Missions Catalyst 05.25.05 – Resource Reviews

In This Issue: Language Learning, Refreshing Missionary Care, and the Heavenly Man

  • BOOK: The Heavenly Man
  • SMALL GROUP STUDY: New Resource from Caleb Project
  • WEB SITE: Clearinghouse of Language Learning Helps
  • Refreshing Missionary Care
  • BOOK: Church-Centered Mission

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!

Resource Reviews, edited by Marti Smith, are published once a month.

BOOK: The Heavenly Man

From: Brad Koenig

The Heavenly Man
By Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway

Chinese Christian Brother Yun tells his story of imprisonment, horrific torture, miracles reminiscent of Acts, fruitful ministry, and the spiritual journey that emptied him of himself and filled him with a consuming love for Jesus. Despite his near-death treatment, he says “It’s not those in prison for the sake of the gospel who suffer. The person who suffers is he who never experiences God’s intimate presence.”

This book will jolt you with a reality check of how our brothers and sisters in China are still suffering for the gospel. Entering in to their pain will challenge your faith, your love for the Scriptures, and your devotion to Christ. Learn from the Chinese house churches who are reproducing because of their contagious spiritual fervor.

Brother Yun also describes the vision of his current ministry, the Back to Jerusalem Movement – enlisting prayer and support for Chinese missionaries spreading the gospel to the countries between China and Israel.

Go deep! Go heavenly! Read the book!

WARNING: Reader discretion advised for graphic accounts of torture.

Mill Hill, London: Monarch Books, 2002, 352 pages.

Available in many languages. Order here.

SMALL GROUP STUDY: New Resource from Caleb Project

Eternal Impact: Discover Your Role in God’s Worldwide Purpose
From Caleb Project

Caleb Project has a message for discouraged and disengaged believers who cannot find their place in evangelism and missions outreach. You don’t have to leave your home country to be fully engaged in God’s worldwide purpose. There are at least five other roles that ordinary people can carry out, without significant lifestyle changes.

Eternal Impact is an engaging and creative curriculum for Sunday school classes or small groups that explores biblical and modern-day examples of how God used and uses ordinary people in various spheres of ministry (Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth) and various roles.

“Ultimately, this study is about aligning our lives with God’s purposes as we draw on the passion and gifting he has created in us,” write the authors. Eternal Impact translates the Acts 1:8 model into local, regional, and international cross-cultural areas in which six roles can be carried out. Pray-ers (who lift up others who go and intercede for the lost), Senders (who encourage and communicate with those who go), Goers (who take the gospel to the lost), Welcomers (who make friends with visiting internationals), Givers (who help provide time, talents, and money to those who go), and Connectors (who network all the other roles together and mobilize potential team members).

If some of this sounds familiar to fans of Caleb Project resources, it may help to know that this is an enhanced and expanded grown-up version of Caleb Project’s kids’ curriculum, God’s God Stuff to Do! And He Wants Your Help. Another curriculum for kids, Outside the Lines, is designed to take the message of Perspectives on the World Christian Movement to the younger set, but that is still in production. We’ll let you know when it is available.

Designed to be used as a ten-week study, Eternal Impact includes a leader’s guide, a DVD with several short videos used in different parts of the study, and ten workbooks for group members. It is available from Caleb Resources.

WEB SITE: Clearinghouse of Language Learning Helps

From: John Paul Loucky

CALL4All is a web site that lists Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) organizations worldwide, more than 1000 free on-line dictionaries, thousands of great links for teaching or learning English (including an on-line reading lab), an extensive bibliography on second-language acquisition, and many other resources. There are also links to portable electronic dictionaries, translation and OCR scanning software, and commercial language dictionaries.

The overall goal of the site is to provide (or provide links to) all the services one could ever need in overcoming language barriers. (Any organizations or links that have been missed are welcome to be included.)

Click here to explore these resources.

Refreshing Missionary Care

From: DualReach – Synergy Newsletter – April 2005

Thanks to Fresh Lemonade, more than 200 people at Bible Fellowship Church in Ventura, California, USA are now personally involved in providing care for missionaries.

Fresh Lemonade is a program designed to refresh missionaries by connecting them to church members in festive, party settings. All returning workers are introduced in the worship services. Soon thereafter, each missionary family is welcomed at a Fresh Lemonade party. Held in the home of a church member, these events are typically attended by 20-50 people whose interest has been piqued by the Sunday presentation, a report in a small group, or by the host and hostess. Decorations, games, and great food set the stage for the missionary’s 20-minute sharing time. The host/hostess then discusses ways the group could help these returning field workers. The entire program runs no more than an hour and a half.

BOOK: Church-Centered Mission

From: David Mays – April 29, 2005

Church Centered Mission: Transforming the Church to Change the World
By Joel Holm

When I saw the title, I thought this might be the book I have wanted to write. Reading with a heightened sensitivity, I found myself both applauding and frowning.

Some things I applauded:
1. A local church should be centered on, and organized around, its mission.
2. The church should have its own individual mission vision.
3. Every department and every individual in the church should participate in its mission vision.
4. The arena for mission is global in scope.
5. Partnerships should be organized to achieve a mission goal.

Some things that concerned me:
1. The “mission” of the church is nebulous and undefined.
2. A church’s particular mission vision seemingly can be to undertake any problem in the world.
3. False dichotomies are set up between ‘wrong’ and ‘right’ ways.
4. Implementation is described as a mentality but the ‘how-to’ is very general and no models are cited.
5. The peculiar difficulties of working directly in cross-cultural settings and in cross-cultural partnerships are not addressed.

Joel Holm is the founder of PathFinders International, a ministry that serves as a global broker connecting churches throughout the world into strategic mission work. He teaches churches worldwide how to discover and organize around a strategic mission vision.

Joel Holm Ministry Resources, 2004, 206 pages. Order here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on the relationship between churches and agencies in missions, see the May-June 2005 issue of Mission Frontiers.

Questions? Problems? Submissions? Contact publisher/managing editor Marti Smith.

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