20060416 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. MISSIONS MOBILIZATION TRAINING
  2. REAL HELP IN RAISING SUPPORT
  3. CP TRAINING COURSE ON CD-ROM
  4. ASIAN IT CONFERENCE MARCH 2007
  5. WANT TO STUDY RUSSIAN THIS SUMMER OR FALL?
  6. WHAT’S THE BEST INT’L ISP FOR TRAVEL? AOL?
  7. IN NEED OF GOOD BIBLE TEACHING MATERIALS?
  8. LEARNING ABOUT GOOGLE RANKINGS
  9. WE’RE FOREVER GRATEFUL; WILL GOD EMPOWER YOU TO HELP?
  10. THE BACKPAGE: MORE LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM “24”
  11. CLOSING STUFF

  1. MISSIONS MOBILIZATION TRAINING –- Do you want your church to have a greater impact in missions? One of the best opportunities in world missions today is in mobilization. Churches around the world are mobilizing their churches to become more involved in reaching people whom have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your church can be one of them. Accelerating International Mission Strategies (AIMS) presents, “Multiplying Missions through the Local Church,” June 19-23 at Regent University in Virginia Beach (VA). Join other pastors, missionaries, church leaders, and students to learn about how you and your church can take part in completing the Great Commission by mobilizing churches here in the United States and around the world. For more information, call the AIMS home office at (757) 226-5850, email us at aims(at)aims-usa(dot)org, [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or log on at

    http://www.aims.org


  2. REAL HELP IN RAISING SUPPORT -— For more than twenty years with Wycliffe, Jerry and Brenda Long have trained hundreds of missionaries around the world to tell their story over coffee, in small groups and in their churches in such a way that people catch a vision and get involved through prayer and monthly support. Now they are retiring from Wycliffe and offering the same training to anyone who needs it.

    They use live video conferencing technology to deliver live, interactive training to groups of four to six people at a very low cost anywhere in the U.S. there is high-speed internet access. They send you the equipment which is easy to plug in and use. You connect with them live four to six hours week for three weeks and they deliver training that will increase your skill and confidence to tell your story in an effective way. Click on their website or e-mail them:

    http://kingdomcometraining.com

    or email to jerry(at)kingdomcometraining(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  3. CP TRAINING COURSE ON CD-ROM — Church Planting Coaches, a ministry of YWAM Frontier Missions, has published their complete church planting training, normally given to trainees as a two-week seminar during the acclaimed YWAM School of Frontier Mission (SOFM). Now this training can come to you right on your PC (or MAC) with over 30 hours of audio (Brian Hogan teaching in Scotland), PowerPoint presentation, film clips, note taking outline, and every handout that you would get if you were to take it “live”. This is perfect for workers already on the field who need to be trained in CP or to refresh their skills, those preparing to go, and those who have an interest in planting new movements among unreached people groups. The cost is only $29.99 (plus $2.25 S&H within USA). Major credit cards are accepted. Also available is a Video CD of seven amazing films about the CPM that began in Erdenet, Mongolia in the early 1990’s ($20.00). And a Resource CD chock full of CP stuff – a virtual CP Library! (only $4.99 – their cost!) Email brian(at)cpcoaches(dot)com to purchase. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or visit their store:

    http://www.cafepress.com/cpcoaches


  4. ASIAN IT CONFERENCE MARCH 2007 — For those involved in computer support or using computers as a key part of your ministry in Asia, you may be interested in a conference to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in March 2007. This is advance warning so you can put it in your diary and budget. Maybe you’ve attended such conferences in the USA previously, but this one will be the first in Asia and will not only discuss issues relating to office IT, but also issues relating to using IT as ministry, eg Internet cafes etc. For more information see

    http://www.iccm-asia.org

    or email info(at)iccm-asia(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  5. WANT TO STUDY RUSSIAN THIS SUMMER OR FALL? — Studying at the Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures (ISLC) (formerly Russian Language Ministries) will give you a good head start in learning the needed language and culture. Their experienced staff is called by God to equip you with the language & cross-cultural skills you will need to be effective in ministry to Russian. Courses are tailored to your learning needs and offer an intensive and focused experience with, gradual effective immersion in the language, communicative learning methods & flexible duration for all programs. Their U.S. based courses are taught in an encouraging spiritual atmosphere with a focus on future ministry. Classes now forming for an 8 week summer course (June 5 – July 28) & a 16 week fall course (Aug. 28- Dec. 15). Interested? Check them out on the web at:

    http://www.strategiclanguages.org

    Or call in the USA toll Free: 1-800-799-7976 or 1-803-333-9119 from elsewhere. Or email: RLMoffice(at)juno(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  6. WHAT’S THE BEST INT’L ISP FOR TRAVEL? AOL? — Stan uses AOL and has found he can get on AOL with ease in England, China, or Israel. Are there better international service providers available and why? Are some countries better for email than others? If you’ve got an opinion, email Stan Stanpcb(at)aol(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] (He’ll pass along a full report to us in a couple of weeks, right Stan? :-) )

  7. IN NEED OF GOOD BIBLE TEACHING MATERIALS? –- Check out the Visualized Bible Series. Bible Visuals International prints picture- based Bible lessons that cover the entire Bible, highlighting major doctrines, in over 85 languages. They even give rights for national churches to print materials in their language in their country. Contact them to receive a resource catalogue or more information on our overseas printing efforts.

    http://www.biblevisuals.org

    or email info(at)biblevisuals(dot)org or (Intl. Prefix) + 1-717-859- 1131. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  8. LEARNING ABOUT GOOGLE RANKINGS — Are you interested in learning more about how Google decides which pages to rank first? It’s been an ongoing interest some here in Brigada. One Brigada reader, Joel, recommended these sites for further reading:

    http://www.google.com/webmasters/4.html

    http://www.google.com/technology/

    http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php

    Bottom line: It appears Google takes into consideration (big-time) how many other pages (and which pages) link people over to your site. I guess the corollary is . . . if you want to be listed higher at Google, see if others will add you to their list of links.

    That’s easy at Brigada. Just write an item and submit it for a future issue. (See our submission guidelines.)

    Now, would you consider doing Brigada a favor? Please take a moment, if you desire, to add Brigada to the list of resources you may or may not provide on your own website. Can’t hurt. Might help. Thanks for your partnership! (And thanks, Joel, for taking time to educate us! :-) )


  9. WE’RE FOREVER GRATEFUL; WILL GOD EMPOWER YOU TO HELP? — Thanks to those who add fuel to our fire by undergirding these Brigada Todays in the form of financial gifts and prayers. This past week, a couple from Mainland China sent $35, saying they were “eating in” (See March 31st Brigada today, Item 10, “WHAT WOULD YOU SPEND ON JUST ONE MEAL OUT?”). Many thanks. Another worker with Zwemer sent $100 to say thanks for the Zwemer announcements. God bless you! And thanks to our great friends at Dial-Abroad.com for the $98.30 gift they sent this past week. I’m still amazed that when you use them for your int’l calls, it results in encouragement to Brigada! Please, please consider signing up with them for service, if you need phone service at all:

    http://www.dial-abroad.org/brigada.htm

    Thanks also to the other 3 anonymous Brigada readers who gave $10, $100 & $75 respectively. Want to join them in pitching in? Just click on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous. In any case, thanks for considering Brigada in your estate giving, your monthly church missions fund, and/or your own personal giving for this calendar year.


  10. THE BACKPAGE: MORE LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM “24” — Last week, I confessed to my newfound fascination with “24”, the hit TV show from FOX. If you haven’t watched it, I hope you’ll still pick up something from my description of the plots. [Disclaimer: I also confessed that I turn my head during the violent parts.] We talked about courage, patient wisdom, and a commitment to always speak the truth.

    Today let’s talk about freedom and accountability. Have you noticed the way the show portrays the tension of Jack’s reliance on CTU . . . versus the “home office’s” eventual respect for the skills of a field agent like Jack? Time and time again, CTU will provide support for an attack. They’ll use satellite infra-red sensors to tell Jack where the bad guys are stationed… or they’ll look up floorplans of some building downtown… all in quick fashion with incredible precision. But while CTU can be very helpful, at times, they can also be a real pain. Have you ever noticed the way Jack sometimes has to “go dark”… become a “rogue”… because somebody’s infiltrated CTU and he can no longer trust them? Or maybe their protocols just don’t apply to the real world when terrorists’ bombs are about to explode.

    To me, this tension between “CTU” and “field agent” is reminiscent of the relationship between — you guessed it — “home office” and “field missionary.” Many are the times when it’s really convenient to have a home office. Representation in the homeland can be tough when one lives a continent away. All those conventions, websites, toll-free numbers, and IRS requirements… they’re sometimes a real burden for the guy or gal in the field. And when a home office is hitting stride, providing great support in a crisis, it’s a great feeling of shelter in the middle of a storm.

    But when a field worker wants flexibility, … when a protocol gets in the way… shew… it can be a real hassle. That 1st-year language learning requirement can really seem to get in the way of quick-start ministries. And who really enjoys all the report forms and accountability sheets?! And those notorious field visits! Shew. No wonder Jack sometimes goes “dark.”

    So what’s a field agent to do? In my opinion, there are lessons to learn on both sides of the fence. For those of us who work in home offices, we probably need to view those protocols a bit more at arm’s length sometimes. We need to remember that they exist to provide shape and forward direction to the missionary enterprise. Inevitably, however, exceptional circumstances are going to require outlandish flexibility. My own take on this is that the home office with the best protocol won’t necessarily always win. If “24” is any kind of case study, what we need are great protocols — and wise leaders. We need leaders who can figure out when protocols don’t serve the situation . . . and then they need courage to take a stand for exceptional situations. One thing I’ve noticed though: When leaders fail to lead, field agents pick up on it… and they have to start improvising on their own, with varying degrees of precision and effectiveness. My own personal take — we need to learn, probably more often than we think, to lead more *decisively* if field agents are going to stay aboard our team. Otherwise, they bail.

    At the same time, those who work in the field — the “Jack Bauers” of the missionary enterprise — need to remember that most of those protocols exist to prevent abuse. Even Jack Bauer makes time to go back to CTU and file his debrief. He calls in a *lot*. And time and time again, he yields the “final call” to the man in charge (sometimes the President himself). How I long for the day when more and more “field agents” in the missionary enterprise can call in and say, “Here’s the situation: help me make the right call.”

    In the end, it’s just a TV show. But if I let my imagination roll… missionary life and work can be a pretty fun ride. :-) Let’s make it work this coming week! Because… shew… it’s a jungle out there.

    Doug

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.