Monthly Archives: December 2008

2008/12/28 — Brigada Today

“Brigada: Since 1995… Buckets full of Resources, Trends, Challenges — all in a weekly e-zine & website…”
Compiled by Doug Lucas, Team Expansion, Louisville, KY
(Almost caught up!)

In this issue…

2) Some Of The Most Talked-About Brigada Items Of 2008

Honest… we’re not trying to be self-serving. It’s more like… “Remember back when…” The truth is, during the next couple of days, you’ll see so many “top ten lists” about 2008, you’ll become as tired of hearing about them as you will about hearing over-used words in 2008… like “not so much” and “economy.” Either way, you knew we would take a look back, so… in order that we don’t disappoint… Here goes:

COOL TOOLS FOR TRAVEL

Without a doubt, the Brigada story that seemed to garner the most interest was the series we did on “Cool Tools” for traveling missionaries. See the refreshed version, which we’ll try to keep up to date in the future, by clicking to:

www.brigada.org/cooltools

The “Cool Tools” that seemed to draw the most attention were the item on jet lag, the one on “herding kids”, and the most recent one on which browser to use for travel & mission.

4) Switching To "The New Format Brigada"

2008 was the year we finally switched formats… from the text-heavy web page, more-or-less built with simple HTML code, to the more graphical and tool-assisted format you find now at…

http://www.brigada.org/

(If you haven’t stopped by lately, please do check it out. We think you’ll like what we’ve done to the place.) Never mind that our experiment was unsuccessful — Brigada subscribers didn’t want graphics and links inside the *email* version. We learned the hard way they just wanted the facts, thank you. :-) Along about the May 18th edition…

http://www.brigada.org/2008_05_18_archive.html

we evidently hit the sweet spot… so that the email version served as a wake-up call that the web-page version was posted. Many users began looking at Brigada via the web site at that time, due to the fact that they could finally…
*** Access Brigada items by topic rather than just by date
*** Click on links in items and immediately go to the referred sites
*** Comment directly on items in real-time rather than wait 2 weeks
*** Make completely *anonymous* comments
*** See comments immediately, rather than wait 2 weeks for compilations
*** Visualize items like book covers, pictures of resources, maps, etc.

So was it a pleasant switch? To some, “not so much.” (To some, change is never pleasant anyway.) Was it needed? Definitely. Are we glad we shifted, even though it’s actually *more* work now rather than less? By all means. We had been asked for tagging for just too many years.

5) Tremendous Surge In "Holistic Outreaches"

Medical, developmental, urban, and job-wise… Brigada participants in 2008 yearned for real change in people. Whenever we would mention church planting, folks would be glad. (51 “tags” for 2008.) But when we mentioned some kind of outreach to the poor… to those less fortunate (*hundreds* of tags), that’s when people saw the church (and Brigada) as making a difference.

6) Missionary-Types Love Their Tools

Some 200 items dealing with technology (VPNs, for example), Facebook, webinars, another couple of hundred on training, dozens more on software, … the list goes on. The missionary enterprise (and Brigada in particular) seem keen on “gearing up” for missions. In the end, however, we realize the entire process is a work of the Spirit. We just enjoy keeping in touch while He helps us carry it out.

7) We Learned The "Bam" Wasn’t Just A Noise

Business as Missions (and tentmaking) are definitely at the top of the heap of topics these days. The previous nice-and-neat little titles and “boxes” that helped us divide “Missions” from “secular jobs” suddenly dissolved in 2008. Now, everything is so muddy… it’s hard to tell where our secular job ends and mission begins.

10) Some Of What Did *Not* Happen In 2009

Before we totally step away from this reflective mood, don’t forget to by honest with yourself about did *not* happen in 2008 Brigada-world.
*** We didn’t go out of business or cease operations
*** We didn’t resort to “subscriptions” (You can still get it free)
*** In the end, we didn’t miss a single issue (though some were, ahem… late :-) )– You received 52 editions of Brigada Today… and then some
*** We didn’t sell or exchange your email address with anyone. As we say in the “Closing stuff”, “We will never give your information to anybody. We won’t market you, won’t hassle you, and won’t ever bother you. You won’t be signed up for mailings you didn’t request. Your address is safe and your future is secure. Life is good. :-)”

11) We Came Very Close To Making Budget

For the first year ever, Brigada will more than likely make it out of 2008 *exactly* on budget, thanks to many kind-hearted people… and a great campaign idea (unsolicited, by the way) from Justin Long. We received a check today for $15 from a great friend in Virginia (Thanks!), $25 from a friend with recently-retired from World Gospel Mission (We appreciate you!), $75 from a long-time friend in Plano, TX (he’s been with us for over 13 years), and a $100 “True Fan” from Rochester, MN. These $215 immediately became $430, due to the boldness of an international church in the Middle East.

12) We Only Need 5 More "True Fans" ($100 Gifts Or Commitments)

Based on the fact that we only need 5 more donations of $100 (or any combination making up that amount), we have once again this year decided to extent the 2008 gift-threshold long enough to see if there are any gifts that come in via the post. At this point, we’re guessing that we should allow about 10 days max for mailings. If 5 “True Fans” step up to the plate before then, we’ll just apply it toward 2009.

13) The Backpage: What Would *You* Write About

Here’s your chance: If you were writing the last BackPage editorial for 2008, what would you say? Guess what: You can! Just click “Comment” below this item and, within reason, write about *anything*. (Yes, we’ll remove editorials that are judged to be rude or in poor taste.) You can use your name… or not. Make it pointed or funny. Write about a passion, a purpose, or a principle. It’s your call. What would you say on the back page of 2008?

2008/12/21 — Brigada Today

“Brigada: Since 1995… Buckets full of Resources, Trends, Challenges — all in a weekly e-zine & website…”
Compiled by Doug Lucas, Team Expansion, Louisville, KY
(Almost caught up!)

In this issue…

1) Your Unreached People Group Research Starts & Ends With Jp2K

Never fear… Dan’s still here. Yes, “AD2000 & Beyond” is long gone… but the research arm that began during their tenure is still hard at work. Dan the man is still there, heading up a broad-based initiative to get you the best information possible on any people group you can imagine. Check his work… and that of the team of people assisting him… at

http://www.joshuaproject.net/

There’s even a cool plug-in there that let’s you see a sample “people group a day” picture and link. (See the plug-in right here on the Brigada home page.)

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