Daily Archives: 2015/01/04

2015/01/04 — Brigada Today — Annual “Cool Tools” Edition, Part I

WebCompiled/Edited by Doug Lucas and Tina McCormick, Team Expansion. Brigada online has more graphics and links at http://www.brigada.org . Your gift to Brigada will help get motivation, resources, and news/trends out to thousands of Christian workers throughout the globe on a weekly basis.

In this issue…

1) “What Missionaries Ought to Know…” (Revised 2015): Free Download
2) Would you Consider a Gift in Honor of Brigada’s 20-year Anniversary?
3) Simple Ministry Tool – www.TheCultureTest.com
4) Engage the least-reached peoples of Lebanon
5) What are “Cool Tools for Travelers and Those who Serve Them?”
6) Cool Tools: The Best Bible for Travel (Int’l or Otherwise)
7) Cool Tools: How to Remember Every Random Fact You Ever Heard
8) Cool Tools: the Right Camera
9) Cool Tools: The Right Vest
10) Cool Tools: Carry an 8′ Brown Extension Cord
11) Cool Tools: Back up Your Work
12) Cool Tools: World Phones
13) We Give Thanks for …
14) The BackPage: Learn from David Watson, CPM/CMM/DMM Guru
15) Closing Stuff

1) “What Missionaries Ought to Know…” (Revised 2015): Free Download

jesus film“What Missionaries Ought to Know…: A Handbook for Life and Service” has been revised and expanded so that the e-book now has 69 chapters in its 430 pages. If you have an old edition with fewer than 69 chapters, you can download a copy of the new 2015 edition FREE. The book is available to download free of charge as .doc, .pdf, or .zip files for your computer and as .mobi or .epub files for your Kindle or Nook. Find it at…


2) Would you Consider a Gift in Honor of Brigada’s 20-year Anniversary?

celebrating 20 yearsOn January 25th, Brigada will celebrate its 20-year anniversary. Since January 1995, we’ve been sharing resources, motivation, and trends to finish the Great Commission and multiply the impact of the Great Commandments. In light of this landmark, and in view of the fact that we are so close to the finish line for the December 2014 campaign, we have extended the window of opportunity through this Sunday, January 11th. Thanks to the gracious response of a host of great friends and partners, we are just $3841 short of our campaign goal of the budget goal of $17,120 which would cover a year’s worth of Brigada expenses. Would you join those who have already stepped up to the plate with a gift of $100 (or any amount, actually)? This is your last week to pitch in for the 2014 goal. Gifts arriving after Sunday, January 11th, will still be greatly appreciated, but will count toward the 2015 campaign.

There are two ways to partner financially: To give online, just scroll to the top of our website and click “Donate.” You don’t need a PayPal account to give online. (If you reach a screen asking for your PayPal I.D., look on the left side of the screen, about halfway down, and find the prompt which says, “Continue without a PayPal Account.”)

If you’d rather send an old-fashioned check, just make it payable to Team Expansion and send it to: Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Drive, Louisville, KY 40299, USA. (And by the way, Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so, for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) And if you haven’t already done so, would you consider suggesting this cause to your local church missions team and/or global outreach pastor please? We appreciate you!

3) Simple Ministry Tool – www.TheCultureTest.com

TheCultureTest.comThe Culture Test is a free, five-minute tool (just 25 simple questions) for learning your group’s primary culture type: guilt, shame, or fear. It is like a personality test, but for cultures instead of individuals. You know your personality type, now learn your culture type so you can engage and bless global cultures with the good news!


The Culture Test is mobile-friendly, so is a useful tool for ministry training. Learners can easily complete it on their smart phone during your lesson. A group discussion guide is also available.


Are you doing cultural research? Answer the questions with locals to learn more about your host culture.

4) Engage the least-reached peoples of Lebanon

ywam_logo_finalThe population of Lebanon has doubled with 4 million refugees. These unreached refugee peoples are wide open to the gospel. Will you go to share the gospel with those who’ve never heard, even once? Go as a long-term individual to the least-reached in as little as one year. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Orlando’s School of Missions


offered in April and September will focus on cross-cultural mission training. The next one starts March 30. For more info, email…
or call (407) 273-1667 for more information. Their Launch Team has over 70 years of combined field experience.

5) What are “Cool Tools for Travelers and Those who Serve Them?”

Cool Tools

Cool Tools

Over the years, certain Brigada “travel-related” items seemed to generate a lot of feedback. Over time, we have watched feedback on those items and collected them into a kind of “all-star” cast of items. With the beginning of a new year, we sometimes reprise or update these “Cool Tools for Christian Travelers and Those who Serve Them.”

6) Cool Tools: The Best Bible for Travel (Int’l or Otherwise)

bible imagesTo us, it makes sense to carry a printed Bible when on a trip for His Name’s Sake, even though there are a host of great Bible apps for our smartphones and other digitally connected devices. Why? What if the power goes out for an entire day and the batteries on your laptop and phone tucker out? Besides, I’m convinced that in some contexts, it still just looks WEIRD to teach or share the gospel using a phone or laptop Bible, especially in some contexts. So we recommend the thinnest NT/OT you can find (with print you can still read). It’s probably best to visit a Bible bookstore for this purchase, but as a rule of thumb, the NIV Thinline Bible seems to be a good compromise for font size and packing size. See a sample here…


If you’re looking for an app, we’ve featured dozens over the years in Brigada. For research and lesson/sermon prep, pretty much everybody compares their app to the granddaddy of them all, Logos, at…


[truth in advertising: if you buy a Logos product at this page, you save 15%, but Logos also will make a gift to Brigada. Having said that, our opinion still stands: It’s still the one to which everybody else compares.] Nothing seems to compare with the depth and breadth of Logos offerings.

But sometimes you might now WANT that much depth. If you have an ultrabook laptop, for example, Logos’ 15 gigs (plus) might be overkill. In these cases, throughout the years, we’ve noticed a consistent interest in the Laridian line of Bibles. See their features at…


By going with a product like Laridian, you can still keep your purchases across multiple platforms. That is to say, the Bible version you purchase for your laptop can also be available on your phone. Another advantage of Laridian and similar class Bible apps: They’re just faster, sometimes, than opening up a giant application like Logos.

Of course, you might find that the YouVersion app at…


might be enough for you. Around 165 million users have made that decision by installing the app on their own devices. Over 1000 versions are available in 779 languages. In addition, some still haven’t noticed that YouVersion now offers several Bible versions for offline reading too. Learn more at…


7) Cool Tools: How to Remember Every Random Fact You Ever Heard

evernoteYou only need one word to answer this item: Evernote. It’s fast, it’s synchronized (with every device you own), the notes are always available off-line, and it’s full-featured. Basically, think of it as a funnel into which you can throw all your ideas, goals, things to remember, notes, and everything else. On the other side, you can retrieve everything. It has been said that the spreadsheet application virtually CREATED the market single-handedly for the personal computer. Why? Because paper spreadsheets were made SO obsolete by computerized versions. To me, Evernote is another one of those apps.


8) Cool Tools: the Right Camera

camera passportChoosing the right camera is a very personal decision. We recommend trying to find one with high-def 1080 video capabilities and a built-in mic jack into which you can plug a wired or a remote lavaliere mic (essential to bump up the audio quality for videos). If you can find on that carries reasonably well in a jacket pocket, you’ll be doing well. But the secret is to find something that works well for YOU. Pick up a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. If you find yourself photographing church services in large (darkened) meeting rooms, you will probably have to carry an external flash too. Nothing beats the Nikon Speedlite series, but the best bet is to get one that syncs with your camera.

There are scads of offerings out there (visit your local camera shop or electronics warehouse to hold and sample the possibilities), but you won’t go wrong with the Fujifilm X100T.


We have a hard time recommending anything outside the Nikon, Canon, or Sony world, but Fuji makes it very difficult not to mention the X100T. It has great picture quality, brilliant resolution, a relatively fast lense, a fast viewfinder, and dramatic images.

If you want to pick up your game with interchangeable lenses but keep things thin and light, the Sony Nex 7 is hard to beat. Learn more at…


The entry level flash would be the HVL- F20AM model, but the HVL-F43M is more powerful and more sophisticated. Read about it here…


9) Cool Tools: The Right Vest

ScotteVestAdmit it: you have probably been embarrassed to wear a photographer’s vest, even though you figured it would be extremely handy, just because you were afraid it would also make you look like a gadget freak. Well, those days are over. With the development of the new slender profile “ScotteVest,” most all of the image problem has gone away.


The ScotteVest’s pockets are all but invisible — and tech-enabled. It was recommended to me by a great friend and, I’ll have to admit, he was spot-on. These vests become a walking, incognito extra airline carry-on. My camera fits in one pocket, my flash or water bottle in another, and I still have PLENTY of space for a lightweight mini-tripod, a small flashlight, hand sanitizer, passport (in a protected, waterproof pocket), hand sanitizer, and virtually everything else you wish you had on the trail or village visit — up to and including iPads even. But please watch the color you choose. Some of the black vests seem a bit too paramilitary-looking for our tastes.

10) Cool Tools: Carry an 8′ Brown Extension Cord

File the widened ‘polarization tip’ off the one prong of the plug so it’ll plug into the old 220 V. British (round prong) tip adaptor. Use the brown extension cord not only to bring the electric closer to you (in rooms that only have 1 plug for the whole room), but also to multiply the plug so you can charge your devices along with those of your roommate. :-) Many rooms will have only one plug.

11) Cool Tools: Back up Your Work

backup1Sooner or later, you’ll unintentionally overwrite your work, or worse yet, your equipment will fail or be stolen. We’ve tried online back-up software. To us, it has just become too big of a hassle and too slow. But if you want to give it a try, check out CrashPlan (free with ads) or CrashPlan Plus. (You can evidently use CrashPlan for free with an external hard drive, though we haven’t tried this option. This would be a great choice for Mac users, by the way.) However, with large hard drives dropping so low in price, we now recommend carrying a 1-, a 2-, or a 3- terabyte hard drive. It’s about the size of a small smart-phone. (We live in an amazing age, eh? USB sticks are another option, if you have a USB port on your device (all of them should!). Backup software varies greatly per device. If you’re on Windows (at LEAST through Windows 7), check out


It’s free and easy to set up. The only problem is, you have to remember to delete your old backups (maybe leave 3 previous versions). Mac users, see the above note about CrashPlan.

12) Cool Tools: World Phones

OneSimCardGet an unlocked phone with a SIM card (GSM chip). Prior to your departure, find a carrier in your destination land that sells “pay as you go” or “top up” or “non-subscriber service” or “PrePaid” GSM chips or SIM cards. Pay ridiculously low prices for these (for example, $4), buy a ton of cheap minutes, and call to the USA 10 cents/minute. This contrasts radically with USA-based-cell-carrier plans, which typically make you pay at least three times that much. If you thought you’d just use your regular cell phone, think again. At least call your customer service rep before you leave your homeland so you know exactly what you’re going to spend. (It could be HUNDREDS of dollars in a week’s worth of calls.) Buying a local sim card will almost always be the best route. What’s more, it gives you a local number so local contacts can easily call you about schedule changes. If you want fast, inexpensive choices, just call an all-stop-shop like


Their informed customer service folks will always steer you right. If you want to keep the Telestial folks honest on prices, comparison shop first at…


13) We Give Thanks for …

thank you… great, anonymous friends in Hartford City, IN, who sent $50 this past week to empower Brigada to keep churning out resources, trends, and motivation for worldwide witnesses to Jesus’ powerful, life-changing truth.
… True fans of Brigada, from Encinitas, CA, who sent $100 on Dec. 31st.
… $15 from a missionary couple in El Salvador (Thank you for your years of service, along with your years of participation in the Brigada family!)
… a $200 gift from a worker at Creative Results Management. Learn how they have helped literally thousands of ministry leaders multiply their ministry impact at…


… a $100 gift from Maineville, Ohio. God bless you.
… and a $25 gift from another buckeye in Akron. Thank you!
… a $150 gift from a Californian — May God bless.
… and a $50 gift from an anonymous author who sends the most encouraging notes on a regular basis.
… and another $50 gift from a Pennsylvanian who wrote, “We’re so thankful for all the good information we receive throughout the year.” God bless you.
… for the reader who suggested we ask Brigada users to sign up for Amazon Smile program for their purchases. Our limited experience with that program is — you have to do a lot of purchasing before it adds up, but I guess if you’re ordering a big ticket item via Amazon, it could help if you’d designate your Amazon Smile purchase for “Team Expansion.” If you’d like to try it, set it up at…


and designate “Team Expansion Ministries Inc” as the charitable org you’d like to support. Once you designate it, it should “stick” until you change it or log out of Amazon.

If you sent a gift to Brigada by mail, perhaps it’s still in route. For this reason, we’ll still keep the door open for the 2014 campaign through this Sunday, January 11th. Just mail a check payable to Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Drive, Louisville, KY 40299. Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so, for USA citizens, your gift to Christ through Team Expansion is tax-deductible. If you’d rather give online, just click “Donate” in the upper right corner. Because we’re holding open the door for checks, we’ll also hold open the door for online gifts as well. All online gifts and checks received before Jan. 11th will count toward budget needs for 2014. After this date, gifts are still welcome but they will apply to 2015.

14) The BackPage: Learn from David Watson, CPM/CMM/DMM Guru

Want to learn from a church-planting movement (CPM) guru? (By the way, CPM is only ONE of the ways to refer to the concept. You might also call it a church-multiplication movement (CMM), Disciple-making Movement (DMM), and a dozen other choices of alphabet soup. For a long time, our org had settled on CPM as our favorite acronym/moniker for this concept. However, there’s so much diversity among trainers these days, it sometimes boils down to which trainer has happened by most recently with the best stories! You’re always safe calling them CPM or CMM though.) ANYWAY, if you’d like to learn more, catch him on YouTube at…

or order the book, “Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery,” on Amazon at…


The CPM/CMM/DMM concept is getting so much play these days that it’s hard to imagine ever going back (to the traditional church-planting model). If you haven’t given these principles a listen, at least get exposed to the general concepts. If you’ve already tried them, feel free to give your testimony (pro or con) by clicking “Comment” immediately following the web version of this item. And thank you, in advance, for taking time to respond.

15) Closing Stuff

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Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299, USA. (And by the way, Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) Thanks to those who have suggested this cause to their local church missions committees, mission teams, and/or missions ministers/pastors. We appreciate you!

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Copyright – This issue of _Brigada Today_ is Copyrighted 2014. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials, including those available on the Brigada website, provided that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Jesus Christ to reach the unreached.* To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted.

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