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Jul 12, 2017
hospitality, witness, refugee

Our Hospitality Mandate (Part One)

What Does an Authentic Christian Reception of Syrian Refugees to the United States Look Like?
Our Hospitality Mandate (Part One)
Image: pixabay

Anecdote of Hospitality

While I was preparing with a team to go on a missions trip to Israel’s Jewish absorption centers, I met a young lady named Rosebud who was taking a break in the fast food restaurant where she worked.

As Rosebud and I chatted, I discovered she came ...

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Jul 11, 2017
literacy, orality, Bible translation

Literacy, Orality, and the Web (Part One)

What oral communication can accomplish in Bible translation projects that print communication alone cannot

Communicating the gospel through oral means is nothing new. There is arguable evidence that Synoptic Gospel material arose out of non-literacy, “a movement from saying to composition.” The written gospel eventually took on greater authority. Consequently, the recitation ...

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Jul 7, 2017
church planting, evangelism, NAMB

Introducing the Director of the New Send Institute

New institute is a partnership between the Billy Graham Center and the North American Mission Board.
Introducing the Director of the New Send Institute
Image: Steven Vance

I'm grateful to be chosen as the Send Institute’s inaugural Director and am honored to work alongside Dr. Ed Stetzer at Wheaton College and Jeff Christopherson at the North American Mission Board.

I've had the joy of planting a vibrant multi-ethnic church in downtown ...

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Jul 4, 2017
rural church, small town

Ghost Towns and Small Towns: Church Planting in a Boom and Bust World

representing God in places that have been burned by short booms and long busts
Ghost Towns and Small Towns: Church Planting in a Boom and Bust World
Image: Wikimedia

About 20 minutes from where I live, one can find the unfortunately named town of Pithole. At least one could have found the town had one been looking between January 1865 and August 1868. During these years, Pithole came to signify life in a boom and bust world.

After the first ...

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Jun 29, 2017

China, House Churches, and the Growth of the Kingdom

Two-thirds of Chinese Christians attend a house church.
China, House Churches, and the Growth of the Kingdom
Image: Wikimedia

My host touched the ‘down’ button in the elevator of a high-rise apartment. Its door opened and we stepped out into underground parking. We maneuvered around cars and crates in the musty and dark basement. Then, to my surprise, I saw through a door a red cross with ...

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Jun 28, 2017
evangelism, church planting, church revitalization

How Do We Get at Effective Outreach?

As the mission field changes, churches will change.
How Do We Get at Effective Outreach?
Image: Matt H. Wade

I frequently get asked about the future of outreach. Let me be honest, and perhaps you already know this: outreach will not get any easier.

Let me share at least three reasons why I believe this is the case.

First, our culture will continue to experience a decrease in nominal ...

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Jun 25, 2017
evangelism, missions, partnership

Effective Partnering: The Church and Cross-Cultural Worker On-Task Together

A good church-field partnership takes work and lots of communication.
Effective Partnering: The Church and Cross-Cultural Worker On-Task Together

Read Effective Partnering: The Church and Cross-Cultural Worker On-Task Together, Part One (Case Study; The Cross-Cultural Worker’s Checklist).

The Church’s Checklist

1. Enlarge the church’s vision to include all nations. Initial steps might include a sermon ...

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Jun 20, 2017
church planting, evangelism, Jesus People, Vineyard

A Brief History of Recent Movements

7 constants representing 2 commitments
A Brief History of Recent Movements
Image: Wikimedia

Let’s go on a short journey exploring the recent history of significant movements that have shaped what we’re seeing in the West today.

This history is important to digest as we look forward to the possibilities that lie ahead—with God! Less than 50 years ago, ...

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Jun 18, 2017
evangelism, missions, partnership

Effective Partnering: The Church and Cross-Cultural Worker On-Task Together

A good church-field partnership takes work and lots of communication.
Effective Partnering: The Church and Cross-Cultural Worker On-Task Together

Everyone agrees that we must work together to accomplish the task of Matthew 28:19-20 so that we may move closer to the end goal found in Matthew 24:14. Furthermore, we all know God did not give this task solely to missionaries or pastors.

In this post-modern world, many in the ...

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Jun 14, 2017
evangelism, church planting, leadership

10 Characteristics of Movemental Christianity

Moving from addition to reproduction.
10 Characteristics of Movemental Christianity
Image: draml

In the West, if and when we see movements of churches planting 1,000 churches in their lifetime, then we believe the following ten characteristics will be present. Based on our observations, movemental Christianity will have some of these characteristics.

1) Prayer

Prayer will ...

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May 28, 2017
missions, EMQ

Church Planting Metrics: Measure What’s Important (Part Two)

Measure outcomes, not activities.

Read Church Planting Metrics: Measure What’s Important, Part One (The Problem of Measurement Inversion; Defining and Measuring “Healthy Church”; Is Your Organization Suffering from Measurement Inversion?).

Define the Object of Measurement (i.e., Church)

As mentioned ...

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May 21, 2017
missions, EMQ

Church-Planting Metrics: Measure What’s Important (Part One)

Measure outcomes, not activities.

A few years ago I was part of a breakout group at a church planting roundtable where we discussed the question, “What is church?” The group was comprised of international and regional directors of church planting organizations. About fifteen minutes into the discussion ...

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May 10, 2017
ministry, stewardship, knowledge, crisis

Stewarding Knowledge in Crisis

After 33 years, Global Mapping International is closing.
Stewarding Knowledge in Crisis
Image: Wikipedia

Winston Churchill has been credited with saying “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Actually, it’s more likely that this idea came from a doctor: M.F. Weiner in a 1976 article, “Don’t Waste a Crisis – Your Patient’s or Your Own,” ...

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Apr 16, 2017
missions, EMQ

Must-Haves for Innovation in Missions (Part Two)

Christian ministries are not insulated from the hyper-speed of change in the twenty-first century.

Read Must-Haves for Innovation in Missions, Part One (Pilot Projects; Rigorous, Honest Evaluation; The Role of the Champion).

Unexpected Benefits

Supporting a culture of innovation often leads to the discovery of benefits which were not in view when an experiment was initiated. ...

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Apr 13, 2017
evangelical, orthodox, catholic, theology

Hank Hanegraaff's Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond

Let's follow Jesus, keep sharing the simple gospel, focus on the Bible, and think like missionaries in order to translate that truth to our modern context.
Hank Hanegraaff's Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond

This past Sunday, the “Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff was welcomed into the Greek Orthodox Church. For a man who has built a valuable ministry on clear answers, this has sparked some questions within the evangelical community.

Now, I don’t know Hanegraaff, ...

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