Daily Archives: 2009/10/11

1) The Perfect Tool for your Church or Ministry Website?

cloverCould Cloversites be essentially the perfect tool for developing your new web presence? Check them out at…


See their feature list at…


You can post audio (workshops, classes, sermons, presentations), and soon, video as well. You’ll be able to start your website practically immediately. Their customer service seems awesome… and the tools are extremely cool. Several of our friends recommended Cloversites, including a church in Indianapolis, as well as a pro desktop publisher soon to be joining our crew here in Louisville. When we looked at the demo site, we soon learned why. *Sooo* simple. In fact, they claim that no one has ever asked them for a “guidebook” or help file. Why? Everything is so intuitive, nobody needs it. The price is reasonable too, for what you get. Everything is jazzy flash, yet loads quickly and is extremely search engine friendly. We attend a church here in Louisville with an attendance of about 750. When they decided to gear up with a snazzier website, they elected to go with a local developer for a price of $12,000. I tried to talk them out of it. I had a friend who had agreed to do it for $3000. They wanted jazzy. Well let me tell you — Cloversites’ numerous templates are, in my opinion, *all* better than what our local church ended up with, yet their price is always exactly $1000. That’s it. No strange “per hour” fees. No add-ons necessary. $1000 — and chau. You’re up and running. Afterward, pay a monthly web-hosting fee of $20 for 100 Gig, which is also extremely competitive. If you’re already thinking about switching, gearing up, or starting up a web presence. Please give Cloversites a try. I haven’t found anything better on the web. (Please be sure to use the link above so they’ll know Brigada sent you their way. We would have recommended them anyway — and that’s the truth — but they’ve promised to recognize Brigada with a donation, depending on how many people sign up. So it’s the best of both worlds: You get a snazzy, quick, world-class website, and Brigada might end up with a gift as a result of your good choice!)

3) Take a Member Care ‘how-to’ Course for Free

godintheglobalofficeStudy under the people who wrote the book on Member Care (Kelly and Michele O’Donnell). Watch this interactive slide presentation and learn how to further connect and contribute to the member care field. It is oriented towards those with member care responsibilities and interests and especially towards those studying/working in the health care fields. It works well for groups that want discussion and relationship-building. It can take from 30 minutes to three hours, based on how much you want to interact with the reflection/discussion questions,  the video clips, and web links. The title, “God in the Global Office,” reflects a Christian emphasis that sees God at work everywhere (global office) together with humans and on behalf of humans. The presentation (“slidecast”) is narrated. The written notes and the audio version are also available on request.


4) Guidelines for Security on Social Networking Sites

reachglobalThanks much to ReachGlobal, who shared with us their guidelines for social networking sites. The author, their Dir. of Special Initiatives, was kind enough to grant us permission to publish it here as a seed for further thoughts on how to relate to Facebook. Thanks for your work, your unselfishness, and your willingness to help all of us grapple with these issues, Lindsay!


5) Learn How to *Really* Do Business (BAM)

openexpoDo you desire to use your business skills in reaching the unreached? Would you like to be actively involved in helping transform a remote area of the world? Are you willing to share your work expertise via email coaching? Are you seeking to export your goods or services overseas? Or import goods or services? If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then you need to participate in the OPEN Expo on November 19-21, 2009 in York, PA. It will hope to link business people with overseas workers & teams who desire coaching, model how business leads to transforming Muslim and Hindu communities, explore new models of doing mission, and train volunteers for coaching those doing BAM (business as mission) cross-culturally. Learn more at…


Register at…


(Password: openb4t)

6) World Hunger Fund Free Resources

worldhungerToday, October 11 has been designated as World Hunger Day. Learn more at…


or contact

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7) Book, “Discovering Missions,” Can Save you Tons of Time

discoveringmissions“Discovering Missions,” a great introduction to missions book is in its second printing.  Published by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, it is available on Amazon.com and other similar online retailers for around $25 U.S.  For those who teach missions, there is a free CD available with a sample syllabus, banks of test questions, in-class exercises and other resource material.  For more info, contact Howard Culbertson:

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8) How to Fan the Flame of Brigada

109261-Burmese-Muslim-girl-0Want to help encourage the dream of Brigada… the dream of working together to finish the Task of reaching the unreached? Just click on one of the “Donor” links at the top of this page. Both are safe, the one with PayPal and the other with one of the most well-known “real” online merchants on the web. Neither requires you to open an account with anyone … and neither ever spams you. We can even set up a regular once-a-month automatic withdraw from your checking account or major credit card. Set it up once and rest easily, knowing that you’re regularly helping get Brigada on the way to the nations. Or, if you prefer, just send an old-fashioned check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) A gift of any size would help, whether monthly or one-time. If you know someone else who might like to help, just hit reply and tell us about him/her/them. Thank you for any help you can give.

9) The BackPage: On Ownership and Bedmaking

purplethrowMy wife and I have an informal tradition. We alternate “making the bed.” It’s not a closely-regulated thing, mind you. We don’t have a chart with checkmarks. But in general, sometimes after I’ve gotten ready, on my way out of the bedroom, I’ll be sure that I make up the bed. And I try to make it look nice — as closely as I can to the way *she* can make it look. I try to arrange the bedspread neatly, without wrinkles, just like my mom taught me. I position the pillows just right… cover them up… put the decorative pillows on top (what are they for, anyway?), then yet another smaller pillow, and then, on top of all that, an almost life-sized replica of her dog, Mia, a Bichon Frise. So I position it all — all except a new “throw” at the base of the bed. I pretty much just… well… I *throw* it on the base.

I’ve often wondered why I do that. I take such time with the other blankets and stuff. Why am I so careless with that purple “throw” at the end.

Well I can tell you. It was added after the tradition began.

I didn’t ask for the throw. It just showed up there one day. Nor did my wife talk it through with me: “Honey, I’m wondering… if I add yet another item to the bed… a purple throw… would you embrace it just like you have the other things.. the pillows, the stuffed animal dog… the works?” Instead, it just popped onto the landscape there one day.

So… I guess, because it wasn’t a part of the original deal, I figure… I don’t owe it anything, you know? So I just sort of throw it. (It is, after all, a “throw,” right?)

Are there “throws” in your life, or that of your marriage? … or in the life of your team, church or organization? Is there a certain policy… maybe one you never really signed onto… and your organization or church is now kind of expecting you to keep it, but you don’t really feel an ownership of it? Now those 7 or 8 policies that were stated on the back of your application… the ones you were supposed to read before signing… you at least make an effort to follow those. Because, after all, you reason in your heart of hearts, “If I didn’t want to follow these, I should have never joined up.” But what about the extra stuff that was added afterward?

It’s an interesting question: Because, if we’re truly a member of the marriage, or the relationship, or the organization, church or company, then one would think we would sign on for current and future directives, just like the ones that predated us. But alas, I fear — that’s not our nature.

What about the “throws” that adorn your life? My take on these are as follows:

*** We should probably tune our minds to become self-aware enough to recognize the “throws” and, when we realize they’ve become a part of the picture, we should probably talk them through with the spouse, church leaders, organizational leaders, etc. If we’ve truly bought into the relationship, then we should ask the leadership to what extent we’re expected to “tow the line.” I could simply ask, “Honey, does it bother you that I just ‘throw the throw’? or… are you ok with that?” In other words, we need an understanding.

*** Once there is an understanding, I’m thinking we should, if we’ve truly bought into the relationship, own the new ‘throw’ just like it was a part of the original deal. Otherwise, our actions are speaking louder than words, saying that we really aren’t a belonger.

*** If the “throw” ever becomes burdensome… that is, if it changes the very nature of our commitment, we owe it to the other party to be honest about that too. “Honey, I gotta tell you… the bedspread I can take. The pillows have to be there. Even the dog… is ok. But that ‘throw’ … Either that throw goes or *I* go.” We owe it to the other party to talk these things through… because if we don’t, we’re just making them miserable, deep down inside, along with everybody else.

We can and must learn to relate to the “throws” in life. Until we do, I fear for our sense of commitment to the relationship.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’ve made my bed; now I’m going to go lie in it. :-)


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