Member Care

3) Looking for a Place to Get Away from it All after Going Far?

Perhaps you’ve found it here. EdenRidge, a missionary-focused retreat and vacation destination located in East Tennessee, is pleased to announce the opening of the Goodness Studio this spring. This new smaller guest facility will complement the ministry’s larger five cabins. EdenRidge is also excited to begin construction this summer of the Welcome Center, a game-changing 5,000 square-foot facility. To learn more about EdenRidge and to make reservations, please visit

3) Missionary Retreat Hopew to Refresh and Renew

WinShape Marriage introduces a new marriage retreat designed specifically for missionaries and their spouses. Missionary Refresh & Renew is a three-night/four-day retreat that offers space for restoration for those who continually pour out to others.

This retreat is for missionary couples who have served two years of consecutive missionary ministry within the last three years. It’s scheduled for April 22-26th in Mount Berry, Georgia (about an hour north of Atlanta, GA). Learn more at…


8) Bali, Indonesia Azmera Haven Retreat 2019 (for Women only)

Azmera’s mission is to Impact Women Who are Impacting the World. If you are an English speaking, Kingdom-minded women (worker or business expat) serving overseas, Azmera would like to invite you to an encouraging, restorative, transformational, honoring haven retreat in Bali, Indonesia April 11 – 14, 2019. The cool thing is that they help make it affordable for workers by raising Haven Scholarships. Check out Azmera and register at

9) Can "Peace Psychology" Impact Government Leaders for Good & for God?

This 25-minute video features a presentation given for the United Nations by Dr. Kelly O’Donnell for Geneva Peace Week in November 2018. As you listen, what are your thoughts about a government’s responsibility for moral and peaceful behavior in relationship to citizens and to the world? The answer (your answer) might help us understand whether or not “Peace Psychology” has any chance of influencing political leaders for good and/or for God. Check it out at…


(Thanks for making this video available, Kelly!)

Curious About the Origin of the Term, “Member Care?”

There’s been a great discussion since we asked the question in Brigada a few weeks ago. Posts include memories from the likes of Neal Pirolo. Some cited trainers such as Sam Rowen and Ken Harder. Read the entire thread at…

One friend (Randy) wrote with some private memories. “I’ve skimmed through my ’91 copy of Neal Pirolo’s book and did not quickly see the term member care. I also searched the digital copy he had posted in Blue Letter Bible and it did not appear there. However Kelly’s 1992 Helping Missionaries grow uses member care extensively. I suspect that Kelly who was then an up coming networker in missionary care was pushing the term member care because of his contacts in limited access countries where terms like missionary care and pastoral care could not be used. Kelly also had a broader view than his own discipline of psychology and mental health which is reflected in that ’92 book. I’ll probably ask him about it, if I remember, the next time I see him.”

He continued, “In Clyde Narrimore’s radio broadcast which I mentioned he would mention how he served missionaries on furlough. It seems the precurser to what we now call debriefing. I was only a child then, but his perspective on missionaries needing care was so different than the monthly missionaries we heard in church were missionaries were still veiwed as sort of spiritual superheros.”

He finished off with a reflection, “It is interesting to now see the explosion of missionary care that is now taking place over a half a century later.” Indeed. Thanks Randy. Do you have other memories about the exact origin of the term?

We Asked About the Origin of the Phrase “Member Care” Recently

We wondered where this term might have originated. One contributor responded, “There was a book published first in February, 1991 titled, “Serving As Senders: How to CARE for your Missionaries While they are preparing to go, While they are on the field and When they come home.” The author recently commented to Brigada, “We have come to like to use the phrase Paul used in commending the people in the church of Philippi: ‘I thank God every time I pray for you, for it brings back to my remembrance how you have been PARTNERS IN THE GOSPEL from the very first day even until now.’ They never traveled with him, yet he called them partners. … Different tasks; different responsibilities-yet PARTNERS in the accomplishment of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A LOT has happened in this area of missionary (member) care since that date! To the glory of God! AND, to the better care of missionaries!” (God bless you Neal Pirolo!) If you’d like to order an updated copy of Neal’s book, you can find it on Amazon, by the way, at…

8) This Past Week, a Church Asked for Resources in Member Care

If you were the one on the other end of the phone, how might you have answered? For example, would you send the church leader to…

which is a free ebook introducing missionary member care? It’s incredibly comprehensive and it essentially introduces everything else we would have thought of introducing anyway, right? The only other thing I could think about was asking a member care practitioner herself (a part-time worker on Team Expansion’s staff) to contact the church leader directly to come share directly with the leadership at this church. Of course, some orgs specialize in helping churches focus on these questions. For example, TRAIN International offers…

So how would YOU have answered?

2) “Healthy, Resilient, And Effective”: the book [updated 5/26/2015]

member care bookDr. Laura Mae Gardner (SIL/Wycliffe) has written extensively on caring for missionaries and cross-cultural workers. Now, she has prepared a member care guidebook that just might set a benchmark for the state of the art.

It’s a kind of manual which defines the vision, the challenge, and a host of practical case studies and tools to help us get started. You can also obtain it in the UK and Europe here…

and in Asia here…

2) Curious about the Link Between Member Care and Unreached Peoples?

Have you ever noticed that member care types seem ever-present around organizations and events related to unreached people groups? I have. I was always curious how that worked — and then I discovered this article, by Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell. Check it out…

Question answered. At least in the lives of these two banner-wavers for member care, we now have a clear picture of how their lives and unreached peoples became meshed. We celebrate what God is doing in and through global servants like the O’Donnells — and we hope and pray many will follow their lead.

12) Get “Global Integration Updates” re: Global Member Care

careInterested in learning more about how missionary/member care efforts are making an impact around the world? Want to integrate your member care efforts with those being offered to the mega-orgs being sponsored at global levels by groups like the U.N. ? Now you can. Check out a copy at…

As always, these are made available to us by Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell. The latest Update is below and includes core information/links on the world community’s efforts (via the UN and civil society) to promote human well being and protect our planet. It can help colleagues committed to Christian mission to get a quick overview on the Post 2015 Sustainable Development agenda. To sign up, just visit…

1) O’Donnells Release Volume Two of Global Member Care

MemberCare_Cover_PRESS jpgKelly O’Donnell and Michèle Lewis O’Donnell have been at it again. You’re probably familiar with their breakthrough work in member care. After all, their work on “Doing Member Care Well” fairly much defined an industry. Now they’ve released another landmark work, Volume Two of Global Member Care. See the description and promotional materials at…

As they have done on previous occasions, they’re also giving away a lot of free resources at…

Hats off to them for their unselfishness. We should all buy the book to say thanks for all the times they give their ideas and teachings away for free. :-) You can always buy the book on Amazon at…

(Thanks for all your work, Kelly and Michèle. For more on this work, see the BackPage editorial below.)

1) Great Member Care Resources

MemberCareWow. Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell, with website at…

wrote this past week with a virtual cornucopia of member care recourses. I was completely bowled over by how far the “industry” had come in the last 20 years. Take a look:

First, grab the PDF copy of their list of 100+ member care books and resources at…

Then take a look at these other resources:

*Member care database indexed at Mental Health Resources for Cross-Cultural Workers

*E-books/materials from Missionary Care

*Media materials available at Member Care Media

*Member care-related books for sale: William Carey Library Publishers

Mission Training International

Society for Human Resource Management

People in Aid

Headington Institute (e.g., training modules;

Families in Global Transition

Intercultural Press

Bibliography of articles from the 1960s-1987 in Helping Missionaries Grow (1988, Appendix)

Partial listing of materials in other languages

Member Care: 50 Years-50 Quotes (1964-2013)

Materials at Global MCA from different sectors and relevant for member care and mission/aid (see “Vol 2 Resources” and “Vol 2 Updates”)

Materials on Brigada (search “member care” and “books”,

(They get extra thanks for pointing their friends and readers to this last resource!!! :-) )

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