leadership

14) The BackPage: Characteristics of Learning Leaders

I enjoyed this past issue of the International Orality Network (ION)  Newsletter. I honed in on J.O. Terry’s article about Learning Leaders. He wrote that they are generally “a peer among the listeners or people group. They may not be literate, or if literate, often are only marginally literate. It is best if learning leaders are taught or trained in the same manner they will in turn use in teaching others.” I thought about Paul’s admonition in II Timothy 2:2 and tried to imagine how we profile students that will become effective replicators of the material, behaviors, and attitudes that we’re modeling.

In fact, speaking of modeling, he added, “Modeling is very important in training. All needed teaching information must be in the lesson. Since a learning leader may be nonliterate, the lesson must be memorable for the learning leader if it must be learned orally. Simple lesson guides rich in participation activities (if culturally appropriate) are helpful. Singing is often a good way to facilitate learning and memory, though this is a cultural preference. Because the learning leader usually does not have knowledge beyond the lesson resource, question and answer activity may not be possible except for a catechism type review. In extreme cases of learning leader nonliteracy a picture illustrating the Bible story may be used to trigger recall and give focus to the lesson.” I admitted to myself that I hadn’t ever thought very deeply about how these type learners would teach others. It would be worth exploring. In that vein, Terry continued, “The learning leader must reinforce listener learning by leader repetition as needed and encouraging listener recitation. The learning leader as a peer will know intuitively how to relate to listeners with proper teaching etiquette that includes how to encourage participation among listeners and how if needed to handle incorrect responses. The use of linked or sequential lessons can reduce learning leader stress without having to introduce unrelated or unlinked new lessons. Periodic reviews by a competent teacher as well as occasional visits to a teaching venue can help to keep the Bible Storying on track and effective.”

In all of this, I realized that storying (and its methodology) was stimulating my thinking about broader discipling processes. All of which makes me wish I could go farther in my training as a storyteller — because I have a hunch that storytelling would teach me more than a bunch of stories. :-) Your thoughts? Are you able to resonate with my conclusions?

14) The BackPage: Lessons in Leadership from the Movie, “Argo”

ArgoOK, before I go any farther, I have to say — the language in this movie is horrific. On the one hand, it’s what I hear 3 times a week when I go play soccer with a couple of dozen international friends of mine from all over the world. They cuss, swear, and utter some of the worst words I’ve ever heard. It’s horrible. That’s what this movie sounds like in certain segments. Well… LOTS of segments. Don’t take your family to this movie. Don’t rent it for anyone else on Redbox until you’ve watched it yourself. But if you play soccer with the same guys I do, these words won’t be new. You just won’t like them. Honest. (Am I getting my point across?)

Having said all that, if you can get hold of an EDITED copy of this movie… like … maybe something they show on an airline?… then there are indeed some redeeming values. The story is all about a cooperative effort between Canada and our own CIA to free six U.S. State Department employees who escaped the Iranian embassy just moments before it was stormed by mobs of irate Iranians on Nov. 4, 1979. The rest of the drama describes the CIA’s attempt to free them. The title of the movie, “Argo,” gets its name, of all things, from a movie WITHIN the movie — because the lead CIA operative, Tony Mendez, comes up with a zany idea [which echoed the real life events of 1980] of trying to exfiltrate the 6 hostages by convincing the Iranian government that they’re scouting the country for a movie set — a movie entitled, “Argo.” If you want the complete plot-spoiling description [warning: Don’t read this until you’ve watched the movie], visit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_%282012_film%29

OK, so now the scene is set. And now we ask about the redeeming values. If you can get past all the obscenities, it seems to me thatArgo training there are several lessons in leadership found within Affleck’s portrayal of Tony Mendez and the dynamics of the entire drama. I’d like to propose four lessons, then ask you, the Brigada audience, what further lessons YOU can find in Argo.

*** Leadership, at the end of the day, is believing so strongly in an idea — a big idea — that you’re even prepared to die for it if you have to. Once you reach that level, you can truly rise to heroic status. Anything less than that and you’ll probably be relegated to a medium performance, at best. Affleck’s portrayal of Tony Mendez has received broad acclaim partly because Mendez was indeed a leader willing to die for his cause. (Note: This Mendez guy is the real deal. Argo got a few things wrong, but MANY things it got right — and Mendez is one of them. One of the reasons the movie works is that Affleck helps us see that this guy labored over his integrity: In the movie version of the story, he realized that he had ‘outed’ these six hostages. He HAD to carry through with the rescue now. So… the question we have to ask ourselves as leaders is this: Are we willing to give our LIVES for the cause. I don’t mean — are we willing to leave our wives and children (we should be willing to take them with us). I mean… are we so passionate that this ’cause’ is more than a job. Is it a dream to which we’ll commit ALL of ourselves.

*** Secondly, there will be times, as leaders, that we will have to be so sure of our cause that we have to articulate it even when others believe it’s a dying cause. And part of the MAGIC of leadership is effectively convincing others that the cause is worth living for… and that it will succeed. My buddies and I have several friends who have  said it this way: You’ll know a leader because there will be people following her — or him. Affleck’s depiction of this in the movie is spectacular. In the movie version of the story, [plot-spoiler] the CIA calls off the rescue all together. Affleck’s character at first seems to relent and obey the order. But in a long and lonely night, he inwardly battles through the inner conflict: Does he follow through with his personal convictions even though it risks certain death, being fired and released when he returned (especially if he fails), and the possibility of being made a complete fool if his headquarters doesn’t reconfirm the airline tickets, for example. The upshot for you and me, as leaders: Can we pick our battles? Can we grow the intuition to know when to campaign for follow-through, and when to let go? Can we sort out when to stand up for what we believe and when to walk away. Those decisions, little by little on a daily basis, help shape the successes, or the failures, of us all.

Argo-the_movie*** Third, can we as leaders keep secrets? Mendez pulled all this off in 1980 — but then he couldn’t tell a soul. He couldn’t even tell his WIFE! It wasn’t until the whole thing was declassified in 1997 that the story could finally come out. Can we muster that kind of confidence and humility? “Loose lips” not only “sink ships,” as the old WWII poster says, they also can sink churches and mission agencies too.

*** Fourth, in the movie version, what did it take for Mendez to convince all six hostages to play along — especially the character, “Joe Stafford,” who said, in the movie version, ” You really believe your little story’s gonna make a difference when there’s a gun to our heads?” Tony Mendez replied, in the movie, “I think my story’s the only thing between you and a gun to your head.” [plot spoiler] 48 hours later, as they attempt to board the plane, Joe Stafford steps up to the plate and uses his language skill to tell the story of the movie to the guards, complete with story boards and sound effects. Thanks to his willingness to join the team, they make it through the gate. Our task as leaders is no different. We have to persuade those who aren’t on board either to get on board or to get off the ship. No small task. It takes constant vigilance. But if we’re successful, some of the very people who didn’t want to be involved might mean the difference between success and failure.

Now what about you? What lessons do YOU see in Argo? What did YOU learn about leadership, followership, and mobilization. Just click “Comment” below the online version of this item. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. And remember, please beware the bad language in the movie.

Doug

14) The BackPage: Reflections on a Season of Soccer —

On July 15, my wife almost always jokes, “See you in November.” You see, in addition to doing mission work at Team Expansion, I coach high school boys’ (men’s?) soccer on the side. Tomorrow (Monday), we open District Tournaments. It’s usually a great time to stop and take stock of the season. And so, because it’s happening “right now,” let’s see what lessons we can draw so far from coaching this particular team through the summer and fall:

*** Leadership finds its headwaters in a serving heart — Our two all-time senior captains aren’t bossy. They aren’t flamboyant nor do they constantly impress you with chatter about English footballers. What they DO have is a quiet strength that inspires confidence, stability, and consistency. The secret is to serve! It’s all about serving.

*** There is no “I” in Team — We were blessed this year to have TWO good goalkeepers, one a senior and the other a junior. As I tried to size them up in real competitions, I got into a habit of rotating them often (not always, but often). I’d play the junior keeper every third game or so, just to see how he did. In fact, I finally began alternating them evenly. The senior keeper didn’t like it a bit and, because he wasn’t dominating the playing time, he actually quit the team all together. I won’t try to pick apart his motives. I’ll only observe that, at the end of the day, even if he DID think he was better, if you ask me, he still needed to stay on the team. If it’s “all about the team,” then your concern isn’t for individual playing time. Rather, it’s focused on “how can we get the outcome we desire (which, in soccer, usually means to score goals).”

*** There is strength in multiple volunteers — Because I have a full-time job away from the high school where I coach, I simply couldn’t do this job were it not for a handful of extremely engaged parents who volunteer and “make the world go round.” I’ve become convinced that volunteers are the coolest people on earth. They don’t work for money; their only satisfaction is the internal, intangible fulfillment they get by knowing that they helped bring about the end-goal. If we had more people like them around the world, the earth might actually spin faster!

There are other conclusions too numerous to mention. But these 3 at least get you started. In one way or another, they all seem to focus on leadership and how it happens best, perhaps.

But what about you? What lessons have you learned from sport? How does soccer (or your favorite pastime) help YOU understand reality. When is the athletic field most like the world in which you live and how does it help you cope? Just click “Comment” in the comments below to pitch in. Thank you in advance for any comments you can share.

12) Backpage: Portrait of a Leader

I’ve been asking a number of folks… and now I should ask you: What qualities do you look for when you’re trying to find a leader for a new mission team? In other words — what are the traits, characteristics, and personality types? Here are some factors I’ve heard so far:

* Faith – Strong trust in God       * Grounded in Scripture       * Focused       * Empowering       * Servant leader — humble       * People are drawn to his dreams. In short, he/she has followers.       * Ability to cast a vision for a dream that hasn’t happened yet — Articulate, innovative, creative, a positive life force and a positive thinker, “can do” mentality       * Possesses an enduring spirit. Doesn’t give up easily. Exudes determination.       * Empathy: Creating a legitimate rapport with your staff makes it less likely that personal issues and resentment can creep in and derail the group. When your team knows that you are empathetic to their concerns, they will be more likely to work with you and share in your vision, rather than foster negative feelings.       * Consistency: Being a consistent leader will gain you respect and credibility, which is essential to getting buy-in from the group. By setting an example of fairness and credibility, the team will want to act the same way.       * Honesty: Another characteristic of leadership that lends itself to credibility. Those who are honest, especially about concerns, make it far more likely that obstacles will be addressed rather than avoided. Honesty also allows for better assessment and growth.       * Direction: Having the vision to break out of the norm and aim for great things –then the wherewithal to set the steps necessary to get there– is an essential characteristic of good leadership. By seeing what can be and managing the goals on how to get there, a good leader can create impressive change.       * Communication: Effective communication helps keep the team working on the right projects with the right attitude. If you communicate effectively about expectations, issues and advice, your staff will be more likely to react and meet your goals.       * Flexibility: Not every problem demands the same solution. By being flexible to new ideas and open-minded enough to consider them, you increase the likelihood that you will find the best possible answer. You will set a good example for your team and reward good ideas.       * Conviction: A strong vision and the willingness to see it through is one of the most important characterizes of leadership. The leader who believes in the mission and works toward it will be an inspiration and a resource to their followers.       * Committed and growing relationship with God.       * Sensitivity, ability and willingness to deal with the challenges and issues full-time missionaries encounter.       * Compassionate heart for missions and world evangelism.       * Ability and commitment to work well in teams and with other people.       * Ability to coach, mentor, and empower other workers toward effective ministry.       * Ability to lead in the establishment and implementation of team vision, values, and a strategic ministry plan.

Now, using the comment box below, what attributes would you add? Thanks for your help!

Doug

2) New Book on Coaching in a Missions Context —

Keith Webb’s new book The COACH Model for Christian Leaders is a radically different approach to leading people. Rather than provide answers, “Coach Model” leaders ask questions to draw out what God has already put into others. Learn how to create powerful conversations to assist others to solve their own problems, reach goals, and develop leadership skills in the process. Packed with stories and illustrations that bring the principles and practice of coaching to life, this book will transform your conversations into powerful learning and results. Available in print and e-book versions.

 

http://www.activeresults.com

4) Pick up a Masters of Arts in Leadership without Leaving China —

Here’s a Masters degree in Leadership, taught in cohort format, starting in April. It’s designed especially for folks in Asia and the deadline for registration is March 15. Learn to…

* Practice value-based servant leadership

* Produce high morale and productive employees

* Resolve conflict and create effective teams

* Create high performance organizations

* Lead for results based change

* Make strategic and ethical decisions

For more info, see the Mandarin page at…

http://www.twu.ca/academics/graduate/leadership/emal/chinese/

or the English version at…

http://www.twu.ca/academics/graduate/leadership/emal/english/

7) Mission Leadership Training Online —

LeaderLink has been known as the most comprehensive leadership training designed specifically for missions. For over 16 years CrossGlobal Link has been providing this specialized leadership training to field missionaries and home staff. Now, you can join a web workshop from anywhere in the world. These interactive 75-minute workshops are held once every Wednesday over a six-week period where participants are instructed and guided by a recognized expert. The next session, Essentials of Leader Development, facilitated by Dr. Steve Hoke, is Feb. 2 – March 9. Go to

http://www.CrossGloballink.org/webinars

to learn more and register.

6) Church Planting + Leadership Development + Mentoring —

That’s what you get from these sites:

https://trainandmultiply.com

http://paul-timothy.net/

We’ve mentioned them before in Brigada, but it’s been a while. Allan, one of the guys in our Equipping Dept. at Team Expansion, sent out a note to our staff about them this past week and it reminded me it had been too long since we mentioned them here. Last we heard, the Paul-timothy materials are free and available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and various languages of India. Train & Multiply comes with a fee and, in Allan’s words, “is also in a bazillion languages.” (That must be a scientific number/term because, if I recall, he has his Ph.D. in Chemistry or Physics. :-) Thanks Allan.)

5) ACMC is cranking up the regional conferences —

It is not uncommon for the missions leadership in a church to turn over about every 3 years. Finding ways to train them quickly is key. ACMC conferences are a quick, easy, and accessible way to do that. Typically they deal with topics such as leading your church in missions well, mobilizing your congregation, choosing and preparing goers, and issues on the field. There is always something new to learn and we all need to get our jets recharged, don’t we? This fall there are conferences offered in New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Washington, DC. Check out

http://www.acmc.org/conferences

to download a brochure or register.

8) Leadership And Partnership Book

Working in partnership in a cross-cultural context can be quite a challenge. Often different leadership styles can cause misunderstanding and friction. Here’s a new book by Ralph Schubert that features a dialogue between Western and Tanzanian Christian leaders on their leadership styles and their impact on cross-cultural partnerships. Entitled, ” Leadership and Partnership. A dialogue between Western and Tanzanian Christian leaders,” it lets us see how leaders from both societies discover the similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses of each leadership style in terms of character, relationships, power and conflict and what they can learn from each other. The author proposes practical action steps how to move towards a truer Christian leadership style and more genuine partnerships.

The book can be purchased through Amazon.

1) Close-up on Evangelism Resources

Evangelism Resources focuses on four major themes. In summary, E.R….

*** Brings people to Christ
*** Makes them into disciples
*** Unites them in the body
*** Sends them to the nations

They raise the cost to train workers, create schools of evangelism for them, then send them out nationwide and worldwide. Indigenous leadership is a top priority. Most recently, they have become a “True Fan” of Brigada by sending a $100 gift, as noted below. (Thanks!) With their headquarters in Wilmore, KY, you can learn more about Evangelism Resources at:

http://www.erinfo.org/
http://www.er-coursesonline.org/
and
http://www.er-worldonline.net/

15) The Backpage: Biblical Leadership In Your Country/Homeland

What are cultural tendencies that sabotage Christian leadership? What about Christian followership? This past week, a Team Expansion team leader asked us for insights on this question in hopes of understanding these things and dealing with them more effectively. To get the ball rolling he nominated the idea of democracy. He wrote, “It’s a beautiful thing in many scenarios but the fact that you never see it used on sports teams points out that it has its limits. Doing everything democratically on a mission team might not always be possible.” What can you add? Just click “Comment” below.

The BackPage: Don’t Miss the Discussion On Leadership


In case you haven’t noticed, last Brigada’s question about leadership (and how you find it or forge it) brought out some great guidance. Examine it at:

http://www.brigada.org/2008/06/backpage-how-does-one-recognize.html

There you can find out how to discern leaders, read white papers, examine leadership paradigms, discover traits leaders need, along with a lot more.

Just in time: Monday night is our first game. I have to decide this weekend about captains. Shew. Thanks Brigada. :-) Feel free to leave a comment there about leadership, too. Good stuff.

10) The Backpage: How Does One Recognize Leadership Potential?

In the Kingdom of God, there’s a place for everyone, but I suppose not all of us are comfortable in leadership positions. Lately I’ve been asking myself, how does one recognize leadership potential? This is coming up in my life this week because I have to oversee the process of appointing captains of the soccer team I coach. One approach is for me to just assign them. Another would be for me to pick one and let players vote for another. A third would be to just boldly allow them to vote on all 2 or 3 captains’ positions.

The same thing comes up on mission teams. Do we just set it up so that the team members vote for someone as team leader? Or do we just let the regional guy *appoint* a team leader. (Our organization currently does the latter.) What’s your protocol… or, if you had it to do over again, what would you recommend for others.

But beyond mere *practice*, what are the qualities you look for in budding young leaders? Steadfastness under pressure? Ability to handle stressful situations without panic? Intelligence? Sensitivity? Diplomacy? Ability to grasp the vision? What are your favorite “top five” characteristics for leaders? Just click on “comment” below this item and have at it. Please help us assemble a body of knowledge, links & pointers, and life lessons. Thanks!

Doug

20070923 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. CUTTING HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS
  2. ATTEND REGIONAL MOBILIZATION MEETINGS (SAMPLE IN PITTSBURGH)
  3. FREE WEBSITE OFFERS HELPFUL RESOURCES
  4. PRE-FIELD TRAINING IN ASIA FOR ASIA MINISTRY
  5. THE ‘EASY’ TANZANIAN LANGUAGES TEAM NOW HAVE THEIR OWN WEBSITE
  6. OMF BC EVENTS IN OCTOBER
  7. GLOBAL MISSIOLOGY “ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY” EDITION
  8. THE COMING REVOLUTION
  9. OMF REACHING CHINA
  10. WHAT’S THE RATIO OF YOUTH WORKERS TO YOUTH IN THE FIELD?
  11. HATS-OFF TO BRIGADA SPONSORS
  12. WOULD YOUR CHURCH CONSIDER A ONE-TIME GIFT TO SPUR ON BRIGADA?
  13. THE BACK PAGE: EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER

  1. CUTTING HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS — Cutting health insurance costs for home base staff and overseas workers is always challenging. One solution might be to consider a Self-Funded plan. Now groups as small as 11 employees can get self-funded (StopLoss) quotes. One key advantage of a self-funded plan is that you keep more of your health insurance premium in your organization. For more information contact jeff(at)gninsurance(dot)com or call 480/813-9100. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Toll free in USA: 866/636-9100. Visit

    http://www.gninsurance.com


  2. ATTEND REGIONAL MOBILIZATION MEETINGS (SAMPLE IN PITTSBURGH) — Are you located in the Pittsburgh area? Here’s a sampling of a couple of major missionary mobilization meetings you can attend. Wouldn’t it be cool of there were more of these kinds of meetings all around the world? As for Pittsburgh, “The Pittsburgh Network for the Great Commission” Breakfast meeting is about to cover “Native American Awareness.” The’ll also interview a Cuban Pastor, all on Saturday, Oct.13,2007, 8:30- 10:30am at West Ridge Community Church.

    http://www.wrccc.org

    or call 724-695-7500 RSVP to slonchka(at)comcast(dot)net

    You can also catch “Praise & Prayer over Pittsburgh”, 7:00pm, Oct.13, 2007 at West End Overlook Park. Special Guests include Richard Twiss and Darrell Fields, & Michael Duncan Project, Prayer led by Pittsburgh area Pastors. A coordinated effort by the Pittsburgh Prayer Network

    http://www.prayforpittsburgh.org and the Pittsburgh Network for the Great Commission

    http://www.pngc.org (website under construction)

    (Truth in publicizing notice: Hats off to this network for sending in a check to support Brigada! That just makes me doubly want to ask that you’ll be there! :-) )


  3. FREE WEBSITE OFFERS HELPFUL RESOURCES — Looking for info on leadership and leadership training. Check out…

    http://www.teal.org.uk/index.htm

    The best part? It’s all free.


  4. PRE-FIELD TRAINING IN ASIA FOR ASIA MINISTRY — For anyone planning to minister in Asia, an excellent nine-week program is conducted once a year in Malaysia. The Malaysian Cross-Cultural Mission School (MCMS) will be conducted in Kuala Lumpur, beginning January 7 and continuing through March 16, 2008. It is an intensive program that covers the practical challenges of cross-cultural ministry. MCMS faculty includes missionaries and mission leaders from many parts of the world who are involved in the real life of a missionary. This is no “Ivory Tower” theoretical pastime; it’s the real thing! For more details, talk with Peter, the director. E-mail:

    peters(at)linkmail(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  5. THE ‘EASY’ TANZANIAN LANGUAGES TEAM NOW HAVE THEIR OWN WEBSITE — This site is

    http://easytanzanianbibles.googlepages.com/home

    and it is totally Tanzanian as regards authorship, checking, field- testing, copyright and ownership. The leader is Revd Samuel Mpanilehi at smpanilehi(at)gmail(dot)com , who works in close fellowship with

    http://www.easyBibles.com

    where over twenty such projects are developing.


  6. OMF BC EVENTS IN OCTOBER — OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship) in B.C. invites you to the following events: 1. Saturday, October 13 (1:30 – 6:00 pm ending with a Chinese supper), Heart for Asia Conference in Victoria, 2. Friday night, October 19, from 7:30 – 9:30 pm, OMF together with Fujian Evangelical Church (FEC) present Youth and Missions. 3. Saturday, October 20, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Heart for Asia Conference to be held at Peace Mennonite Church (PMC). The theme for the events is: Passion for the Impossible – Reaching the Neglected Frontiers. For more info, including themes and speakers, email:

    pacificregion(at)shawlink(dot)ca or call 604.278.1208.


  7. GLOBAL MISSIOLOGY “ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY” EDITION — Global Missiology is a free quarterly online publication with original research and contributions from practitioners and scholars of international representation with global perspectives. The third quarter English language issue is focused on the subject of “Islam and Christianity” and has just been made available. Chinese and French editions are also available with articles that are not translations of the English, but rather original contributions from specialists working in those language contexts. All versions can be found at

    http://www.globalmissiology.org

    as well as a complete searchable archive of more than 4 years worth of articles. email editor(at)globalmissiology(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  8. THE COMING REVOLUTION — Because, according to at least one author, Status Quo Missions Won’t Finish The Job. Check out this new book just released by R. Mark Baxter. After some stories and shocking statistics, Mark shares reasons for the present state of missions, the potential that exists to see the Great Commission fulfilled, and ways to personally get involved. More information on The Coming Revolution is available at

    http://shop.blessthenations.com

    Also, you can email Mark at missionsconsultants(at)yahoo(dot)com


  9. OMF REACHING CHINA — International has been reaching East Asia with the gospel since Hudson Taylor founded the organization as China Inland Mission in 1865. If you would like to get involved in a work that includes more than 1,500 workers from 20 countries with a focus on more than 400 unreached people groups throughout East Asia, visit

    http://www.omf.org/us


  10. WHAT’S THE RATIO OF YOUTH WORKERS TO YOUTH IN THE FIELD? — Would anyone happen to know about how many young people there are in any cross-cultural settings? … and how many Christian workers are serving primarily for their benefit? In other words, what’s the ratio of youth workers per youth? Got an idea to post? Just navigate to:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=37

    And click “Comment” below the item. Thanks!


  11. HATS-OFF TO BRIGADA SPONSORS — Thanks to the West Ridge Christian Church

    http://www.wrccc.org

    for their innovative and encouraging support of regional missions mobilization meetings. May God bless their $100 gift to Brigada. We appreciate you! Thanks, too, for the anonymous donors who gave $100 and $25 this past week, along with the prayer coordinator who gave $25. Thanks, too, to Blessed Hope who gave $15.47 in sponsorship gifts. Learn more about their great phone plans at

    http://www.lowermyphonebill.com/brigada

    Thanks to the Kingdom Come Training worker who gave $20. May God bless their training outreach for His glory.

    Finally, may God bless the radio ministry workers who just sent $100. We’re so thankful for their love for you, for your work around the world, and for getting the message out via radio.


  12. WOULD YOUR CHURCH CONSIDER A ONE-TIME GIFT TO SPUR ON BRIGADA? — Here’s how: Just click on the “Donate” page. You can pull the money from your PayPal account or from any major credit card. Or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 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.) As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous. And thank you in advance for helping.

  13. THE BACK PAGE: EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER — This past weekend, I was fortunate to have the privilege of leading a couple of sessions for some adult children of missionaries (MKs). One referred to a quote by Mark Twain about sails. I looked it up when I got home. Twain was reported to have said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” It’s important to note that no one can find the source of this quote, so it’s likely that Mark Twain never actually said it. Regardless of who said it, it got me thinking.

    And in the process of thinking about it, I came across something that Twain *did* actually say, in “Innocents Abroad”: “What is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man’s breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not see before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea-an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plow had gone over before. To be the first–that is the idea. To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else–these are the things that confer a pleasure compared with other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial. Lifetimes of ecstasy crowded into a single moment.”

    When it comes to mobilizing missionaries, we haven’t talked much about discovery and adventure — even though much of evangelistic missionary work involves it. I think it’s because we’re afraid we’ll breed only missionary-tourists. But there is a sense in which the pioneer spirit is not only preferred, but actually *required* by some missionary opportunities. Some call it an “apostolic gift.” Call it what you want, but when Paul forged on through shipwrecks & stoning, the truth is, he was pioneering. When he believed so strongly in the Cause that he traveled on foot throughout the known world of his day, he was pioneering. Paul’s musing about going where no man has gone before (Romans 15:20) is enough to cause me to believe Twain was on the right track. We probably need to talk some about adventure, dreaming, thinking big. We need some big thinkers today. Thinkers that will dream, then *do*. After all, Twain also is reported to have said, “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

    Doug

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