local church

14) The BackPage: Why Does this One Local Church “Get It?”

This weekend, I’ve been speaking and leading workshops at a local church in the Great Pacific Northwest. As I wrap up the weekend, I’m left with the question — Why does this one local church seem to “get it,” without even much help? Their elders understand unreached peoples and cities and have arranged the budget in such a way that they are giving them priority. Their minister just finished a four-Sunday sermon series on the church’s responsibility for the lost. They’ve set up a special fund to adopt an unreached people group and they plan to send a survey group, in conjunction with a prayer journey initiative, in the next 90 days. There are at least 5 people who will probably step forward to volunteer to be sent full-time, even though the church hasn’t yet fully decided on which people group or city they’ll go reach. Ever since they’ve started pursuing this course, they’ve run ahead of budget — so much so that they’re now $15K ahead, which was enough to cover the cost of hosting the Wall of Unreached Peoples


as well as a special focus weekend on unreached peoples and cities. (They flew me all the way in from Louisville to speak there — in 7 sessions over the weekend, with various groups, including the elders and staff, select missions families, and 3 sessions with the entire congregation.) My guess is, Lord willing, they’ll have “boots on the ground” in a new unreached people group or city within 18 months from now.

All of which prompts me to ask — why? Why does this one church get it so well, while so many others lag behind, losing their chance to flourish and make a deep impact, both at home and abroad? Whatever they’re doing right, it makes me want to bottle it up and release it worldwide. Because if we only had more of this spirit, within one generation, the entire globe would have been exposed to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

So what’s your theory? Why do some churches ‘get it’ and others don’t? If you have an insight, please click “Comment” below the online version of this item. (And by the way, before you ask, I should probably guard the identity of the church I’m describing lest they receive 1000 requests for support from thousands of Brigada readers who are raising support. Let’s give them a chance to get out of the gate first. :-) )


11) The BackPage: The Secret’s in the Local Church —

I continue to rediscover it over and over again: The secret to the future of world mission is buried deeply within the membership of the local churches in your city, state and region. For example, just take Northside Christian in Fresno, CA. They’re building a great missions ministry from the ground up. In fact, they’re staging a Bible Storying Seminar in early August.  You will learn how to effectively tell stories from the Bible and you will learn a simple process for getting your audience to find spiritual truths and application just from the Bible. You can choose the 1-day, 3-day, or 5-day version — the choice is yours. Download the PDF brochure at…




See page 2 for all the details.


Now think about it: Here’s a local church, unleashed to serve, multiplying their ministry over and over again. They recently flew their Missions Pastor across the country to help us with another event in which we sought to replicate their model into the lives of other churches. Thanks, in part, to the help their Missions Pastor gave, over 60 Catalysts pledged to try to influence their respective local church to adopt an unreached people group. Learn more at…




So here’s my question: If we know that the magic is in the local church, why do missions organizations end up thinking it’s all about them? The more I ponder it, the more excited I am about linking local churches together with one another, seeking to spark the fires of their imaginations with the realities of the many spiritual wastelands around the planet, then asking God to help us throw gas on their fire. Basically, that’s what I want to do when I grow up. See the one-minute video version at:




What’s your take on the Mission and the local church? Be honest. Be anonymous if you prefer. To inquire or comment on this topic, just click on the “Comment” link below:

9) What’s a church to do? —

OK, so you’ve taken Perspectives or been to some event and are all jazzed up for missions only to come home to a church that is less than excited. How do you get a church mobilized? Or perhaps your church already has an overseas mission outreach but it is in need of some cobweb clearing? ACMC specializes in getting churches mobilized and trained for missions and there are two conferences coming up that you’ll want to check out; one in Pittsburgh on March 25-26 and one in Maryland on April 8-9.  There are workshops on everything from Islam to teaching missions to children to churches adopting unreached people groups to missionary care.  Learn more at…




Get an online brochure and/or register.  Other questions, contact Joe at

jsteinitzatgfcdotorg or Dave at


1) Leading A World Missions Church (LAWMC) Seminar –

Why did 12 lay-leaders from one church drive over 9 hours to attend this seminar in Virginia? Why did 200 leaders in Mexico City and 150 in Hong Kong attend this seminar?  The answer to why people come is that the Leading A World Missions Church (LAWMC) seminar  is designed  to help the local church do that which it has been commissioned to do.


This 2-day seminar provides:

*** practical help ready for immediate implementation

*** a detailed 245 page manual

*** digital files of policies and forms

*** training videos

*** other benefits are listed in the session descriptions at website


Better act fast: It’s slated for March 21-22, at Heritage Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA. Sorry for the quick notice, but we figured some notice is better than none at all. It’s designed for both pastors and lay-leaders. More info is available (and registration) at their website …




Questions?  Call the church pastor at 434-237-6505, or you can also email questions to



(Note: Does Brigada give precedent to those who pitch in some funds toward Brigada’s expenses? The truth is — yes we do. The folks from this seminar sent their item in right about the time the last Brigada went out. They made the very next edition, in front of 74 other items currently in the queue, being considered for future Brigada editions. So thanks a ton to the LAWMC Seminar folks for sharing the vision!)

3) Sending New Missionaries —

Here’s a download of 11 practical resources to involve the whole church in getting new appointees ready and resourced for effective field service. It provides creative ideas, worksheets, and educational resources to help churches collaborate with missions agencies to walk with new workers through the crucial period of time between appointment and departure for field ministry. There is also an auxiliary package of resources to help churches set up a simple mentoring program for prospective missionaries. The materials can be customized by an individual church or by a mission agency for all of their churches. Order at:


12) The Backpage: America Becoming Less Christian? … Or Not?

I read with interest the CNN story about the survey conducted (for the 3rd time in as many decades) regarding religious claimants in the USA. The title, “America becoming less Christian, survey finds,” is one of those comments that should give us pause. That all depends — on “which Christian” one is describing. While it’s true that the survey found that adherents to “mainline” congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches had fallen, the same survey also indicated that adherents to Roman Catholicism had remained stable and, surprisingly, members of “megachurches” had “skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey” (conducted between Feb. and Nov. 2008). That change doesn’t sound quite like the summary CNN offered. A certain William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, was quoted as saying that he thinks “a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it.” Hmmm. It would seem to me that if a stream of Christianity grew from 200,000 to 8 million in the space of just 20 years, that works out to an average annual increase of more than 20% per *year*. I would have been thrilled if it were 10% growth per *decade*. What’s more, while it might be true that 1 in 5 now claims no religious identity, the truth is that 1 out of 3 claim to be an evangelical Christian, up from 1 out of 4 just 30 years ago.

If I were to re-write the summary for CNN, the title I would propose would be, “America becoming more evangelical,” and the text would include some personal testimonies of adherents that have found peace in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. That peace and faith might go a long way toward giving the world some hope in today’s troubling economic times.

Find the original article by logging on at


then typing the following phrase, in quotes, in the search box:
“America becoming less Christian, survey finds”
It will be the first pick of the list.
Your comments on the growth of evangelicals in your own country? Your own thoughts on the “state of the evangelical church” in general? Any thoughts on how this impacts missionary sending? … or the theological underpinnings of missions in general? If so, just log on and click “Comment”

11) The Backpage: How Does One Become ‘upbeat About Missions’?

Last week’s “Back Page” editorial shared my experience with a megachurch in North Carolina. I mentioned that I was extremely “upbeat” about the future of missions, in view of that church’s enthusiasm and action. Following that editorial, we received this note from a missions minister at another megachurch, this one being in the Mid-south: “I really enjoyed your article on upbeat about missions. It is a great word at a critical time for missions in view of economy and budgets(global, US, church and individual). To the matter at hand. We have an annual Missions Expo/conference here every February. We bring in 50 to 60 missionaries/organizations in for this 2 week event. It is helpful to missionaries and shows our church body all that we are involved in as well as all the opportunities out there for them. The event is much like a fair, with each group having a both that our folks can go by a visit. We will have one Sunday that our Pastor will give us for Missions emphasis form the pulpit. I am looking for anything(large or small) that would help or cause our folks to get excited about missions. To get out of the church and on the street/field. I was wondering if you have seen or done anything recently that God has used to put a passion in the hearts of people. I am thinking anything from a promotional piece, drama, song, teaching or word from the Lord.”

I realize that this church’s request could be viewed as somewhat of a general question. Essentially, it almost sounds like, “How do we help our church become really upbeat about missions?” But as I thought about it — that’s really a fair question. What are some of the best state-of-the-art tools for doing exactly that? We’re not looking for gimics here. In fact, just the opposite. Having tried missions fairs for several years… having struggled to *personalize* missions, this congregation is seeking true, deep-seated mobilization. Our quest is to help them — and many others — truly *transform* their church body into a missions-active group. What are the secrets to make that real? How would you answer the request? I explained to the church that we could turn their question into this week’s BackPage editorial and they were intrigued by the idea. Now — would you please help me give them something of an answer? Please remember, when you click “comment” below, feel free to do so “anonymously” if you desire… and by all means, you don’t have to give your email address here on the web with our response software. But please *do* identify the URL, address or phone number of any resource that you mention. Let’s see if we can’t give them some practical ideas for building their church into a house of prayer for the nations. Thanks for any tip, idea, or resource you might share.

I’ll start the discussion with 3 sample keys that seem to be helping us lately with waking up churches… and giving them something more than a mere one-Sunday emotional “Missions high.” There are certainly more keys than these… but these 3 should get us started.

*** Center the event(s) around prayer — There’s an undeniable link between missions, the unreached, and prayer. Yesterday I spoke on missions to a group of 3rd and 4th-graders at a near-Mega-church. The passage I focused on seemed to hit home with them: Matthew 9:35-38. When these young people heard how much Jesus cared for the unreached of his day (that he had compassion for them), and when they heard the words that Jesus used to describe them (animal husbandry words.. “harassed”, which was a word that described an animal whose skin had been ripped off, and “helpless”, which was a word that would be used of an animal with a badly broken leg), these young people were sobered by the importance of prayer (to ask the Lord to raise up workers for the harvest fields), as well as the immediate *answer* to prayer (that the disciples ended up becoming recruits themselves — see chapter 10. No matter what the age, people seem capable of understanding that they can already *pray* for the unreached. We need to work hard at helping them see that their prayers make a *difference* for the lost. Either way, it’s truthful and it’s effective.

*** Focus the event around some kind of action step — For me, the easiest way to do this is to help the church fully embrace the vision of taking personal responsibility for launching a new work among some unreached people group. Let’s face it: congregations get excited about doing something tangible, especially when they truly understand that virutally nobody else is tackling a particular project. Well guess what: these ‘unreached’ people groups are that way (‘unreached’) because virtually nobody else has paid attention to them yet. They are, in Dr. Winter’s words, *hidden*. Well… let’s pull off the sheets and expose the need… then connect the need to tangible *action*. Make sure the psychological distance isn’t too great between the event and the action step. At least for people in *this* homeland (the USA), it seems there has to be a fairly quick action step. Your homeland might be different.

*** Involve the preaching minister(s) — One of the most exciting projects we’re facilitating is a megachurch here in Louisville in which the senior preaching guy and the associate preaching guy are *both* going on the unreached people vision trip. Talk about potential. Can you imagine both the *congregation* (as they worry about their two beloved pulpit men) and the preaching ministers themselves (as they acquire more illustrations and imagery than they ever dreamed)? But for this to really work, you have to somehow get these pastors on board. That’s the subject of an another entire “Back Page.” :-) All I know is, without their involvement, you’re facing an uphill battle. It’s not impossible: It’s just *harder*.

So there are 3 keys to prime the pump. Now — what’s *your* experience on this challenge?


PS. Just click “Comment” below the location of this item on the web. Thanks again.

1) Hook Up With Unreached People Through Worldconnex

They have three “departments”: Church Activation, Front Line Services and International Connections. WorldconneX does not send missionaries. WorldconneX helps churches send missionaries. Their vision is to help churches discover their strategic uniqueness for the Kingdom (church activation), establish effective connections for strategic impact (international connections), and send their people long term anywhere in the world (front line services). They say they do “missions from the inside out” because they ask churches to look at the resources within their church (people in the pew) to discover mission strategy. Learn more at:


Sign up for their free monthly e-newsletter at …

WorldConnex was the largest contributor to Brigada in 2008. We’d greatly appreciate it if you’d stop by their site to check them out.

2) Get Connected: Hook Up With Worldconnex

The big Greek “X” at the end of their name stands for Christ. They want the world to be connected to Him. Their three “departments” are Church Activation, Front Line Services and International Connections. They do not send missionaries. They help churches send missionaries. Their vision is to help churches discover their strategic uniqueness for the Kingdom (church activation), establish effective connections for strategic impact (international connections), and send their people long term anywhere in the world (front line services). They say that they do “missions from the inside out” because they ask churches to look at the resources within their church (people in the pew) to discover mission strategy. Sounds like a great dream, eh? :-) Check ’em out at:


20040208 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. VIDEO TOOLBOX HELPS YOU PREPARE GREAT VIDEOS — This is the season for many church missions conferences and the Toolbox For Videostorytelling can make a great gift from your church to your missionary. Check it out at http://www.VillageAve.com And thanks to the author, John Walton, for making a $35 donation to Brigada because of recent purchasers of the Toolbox! Yahooo! :-)

  2. NEW SPONSORS! — Hats off to the repeat anonymous sponsor who used the “PayPal Subscribe” sponsorship button at http://www.brigada.org/donate.html to donate $10 this past month to help with the expenses of our Brigada secretary and to keep Brigada going regularly out the door each week. Thanks, too, for the $50 from the “Arctic North of Sweden!” Way to go *Europe*!!! We appreciate you!

  3. IKOBO FUND TRANSFER BEATS WESTERN UNION, OTHERS — If you ask me, this new iKobo service easily beats out Western Union. We asked for volunteers to try it out (a couple of weeks ago) and 3 brave souls stepped up to the plate. They’re loving it! You provide funds by transferring money into your iKobo account from your bank account, electronically. Sound like PayPal? There’s more. Once the money is there, you can “Send Money” to anyone in the world! If the person is already an iKobo user, the transfer is *instant*. If they’re not already an iKobo member, iKobo assigns them an account and sends them an ATM card, at iKobo’s expense. The great thing is — once the person has the ATM card, you can transfer money at will, anytime, night or day. Rather than paying hefty wire transfer fees, the user only has to pay a $2 or so ATM fee. Plus, unlike wires, the transfer is *instant*, and teller has to view the transferred funds.

    Click here for more information, or to get started:


    (or cut and paste the URL above into your web-browser). Note: Believe it or not, iKobo is also offering to send $10/new member to help us sponsor a Brigada secretary — if you use the above link to get started. We’ve already received two of the sponsorships from our trial users new registrations. So it’s working already! What’s more, we’ve both sent *and* received money using the service, all without a hitch.

    So how is it different from PayPal? First, you can use this service to transfer funds to a national preacher or missionary, even if he or she has no web access or bank account. Second, it gives you an ATM card rather than an online prompt. Finally, some recipients don’t want to have “register” at some new online service, just to receive funds. So either way, it’s a great option.

  4. TIME RUNNING OUT ON OFFER TO BUY BOOK / HELP BRIGADA — We’ve had a good response to the offer from Mark Kelly, editor of the “Advance!” prayer newsletter, to donate up to $5 US to Brigada for each purchase of his new book, “Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt!” This new e-book explains why Christians are powerless to stop the world’s slide into moral chaos and tyranny. The e-book is delivered via web download. Preview “Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt” at http://kainospress.com/pbrd.html After you purchase it online, send an e-mail to brigada- familyatkainospressdotcom and tell him you want a check cut for your friends at Brigada. This offer expires March 1, so there’s still time to profit from this new book and support Brigada in the process!

  5. THE ADVENT OF THE TALKING BIBLE – The audio Scripture movement made a great step forward with the advent of The Talking Bible. The Talking Bible contains a complete audio New Testament in a sealed unit that has the appearance of a regular Bible. Talking Bibles are already available in many different languages. New ones will be produced in hundreds of other languages as resources are made available. Audio Scriptures International, Adopt-A-Village and World Mission, a non-denominational mission-support organization, are working in cooperation with national Bible Societies to produce and provide Talking Bibles in many of the world’s languages. ASI reports that requests from Africa for Talking Bibles are increasing dramatically. Churches and missions are being challenged to get involved. For more information visit http://www.audioscriptures.org.

  6. LEARN MORE ABOUT MEDIA IN MISSIONS — Would you like to catch the latest on media in missions? Stop by http://newWway.org This month’s cover story focus is on “The Passion”, written with missionaries in mind. Although written mainly for Southern Baptist IMB folk, it’s still full of great resources and training bits.

  7. MORE ON BACKING UP — We’ve received quite a lot of feedback on our piece on backing up our computer files (a couple of weeks ago). One participant said he’d personally been hit by tragedy without a recent backup. Now he uses an external hard drive which connects via USB port. He also uses PGP to encrypt the data in case it’s stolen. (Thanks Scott!)

  8. HARVEST NORTH AFRICA (HNA) — Focused on the nations of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, HNA is a new international prayer movement now getting underway for launch in 2005. Harvest North Africa will be working closely with believers and prayer networks throughout the region to produce an array of high quality media that can be utilized by churches and ministries to raise up a tidal wave of new intercessors. HNA is now seeking volunteers to help with mobilization, promotion, translation, regional coordination, distribution, video production, website design and maintenance, and other areas. If you can help with any of these areas, please contact HNA at: moreinfoatharvestnadotorg or visit the HNA website at


  9. TIPS FOR DOING PRESS RELEASES FOR YOUR CHURCH — Interested in learning more about how to use press releases as free publicity? Check out:


    for extensive tips and ideas. (Thanks Brad!)

  10. VISION 2004: A STUDENT CONFERENCE ON WORLD EVANGELIZATION — Vision Student Conferences has a theme of encouraging students and leaders to become actively involved in God’s missionary plan for the nations. Visit the website at:


    This conference is a one day event geared towards students, primarily from Senior & Junior High, and will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2004 at Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA. Many youth groups are using this event as part of their training for summer short term trips. Check-out the website for information on the schedule, available breakout sessions, information about the speaker and worship team. There are opportunities for missions organizations and schools to set-up displays at the conference, call 717-509-6245 for information.

  11. MASTERS DEGREE IN LEADERSHIP/ADMIN (FROM THE PACIFIC!)– Have you been thinking about getting your master’s in leadership/administration? Azusa Pacific University holds 4 classes every summer in the Philippines for their Master’s in Social Science with an emphasis in leadership studies. The fees are 1/3 of on-campus prices! You get to do the reading and papers during the year, after the courses. The courses this year are May 31-June 11, right after Faith Academy gets out. They will be held in Quezon City, Teacher’s Village, at the SEND International Office board room. For more information contact Melody Kuka, tel 658-3807 in Quezon City, kzkukaatjmfdotorgdotph .

  12. LITERATURE IN MANY LANGUAGES — No Frontiers in UK now have an online ordering system for tracts, books, gospels and bibles.


    (Thanks Tony!)

  13. NEW DISCUSSION LIST FOR MISSION AGENCY WEBMASTERS — There is a new two-way email discussion list for webmasters: ‘Mishmash’. The list enables webmasters and mission promotion teams to discuss: – technical issues and problems in HTML and other scripting – achieving an effective graphical style and easy site navigation – broader issues of communication: how can we effectively communicate with an online target audience in order to enthuse and mobilize them for world mission So often, in the mission and web world, webmasters or small advocacy teams are working in relative isolation, and cannot easily interact with others in their field. Often, too, the wheel is repeatedly re-invented; or inadequate second-class wheels are used because no-one knows how, or where, a better wheel might be obtained! Sign up at the webpage:


    Mishmash is a joint venture between Web Evangelism Guide and Cybermissions.org .

  14. IF YOU’RE INTO CHRISTIAN COMICS — You’ll be interested in checking out


    for information on “The Cardinal,” a movie based on a Christian comic book hero. There’s even a viewable trailer.

  15. AQUAPONICS COURSE — Registration is still open for training aquaponics, which involves combining aquaculture and hydroponics for mutual benefit. These ecologically sound, highly productive systems are ideal for food production in almost any part of the world and can be used as a “helps ministry”. The course will be held March 8 – 12, 2004 at Camp Living Water in Bryson City, NC, USA. For more information, visit:


    or email: cwjohnsonatgrahamdotmaindotncdotus . There are still a few FREE rooms for full time missionaries and registration is at student rate ($75). Aquaculture International is a nonprofit organization that honors Jesus Christ as Lord.

  16. INTERNATIONAL CHURCH MINISTRY — What is the missionary potential of the hundreds of international churches (IC’s) scattered around the world? How are IC’s launching out to upper and middle class nationals in world-class cities? After two years Dan has completed his research project (he’s now Dr. Dan). A synopsis of his project can be found at


    You can also contact him about articles he has written on the subject of IC’s serving as launching pads for mission to indigenous peoples, by writing revdanbowatjunodotcom . Thanks Dan!

  17. 3TH ANNUAL EYE CARE FOR ALL WHO CARE CONFERENCE — May 7-8, 2004. A conference in Houston, Texas that will show you how to add primary eye care and eyeglasses to your international missions outreach. You do not need to be a doctor to attend. For more information call Toll Free 1- 866-398-7525 or register on-line at


20031109 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. JUST UNDER $4000 TO GO FOR 2003 SPONSORSHIPS — Can you believe it? We are over 3/4 of the way there. Would you consider clicking over to: http://www.brigada.org/sponsor.html to register your partnership with Brigada Today. All proceeds go to pay for a Brigada Secretary. Sponsors get preferential fast-track listings in Brigada Today, links on the Sponsors page, real “human” help with subscribing, plus — once we reach our goal, we won’t have to mention the need for sponsors again for the entire year! :-) So please check with your church, group, or agency, or just jump in with both feet as an individual to pitch in $50, $100, or $1000 toward the accomplishment of our mutual goal, thereby helping Brigada Today continue on schedule. Thanks for your partnership!!!

  2. INTERNATIONAL CHURCHES REACHING UPGS — Can international churches serve as more than places of fellowship? They sure can! The Missional International Church Network (MICN) models and teaches how international churches can reach three focus groups: 1) expats; 2) English-speaking locals; and 3) UPGs. Several churches have begun creative indigenous UPG ministry in the limited access countries in which they are located. The first MICN Conference will be 8-11 March 2004 in Jakarta, Indonesia. For information contact: conferenceatmicndotorg or on the web at: http://www.micn.org

  3. USER FROM CHAD AGREES: PLAXO TO THE MAXO IS WILL TAXO — Here’s a Brigada reader from Chad: “Just wanted to say a big *Thank you* for the paragraph about why you opt out of Plaxo – I quote it in reply to every Plaxo ping I get, and a few people have written back to say that have reconsidered and uninstalled it. Note: If you’re going to do this, make sure you don’t just hit the reply button, cuz that just goes back to Plaxo, send it to their personal address!” Well said! (We’ll leave your name unmentioned for sensitivity’s sake, but thanks for your input! We couldn’t agree more!)

  4. STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS WITH A FUNNY MISSIONS BOOK — “Siberian Shivers” is a collection of true anecdotes told by Bill Harris, a missionary serving in Siberia. Each story is humorously told, then wrapped up with insights of practical use to newcomers to the foreign scene, whether or not they are headed for cold climates. So get a real eye opener to culture shock issues. Order Siberian Shivers in time for Christmas! You can read the first story “Uaz Adventure” for free by going to http://www.geocities.com/HarrisesInRussia/sibshivers.htm or order immediately by writing dickatsleeperdotus . Cost is $7 for your first copy; $6 for the second up to infinity!

  5. A HOOT OF A MISSIONS BOOK JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS — “The Great Siberian Rail Adventure” is the hilariously heart-stopping story of the Harris family’s journey by car, ship, and rail across Russia. Come along and you’ll find a dragon, an axe-wielding conductor, a supersonic clothes washer, and a van with a death wish. Packed with cultural insights, order by writing dickatsleeperdotus. $7 for your first copy; $6 for the second up to infinity. Climb aboard!

  6. OPERATION IMPACT: MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE — Azusa Pacific’s Operation Impact was apparently a life-changing experience for one Brigada participant: “The program was challenging and extremely useful in helping me to focus my vision and develop the program of ministry that I was involved in,” wrote SK. “The assignments and projects were designed to help me in my current ministry, to help me make my program even better.” Azusa Pacific University stages Master’s Degree classes in Social Science in the Philippines every June. Cost is 1/3 of on- campus prices! The upcoming session is May 31-June 11, 2004, at which time they plan to offer: Ethics in a Changing Organizational Environment, Leader as an Agent of Change, Current Issues in Leadership, Group Dynamics and Conflict Management. For more information contact Melody kzkukaatjmfdotorgdotph or call 632-658-3807.

  7. FREE DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSE DEVELOPMENT SOFTWARE — A software developer (turned missionary) has developed Windows-based Distance Education Course Development software for the typical user. This *free* software will: * let you or indigenous Christians develop courses using the 10 *free* “Clip-lib” pop-up scripts he’s written to use with a *free* HTML editor, * provide for dialup Internet access only when the student sends and receives emails from other students or the instructor, or * allow the student to study online using his own PC’s email program to save his course work, using the *free* JavaScripts, or * work completely online using any PC – at an Internet cafe, library, using the same courseware, just switching to different *free* JavaScripts, etc. You can try it online and download it from: http://agape-biblia.org/index01.htm [then click on “Lesson Template S”]. (Thanks Robert!)

  8. THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF RECONCLILIATION STUDIES — In association with John Dawson’s International Reconciliation Coalition, registration is now open for the new web-based, self-paced, 9 month, school for leaders, the International School of Reconciliation Studies. Comprised of a world-class gathering of scholars and storytellers, this school seeks to multiply creative, Biblically-anchored, multi-cultural reconcilers throughout the world. The journey begins January 7th, 2004. To discover more go to http://www.reignbridge.com/?page=school or write schoolsatgracebridgedotorg

  9. GROW YOUR CHURCH GOD’S WAY — Sharing Christ Ministries is seeking to equip Christians to live and share the victorious Christian Life. For a limited time, as a part of the National 40 Days of Purpose, take advantage of time tested, Bible based curriculum and tools. You’ll receive a complete system and over-all strategy to equip Christians to grow and share Christ as a way of life. Contact Sharing Christ Ministries with complete contact information for your church ministry for your free information packet. All responses received within 30 days will receive a special bonus. http://www.sharingchrist.net or email ministryatsharingchristdotnet

  10. INTERDEV CALLS IT A DAY — Guess you’ve heard about Interdev. You’ll recall that they were the high-flying partnership-developing agency in the 80s. Then AD2000 & Beyond helped propel them into *tons* of additional partnership conferences in the 90s. The press release included this paragraph: “Arriving on the missions scene twenty years ago with an innovative strategy for collaborative ministry, Interdev has brought together over 500 partner agencies and churches, and has invested time, energy and resources in almost 300 partnerships working to birth the Church among the world’s least reached peoples. Thanking God for these remarkable years of facilitating the birth of the partnership movement, the Board has recognized that the ‘idea’ has outgrown the need for the organization.” I have to wonder how much the economic down-turn contributed to this unfortunate end.

  11. GLOBAL PASSION 2 –- Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With a Mission, will join other speakers at Global Passion 2 ‘It’s For You’. The 2-day conference aims to energize, equip and empower delegates with God’s passion for His world. Global Passion 2 is being held in Liverpool, UK on 20th – 21st Feb 2004. For more information, see: http://www.ywamliverpool.co.uk or email globalpassionatywamliverpooldotcodotuk

  12. THE BACK PAGE: MISSIONS IN A CONNECTED WORLD — This past weekend, our mission organization called together our team leaders from around the world. They came from every continent, representing the majority of our 53 projects in 35 countries. Many of these men and women have been “at it” for 15 or more years. But some are starting literally in the next 90 days. What were the hot topics that seemed to resonate most?
    *** How do we start a church-planting movement that will multiply?
    *** How can we “start from scratch” in a new field?
    *** How can we maintain security in sensitive, creative-access lands?
    *** How would we handle a crisis, should it develop among one of our team members? As I listened to these team leaders brainstorm, share stories, and give testimonies with one another, the thought occurred to me… Just think how much more “connected” our missions world is these days, compared to William Carey’s era. Several of these team leaders send Instant Messages to their families while they’re away from home. For some, I wonder if they ever really sense that they’ve parted at all. It’s quite a contrast from William Carey packing his clothes in his coffin. More than anything else, the weekend reaffirmed to me the value of gathering together representatives of each team, who will then carry back encouragement, resources, and new ideas to their respective teammates. I give praise to the Lord that He permits us to work as a part of the over all family of God, and in concert with like-minded believers who help carry the load. May God bless your own ministry as you seek to reach the people to whom you are called.

20030928 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  14. SPECIAL REPORT ON PHONE & VIDEO CONFERENCING Special web-only feature!

  1. SPONSORS MAKE A DIFFERENCE! — Can you believe it? Caught up … after *months* of trailing badly behind! Thanks to the wonderful sponsors who have not only provided funds to hire a Brigada Secretary, but have also provided a strong intangible incentive: “These folks *care*!” We appreciate the anonymous sponsor who sent $30, saying, “Thank you for your good work!”, as well as the other very encouraging partners who wrote, “Hi Doug. I’ve been enjoying the Brigada updates for several years now. It’s great help in keeping up with missions events and topics. I’m now serving with a church planting team in Spain and it’s even more important to stay connected. You are doing a great job and I am happy to be able to contribute to your Secretary Fund!” (Enclosed: Check for $100) Honestly, we dedicate this issue of Brigada Today to those two sponsors because in a very real sense, they are the reason we’re caught up today!
  2. For more information on sponsors, click here.

  3. SAVE ON YOUR PHONE RATES / HELP BRIGADA — Save on overseas phone calls and help support Brigada – go to http://www.brigada.org/phone.html for more information.

  4. THE LOCAL CHURCH: A VITAL ROLE TO PLAY — Member Care Southern Africa has recently published a 127-page book, entitled “Member Care for Missionaries – A Practical Guide for Senders,” written by Marina Prins and Braam Willemse. The book serves as a practical resource to equip senders in the comprehensive care of their missionaries. Subjects such as the Biblical basis for member care, what the missionary experiences on the field, the support team within the local church, and re-entry care are some of the topics covered in the book’s three sections. A short chapter on attrition is also included. The book is based on thorough research, practical experience from the presentation of workshops in local churches, as well as the practical field experience of both authors who served as missionaries in Malawi. The book is available in both English and Afrikaans and comes with strong endorsements from Marjory Foyle and Kelly O’Donnell. The price is US$12.00 per copy (excluding postage). For further detail contact Member Care Southern Africa at mcsaatxsinetdotcodotza . To order a copy, go to their web site at http://home.wol.co.za/~20141204

  5. HURRY! 2 ONLINE COURSES FREE / FREE “E-BIBLES” — Study the “School of Mission” and the “Practical Ministries” courses while online (connected to our servers), or download them and study offline, then dial-up to your Internet service provider (ISP) to connect with your whole class, your discussion group, your instructor or the registrar by email. The 13-week introductory semester has already begun, and ends December 24. To try out the courses, just login as “guest” and password is “password” at these links: http://www.agape-biblia.org/index02.htm – School of Mission http://www.agape-biblia.org/index04.htm – Practical Ministries Then click on “Introduction” on the left side, and you’ll see how to enroll. After taking the 3-month introductory semester, you can continue studying with “Agape-Biblia” four more semesters for a certificate, or open your own online “School of Mission” and “Practical Ministries” website with the free software. (The same courses are also available in Russian.) Also available are FREE electronic Bibles in Russian (3Mb with notes and commentary), Hebrew-Greek, English, Spanish, German and French (1.5Mb each) with more to come! Each Bible works independently, or links to any of the other Bibles to compare chapters. For the above courses you will need the English Bible: http://www.agape-biblia.org/Biblia02.htm

  6. MISSION TEAM SEEKS SCHOOL TEACHERS — A mission team serving among the Watchi people in southeastern Togo, West Africa is seeking one or two school teachers to work with the team’s eight elementary age children. The team provides a three-room school, with American home school curriculum and computers, a furnished house, a vehicle, and partial salary. A teacher is needed beginning in January 2004. Commitments should be for one or more school semesters. An education degree and knowledge of French are helpful, but not essential. Learn more about the team and the position at http://www.watchiharvest.com Email the school principal at togodudeatyahoodotcom

  7. YOUNG PEOPLE IDENTIFY OBSTACLES TO MISSIONS — Here’s a new book release, “Scaling the Wall”, by Kathy Hicks of OM USA. At the Urbana 2001 Missions conference hundreds of college students were posed the question, “What is keeping more people from becoming involved in the great commission?” Their fears were written on a large wall and later collected, compiled and categorized. Fears such as loss of friends, loss of money, disapproval of parents, inadequate experience surfaced as common obstacles to be overcome. In this brand-new book, missionaries, from many organizations and from around the world who have experienced these same fears, share their personal stories of how God overcame and met their needs in ways they could have never expected. The distributor, Gabriel Resources, offers discounts on books to individuals, missionaries, mission organizations and churches. Email orderatomlitdotomdotorg or call 1-8MORE-BOOKS (1-866-732-6657) toll-free in the USA & Canada or 706-554-1594.

  8. CHURCH MOBILIZATION TOOL – DualReach has developed the Design Your Impact Workshop — a five-hour seminar that enables church leaders to discover their congregation’s key characteristics and resources (their DNA) and identify a strategic missions focus that can unleash powerful, new global dynamic from their church. Workshops are led by trained individuals with extensive teaching resources. They include 7 video clips of model churches, 2 animation clips, PowerPoint, Facilitator’s Manual and Participant’s Notebook. Upcoming training dates: Oct. 15/San Juan Capistrano, CA (south of LA); Dec. 2/Orlando, FL; Jan. 14/San Juan Capistrano, CA; and Jan. 29/Vancouver, BC. Details at: http://www.dualreach.org/resources/ or email infoatdualreachdotorg

  9. THE WORLD OF STREET CHILDREN & HOW TO RESPOND — Here’s another new release entitled, “Street Children,” by Andy Butcher. In it, he documents an estimated 100 million Children spend their days on City Streets around the world, 10 million of these are totally on their own, uncared for and unprotected. He cites 4611 children and adolescents that were executed in Brazil between 1988 and 1990. These frightening statistics are just a snapshot of the plight of street children in the world today. The result of extensive research, this book combines hard statistics with individual stories to challenge our indifference and awaken our conscience. Andy Butcher’s newly updated book compares the situation facing Street Children today with that epitomized in the Dickens novel Oliver Twist. Frighteningly, he concludes that if we look at a global perspective, little progress has been made. Gabriel Resources offers discounts on books to individuals, missionaries, mission organizations and churches. Email orderatomlitdotomdotorg or call 1- 8MORE-BOOKS (1-866-732-6657) toll-free in the USA & Canada or 706-554- 1594.

  10. A FINISHERS FORUM — Catch this event slated for Charlotte, NC October 24-25, focused on those willing to serve the Lord in the missions enterprise, home or abroad, short-term or as a second career. This is a powerful time to consider how to spend the rest of your life. It for those post-college through post-career. For details and registration see http://www.finishers.org/events/

  11. HOSPITALITY FOR THOSE WHO SERVE — ServantCARE http://www.servantcare.com is a ministry that cares for those who serve, and they’ve been establishing “Hospitality Homes” around the world for those who serve while they travel, whether for ministry, or on furlough. To date they have “Hospitality Homes” in 16 states and 11 countries, but need more, especially in the United States. The goal is to have five locations in the N., S., E., W., and Central part of each state. They would like more volunteers to serve as a B & B, or to do exchanges. Please let Christian friends know of this opportunity to serve. For information contact Anita at apatservantcaredotcom . They also have a home in S.E. Alabama that serves as a retreat center for individuals or couples in need of rest and refreshing.

  12. FINISHERS PROJECT — “Finishers” has added an interesting new feature to its website. Each partner mission agency is able to post five of its top needs so you can easily find a specific compelling assignment that fits you. About half of the top needs are in North America. Each entry contains facts and a summary description. There are several ways to sort the list. See http://www.finishers.org/start/topneeds.php

  13. TESOL SCHOOL: PREPARE TO TEACH ENGLISH — Teaching English opens many doors to ministry throughout the world, but it takes some training to teach English well. Youth With A Mission in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA has scheduled the next TESOL school for January 18 to February 13, 2004. For information, see the website: http://www.ywampa.org, or e-mail to ywampaatcomcastdotnet .

  14. ESL-JOBS.COM — This is a new website to mobilize Christians to take real jobs teaching English as a second language in Asia. These are now being filled by secularists and Mormons. These are first of all ministry positions, but they also offer income. Finishers Project partner organizations are placing applicants with real employers. There are many partial support and missionary assignments as well. Successful applicants must speak English as a first language and have a college degree. Help mobilize our own to represent Jesus in these spiritually needy countries. Visit http://www.esl-jobs.com and commend it to your friends, especially those in their 20s and empty-nesters.

  15. SPECIAL REPORT ON PHONE & VIDEO CONFERENCING — Here’s the special report on phone and video conferencing from Andrew Steele, a Senior Assoc. with International Christian Media Commission in the UK. Thanks Andrew!
  16. First of all for video conferences (and quite often audio only links) everyone involved needs a broadband connection. Although most services claim to work on 56k dial-up modems our experience was distorted sound and vision unless a broadband link was present. Sometimes audio worked OK but video without broadband was never successful.

    The most effective package that we discovered in our searches is iVisit. This comes in a free version and a slightly more functioned subscription based version. Both provide audio and video streams plus the usual text chat service. The subscription version (US$25 per year) adds the option to create private meeting rooms). iVisit connections seem to work well until organisational firewalls come into effect. Theoretically they shouldn’t hamper the service but somehow we kept running into issues when firewalls were in the loop. http://www.ivisit.info

    University College London provides a set of conferencing tools that are full of promise but need some technical assistance to set up. So, we haven’t been able to test the software yet. So if anyone wih the skills wants to volunteer to help us get the package up and running we’d be keen to speak. http://www-mice.cs.ucl.ac.uk/multimedia/software/

    MSN Messenger and Microsoft’s NetMeeting software are both useful tools provided you only want to conduct a two way conversation with video and audio. In fact for two way work our experience was that these packages were more intuitive to use than other packages. http://messenger.msn.com

    For lectures and presentations we found a combination of either Real Server or Windows Media Server for the presentation and a simple text chat using MSN Messenger (or one of the other messenger programs) worked well. Real Server (now called Helix Server) and Windows Media Server require an arrangement with an ISP willing to host the server software but both come in a free version that served our needs adequately for small groups. http://www.realnetworks.com/products/server/

    We also found a few commercial providers whose rates were prohibitive for regular use.

    We are still convinced that we can find a combination of tools that will do what we need but are resigned to the fact that, so far at least, those part of the world without broadband Internet will be limited in their ability to link up. That means we’re sticking with our tried and trusted methods of connection so that all our contacts can participate regardless of where they are and only use the ip based technologies when we are sure that everyone can link up.

    Andrew Steele

20010114 Brigada Today

In this issue….



PACE-Lab is a unique event designed to help you and your church maximize the experience of adopting an unreached people group. (Disclaimer: Doug Lucas is one of the key planners and implementers of the event. So there’s got to be a way to work soccer into this somehow. :-) ) Each session is geared for action and results. The dates are Feb. 15-17 at Kavanaugh Conference Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Organizers are setting up an environment that will permit you to link up with other churches and agencies to navigate the potentially-troublesome waters of world evangelism. You’ll be directed toward helpful project outlines, CD’s, job descriptions, web pages, to-do lists, and videos. There’s lots of time for questions and some special time given to Brigada itself, including how we can improve the Brigada experience all the more. We follow up each session by helping participants develop actual plans, measurable goals and, Lord willing, tangible results. Interested? Check it out on the web at: http://www.teamexpansion.org/pacelab You can study the hour-by-hour schedule, look at the map and driving directions, and even register & pay the minimal program fee online! We’d love to have you there!


Brigada Logo The results are in (from literally hundreds of participants), and the survey said…

  1. 1/3 of us subscribed to Brigada because of an email from a friend. So… would you send a note to a friend today to ask him/her to subscribe to Brigada?
  2. 1/4 of us have been a part of the family for 4 years or more. Whoa. How in the world have you put up with these weekly emails for all that time??? :-)
  3. 41% said they read 100% of each issue! Another 38% average reading at least 3/4 of each edition. All of which goes to show… we’d better find some good stuff to say or someone’s going to be very bored. :-)
  4. 90% said the typical edition is “the right length”! yahoooooo!Yahoo :-)
  5. 83% preferred to keep our mailings “weekly”.
  6. Well over half said that they gleaned something that “made a positive difference” in their ministries at least once a month. Yikes… Brigada Logo what can we say this week??? :-)
  7. Two-thirds of us have purchased something “technology-related” as a result of seeing it in Brigada Today. (Now if we only had an advertising department that could use that statistic! :-) Just kidding.)
  8. 75% said they had referred someone else to Brigada. Yahooo! :-) No wonder we don’t need an advertising department! :-)
  9. Some 2/3 of us have never visited the eGroups website. So much for their advertising theories! :-)
  10. and now…. [drum roll please snare drum ], the statistic that I was most eager to hear, where do we live? Here’s the breakdown:
    • 59% in USA or Canada
    • 13% Asia & the Middle East
    • 12% Western/Central Europe
    • 9% Africa
    • 4% Latin America
    • 2% Australia/Oceania
    • 1% Eastern Eur./Russia.

    I think what surprised me most was the low numbers in Latin America. (Que lastima!) But I was also pretty shocked that there were just as many Asians involved as there were Europeans!

  11. 1/3 of us are field missionaries and 1/5 are other agency people. A ton of us are lay people, just caring about missions! Yessssss!
  12. 94% of us speak English as our first language.
  13. 3/4 of us are male. But … hey… 1/4 are female! That’s a better result than I see in many other missions venues!
  14. but get this — 1/4 of us are between the ages of 50 and 59! Who says there’s a technology generation gap! :-)

But I guess the feature I enjoyed most was the freeform commentary… all the verbatim responses and “get it off your chest” kinds of things. There were tons of people … I mean scads… who said they regretted that many items seemed designed for a USA audience. (Okay.. so no more editions dedicated to Internet Banking or payment. Sorry about that! :-) ) And many people encouraged briefer items. Oops!! I’m outa here! :-)



By the way, if you or your organization would ever like to better understand the needs & values of your field personnel, prospective field workers, donors, church partners, or people groups you’re seeking to reach, I highly recommend you consider Jim McGee at Campbell Research jmcgeeatcampbell-researchdotcom  (jmcgeeatcampbell-researchdotcom)  . It was simply a joy to work with him on the Brigada readership survey and he invested acres of time, simply as a courtesy to the Brigada community. So naturally we’re going to recommend him in hopes that someday someone will actually pay the guy something so he can buy food for his kids!!! Seriously, Campbell Research has done research projects for the likes of Frontiers, Wycliffe, the Far East Broadcasting Company and other missions agencies in the past. Give him a try… please!


WebWatch This is what the world looks like at night! http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights_dmsp_big.jpg Give it a minute to load, it’s a high resolution composite of hundreds of images made by NASA satellites orbiting the earth at night. How’s that for perspective? Can you find your favorite cities on this image? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. Where are the masses of the 10/40 Window? Take a look! Of course, this doesn’t show the rural masses where electricity and therefore lights are less common, but what a view of the cities! See also http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap001127.html (Thanks to Rod for tipping us off to this great site!)


calendar The tenth Heartland MissionsFest will take place Feb. 22-24 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with tracks on long-term missions, short-term trips, and serving as senders. Speakers include George Verwer, David Shibley, Betty Barnett, Bill Berry, John Dupree, Steve Hawthorne, Steve Hoke, Neal Pirolo, David Smithers, Tom Telford, Keith Wheeler and John Zumwalt. The last conference drew 2,000 participants from 15 schools, 21 states, 67 churches and 97 agencies. Co-sponsors include ACMC, Ask A Missionary, Caleb Project, and the U.S. Center for World Mission. Read the brochure and register online at http://www.askamissionary.com/hmf.html or phone 800-366-6641.


Brigada autoresponder I’m compiling this week’s Brigada Today while traveling through 3 sites in Asia and I’m reminded again just how important it is to do good preparation prior to travel. You can get some great tips for packing (for both short- and long-term experiences) by sending a simple email to: packingatbrigadadotorg  (packingatbrigadadotorg)   Our autoresponder will wing its way into your inbox in no time flat with a 36K file on everything from how to get the most out of a suitcase to what to pack in your carry-on. Literally dozens of Brigada readers participated in compiling this October ’99 file. For those who want to stay connected while venturing abroad, send an email to: email_traveling_tipsatbrigadadotorg  (email_traveling_tipsatbrigadadotorg)   This 14K file was compiled from a series of items focusing on how to raise your chances of being an effective global communicator while on the road. And when you’re ready to book your flight, write to: travelatbrigadadotorg  (travelatbrigadadotorg)   This 19K annotated list of resources just might refer you to an agent or agency that could save you hundreds of dollars. Thanks to Bob, our volunteer web-genius, for programming this autoresponder feature into our website.


If you’re having trouble getting along with someone, but can’t afford the shrink next door, you can at least download our help file on the subject. Just send a note to: conflict-resolutionatbrigadadotorg  (conflict-resolutionatbrigadadotorg)   Hey… if you can’t settle a fight with someone, just send them that file. Maybe they’ll find it in their heart to get along with you! :-)


Some 26 million Fulani, speaking more than 41 dialects of the Pulaar language, live throughout the Sahel region, across Africa from Senegal in the West, and as far as Sudan in the East! The Fulani have been Muslims for centuries. Patrick Johnston described the Fulani as one of the Gateway people groups of the world. Any significant ‘turning to Christ’ among the Fulani would greatly influence other Peoples throughout the African region. Imagine the impact of 10, 20, 50, or even more than 100 thousand people, all praying and fasting for the Fulani during February 2001! A prayer guide is available for the February “PRAY 4 THE FULBE” prayer project. Full info on the Web site “Pray 4 the Fulbe” http://www.africamissions.com/fulbe.htm If you don’t have access to the web, try writing johandotbesteratlapostedotnet  (johandotbesteratlapostedotnet)   for more information.


movie camera From time to time, let’s feature a “needle in a haystack” search. The only condition: you’ve got to agree to write back to tell us if you’re successful. Like this week, Tom Tgaudetataoldotcom  (Tgaudetataoldotcom)   is looking for some Moody Science Films in the Bahasa Indonesian language. (Hey… I told you it was a needle in a haystack!) Evidently, Moody did like 8 films in Bahasa… but they’re all out of print. So Tom is holding out hope that somebody has a couple of them sitting, gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Let’s pitch in and help the guy out. I sent him first to brigada-peoples and he didn’t hear a peep there. I hate it when that happens. So let’s get those wires hot. Start those telegraphs a hummin’. Surely somebody among the 10,000 of us has heard of Bahasa before! :-) (Warning: Please don’t write me about it. I can’t even pronounce Bahasa. :-) Write Tom. He’ll be a happy camper. Thanks!!!)


graduation cap Centro Cultural Milamex A.C. and Prisma Magazine are hosting a Christian comics training in Cuernavaca, Mexico from February 2-5, 2001. The teachers will be Mexican cartoonist Paco Palafox and ROX35 COMIX instructors Nate Butler and Len Cowan. You can learn more about the ROX35 COMIX training ministry at this web site http://www.rox35.org or by emailing ROX35atrox35dotorg  (ROX35atrox35dotorg)  . For more information on this course in Mexico, please contact Centro Cultural Milamex A.C., Matamoros 29 Col. del Carmen, Coyoacan. 04100 Mexico, D.F., Fax/Tel: 5659 6930, email Ccmprismaataoldotcom  (Ccmprismaataoldotcom)  .


calendar Here’s a three-day training course laying out the basic principles and strategies of saturation church planting. This seminar is geared for mission leaders and any missionary who wants to better understand the enabling of national church planting movements in the countries where they work. It is taught in Europe and the United States by those actually doing SCP. The next seminar dates are February 5-7 and will be held at the Center for Intercultural Training in Union Mills, North Carolina. For more information, contact Patti at citinfoatcompuservedotcom  (citinfoatcompuservedotcom)   or call 800-887-1786 in the USA or via Net2Phone or visit http://www.citi.org.


The quarterly evangelistic paper SOON in easy-English is now also available by email. Articles may be freely re-used or translated. Send a blank email to: soon-subscribeatsoondotorg  (soon-subscribeatsoondotorg)  


letter and ligntening bolt In times past, we’ve recommended ureach.com as a universal inbox, including (in its initial year or two) a personal toll-free number for free! Well — no more. Starting next month, ureach.com will begin charging for those types of services. Some are still free, so it’s worth a look — but thanks to Ted and Tom for drawing attention to the fact that the free lunch is over. :-( It was good while it lasted. But hey… these folks have to make a living somehow! :-)


graduation cap Beginning with the Urbana Missions Conference, Columbia Biblical Seminary & School of Missions launched its Advancement In Ministry (AIM) track for delivering degree programs. AIM enables students to fulfill the residence requirements for a degree by spending a maximum of four weeks per year on the school’s South Carolina campus. One week intensive courses are combined with independent learning courses, enabling students to complete a Certificate (10 courses) in twenty months, a Master of Arts (20 courses) in forty months, or a Master of Divinity (30 courses) in sixty months. AIM’s pages on the CBS website may be viewed at http://www.ciu.edu/aim or write the coordinator jharveyatciudotedu  (jharveyatciudotedu)   directly.


letter and ligntening bolt If your Internet connection is slow or paid for by the minute, you have probably been bothered by people sending you, without asking, huge file attachments which take 5, 10, 15 minutes or more to download. And that’s assuming they don’t stall halfway through the download process! But until they are downloaded, you have a queue of emails you can’t get at! There are several ways to get round the problem:

  1. If you use the excellent Eudora emailer, in Options/Attachments, select ‘put attachments in body of message’, and in ‘checking mail’ select a small maximum file size to skip. (The Pegasus email program offers a similar facility). Reset it after, if you wish to receive normal-sized attachments.
  2. Download the little free utility Email Remover (for Win95+). This allows you to view emails waiting for you, and delete any you wish to from the server without downloading them at all. It can be set up for multiple email accounts: http://www.snip.net/help/eremove.htm
  3. Use the procedure described in a recent Brigada Today to download POP3 email into a Hotmail account. Ensure that it is set up not to leave email on the server. Then delete selected emails via the Hotmail webpage.

(Thanks to Tony tonyatsoondotorgdotuk  (tonyatsoondotorgdotuk)   from the UK for these tips! And yes… it is a hassle, Tony!)



books and penDid you ever have one of those weeks where you just had to say “Whew!” at the end? You know… the hectic kind… with phone calls, to do lists, databases, visits to make, books to read, doctoral dissertations to write, financial reports to compile, lessons to prepare… not to mention personal quiet times waiting in the wings. Is it my imagination, or does it seem to you that there are more of those these days than there were, even, say… five years ago? What’s happening to our lives? Makes me want to wish for one of the stopwatches I saw on an old Twilight Zone re-run. You know the episode… the guy clicks off the watch and the whole world stops except for him? He gets a chance to tidy up his shop or learn the violin, then … click… he starts the watch again and the whole world kicks back into gear without so much as a stutter. “Whoa”, they say, “You’re sure making fast progress on the violin!” :-)

So what can missionary-types do in times like these? Visit your local Dick’s Sporting-goods store and try out all the stopwatches? :-) Nice try. Here’s a more practical alternative. First, go through the list and find any and all items that are so urgent and so important that you simply positively have to finish them before anything else. Rank those as a “1”. Maybe some of them can be delegated to someone else (like, if you’re fortunate enough to have a secretary). Some of them might be so big that you have to break them down into smaller, bite-sized steps. If so, break them out if you must.

Don’t be so quick to rank an item high just because it’s urgent. Stephen Covey (author of 7 Habits books) does a good job of helping us see the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important. My doctoral dissertation isn’t urgent, but it’s probably important. (So why am I sitting here writing a Brigada Today BackPage editorial when I could be writing a dissertation? Probably because the dissertation looks so big that it’s no fun to tackle. By contrast, I can whip out a Brigada Today in just a few hours or so. So … here’s a memo to myself: Work the important things in as well as the seemingly urgent.

Next, start assigning a rank to the other items on the list. I used to try ranking things from 1 to a hundred… but I’ve come to believe it’s almost counterproductive to do that. (By the time you finish the list, the day is done!) Use 1 to 10 or whatever is manageable for you.

Once you’re done, change the order of the items to reflect the new look and feel of a managed task list. Now, look at the first item on the list and get started. When you finish it, celebrate (but only for a moment), then take off on the next item and so on.

Now here’s the key to escaping a hectic day. Here’s what I tell our mission’s Personnel Director when he’s feeling the pressure of a whole page full of items: Just do one at a time. That’s the secret to survival in a hurry-up world. “One line at a time.” Avoid seeing the list as a big stack of things. Just see it as one line (the next one) and tackle it ’til it’s finished.

Now a final word about “biggie” items. For example, during the past 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve been working with my boys to build a soccer practice area in our basement. It’s not huge, but it was a big challenge for me – over 26 feet long, just over 13 feet wide, complete with “dasherboards” (like an ice skating rink), goals, real indoor turf, … the works. I set a goal to have it finished before I left for this trip to Asia and just about everything on the to do list had to wait. Now maybe that’s good, in a sense. Singleminded determination and enthusasism are good things. But along the way, I’ve had to review my “family” to do list each evening to see what, if any, smaller items were slipping. Some nights I had to take time away for helping the kids with a homework question, helping Penny hang a curtain in the bedroom, or spending time with a family we might have invited over for a meal. I guess what I’m saying is that we can’t let this “one line at a time” thing keep us from eyeing the rest of the list on a daily basis, to make sure we don’t let a really important item fall through the cracks. Like… I didn’t finish grooming the dog before I left (poor pitiful- looking thing! :-)). But now that I’ve left, I’ve got to let go of it. I can’t let it keep bugging me. I’ve got to let go. Release it.

Okay… so there you have it. Magical stuff . . . stuff that’ll help you hang in there over the long haul. “One line at a time!”

And be careful… it’s a jungle out there. :-)


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