9) The Back Page: How do you Recruit for the Team You Lead?

volunteerismThis good question was raised in North Africa this past week. I guess I’m not the only one needing good help. My friend in North Africa listed these sample ideas: 

  • When considering whether someone would make a great teammate carefully examine his/her fruitfulness in the past.  If someone has great character and fruitfulness in another context they’ll probably make great contributions.
  • Believe God is going to do great things.  When you believe it people will want to be a part of it.
  • Pray, pray, pray.
  • Stay in touch over time w/ people you want to work w/.  Eventually lots of them will come to points in their lives where they will seriously consider it.
  • If you want to have American teammates go to the same conventions & gatherings each year and follow-up, face-to-face, w/ key people.
  • Write great newsletters that make people want to be a part of what you’re a part of.
  • Ask people.  When I used to be in the home office I was astonished how clueless missionaries were about how powerful their words could be in the lives of young people.  It’s amazing how few missionaries ask people who visit to prayerfully consider a call.
  • Find ways to position yourself as an authority/value giver.  If you have learned anything that you could pass on to others, find a context in which you can share it. 

Got other advice? Admonitions? Stuff that’s worked for you? Reality checks? If so, Please list them below. Just click “Comments” and fill in the box — anonymously, if you prefer.

Thanks for helping us figure this out.


Comment on this item by clicking “Comment…” below.

2) This Missions Video Made a Big Impact this Morning

This morning I spoke in a church in northeastern Ohio. I used the missions video, “A Thousand Questions.” Whoa. Itathousandquestions had a huge impact on this church of 220. After the video, you could have heard a pin drop… except for some lingering tears people were choking back… Someone was sobbing over at the side. I prayed, then asked if anyone had anything to share after watching the video. There was great feedback: “Overwhelmed,” “Challenged,” “Sobered,” … the feedback went on. One long-time member testified that he was at first critical of the church’s investment in missions. Now he had concluded it was the smartest thing they ever did. Highly recommended. (And thanks, Martin, for the heads-up about this resource.) Watch it on Youtube at

Then if you like it, download either a Flash or a Quicktime copy at…

This might be one of the best resources you’ve ever received via Brigada… and the amazing thing is — it’s free. Just don’t forget that you heard about it here on Brigada.

3) Family Curriculum on Children at Risk

redcard“Red Card: Standing Against Oppression, Providing Hope” is a dynamic, new curriculum from Caleb Resources that raises awareness of six different types of children at risk: children in poverty, orphans, street kids, child laborers, children of war, and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Designed for a cross-generational audience, this 8-week class builds family unity and empowers kids to become advocates for vulnerable children, their own peers. Lessons include videos, simulations, family processing time, prayer, at-home activities, and practical steps for involvement. Participants gain a biblical perspective on God’s heart for the least of these and our mandate to respond. Content is age-appropriate for children grade 4 and up. Learn more or see a sample lesson:

or email


2) Missions Mobilization For Kids

specialassignmentsWant to help your kids learn more about missions around the world? Engage girls and boys with “Children in Action: Special Assignments.” This resource features more than 150 hands-on missions activities, Scripture memorization, and ministry ideas. Activity categories include praying for missions, giving to missions, learning about missions, doing missions, my church and missions, growing in missions, and the Bible and missions. The book includes a companion CD with missionary biographies and ministry tips. Special Assignments sometimes focuses on Southern Baptist missions, but can be adapted for use by any group.

To order, visit

or call 1-800-968-7301 (USA callers can dial toll-free; others can call via Skype-out). Or email

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for more information.

3) New, Free Children’s Curriculum Posted

WycliffekidWycliffe’s Children’s Communications Team has posted a new service-learning curriculum called Scripture Poster Project at

You will find interactive lessons on literacy, a colorful PowerPoint slide show on Uganda, games and a drama to help your children make a difference in the world today with the skills that they already possess. Your children get to use their skills to color Scripture posters in one of 3 Ugandan languages. Then children reaching new literacy milestones will joyfully receive them as prizes. How cool is that? Please send questions or comments to the team at



or use the comment box below.

11) The Backpage: If We All Just Pitched In A Little

indonesiaI was thinking today about the quality job that the “Indonesian Peoples Network” (IPN) did with their book, Indonesian People Profiles: Unreached People Groups. It’s colorful, practical, informative, and comprehensive. Seemingly modeled somewhat after the Bethany Prayer Profiles that went around a few years ago, these people groups are, in a word, simply better. They’re organized into clusters with everything is indexed in the back. (Order the book by emailing



I think you’ll end up paying something  like $14.)

But my *main* point isn’t really to talk about Indonesia per se, even though it’s true that we (our organization) have a couple of projects in formation for that part of the world. Instead, my prayer is that we could clone Larry (the author of the above-mentioned book) and replicate this same process in little regions throughout the world. The truth is, if every little region just pitched in to describe the unreached peoples in that region, soon the whole world would be documented in this manner. That would be cool. :-)

3) Kids’ Missions Participation Badges

molly2Recognize your kids’ accomplishments in missions with missions participation badges. WMU has several badges available, including “I Met a Missionary,” “Prayerwalking,” “Telling about Jesus,” and “World Hunger.” To order, click on “badges” at

or call 1-800-968-7301 (USA callers can dial toll-free; others can call via Skype-out). Or email

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for more information.

1a) Special Close-up: Dr. Ralph D. Winter Dies at 84

Ralph D. Winter, 1924 – 2009
Renowned Strategist Redirected Church’s Worldwide Mission Efforts

Recognized by TIME magazine in 2004 as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals, Ralph D. Winter, a world-renowned scholar of Christian mission and the founder and creative activist in a wide range of mission initiatives, has died. He was 84.

Winter died Wednesday, May 20 at his home in Pasadena after a seven-year battle with multiple myeloma and after additional struggles with lymphoma since early February.

Many of the accomplishments of Ralph Winter’s long career as a missionary, mission professor and “mission engineer” stemmed from his conviction that Christian organizations accomplish more when they cooperate in strategic ways. It was at the Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelization in 1974 that Winter burst upon the world stage with innovative analysis and advocacy that have redirected evangelical mission energies ever since.

Born in 1924, Winter spent his boyhood years in South Pasadena and was nurtured in Christian faith by devout parents and membership at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena. He pursued a degree in civil engineering at Caltech, an M.A. at Columbia University in teaching English as a second language, and a Ph.D. at Cornell University in structural linguistics, with a minor in cultural anthropology and mathematical statistics. While in seminary at Princeton, he served as a pastor of a rural New Jersey church.

He married Roberta Helm in 1951 while studying for his Ph.D. at Cornell. Roberta’s expert help in research, writing and editing, among many other gifts, made her a valuable partner to her husband from the time of his doctoral studies onward.

Ordained in 1956, Winter and his wife joined the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. They worked for ten years in Guatemala among the native Mayan people. Along with the development of 17 small businesses for bivocational pastoral students, Winter joined others to begin an innovative, non-residential approach to theological studies known as Theological Education by Extension (TEE), which has since been reproduced in countless mission contexts around the world.

Winter’s creativity with TEE and other initiatives caught the attention of Donald McGavran, who in 1966 invited Winter to join the faculty of the new School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA). Between 1966 and 1976 Winter taught more than a thousand missionaries, but he also claimed to learn much from his students. During these years he founded the William Carey Library, a specialized publisher and distributor of mission materials. He also co-founded the American Society of Missiology, helped in starting Advancing Churches in Mission Commitment (ACMC), and inaugurated what is now the Perspectives Study Program (first called the Summer Institute of International Studies).

Building on McGavran’s emphasis on people groups, and gleaning insights from his interaction with students and faculty, in July 1974 Winter presented a seminal address at Lausanne, Switzerland to the International Congress on World Evangelization, underscoring the necessity of pioneer, cross-cultural missionary outreach to thousands of “hidden peoples”, later more commonly known as “unreached peoples”. Winter’s statistics and careful reasoning stunned an audience (and their constituencies) that had previously assumed that “near-neighbor evangelism” by existing churches would be sufficient in world evangelization.

To facilitate creative outreach to unreached peoples, in 1976 Ralph and Roberta Winter founded the U.S. Center for World Mission (USCWM), and in 1977 the related William Carey International University, on the former campus of Pasadena Nazarene College, mobilizing evangelicals to pay for the acquisition of the $15 million campus through a series of campaigns that culminated in 1988 and that emphasized mission vision more than fund-raising. A community of workers in Pasadena and other locations, now known as the Frontier Mission Fellowship (FMF), has developed to sustain an array of cooperative mission projects, and until two weeks before his death Winter served as General Director of the FMF.

John Piper, author of Desiring God and Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis, MN), commented, “Ralph Winter was probably the most creative thinker I have ever known. On any topic you brought up, he would come at it in a way you never dreamed of. This meant that stalemates often became fresh starting points.” Likewise, Dale Kietzman, a professor at William Carey International University, noted, “He was constantly thinking outside the box. He did this to such an extent that you weren’t sure what the box was anymore.” C. Peter Wagner, a colleague at Fuller Seminary, has observed, “History will record Ralph Winter as one of the half-dozen men who did most to affect world evangelism in the twentieth century.”

At 84 Winter continued to work full-time, finding personal satisfaction in addressing a wide range of new challenges and perplexing questions. John Piper noted on his Weblog, “He did not waste his life, not even the last hours of it. He was busy dictating into the last days. He taught me long ago that the concept of ‘retirement’ is not in the Bible.” Greg Parsons of the USCWM observed, “He died with his boots on.”

Winter is preceded in death by his parents, Hugo H. Winter (a civil engineer recognized as “Mr. Freeway” for his leadership in the development of the Los Angeles freeway system) and Hazel Patterson Winter, and by his first wife of nearly 50 years, Roberta Helm Winter. He is survived by his second wife, Barbara; by his and Roberta’s four daughters (all of whom are active in Christian mission), Elizabeth Gill (Brad), Rebecca Lewis (Tim), Linda Dorr (Darrell), and Patricia Johnson (Todd); and by 14 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

He is also survived by his older brother, Paul H. Winter (Betty), a graduate of Caltech and a well-respected structural engineer; by his younger brother, David K. Winter (Helene), president of Westmont College in Santa Barbara for more than 25 years; and by nephews, nieces, and numerous friends and colleagues worldwide.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, June 28, at 3:00 p.m. at the Worship Center of Lake Avenue Church, 393 N. Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA. Details will be posted to the website of the U.S. Center for World Mission at

7) DVD series on missions

Is there a better way to do missions? In this dvd series, church leaders from around the world are asked, “If you had one piece of advice you could give the church in North America, what would it be?” Hosted by Steve Saint who intertwines stories from his experience in the Ecuadorian jungle, the series “Missions Dilemma” is designed to stimulate discussion among church leaders, missions committees, and those involved in missions. Check out the trailer at

Order the series at

and click on store. Or contact

10) Deepen Your Journey

The Journey Deepens weekend retreats help prospective missionaries explore what it is like to be a missionary, discover whether a missionary or sender role is God’s fit, and connect with mission agencies. This is for high school seniors, college students, young adults, mid-lifers, baby boomers – anyone willing to explore becoming a missionary. Each retreat of 50 participants and 10 missionaries from multiple agencies is highly relational with extended worship, small group discussions, personal reflection and much prayer. Discussions include guidance, finances, singles/families, etc. In spring and summer 2009 the dates and locations are:
– Apr 24-26 near Chicago, Illinois at the ITeams conference center
– May 29-31 in Dallas, Texas at Wycliffe Bible Translators conference center
– Jun 26-28 near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the WEC conference centerSee the online promo video and FAQ at

1) Your Opinion On This Article About Africa Needing Missionaries?

Here’s an article by an atheist pointing out that, in his opinion, Africa would be made better by missionaries. Would you take a moment to read the article and comment on it? What’s your opinion about this atheist’s conclusions? (Thanks for the tip about this article, Shibu!)

To add your comment, just click “Comment” below:

6) Retreats For Prospective Missionaries

“The Journey Deepens” is a weekend retreat to help prospects explore what it is like to be a missionary, discover whether a missionary or sender role is God’s fit, and connect with mission agencies. This is for high school seniors, college students, young adults, mid-lifers, baby boomers – anyone willing to explore becoming a missionary. Each retreat of 50 participants and 10 missionary coaches from multiple agencies is highly relational with extended worship, small group discussions, personal reflection and much prayer. Discussions include guidance, finances, singles/families, etc. The four 2009 retreats are Chicago Apr 24-26, Dallas May 29-31, Philadelphia Jun 26-28, Atlanta Oct 16-18 . Presented by Finishers/MissionNext and co-sponsored by ACMC, Caleb Resources, Perspectives and the U.S. Center for World Mission. Missions coaches/recruiters may apply online

5) School Staffing Needs In Central Asia

(Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkey) Here’s a school that needs teachers for the 2009-2010 school year. Some positions are part or fully paid. They’re looking for an Elementary Principal, Secondary Principal, Vice Principal, Administrative Assistant, Accountant/Comptroller, Nurse, Librarian. Elementary teachers // Middle School: English, General, History, Science. // High School: Biology, English, History, Math, Science. // Music education (K-12), Physical Education (K-12), ESL, Bible, Computer teacher & technician, Media Resources, Special Needs Education. To add your name to an Opportunities List that is sent out regularly or for more information contact Mark at

or phone +1-330-497-2475

2) Free Missions Video: "Waiting to Go"

Hats off to “Steve” for offering his missions video, “Waiting to Go” to the Brigada audience, free of charge. If you decide to use it, please remember to pray for him. He originally volunteered this video in a comment made to a previous Brigada item (Nov. 23, 2008).

Watch the video live, embedded below, by clicking the big “Play” triangle in the middle of the black square:

or alternatively, download the entire video to your own hard drive.

10) The Backpage: How’s Your Summer Internship Count?

Some might find it interesting to be able to compare their summer internship count with their peer agencies. It’s a sluggish economy in several sending countries. Perhaps your agency is feeling the brunt of a downturn, … perhaps not. We won’t know for sure until we share. The cool part about this Brigada lense is that you can share anonymously, without giving up your exact name. Just do us a favor and describe your agency in general terms. For example, “We’re a large agency — with somewhere between 500 and 1000 full-timers — and our summer internship program generally attracts 100 applications. 75 usually make it through all the filters.” … and so on. Be as precise as you can without breaking any confidences that you’d just as soon not reveal.

Naturally, it’s not all about numbers. And sometimes the numbers reveal things too subtle to show up in board meeting reports. Now you can learn them here, in Brigada. And the bigger, more important question will be — if there are trends, why are they happening? In other words, if numbers are down, is it due to the economic slow-down? Or… is today’s younger generation less likely to commit for a summer ’til they’ve been there for a week? Those are the questions we’ll want to banter around, once we’ve identified trends.

So, please ask your fellow-mission staffers to chime in, especially the recruiters and summer short-term coordinators…. We’ll look forward to them joining us. Let’s get the count, then figure out whether that represents a down-turn, or an equal footing, or an up-sweep. Thanks for taking time to tell your story. Let’s do this! :-)

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