The Ultimate Checklist, Mission Anthropology & More

  1. Download: The Ultimate Missions Checklist for Your Church
  2. Book: Anthropology (and More) for Missionaries
  3. Training: Cultural Awareness for Short-Term Teams
  4. Stories: The Yemen Listening Project
  5. Quick Takes: Focus on Easter
  6. Events: Missions Conferences and More in April

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Editor’s Note: Missions Catalyst will be on spring break for the next two weeks. Look for us again April 17.

Download: The Ultimate Missions Checklist for Your Church

Source: The Mission App

Is your church ready to send members who feel they are being led into missions? Do you need help setting up a missions program? What about training your people? Identifying expectations and qualifications? Issues of family, finance, and choosing agency partners?

The Mission App has prepared a 40-page PDF to help you along the way. It’s yours in exchange for your contact info. Looks pretty good to me, though I did not check all the links.

Get your copy.

Not familiar with The Mission App? They help potential missionaries find their fit and take their next step toward serving in missions (one application to connect with 45 partner agencies). Recently they became part of another ministry with a similar goal, MissionNext.

Another free download that recently caught my eye: Around the World in 12 Recipes from Compassion International. The digital cookbook includes stories, prayer points, and more.

Book: Anthropology (and More) for Missionaries

Source: Baker Academic

Crossing Cultures With the Gospel: Anthropological Wisdom for Effective Christian Witness, by Darrell L. Whiteman. Baker Academic, 2024. 288 pages.

The goal of this book is to encourage and empower cross-cultural workers from any region or background to become more effective, serve longer, and thrive in their cross-cultural ministries.

The author, a leading professor and missiologist, draws on decades of training experience to explain the concept of culture, incarnational ministry, common communication problems, culture shock, and how to learn from and engage with engage with people in other cultures despite the cultural baggage we all tend to carry.

I loved this book. Whiteman’s singing my song. He references many seminal works, old and new, and gives the reader plenty of jumping off places for learning more about topics like cross-cultural communication, participant observation, bonding, and becoming bicultural.

Ultimately, just reading a book falls short of what you can learn from practical pre-field training or on-site coaching, but this one could be a great complement to either.

Learn more or buy the book, available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle editions. Well worth the read.

Training: Cultural Awareness for Short-Term Teams

Source: CultureBound

Speaking of crossing cultures, do you have short-term teams going out this summer? Would you like them to be aware of the cultural dynamics where they are going? Most groups sending mission teams do their own training but CultureBound has two options that can help.

CAMP: Cultural Awareness Made Practical

Individual members of your teams register for CAMP and watch the online videos, totaling one hour, on their own time. Each lesson has a video and worksheet with questions and activities for both the preparation stage and when the team is on the field. $30 per person.

CAST: Cultural Awareness for Short-Term Teams

CAST is a two-hour online or in-person training or workshop that can also be scaled to meet the needs of your team. It focuses on four ways that cultures differ from each other which gives the group cultural patterns to look for and a common vocabulary to discuss them. $150 per group.

Learn more about CultureBound.

See also CULTURELink, which is offering a two-day seminar for team leaders coming up April 19-20 in Virginia, and MissionExcellence, which provides regular training on best practices for short-term mission.

You may also want to check out a new resource called MissionLinked. It provides a simple, fun, and secure way to link people together while raising funds for a short-term mission or a special project.

Stories: The Yemen Listening Project

Source: The New Humanitarian

Long before Gaza hit the headlines, the term “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” often referred to Yemen. Its devastating war and economic collapse, which began nine years ago, has left hundreds of thousands of people dead from violence, disease, starvation, and a lack of healthcare. Tens of millions more have been caught up in Yemen’s conflict, but its story has mostly been told by journalists, aid groups, and politicians. Until now.

What has it really been like to live through all this? To find out, The Yemen Listening Project asked Yemenis one question: “How has the war impacted your life?”

More than 100 Yemenis—from inside the country and across the world—answered.

(Thanks to Justin Long who came across this in sleuthing for his Weekly Roundup, then kindly sent it to Doug Lucas of Brigada and me to help get the word out. Do you serve a community whose stories need to be told and who want to tell them? Maybe you could set up a listening project, too. Think about it.)

Quick Takes: Focus on Easter

Sources: Various

  1. In case you missed it: Why Easter Matters for Mission (Radical).
  2. See also How You Can Support Easter Services With Prayer (Outreach Magazine).
  3. Share a virtual Easter experience with those who might appreciate it. One option: Franklin Graham’s Easter Message From Israel.
  4. Can’t get enough Easter? You might want to celebrate again with the Orthodox Church. Their observance is late this year: May 5.

Events: Missions Conferences and More in April

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

April 3, Understanding GenZ (online). Peer2Peer webinar for church mission leaders from Missio Nexus.

April 3-6, Gather 2024 (online). A virtual retreat for women from any nation serving outside their home culture. Provided by Thrive, which is also planning in-person retreats coming up aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean in May (though that one’s full!) and in Sicily, October 14-17.

April 4, COVID-19 Traumatic Stress Among Missionaries Serving Cross-Culturally (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

April 5, Call to Prayer: Night of Power (virtual event). A prayer gathering for members of Missio Nexus.

April 8 to August 11, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (online). New online classes begin regularly.

April 9-11, Global Missional AI Summit (Orlando, FL, USA).

April 10-11, The Mobilized Church (Atlanta, GA, USA). Discover keys to unlocking your church’s mission potential; offered by Sixteen:Fifteen.

April 16, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer for Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI and held on the third Tuesday of each month.

April 18, Risk and Short-Term Mission (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

April 18, Find Your Most Impactful Stories (online). Peer2Peer virtual gathering for mission communications professionals, provided by Missio Nexus.

April 19-20, Help! We’re Going on a Short-Term Trip (Blacksburg, VA, USA). Provided by CULTURELink.

April 20, Engage Missions (Fort Washington, PA, USA). A conference equipping believers to engage in world missions; offered by WEC International.

April 22-23, Support Raising Bootcamp (Indianapolis, IN, USA). Provided by Via, formerly Support Raising Solutions. More classes are held around the world throughout the year.

April 29 to July 28, Encountering the World of Islam (online). Also available in other formats and languages; new online classes start several times a year.

View the complete calendar, updated regularly. Submissions welcome.

China: Hainan, Pearl of the South China Sea

Source: Asia Harvest, March 16, 2024

Hainan is a small tropical island province situated off China’s southern coast. Once nicknamed “The Gateway to Hell,” Hainan had few Christians until the 1990s, when God sent a powerful revival which touched every part of society there. Today, Hainan is home to more than 600,000 vibrant Christians.

Uniquely, the instrument the Lord used to impact the island was not a Chinese church leader, but a humble American Baptist missionary family, who implemented God-given strategies that resulted in a revival so powerful that house church leaders from other parts of China traveled to the island to learn from it.

The growth of the Church in Hainan did not come without intense struggle, with many believers suffering for their faith.

The fire of the Holy Spirit fell here with great power, and subsequently [we have heard] numerous firsthand accounts of “power encounters” against the forces of darkness which transformed entire communities.

Read more about God’s work in Hainan and consider picking up a copy of Paul Hattaway’s new book on the topic, the eighth volume of the China Chronicles, a province-by-province account of what the author calls the greatest revival in history. I (Marti) just got my copy.

See also Christianity in Post-Pandemic China: Navigating the Shifting Landscape (ChinaSource).

In news from another country that’s often a religious battle ground, read Indian State Moves to Criminalize Praying for the Sick (Christianity Today).

Haiti: Sincere Intercession Needed

Source: INcontext, March 6, 2024

On Sunday, March 3, the Haitian government declared a 72-hour state of emergency and night curfew after gangs stormed the country’s two biggest jails and freed more than 3,800 inmates. Before the prison break, gangs already controlled around 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The previous week saw gangs burning down police stations, attacking the main airport, and threatening to seize the national palace.

Observers see little reason for optimism over Haiti’s immediate future. No elections have been held in Haiti in the past seven years, and almost three years ago, the unelected president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated. In addition, it’s been more than a year since the last elected officials left office.

While the most recent crisis can be traced back to the president’s assassination in 2021, the roots of Haiti’s chaos go far deeper. These include its slavery and colonial past, the spiritual impact of the practice of voodoo, and the generational economic impact of the vast “reparations” Haiti was forced to pay to France after independence in 1804, which equates to approximately $20 billion in current monetary terms. Years of occupation under the control of American marines was followed by the 29-year dictatorial father-son rule of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier. The Caribbean nation has also endured frequent natural disasters, including hurricanes and the horrific earthquakes of 2010 and 2021.

Read the whole story. It includes a three-minute prayer video. As you may know, Haiti has been a big mission field for American evangelicals. As of 2020, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimated 1,700 career missionaries were serving in Haiti.