Missions Catalyst 1.25.12 – Resource Reviews

In This Issue: 12 ways to become a world Christian

  • ARTICLE: 12 Months to Becoming a World Christian
  • BOOK: Thirty Years among South Sea Cannibals
  • BOOKS: New from William Carey Library
  • TOOL: Assessing Short-term Mission Opportunities
  • REPORT: Demographics of Global Christianity
  • EVENTS: Featured Events for February

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

ARTICLE: 12 Months to Becoming a World Christian

Source: ASSIST News Service, January 1, 2012

You probably won’t become a world-renowned scientist in 12 months. It’s unlikely that you will become a world-class athlete in 365 days, New Year’s resolutions notwithstanding. In one short year, however, you can become a world Christian [and do] more than most believers will in their lifetimes to help fulfill the Great Commission.

>> Read Bill Smith’s full article, Twelve Months to Becoming a World Christian in 2012. Maybe you’d want to springboard from it to create your own list – for yourself, or for those you’d like to influence. What would you include?

BOOK: Thirty Years among South Sea Cannibals

Source: BottomLine Media, Pioneers

Thirty Years among South Sea Cannibals, by John G. Paton with an introduction by John Piper. Orlando, FL: BottomLine Media, 2011. 476 pages.

“The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!”

This was the warning of a well-meaning elder when John G. Paton, a young Scot who had never left his native land, announced his intentions to travel to the South Pacific New Hebrides islands (present-day Vanuatu) to bring the gospel to its inhabitants.

More than 100 years after its initial publication, Thirty Years among South Seas Cannibals is a classic that still vibrates with Paton’s transparency as he shares the struggles and joys of pioneering ministry among the unreached. This re-released edition includes Lessons from the Life of John G. Paton, by John Piper, a sermon that explores the roots and the fruits of Paton’s courage.

>> Purchase from Pioneers for US$11.19. A previous edition of Paton’s story is available for free in Kindle format.

BOOKS: New from William Carey Library

Source: William Carey Library

Our friends in Pasadena have published several new volumes that catch my eye and might interest you as well.

In Sixteen Seasons, American missionary David James writes about the years his family served in remote Tajikistan.

Explaining the Trinity to Muslims, by Carlos Madrigal, a Spaniard serving in Turkey, is a useful presentation on the topic for both Muslim and Christian readers.

Vern Middleton introduces a new generation to missiologist Donald McGavran in what sounds like an interesting biography of McGavran’s early life.

>> Browse the WCL online bookstore.

TOOL: Assessing Short-term Mission Opportunities

Source: DELTA Ministries International

Have you ever wondered if your church or ministry should send a short-term mission (STM) team? With all the needs and all the opportunities, how do you know where to go and what to do?

DELTA Ministries International has recently released the Short-term Mission Trip Assessment Tool. It’s an electronic resource that provides churches and ministries with lenses for examining STM programs in light of principles from the Scriptures, experience, and the Standards of Excellence in Short-term Mission.

Included with the four-page Excel file is a five-page PDF document that includes additional insight on how to objectively assess mission opportunities and develop an individual trip or short-term mission sending program. It looks to be a very thoughtful and thorough resource.

>> Purchase this tool from DELTA for US$4.99. DELTA has also just announced a free, 12-issue email subscription to use as a follow-up resource with returning short-termers; see The Next Mile E-zine.

REPORT: Demographics of Global Christianity

Source: Pew Forum

A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread – so far-flung, in fact, that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.

The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

>> Read the Executive Summary or download the 130-page report (11.7 Mb).

EVENTS: Featured Events for February

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

This February our friends at CrossGlobal Link and the Mission Exchange are offering a once-a-week web-based workshop, four stand-alone webinars, and a conference, plus hosting a live event in Massachusetts where they will take the next step in launching a new mission network.

February 1 – The Key to Effective Multicultural Teams: Cultural Self-Discovery (online, six sessions).

February 2 – Helping Women Thrive: A Key Component of a Healthy Team (webinar).

February 6 – Missions Bicentennial (Salem and Boston, MA, USA). Join with mission leaders to celebrate 200 years of American missionary sending.

February 9 – Navigating Collaboration: From Competition to Cooperation to True Collaboration (webinar).

February 9-11 – Mission Administration and Finance Conference (Atlanta, GA, USA).

February 16 – Why Men Don’t Do Missions: Recruiting the New Millennium Man (webinar).

February 23 – Environmental Missions: Planting Churches and Trees (webinar).

Other Conferences

Some of you would probably also be interested in these six mission-related conferences sponsored by various networks around the US and Canada:

February 3-5 – Missionfest Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). Free, community-based mission conference in the Missions Fest tradition.

February 17-19 – Missions Fest Lancaster (Lancaster, PA, USA). Free, annual, community-based missions conference in the Missions Fest tradition.

February 17-20 – World Christian Conference (Boulder Creek, CA, USA). An annual West-coast event sponsored by the World Christian Fellowship – mobilizing Asian-American Christians (and those who identify with them) to disciple all nations.

February 23-25 – Impact (Los Angeles, CA, USA). Learn about what God is doing in the Indo-Malay world and how you and your church can partner with field workers, agencies, and national leaders to impact the unreached and unengaged. Invitation required. Parallel event in Orlando, Florida, March 1-3.

February 24-26 – Missions Fest Alberta (Edmonton, AB, Canada). Free, annual, community-based missions conference in the Missions Fest tradition.

February 28 to March 2 – Verge Conference (Austin, TX, USA). Missional communities – for the gospel, for the cities, for the nations.

>> View the whole calendar.


Marti Smith

Marti Smith is a writer, speaker, and project manager for the Church Partnerships Team at Pioneers. Since the mid-90s she has helped prepare cultural research teams to explore unreached communities and mobilize efforts to serve them.

Marti manages and publishes Missions Catalyst and is the author of Through Her Eyes, a book about the lives of missionary women in the Muslim world.


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