2) How Do You Communicate Vision to Your Team?

Kelly and Ben Decker have some great ideas at…

but we’d be interested in hearing your take as well. What methods have worked for you? How do you avoid the trap of creating a vision statement that stacks on the shelf and is never viewed again? We’ve recently become interested in metrics and dashboards as a component in helping our teams and our org stay on track (see below). But what has worked for you? Just click “Comment” please — and testify. (Thanks, Mindy.)

14) The BackPage: How do they do it? People “before their time”

You’ve heard the phrase, I’m sure, “He was a man before his time.” This phrase usually refers to someone who was able to write or speak about topics that their contemporaries might not have valued, but that others, later, came to appreciate. One such example was Roland Allen. J.D. Payne wrote a great intro to Allen’s life. You can view or download it here (thanks for Dr. Payne’s willingness to share his research with the world).

As you’ll see in the article, Allen wrote documents in the 1920’s that weren’t greatly appreciated until the 1970’s. But the strange thing is, his concepts haven’t been largely put into practice until literally this decade, when kingdom movements are now springing up all over the globe — 100 years after his teachings. Buy a Kindle copy of his keystone book here…

Dr. George Patterson is another such visionary. He wrote “Obedience Oriented Education and Evangelism in 1974. It was privately published as a little green booklet. I remember reading it as a Bible college student in the late 1970’s, thinking — “what a simple, yet revolutionary principle.” Yet the truth is, his concepts weren’t largely put into practice until the last 10 years. Now, he seems like a genius. Then, his little booklet had to be privately published.

What makes a visionary? What goes into building a life like Allen or Patterson? In my opinion, there are several converging factors that have to be in place. First, the “man before his time” usually stumbles onto a series of approaches or tactics that start working well. In Patterson’s case, he managed to see a Kingdom movement develop in Honduras that went four generations deep and was four streams wide in just 3 years, between the years 1970 to 1973. During those 3 years, the movement he launched gained such momentum that there were 760 believers participating in 29 groups. Before the decade was out, God had raised up over 2000 new disciples in those 4 streams.

Next, a “man before his time” needs the courage to speak up. He becomes an evangelist for his ideas — and he’s not afraid to speak up about it. Even if people don’t listen, the “man before his time” doesn’t stop writing or testifying about “the better way” that he has discovered.

Lastly, to create a “man before his time,” the final ingredient is a passive, apathetic generation of “sheep” who won’t hear, refusing to consider new ideas. And because they don’t — or won’t — the “man before his time” is sometimes ignored for decades or more.

Thankfully, Patterson and others are now being heard. In fact, you can tune in to a webinar that will feature George Patterson on April 27th at noon Eastern Time. To learn more and/or register for this free webinar, just go to…

14) The BackPage: The Importance of Vision

While perusing a gloomy forecast by Forbes recently at…

the thought occurred to me just how crucial it is that we maintain and, in fact, increase our ability to muster a positive vision for the future. Is it just my imagination, or does it seem to you that we have so many negative thinkers these days? I’ve often wondered: Do negative situations cause people to think more negatively? … or did their negative thoughts bring about their own negative self-fulfilling prophecies? What’s your take about pro-future spin-casting? For my money, I’m betting that our best days are in front of us. (Even if they’re not, I’m going to pray that God will make it so while I try to talk people into believing it. Your thoughts?

8) Exploring the Land

If you’re searching for that “Exploring the Land” book by Shane Bennett, compiled in the mid-nineties for all the AD2000 & Beyond prayer journeys and vision trips, don’t bother looking at They’ve got one solitary “hawker” there, offering it for $95. Instead, hop on over to

where a search will turn it up for a more rational $25. Rely on this book any time you want a new team to get an insider’s perspective on the culture of an unreached people group. Using this guide, you can come away with a virtual ethnographic survey of a culture or people.

The Backpage: Who will Cast a Vision for the next 5 Years in Your Life?

We recently asked that question — and, thanks to our good friend, Greg, we learned about “Call2All Congresses.”

(Learn more at…

Check ’em out! There are upcoming conferences in Dallas, Nairobi, and Toronto.

Greg also filled us in on the “Finish the Task” initiative, led, in part, by Paul Eshleman. Learn more about them at…
In a form similar to AD2000 & Beyond, Finishing the Task is “an association of mission agencies and churches who want to see reproducing churches planted among every people group in the world. In 2006, FTT identified 639 unreached, unengaged people groups with populations above 100,000. Since then, 190 of these people groups have been selected, with church planting started in 60 of them.” (Thanks for the leads, Greg.)

Do you have other missions statesman in your midst? Anybody else casting that “big picture” vision? If so, please just click “Comments” below and fill us in! Either way, we can now be optimistic that more vision is in the pipeline!

Doug Lucas

20070408 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  • SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON BIBLE SOFTWARE — Logos Bible Software is offering a special discount for Brigada Today subscribers. Logos is the best Bible software I’ve personally ever used. Now you can purchase the world’s best Bible software at 25% off the retail price! Logos Bible Software puts hundreds of searchable, interlinked Bibles and biblical reference works right at your fingertips. You’ll not only be able to dig deeper into the Bible but you’ll be able to take your entire digital library wherever you go. Missionaries and traveling pastors rave about the way Logos has improved their time in the Word. These aren’t just electronic books that you can read on a computer, Logos provides a user- friendly, interactive search engine that guides you through word studies and passage exegesis – and it’s all accomplished with just a few clicks of your mouse! It integrates well when you add additional commentaries, study aids, and indices. Imagine the way we used to have to carry around study Bibles. To learn more go to

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

  • MEMBER CARE AND UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: THE WEB SITE — This web site is one of the resources offered by Ethne-Member Care (part of the Ethne to Ethne Movement.) The web site offers materials to support the mission and member care community in its work among unreached people groups. There are web links to many core resources (e.g., member care materials in Chinese and Spanish, trauma management, support for humanitarian workers); tools/checklists to help you in your work; and important articles on member care history, future directions, and suggestions for senders. Another special feature of the web site is the archives of the Member Care Update. This Update is free, sent monthly/electronically, and includes news and resources to further equip people with member care responsibility. It is edited by a group of senior, international consultants in the member care field. Recent issues have included a Self-Care inventory, Marriage Potential tool, Coaching article, Rationale for Taking Risks article, Travel Medicine update, and Support Team overview.

  • VOLUNTEER WITH OR UTILIZE “MISSION NANNYS” (sic) — In a recent item on “Missions Nannys” (Mar. 23, 2007 Brigada: “4) NEED A NANNY?”), we recommended them, but the contributor had provided the incorrect URL. Here’s their correct website:

  • MISSION TRIP SECURITY — If some of your people on a mission trip have a major accident, get arrested, or are abducted, do you know what to do first, whom to contact, how and when to inform families, how to respond to a political or ransom demand, and what the courts might expect of you? On May 10, 2007 the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies (EFMA) is sponsoring a 90-minute Tele-class (or Webinar) entitled “Ready or Not? What Your Church or Mission needs to Know about Crisis Management & Security for Short-term Teams.” Bob Klamser, Executive Director or Crisis Consulting International, a non-profit missions support agency that provides security training, consulting and emergency services to the missions community. The seminar is free for EFMA members and $35 per person for others. To participate, all you need is broad band access for your computer and a telephone. To see details and enroll on-line go to

    or contact David Mays at davidmays(at)efmamissions(dot)org

  • COSIM: VISION IN CROSS-CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS — The next annual COSIM conference is scheduled for June 11-13, 2007 at the Wheaton Bible Church, Wheaton, IL. The theme is “Breaking Tradition to Accomplish Vision: From frustration to joy in cross-cultural partnerships.” The featured plenary speakers and facilitators are Sherwood Lingenfelter, Provost, Fuller Seminary; Paul R. Gupta, President, Hindustan Bible Institute, Chennai, India; and John Watters, Executive Director, Wycliffe International. This will be a highly interactive conference to facilitate practical training, creative dialog, case study analysis, and strategic thinking. For more information, visit the COSIM web site:

    Or write to Werner werner(at)mission1(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  • ENHANCE YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS — Do you struggle to get out your ministry support letter? Could you use a little punch in its wording and format? Writer’s Edge International is a Christian business created just for you! They specialize in writing and creating prayer and ministry update letters which are attractive and enjoyable to read. Writer’s Edge takes your letters, stories, or ideas and turns them into well-polished update letters that your supporters will enjoy reading. Your donors deserve to read a well-written and aesthetically pleasing letter, and Writer’s Edge would like to help you with that. Contact them before May 15th, and receive $5.00 off your next purchase! Ph: (858) 413-5120 in the USA or browse to

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

  • SPECIAL: THE LATEST WEA-MISSION COMMISSION BOOK — The WEA Mission Commission is releasing its newest book in the Globalization of Mission series: “Worth Keeping: Global Perspectives on Best Practice in Missionary Retention.” It is written and edited by WEA-MC folks: Rob Hay, Valerie Lim, Detlef Blöcher, Jaap Ketelaar and Sarah Hay,

    The very special pre-print deal is a 52% discount offer through May 31, 2007 for this book only, which in part follows, but goes far beyond, the global research presented in “Too Valuable to Lose: Examining the Causes and Cures of Missionary Attrition.” “Worth Keeping” is the product of years of work by the Mission Commission task force called ReMAP II, which was charged with the job of carrying out the attrition follow-up research but going far beyond into the areas of retention and best practices. The book presents the outcome of that 20 nation study, crafted and led by a team of international researchers and global cadre of associates. The 36 chapters and 58 case studies from around the world make the book unique. It will be released on May 31, 2007 as a 7″ x 10″ with 448 pages, soft cover, perfect bound. The retail price is US$24.99. Special pre-publication 52% discount offer: US$11.99 !!! It is being published by: WEA Mission Commission & William. Carey Library To order, go to the pre-pub sale webpage:

  • COMPOSE FOR MOMENTUM MAGAZINE — Justin Long, Editor of the online magazine, Momentum, invites you to consider submitting articles for upcoming issues …
    *** 2007-05 — Business as Mission — In this and all areas, he’s specifically hoping for non-Western writers as well as Western sources. Better contact him on this one to see if he can still use your material. :-)

    *** 2007-07 — Western Asia (which includes the Asian portion of what we typically call “Middle East”–e.g. Israel and east, as well as Turkey and the -stans of Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan).

    *** 2007-09 — Eastern Africa, with an especial emphasis on Sudan and Ethiopia.

    He can send you writer’s guidelines. Learn more at:

  • TEACH ENGLISH, GERMAN OR SWEDISH IN THAILAND — The worst hit place in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami, Khao Lak is now recovering beautifully. Today tsunami survivors want to improve their employment opportunities in the recovering hospitality market, by building up their language skills. That desire opens the door of relationship and your chance to show God’s amazing love. Travel there this summer for 2 months or more to the Step Ahead Training Center (YWAM Relief & Development) in beautiful Phang Nga, Southern Thailand. You’ll have Aircon housing with cable TV, and a $200 monthly stipend. For more info., contact: quinley(at)stepaheadmed(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or see

  • OPPORTUNITIES FOR INT’L SCHOOLING IN ACCRA, GHANA — American International School (AIS) in Accra, Ghana is nearing completion of its first year with 60 students. AIS is a Network of International Christian Schools (NICS) school. AIS is now taking applications for the 2007/08 school year. Enrollment will be limited to 120 students preschool-12th grade so, don’t delay. Check out

    If you are interested in teaching at AIS or other NICS schools check out

  • ASK YOUR CHURCH TO SUPPORT BRIGADA’S 10-YEAR+ TRACK RECORD — When you send your gift via PayPal or check, we’ll gladly mention your church (or you or your group). But more importantly, you’ll be helping undergird a ministry that has come to you faithfully with an edition for every week since January 1995. Just click on “Sponsor/Donate” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous. And thank you in advance for helping.

  • THE BACKPAGE: MORE “COOL TOOLS” FOR TRAVEL & MISSIONS — In previous issues, we’ve listed these tools:

    #1: Beat jet lag (Sleep E., Party W., Gear up to sleep, Herd your kids)
    #2: Get your own mosquito tent (for malaria-infested areas)
    #3: Insist on AC adaptors that don’t require converters/transformers
    #4: Rent or buy a “worldphone”, satphone, and/or sat modem
    #5: Pack by checklist, pack light
    #6: Use roller bags
    #7: Bring a filtered water bottle
    #8: Carry a thin notebook & a pen, write everything down
    #9: Use a money belt
    #10: Try a photographer’s vest
    #11: Stay healthy, but don’t become O.C.
    #12: Find a camera/kit you can truly *carry*, then *use* it

    With this edition, we add the following

    #13: Pack modularly — When I was a scout as a 7th grader, they taught us to pack “a sack of sacks.” Today, that advice still applies — for missionaries and short-term missions travelers too. This is a great use for those plastic grocery bags from your neighborhood grocery. Socks all in one sack, underwear in another, shirts in another, etc. Double-bag the electronics gear (in a clear bag if you can), soccer cleats in another, soccer ball in another, shin guards & air pump in another, a couple of “kits” or soccer outfits in another, you get the idea. Some say to pack your underwear on top, but I figure the terrorists have all heard that advice by now anyway, so forget it. :-) Send as many liquids as possible through your checked bag. For those liquids you have to carry on, don’t forget to have them ready in a clear zip-lock bag, and send them through the x-ray machine separately.

    #14: Get hold of a good pair of passive noise-reducing earphones — These will do you double-duty. Not only can you use them with your mp3 player or laptop, but also, most airlines have switched to the same “stereo mini-plug” size for their in-air entertainment and movies sound tracks. So rather than use their cheapies, you can reduce the ambient jet noise (and crying kids, bless their hearts :-) ) by at least 10 dB, while getting better fidelity at the same time.

    More cool tools next time.

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