The World as 1,000 People | Items May Have Shifted

Missions Catalyst Resource Reviews

  1. Map: The World as 1,000 People (Representing 8,045,311,447)
  2. Book: Items May Have Shifted, When Missionaries Get Rerouted
  3. Podcasts & Articles: Practical Help as You Prepare to Go or Send
  4. Roundup: Getting Ready for Christmas
  5. Events: December Mission Gatherings & Training Opportunities

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Map: The World as 1,000 People (Representing 8,045,311,447)

Source: Visual Capitalist

You may remember The World as 100 People. It went viral a few years back—a helpful attempt to explain who lives in our world according to a number of different categories.

Do you realize Earth’s population has doubled in size over the last 50 years, now exceeding 8 billion people? More than half of them live in Asia! If you represented the planet’s population as just 1,000 people, using UN data from mid-2023, you’d have 178 in India and 177 in China. Sweden and Honduras would be down to just one person each.

See how many would live on each continent and in each country with this interactive map and chart.

See also Gina Zurlo’s 2020 visualization of The World as 100 Christians (with data on Global Christianity).

Interested in the big picture? Find some food for thought in a brief article called Better Than You Think, in which Philip Yancey reflects on the message of Hans Roslin (author of the 2018 book Factfulness) about the state of the world.

New Book: Items May Have Shifted, When Missionaries Get Rerouted

Source: Pioneers-USA

Items May Have Shifted: When Missionaries Get Rerouted, by Maxine McDonald. Pioneers, 2023. 146 pages.

Many of the most popular missionary biographies paint a picture of heroic figures, often in primitive settings, who stay for many years and become beloved by the people. But things are different now. Pioneers found that half of its field workers who had served for ten years or more had lived in more than one country. Often they saw themselves as “lifers” with a one-way ticket to the first place on their hearts, but issues with visas, civil unrest, health, or family needs took them somewhere they never expected. So, how do they navigate that? What’s it like?

Hear four American missionary couples and a single woman, all serving with Pioneers, tell their stories in Items May Have Shifted.

This book is currently available in three formats. Help yourself to the one that fits your budget and reading preferences.

Disclaimer, I work for Pioneers and was part of the editorial team that created this book. It’s part of our ongoing effort to demystify missions for those who would go and those who send, that both might have a more accurate picture of what it takes and what it may look like to serve cross-culturally in today’s world.

Readers may be interested in a few other 2023 titles related to mission transition. We previously reviewed Grit to Stay Grace to Go, by Sue Eenigenburg and Eva Burkholder, and Liturgies and Laments for the Sojourner, by Alicia Boyce, Heather Fallis, and Tamika Rybinski. Another new book that caught my eye, though I haven’t read it, is Rerouted: Caring for Missionaries When Unexpected Trials Bring Them Home.

Podcasts & Articles: Practical Help as You Prepare to Go or Send

Sources: Various

Recently on the Global Missions Podcast

Rob Magwood and his friends are great at highlighting helpful resources for church mission leaders and others. In the last few episodes:

  • Marv Newell shared five practical ways a church can strengthen its global missions program.
  • Lauren Wells described three ways to support and care for missionary children and their families.
  • Ellen Livingood spoke about how to attract new people to join church mission committees.

Listen to these episodes and more.

Preparing to Go

Many of us learn about self-care the hard way. Looking back, a veteran missionary offers some solid advice to those preparing to go.

Read 7 Steps to Prepare for Christian Missions (Sarita Hartz).

Preparing to Send

Another new article argues that churches do the future missionary and the church a disservice if they make the sending process too easy or give in to pressures to send out those they aren’t sure are ready to go.

Read Should Your Missions Pipeline Run Uphill? (Catalyst Services).

Finally, a Dark Side of Church Mobilization

Maybe you’ve seen how hard it can be to build a healthy partnership between church and parachurch (some say “parasite”) groups. One reason? They have different goals. When it comes to missions, the typical church is most interested in seeing their people engaged—an inward focus. And that may drive mission priorities more than it should.

Read Misaligned Mission Musings (Ted Esler).

Roundup: Getting Ready for Christmas

Source: OSCAR

Maybe you’re done decking the halls, shopping for your nearest and dearest, and shipping those glittery cards and thoughtful care packages to ministry partners who are far from home this Christmas. In case you’re not, browse the Christmas page from OSCAR, a UK-based mission information source. It includes Christmas items you can buy to support mission efforts, alternative gift ideas, and other links.

Visit OSCAR’s Christmas page and read an article from last year on Supporting Missionaries at Christmas.

Events: December Mission Gatherings & Training Opportunities

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

December 6-7, Denominational Roundtable for Mission Leaders (Greenville, SC, USA). An annual networking event organized by Missio Nexus.

December 7, Developing Movement Catalysts: It’s Within Your Reach (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

December 10, Virtual Prayer Gathering: Call to Prayer (online). Monthly event for members of Missio Nexus.

December 11-13, Support Raising Bootcamp (online). Provided by Via, formerly Support Raising Solutions. More classes held online or in person in various locations throughout the year.

December 14, The Details Matter: How a Project Manager Can Help Reduce Your Workload (online). Webinar for mission communication and marketing staff. Provided by Missio Nexus.

December 19, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer for Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI for the third Tuesday of each month.

View the complete calendar, updated regularly. Submissions welcome.