February 26, 2024
Spiritual Formation, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Church Planting

Abiding in Christ – Laying the Right Foundation

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Church planting Editor’s note: David and Kathy North planted multiple churches with TEAM for 33 years in various-sized cities in the Philippines. In their first few years in the Philippines, the Norths and I (Ken Guenther) served on the same church planting team in Baliwag, Bulacan. David is currently the Church Planting Coordinator for TEAM’s international network of church planters and disciple makers. The Norths are involved in Coaching, Training, Mentoring and encouraging front line workers. These blog posts were copied with permission from TEAM’s Church Planting Blog, Go and Plant. Longing for help For years as a young church planter, I longed for outside guidance and input about my efforts to plant churches. From time to time, an experienced church planter would speak even just a few words into my ministry and it would give me the new thoughts… Read the whole post
Prayer

Connecting Well with Ministry Partners through Prayvine

Editor’s note: Over the past year, I have been sending out our prayer requests using a new website called Prayvine. Prayvine¬†is a free and secure service for mission workers. It’s goal is to both increase the number of people who pray and also increase the number of people who let the missionary know that they are praying for them. I now regularly receive emails from more than 10% of my mailing list saying that they are praying for me. Many of them include personal comments. Recently, I received an email from Prayvine, listing some comments from Prayvine users about what they learned about using the service over the past year. This email can also found on the Prayvine blog. The founder and creator of PrayVine, Ian Hsu, has graciously give permission to repost it on our SEND U blog. As we embark on a new year of partnership with… Read the whole post
Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines

Solitude

Solitude is one of those spiritual disciplines that is quite challenging for me. But more and more, I am convinced of its significant value in my life. What I commonly experience is a flood of thoughts and distractions the very moment I pursue quiet and solitude before the Lord. I am like the disciples, attempting to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. Tiredness can also wash over me as I seek to slow my mind and body and listen to the Lord’s voice. Jesus’ example of solitude When reading the Gospels, you can’t miss the fact that Jesus spent time in solitary places.1 See Matthew 14:13, 23; 17:1; Mark 1:35, 45; 6:31-32, 45-46 and Luke 4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:10. Often times, these “escapes” into solitude were early in the morning or withdrawing from the crowds of people vying for His time and attention. What this shows me is… Read the whole post
Cross-Cultural Living, Spiritual Formation, Training, Adult Education, Pre-field Training

Why do missionaries need pre-field training?

A legitimate question When I first began leading our Member Orientation Program more than 10 years ago, I seldom, if ever, had to defend its legitimacy. All new missionaries assumed that they would need to go through the pre-field training program before leaving for their place of assignment. In fact, one of our greatest struggles was to convince new missionaries and their coaches that they should wait to enroll in Member Orientation until they had raised more of their support. The primary question was “When?”. When do I get to go to MOP? As we began conducting the training in the Philippines as well as in Michigan, a secondary question then became “Where?”. Where will I complete this training? But in more recent years, the questions have been different. Now we are dealing with the question of “Why?”. Why do I need to go through this particular pre-field training program?… Read the whole post
Spiritual Disciplines, Book Reviews, Prayer

Set times of prayer – a discipline of preparation and love

I have recently finished listening to Tyler Staton’s book on prayer – Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools: An Invitation to the Wonder and Mystery of Prayer. I listened to Tyler Staton preach on the topic of the Lord’s Prayer at a leadership retreat a few months ago. Both his passion for and his experience in prayer impressed me.1 You can listen to these same sermons on the Bridgetown Church’s website. I did not expect this in such a young pastor. In his book, I was further intrigued by his emphasis on the importance of daily set times of prayer. He pointed out that both Jesus and the early church practiced regular times of prayer each day. Jesus and his prayer life Over the years, I have noticed that the Gospels (and particularly Luke) often note that Jesus gave himself to prayer. At this baptism, before he begins a busy… Read the whole post
Stress Management, Spiritual Disciplines

Staying on top of things

A few years ago, I was planning for an upcoming “boot camp” for new field leaders. Our boot camps are two full days of training but hardly “a place or undertaking that resembles a military boot camp especially by requiring one to endure intensive training or initiation”.1 Merriam Webster definition #3 for “boot camp. But then maybe we should ask the participants, not the trainer! In preparation, I asked these new field leaders and their directors what topics they would want us to cover. I gave them a list of topics we had covered in previous years. Someone suggested “how to stay on top of things”, something not on my list. In subsequent years, participants have almost always selected this topic as something they want to address at boot camp. The difficulty of staying on top of things This suggestion initially surprised me, but it immediately made sense. New field… Read the whole post
Prayer, Follow-up

Co-workers through prayer

Ukraine has been our home for the past 12 years. I would love to be back there now, if not for the ongoing military conflict in that country. But currently, we are back in Canada and we do not know when we will be able to return to our home in Ukraine. How can we continue to participate in ministry in Ukraine if we are located thousands of kilometers away? There are many good answers to that question. Some of them can be found on our mission organization’s webpage on Ukraine. In this post, I would like to focus on intercessory prayer. Praying for Ukraine For the past several months, my email signature has said “Pray for peace in Ukraine” with a link to our mission webpage. That webpage gives a couple of resources to guide our prayers for the crisis in that country. Using the PrayerMate app, I have… Read the whole post
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