Daily Archives: 2010/11/07

3) How do you Know How Good your website is? —

websitegraderNow you can. Browse to…

http://www.websitegrader.com

It’s fun to compare your own site to “competitors.” Now granted, there’s no competition among lighthouses. But let’s just say we *all* want to attract more ‘hits’ to our sites. Compare yourself to other agencies, churches, or individuals… and see what you come up with. And thanks to those who have linked to Brigada, by the way! :-)

http://websitegrader.com/site/www.brigada.org

You can also ask the same folks to grade your Facebook page [but see my warning below first!] at…

http://facebook.grader.com/

Of course, maybe you’ll feel fishy putting in your Facebook log-in information. (I didn’t, by the way.) I can’t find any indication anywhere on the web that these guys are scammers. But, let the buyer beware, just the same. Still, it’s a cool idea… even though I couldn’t bring myself to log on there.

5) Learn More about Fruitful Practices Among Muslims —

leaderingtogetherThose interested in fruitful practices and insights into how the Creator is at work among Muslims, check out the new book “Where There Was No Church: Postcards from Followers of Jesus in the Muslim World”, which has just been released by some of the same folks behind “From Seed to Fruit.” It’s reportedly a terrific book for personal or group study. You can learn more, read a sample chapter, and buy at a limited-time discount right now at

http://www.learningtogetherpress.com

This book is also available from Amazon.com & other major book sellers. See it for sale via Kindle for $4.99, for example, at

http://www.amazon.com/Where-There-Was-Church-ebook/dp/B004A156EU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289252698&sr=8-1

6) Wanted: Prayer Initiative Experience —

prayerThe disciples asked Jesus how to pray, but we want to ask you *how to mobilize others to pray.* In your experiences with prayer initiatives, what do you wish someone had told you before starting? What did you do right? What did you do wrong? A worker from North Africa is asking.

7) Looking for a Great Personal VPN? —

witopiaMight as well look no further than Wytopia (at their product by that name: “Personal VPN”). Find it at

http://www.witopia.net/index.php/products/

for $59.99/year in PC/Win or Apple. A VPN is a connection between your operating system, some software, and an online service (or server) that creates a bullet-proof shield, so to speak, around your traffic. Sounds very James-Bondish, but it’s very important to many people to maintain privacy, whether they’re sending financial information to their bank, an order to Amazon, or instructions to their missionary. All of those relationships and more take place over a connection similar to a VPN. So, once you’ve hooked yours up, you can browse or collect email and nobody can read *any* of it, even though the internet connection is coming through their government or company. Extremely worthwhile any time you have to use a wi-fi connection — *anywhere* (your homeland, or otherwise).

8) Dropbox Revisited —

dropboxRobby’s proposal (last week) to spread the referral benefit for Dropbox among readers collapsed. None listed their referral link in the online comments, so Robby got all the benefit personally and is now near the limit from which he can benefit. If you find Dropbox useful and would like to increase your own free space, please:

1. Launch the Dropbox website (linked on the Mac from the Menubar icon)

2. Select “Get Extra Space Free” (linked from the lower left of the page)

3. Copy your own referral link (under “Share this link on Facebook or Twitter”)

4. Paste the link under Brigada item

http://www.brigada.org/2010/10/31_5661

Note that at this time, Brigada is not using DropBox, just because it isn’t needed at this time. Robby tells us the integration with the Mac interface is phenomenal.  He asks, “Would someone comment on the PC integration of this tool?” To answer his question, please click below.

10) Increase impact for your short-term trips (using the web) —

missionmakrMissionMakr.com allows churches and mission organizations the ability to build and launch their short-term trip online using drag and drop widgets made just for missions. Created by Robert and Caleb, two guys who have worked in both ministry and missions, MissionMakr follows the natural progression of a short-term trip: Launch, GearUP, GO! And Tell. Each phase allows you to connect with all the people who touch your short-term trip. People who want to go on your trip sign up as a Pending MissionMembr. Once approved, MissionMakr charges one Credit ($18-25) based on the number of people going. MissionSupportrs can sign up to follow your trip at no cost. When you’re on your trip, you can communicate using both a browser and an email equipped phone or mobile device. Learn more here:

http://www.missionmakr.com

They also operate a blog that is devoted to helping people communicate short-term missions.

http://blog.missionmakr.com

You can request an online demo or contact Robert toll free inside at 1.877.290.4017. (Thanks for referring them to Brigada, Marti… and thanks for all your work at Missions Catalyst

http://missionscatalyst.net/

11) We Give Thanks…. —

thankyou2For an anonymous donor in an anonymous location who sent $200 this past week, we give thanks. And for a person who values Member Care, who gave $50, we’re grateful. For a mission network in Anacortes, WA, we’re thankful. And for anonymous donors in Valparaiso, IN, who also gave $50, we praise God.

12) How to Undergird Unreached Peoples Through Brigada

Mostly what we write about is reaching unreached peoples. Want to undergird all that writing, past, present, and future, through Brigada? Just click on one of the “Donor” links at the top of this page at the beginning of each month. Both are safe, the one with PayPal and the other with Authorize.net. Neither requires you to open an account with anyone … and neither ever spams you. But we can also 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 each month, 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 your help in fueling the fire of Brigada!

13) The BackPage: How do we Fix UPG List-Mania? [edited 13 of Nov.] –

How is it that, after all these years, we still have multiple lists of unreached peoples? I continue to maintain that we should be asking, “Can’t we all just get along?” My friend, Justin Long, recently wrote an article at his site, “The Devil is in the Details.”

http://www.justinlong.org/2010/11/the-devil-is-in-the-definitions-or-the-controversies-around-unengaged-at-capetown2010/

I responded to him, “Thanks for the time you invested in setting this down on paper, Justin. Or — I guess I should say… on screen. :-) Your title, in my opinion, is more telling than all of us might realize, at least at first. ‘The Devil is in the definitions.’ We can smooth it over all we want, but to me, Satan has to pump his fist a la Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series. You *have* to see it at

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=3364800

Believe it or not, I happened to watch that game *live*. I remember seeing him pump his fist at 2nd base and my eyes instantly misted with emotion — and I’m not even a big baseball fan! :-)  Well all that to say this: to me, like it or not, Satan *had* to pump his fist Friday morning in Cape Town. Everything had been set exactly right. Paul could have walked up on the stage and said practically *anything* and we’d all given it a standing ovation. Anything, except what he said. Which was — here’s a *new* list, with *new* data (and it didn’t help any that inconsistencies *jumped* out at us all). I confess: I looked around to the other five members of my table group, none of which was U.S. of American, and lowered my head, and gently shook it, then just apologized. The really wild thing was — they all had to think about it for a second whether or not they’d accept my apology on behalf of Lausanne, Paul, and the USA. (They eventually *did*, but it took about 15 seconds to say so.)

To me, we *can* fix this.

But I can’t figure out how this happened. Lausanne III had gotten so many things *right*. How did this sneak past them? Did Doug Birdsall sign off on it? Was it because we’ve lost some of our senior leadership on the Strategy Working Group (by senior, I mean “experienced” not “aged”)? So a “new guard” came in without regard for what had gone on before? I happened to be in the room in 1995 when Luis Bush brought together about 25 researchers from all over the globe. I remember the reaction from our Indian brothers (sub-continent of India) when Luis said, “Nope, we need a list with 2000 or fewer unreached groups.” The guy from India humbly said, “But sir, I have here a list larger than 2000 groups just within India!” Luis said, “The USA public won’t stand for it. We can’t get our arms around that many groups. Besides, I’m convinced there will be big marketability for a list of around 2000 people groups as we approach the year 2000.” The room was stunned. But in the months that followed, everybody stayed at the table, and at the “Launch” meeting later that year, the Joshua Project List of Unreached Peoples rolled out to a fairly big fanfare (with 1739 groups listed, by the way). Patrick was there. The IMB was there. Wycliffe was there. Caleb Project was there. ACMC was there. Even Brigada was there. (OK… I’m only listing Brigada with those other guys because I’m hoping some search engine will think it’s for real. :-) ) What I can’t for the life of me figure out is — didn’t anyone tell Paul that somebody had fought all this fight before? *15 Years* before?

The way to fix this whole thing is to embrace the JoshuaProject list

http://www.joshuaproject.net

and add a column of data to it — or even several columns — from Paul’s list. Let’s build on what we already have. There’s no need to have a new website serving up a new list. Let’s start with the known. And Build. (It doesn’t help matters that the Finishing the Task (FTT) list didn’t provide sources, didn’t give more than just a few columns of info, and cheated so many people out of the group they were following. [Shaking my head.]) Pure and simple — this was a dropped ball. To fix it, we need unity, not what happened at Cape Town.

I understand there’s a meeting happening next month in California. I’m praying for that get-together, hoping it can not just heal this, but pole-vault it forward.

Somebody’s going to be able to use this someday as a powerful lesson in the importance of gathering the *legacy of history* prior to trying to force a future following. [end]

So what’s your response? How do you resolve this entire discussion in your own mind? (That it’s irrelevant?  … unimportant? :-) ) One Brigada reader already wrote, “I vote that concern over UPG lists should be very important to us, because UPG’s seem so important to God.  After all, Jesus isn’t setting up his eternal kingdom on the New Earth until individuals have been re-born from every tribe, nation, language, and people still in existence. As to whether there should 32, 236, 1, or 0 deaf groups listed, I don’t know.  Socio-economic factors, literacy, and other within-human-control factors don’t seem to be the types of groups mentioned in the Bible.”

Another Brigada participant responded, “This did not sneak by everyone. Many have been trying for a long time to bring attention to the need for corrections in the FTT [“Finishing the Task”] lists, as well as to the errors and confusion in definitions and presentations. As an American, I too have been making apologies for leaders of this initiative (though very well-meaning) who have not always honored the voices of Global South and other leaders of global and regional networks focused on Unreached Peoples. For me, this issue is bigger than one initiative. If we as Westerners believe God has shown us something, could we humbly go to our fellow co-laborers around the world and submit it as a consideration, trusting that God has already (in most locations) raised up mature, spiritual leaders who may have the bigger piece of the Lord’s discernment where it affects their regions and cultures? Better yet, might we ask how we can serve the vision God has given them?” Good questions. To Paul’s credit, he’s definitely wanting to involve an international audience. Of this, there is no doubt. During that session in Cape Town, however, several seemed to have missed his point.

What’s your own take?

[Edited 13 of November: As it turns out, someone must have shown the above piece to Paul, the presenter at Cape Town. He called me just 48 hours after this Brigada went “to press” and invited me to attend the meeting in California. I made it clear — his humility, along with his commitment to ‘fix’ this, seems quite remarkable. More later.

Doug]

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