14) The Last Bit: Ten Ways to Avoid Becoming a Missionary

Howard Culbertson, Emeritus Professor of missions and world evangelism, once wrote a great piece on how, “Ten Ways to Avoid Becoming a Missionary.” We think you’ll find them entertaining. : )


*** 1) Ignore Jesus’ request in John 4:35 that we take a long hard look at the fields. Seeing the needs of people can be depressing and very unsettling. It could lead to genuine missionary concern.

(John 4:35 “Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”


*** 2) Focus your energies on socially legitimate targets. Go after a bigger salary. Focus on getting a job promotion, a bigger home, a more luxurious car, or future financial security. Along the way, run up some big credit card debts.


*** 3) Get married to somebody who thinks the “Great Commission” is what your employer gives you after you make a big sale. After marriage, embrace the socially-accepted norms of settling down, establishing a respectable career trajectory and raising a picture-perfect family.


*** 4) Stay away from missionaries. Their testimonies can be disturbing. The situations they describe will distract you from embracing whole-heartedly the materialistic lifestyle of your home country.


*** 5) If you happen to think about missions, restrict your attention to countries where it’s impossible to openly do missionary work. Think only about North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China and other closed countries. Forget the vast areas of our globe open to missionaries. Never, never listen to talk about creative access countries.


*** 6) Think how bad a missionary you would be based on your own past failures. It is unreasonable to expect you will ever be any better. Don’t even think about Moses, David, Jonah, Peter or Mark, all of whom overcame failures.


*** 7) Always imagine missionaries as talented, super-spiritual people who stand on lofty pedestals. Maintaining this image of missionaries will heighten your own sense of inadequacy. Convincing yourself that God does not use ordinary people as missionaries will smother any guilt you may feel about refusing to even listen for a call from God.


*** 8) Agree with the people who tell you that you are indispensable where you are. Listen when they tell you that your local church or home country can’t do without you.


*** 9) Worry incessantly about money.


*** 10) If you still feel you must go, go out right away without any preparation or training. You’ll soon be home again and no one can ever blame you for not trying!


Do you know someone who relies on — or did you previously rely on — any of these approaches?

11) New JoshuaProject Video will Stir Your Church/Team/Org to Pray

Extraordinary prayer doesn’t come by accident. It’s not something we stumble upon. It’s something we have to seek. Joshua Project has helped us stir hearts with their new little 3-minute video at…




Would you consider showing it at one of your upcoming worship services? Then follow it with 2 minutes of guided prayer from the platform, followed by small group prayer in your congregation or org, perhaps for another 3 or 4 minutes after that? Yes, the entire deal will soak up 10 minutes of your sermon time but, hey — preach on “prayer around the block and around the world” and this can be your application time — and you’re already 1/3 of the way finished! : )  (Thanks for the video, Joshua Project.)

4) There’s a 50/50 Chance Your Millennial Friends Won’t Share Christ

Why? Because it would just… be… WRONG to do so. At least that’s what a new Barna poll found. In spite of feeling equipped to do so, nearly half of them won’t – because they think it’s wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith. Sounds like they grew up watching Star Trek re-runs and they’re afraid of violating the “Prime Directive” or something. See the Barna summary here…




Not sure how we fix this. Somehow, though, if we’re going to win the world with the help of the upcoming generations, we’ll have to remind them that Jesus gave a prime directive too. And that He’s the one who made them. (Thanks for pointing us to a new story about this, Tim!)


9) Check out Missio Nexus’s View of Trends In This Free 3-Hour Webinar

Curious about where we are in the status of the Gospel? Wondering where we need to go next? Wondering if we’re taking UPG and UUPG people groups off the maps? Want more innovation in missions? Want to learn more about mission strategies and structures? Would you like to hear about some unique opportunities? Wondering how in the world we’ll raise up the next generation of missionaries? These topics and more are the subject of a free (free to all) webinar being staged by Missio Nexus on March 13th, 9 am Pacific/10 am Mountain / 11 am Central/ 12 pm Eastern time in the USA. Take note: This webinar is open to mission leaders, church mission teams, missionaries, and anyone interested in global missions. There is no exclusivity whatsoever. In fact, you don’t even have to be a member of Missio Nexus to listen in. It’s free. It’s virtual. There are no meals to buy, no airfares to suck up your treasury, and no excuses. Just pure and simple answers. Trends. And more. It all starts here:




(Thanks for drawing our attention to this, Debra!)

7) For What Purpose(s) do YOU do Short-term Missions?

Canadians were asked that question recently. The results might surprise you. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada asked 3400 evangelicals what would be the main purpose of short-term mission trips. Some 75% said — “for discipleship.” Who knew!? In your opinion, how might this affect the ability of the short-term team to contribute to work on the field? Have you seen this same leaning in the trips you’ve hosted or in which you’ve taken part, or in those you’ve led? Please click “Comment” following the web or app version of this item. You can download the entire report here:


3) Do You or Does Your Church Need Help Managing Mission Trips?

If so, maybe “Focus Missions” is for you. They provide enterprise level mission trip management, helping you find and book airfares, sign travel documents, fundraise, communicate with your short-term teams, obtain background checks, automate application work flows, verify references, AND track finances to the tiniest detail. Check them out at…


For all these services, they receive $20/month per active trip (a trip that is accepting applications, payments or traveling).

Which Colleges/Universities Offer Business as Missions?

Suppose someone approached you at your church and asked, “Which Christian colleges/universities offer a business as mission program? And which mission agencies focus on business as missions as well?” That’s exactly what happened to John. So he approached us to find the answer. Please — let’s not let him down. Click “Comment” following the web version of this item and copy and paste in your list… please. Think of as many options as you can for John, and the person requesting the info. And in the process, we’ll build a virtual directory! Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

3) Be More Effective Making Disciples and Establishing Churches

Mission Media U (MMU) is an online learning platform designed to train Christians to be more effective in making disciples and establishing churches. Their course, “Foundations of Media Strategy,” is starting Sept. 14 and running through Oct. 12. Each week in the 5-week course requires 3 hours of work per week including a one-hour live instruction session. For more information, go to…


2) New Book on Global Partnerships

paul-3d-278x300“Walk This Way: a better path to global engagement” was just released by Dr. Paul McGuinness and 181 Publishing. As Dr. McGuinness writes, God is moving in unbelievable ways around the world, and the Western church has a part to play in the story. But are we in danger of missing out due to an unhealthy approach to global engagement? It’s not that churches aren’t already involved in cross-cultural ministry. It’s that, too often, we bring the wrong mindset to international ministry and move down a rocky path.” Through case studies, practical experience, and biblical principles, “Walk This Way” presents a new model for global ministry that honors the work God is doing and mobilizes the American church to greater engagement. We’re looking forward to reading this book ourselves. Check it out at:


Join the conversation on Facebook (WalkThisWayBook), Twitter and Instagram (@WalkThisWayBook).

1) Innovative Ideas for Thanking Donors: Hope Coffee Offers an Option

HOPE-Coffee-Logo-Brown-2In this holiday season, we’ve been searching for unique ways for missionaries/orgs to thank partners and donors. One option came from Hope Coffee, a ministry enterprise of Camino Global. They are willing to operate a “Gift Service” for ministries this Christmas season. There are three simple steps:
1. Select a gift: 2.5oz of Honduran Medium, Bold, Dark and Guatemalan Decaf as a $10 level gift, while a $15 level would send 12oz of Light Roast or a box of 12 of those Keurig single-serve cups.
2. Email Brian
bmastersathopecoffeedotcom the list of names and addresses to which you would like the gifts to be mailed.
3. Brian will reconnect with you, providing easy ways to cover the expenses of the gifts, then promptly deliver your coffee gifts.
He’ll include the coffee gift, all shipping and a personalized shipping label. The label would wish the donor Merry Christmas from you or your org. Be sure to follow up with him by Dec. 16. Obviously, if and when he runs out of coffee, he’ll let you know if you are the one contacting him.

This seems like one good answer to the question of how do we thank donors in appropriate, globe-friendly ways. For example, in this approach, both you and the donor can know you’re involved in ministry the whole way through, rather than supporting some “big business” manufacturing chain or “box store.” If you think of other good options, feel free to let us know. And thanks for the idea, Brian. (Disclaimer: Brian chipped in $100 to Brigada to elevate his offer to the front of the queue of Brigada items. Thanks for the help, Brian!)

4) If you Work for/in a Tense Region, Check out this New Source

It’s actually more than a news source. The site…


will indeed let you sign up for daily emails, but their regional updates are much more than a news site. They help you understand the conflicts and personages BEHIND the news… the people CAUSING the news to happen and why. The truth is, they’re not a news outlet, so they’re not trying to boost ‘hits’ or ‘likes’ or viewership. They’re just trying to understand our world. They’re a non-profit with a primary goal of compiling a knowledgebase to help people like you (and the political types) make decisions. Please check them out. (Thanks Caleb!)

11) The Best Accounting Software for Missions: Your Pick?

accounting1What if we were to ask you, “What’s the best accounting software for missions (Windows or Mac)? What would you answer? Would it be Quickbooks Desktop 2015 Pro? …or is someone now recommending Quickbooks online? And what about the new crop of ‘cloud’ accounting systems like Freshbooks and Xero? Have you found something you love? Please jot a note and tell us why. Just click “Comment” after the web version of this item. Thanks a bunch!

9) Take a STEP into cross-cultural ministry

stepSensing a possible call from God to serve cross-culturally? Not sure where to go or how to get started? Consider STEP — Serving to Equip People – an initiative matching mature young people with seasoned Entrust staff for a one-year term of service in Europe. It’s an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, provide meaningful service within the context of the local church and explore your gifting and calling for cross-cultural ministry. If you love God, follow Jesus, adhere to the Bible, and value mentoring, multiplication and real-life transformation, consider stepping into STEP. Entrust plans to deploy their inaugural STEP class this summer. Better act fast though: The application deadline is April 15. Call them at 719-622-1980 or visit…


While you’re at it, please click “comment” below the web version of this item and tell them what you think about STEP.

11) “Selection Team Manual” Ready for Your Review

Remember that guy out on the East Coast who creates fantastic resources for missions teams like yours? Well, he’s been at it again. Here’s a 5 meg sample “Selection Team Manual,” saved as a PDF, for your review.


In it, Pastor Allen of Heritage Baptist Church unpacks his strategy and approaches for selecting new missionary candidates. He explains his mission statement, purpose, philosophy, and church strategy for missionary recruitment and preparation. You’re going to want to see this free book. And we’re all going to want to thank him. (Thanks Pastor Allen and HBC.)

3) Exploring Visual Data about Missions Just Got Easier

gmiFor so many of us the data around global issues and missions in particular can be confusing and too in-depth. What if there was a resource that made understanding the data around mission fun and easy to share with those you are mobilizing or engaging around mission? GMI will be releasing a book just like that by April 6th. You have all heard of GMI’s Missiographics Service


and now GMI has developed a visual book of some of its best infographics. Each infographic comes with extended analysis by well-known mission researcher Justin Long and the book is introduced by EMQ Editor and Wheaton College professor Dr. Scott Moreau. Purchase your copy here:


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