (Johnson City, TN, USA). One-day workshop provided by Catalyst Services.

March 11-12, Muslim ConneXion (Portland, OR, USA). Training event provided by Mission ConneXion.

March 11-12, People Raising Conference (Oak Brook, IL, USA). Be equipped for raising personal support.

March 13-19, Recalibrate! (Aurora, IN, USA). Five days of group and personal missionary debriefing.

March 14-15, Support Raising Bootcamp (Rogers, AR, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

March 18-19, Kingdom Business Conference (Charleston, SC, USA). Provided by Charleston Southern University.

March 18-20, Jesus to the Nations (Halifax, NS, Canada). Free, annual, community-based mission festival for all ages.

March 21-24, Engaging Islam (Hong Kong). Evangelism training course provided by Horizons International.

» View the calendar or submit an addition or correction.

Happy New Year!

Independence Day Fireworks

As a service to our readers, Missions Catalyst compiles and maintains an online calendar of mission-related events across North America and around the world. See below for a list of 2016 conferences, seminars, classes, retreats, and more, and please share it with others!

Events are sponsored by a wide variety of organizations and are listed here for no charge but at the discretion of the editor.

If you know about an event that would interest our readers and should be added, let us know. We will update the calendar and remind you of upcoming events as the year goes on.

Take a look at the calendar.