Daily Archives: 2018/04/01

2018/04/01 — Brigada Today

Compiled/Edited by Doug Lucas and Tina McCormick, Team Expansion
Brigada online has more graphics and links at http://www.brigada.org

In this issue…
1) Does “Innovation in Mission” Sound Interesting to You?
2) Engaging Islam Institute: For Long-Term Workers Among Muslims
3) If You’re a Fan of George Patterson, Like I am…
4) Interested in Learning More about How Christians and Muslims Relate?
5) International Wholistic Missions Conference 2018
6) New Book: A Christian Reads the Qur’an
7) 2018 Disaster Ministry Conference
8) There are Quite a Few Curricula for Short-Term Teams These Days
9) What do YOU think of These Three Verses from the Quran?
10) Is Groups.IO the new EGroups.com ?
11) Facebook: Fallen from Grace (If they ever had any?)
12) Do You See a Rise in Neighborhood Churches, at Home/Abroad?
13) We’re Grateful for…
14) The Last Bit: Heard of the Great Commission? Maybe Not
15) Closing Stuff

1) Does “Innovation in Mission” Sound Interesting to You?

Then you’re probably going to want to click on …


to register for an online event (like, a webinar?) called by that name (“Innovation in Mission”). The theory behind the event is — most of us VALUE innovation. We just aren’t really good at making it our CULTURE. This web event is designed to help you as a nonprofit look for practical ways to make innovation work for you and generate Kingdom impact. We considered taking part, but, in the end, decided we just hadn’t done things like this before.

JOKING! Seriously, it sounds really good.

The toughest part will be figuring out what time to show up — especially for an audience like Brigada (which is located literally all over the world). The best bet is to go here (but before we send you here, just take heed; don’t click the green “get started” arrow; that’s an ad. We’re serious. It’s not part of the program. : ) ) :


That should take care of you – if you avoided clicking the green arrow. : )

At the “Generous Mind” link above, you’ll be able to read more information about the content of the meeting. (Hint: One of the key designers used to be the CEO of Global Mapping. : ) )

2) Engaging Islam Institute: For Long-Term Workers Among Muslims

From July 23 until August 3, 2018, the Engaging Islam Institute will happen as a two-week, in-depth course to prepare believers for work with Muslims locally and around the world. Held in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, this course is perfect for missionaries, local workers, or anyone who wants to learn how to effectively engage Muslims with the gospel. Learn under effective teachers and fruitful evangelists such as Georges Houssney, founder and president of Horizons International. Students explore different evangelist approaches and case studies by missionaries, featuring Muslims in areas such as Turkey, Morocco, Kosovo, Yemen, Iran, the U.S., and more. Register now at:…


3) If You’re a Fan of George Patterson, Like I am…

You’ll enjoy this page-full of interviews with him at…


Wow. I could spend an entire Spring Break doing a video-binge of George Patterson. MUCH more effective than watching Netflix. If you haven’t heard of George before (gasp), he launched a special brand of discipleship training that emphasized obedience. VERY vogue, even though he did it in the 1970’s. So he was basically about 40 years ahead of his time. : )

5) International Wholistic Missions Conference 2018

The International Wholistic Missions Conference tries to connect, educate, and equip churches and organizations for integral ministries that transform lives, families, and communities through the power of the Gospel of Jesus. They value integration & wholism, local ownership, participatory learning, reproducible strategies, servant leadership, and sustainable development. It’s scheduled for May 1-3 at Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ. Learn more and register here:


7) 2018 Disaster Ministry Conference

The Disaster Ministry Conference, presented by Wheaton College’s Humanitarian Disaster Institute, equips church & lay leaders to serve amid disasters domestically and internationally. The event features global leaders in disaster ministry, emergency management, humanitarian aid, public health, and mental health fields. Participants will gain new knowledge, skills, and networks for effectively engaging and responding to disasters and the justice issues that surround them. Learn more and register at


8) There are Quite a Few Curricula for Short-Term Teams These Days

This was one of the first:


As far as we can tell, it has fallen on hard times, right? Does anyone know where it can still be purchased? In light of the fact that it’s likely out of print, the question is, which curriculum is the best? Is there anything quite like “Round Trip” to replace it? What’s your opinion?

9) What do YOU think of These Three Verses from the Quran?

David Wood has a website, Answering Muslims.


What do you think of the points he makes in this video?


Of particular interest is Surah 9:29. Whoa. How have we never seen this surah before. “Fight those” who are “People of the book” (Jews and Christians). Do you really agree with David Wood that Muslims are commanded in this verse to fight those who don’t agree with them? How does it ever make sense in today’s world for 1.6 billion people to hold on to a religion which instructs them, once they are a majority in any region, to start fighting those who don’t embrace their cause? I’ve known MANY Muslims who treated me with great respect. Were they just choosing to disobey Allah on this verse then?

10) Is Groups.IO the new EGroups.com ?

When Brigada first formed, back in 1995, we relied heavily on a group called CrossConnect for our first few years of life. (And by the way, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for the internet education they gave us. To a large extent, our format is what it is because of them. They argued heavily — and effectively — for being “kind” to the internet. They suggested clean emails with few, if any, ads. They minimized pictures and maximized content. They taught careful links. So much more. Thank you CrossConnect!)

Next, we transitioned to eGroups.com, then we spent a few years in oblivion using tools like GoogleGroups and YahooGroups. Transitioning over to MailChimp as our primary sending service didn’t happen until relatively recently. We finally concluded that, although it was expensive, it was more dependable and we valued the reliability factor more than the money.

Recently, we’ve been watching the growth of Groups.io. Will it become the new eGroups? (Will it serve as a greenhouse for a new forum while it grows and acquires stability?) What’s your take on Groups.IO? It looks free and we can’t see a downside for those who are starting. Please click “Comment” following the web or app version of this item and share your experience with the Groups.io service, if you have any.

11) Facebook: Fallen from Grace (If they ever had any?)

Did Facebook ever enjoy any favor from those who understand the web? Likely not. Ask the I.T. guy at your company or organization. Odds are, if he’s on Facebook, he’s very careful. The greater likelihood is — he’s not. Maybe his WIFE is — for the kids and grandparents. But likely, he shuns and even avoids it.

Do a search, “security problems with Facebook” and you’ll likely see nearly 100 million results. Articles from major news sources will probably abound with titles like, “Five Hidden Dangers of Facebook.”

So why in the world are we shocked when we (suddenly? uhhh… anything but suddenly) learn that millions of users’ personal information has been scraped (or sold?) to non-approved buyers? People have been scraping Facebook for years. Yet, “suddenly” the public is outraged? Hello.

On nearly EVERY overseas trip we make, we ask (one by one) each participant, “Please don’t post any picture or any words that tell where you are and what you’re doing. Please don’t take pictures of group members or locals without asking their permission and if you DO post something, please wait until after the trip and then, if you choose to post, only tell GENERAL things about the GENERAL region you visited.” But better not to post at all.

These “check-in” posts… “Doug is checking in in Warsaw” have bothered me forever. I always think, “OK, now everyone knows they can break into my house?” It’s crazy.

Our I.T. guy seems to get smarter every day. : )

What’s YOUR opinion about social networking? Click comment. But please feel free to make the comment anonymously. : )

12) Do You See a Rise in Neighborhood Churches, at Home/Abroad?

Wherever you live, the question is the same: Have neighborhood churches been rising or falling? In your homeland? … abroad? We found it interesting that the CEO of Lifeway published (in his private blog) that he believed neighborhood churches were now on the rise. (#6 in his post at http://mychristiandaily.com/the-ten-crucial-church-trends-for-2018/ ) If he’s right, this could bode well for “simple churches” on a global scale. Where are you on the whole question of the neighborhood church? If one existed, would you attend? (And would you prefer you lived in a different neighborhood? If so, why?) Can you see yourself starting a “simple church” in your neighborhood? The curriculum at


is kind of designed to help you do that. Would you consider trying just the 9 basic streamed sessions? (Note: You really need a group of 4-12 to tackle the course correctly.) Please click “Comment” following this post on the web or in the app. Thanks!

13) We’re Grateful for…

… the $100 from Mission Network. They’ve blessed Brigada on a monthly basis because they believe in the mission (and the Great Commission). Would you like to join them? If so, just click “Donate” at www.brigada.org, or 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 by writing a check to Team Expansion is tax-deductible. Thank you, in advance, for your partnership!

14) The Last Bit: Heard of the Great Commission? Maybe Not

By now you’ve probably heard of the new Barna poll which makes it clear why we sometimes feel that it’s hard to persuade others to care about the Great Commission. Now we know. Half of Christendom have never heard of it. At least, that’s what they told Barna researchers in a recent survey.


Sounds like we need to do some educating.

You know, the more we read this study, the more we just became sick at our stomachs. I (Doug) have spent most of my life (2/3rd?) trying to persuade people to care. There have been audiences who have responded. And there have been audiences who have not. Sometimes I’ve walked away from a presentation or sermon thinking, “Boy; I just wasn’t getting through.” Now we know why. It’s like pushing a rope uphill. They have no basis whatsoever to care. They’ve never heard of the underpinnings. They honestly don’t KNOW that Jesus asked us to make disciples of all nations. And even if they did, there’s no guaranteeing they’d want to give money or lives to staff it.

The other factor proven by this study is — once we KNOW the problem, we still might not want to FINANCE it. How does this study prove that? Because the full report, published as a 128-page paperback, costs $39. How many will buy it? Survey said, not many. (We made up that last survey. But — we have a hunch we’re probably right. The interesting thing is, the digital copy of THIS book costs the same as the paper copy. We figure that’s because Barna thought that it was the RESEARCH that was valuable, not the printed page. Either way, we figure won’t buy it. Literally.

Thank you, Seed Company, for sponsoring the survey.

What were your thoughts about this study? Do you think it’s true? … or not so much? Do you encounter these attitudes in your own sermons and presentations?

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