February 26, 2024
Church Planting, Disciple-making, Book Reviews

Missions Disrupted – Some more questions

A review of “Missions Disrupted” – Part 2 In my previous blog post, I began a review of Larry Sharp’s new book, Missions Disrupted: From Professional Missionaries to Missional Professionals. I noted that while I agree with much of what the book is saying about missions, I do have a few questions and cautions. In this post, I will continue to explain my concerns. Negative view of church planting I am mystified by Sharp’s apparent dislike of church planting. However, if one looks at mission as being God’s endeavor, we will see ourselves as going with him into the world. It is first and foremost his work to make disciples, rather than the ecclesiastical framework of today’s missionary efforts, which focus on getting people into the church and on church planting, the mantra of nearly every missionary agency today. From the viewpoint of the rest of the world, this is… Read the whole post
Book Reviews, Missionary Roles

Is the era of professional missionaries over?

A review of “Missions Disrupted” – Part 1 Larry Sharp definitely knows the mission world. He served with Crossworld (then Unevangelized Fields Mission) in Brazil for over two decades. In 1993, he returned to the USA and became the Vice President for the mission in the home office. He is now Vice President Emeritus and serves as a business consultant for Crossworld. Prior to leaving his executive role with the mission agency, he founded IBEC Ventures. This organization focuses on serving missional professionals who want to engage in Business as Mission. He continues in a training role with IBEC to this day. I have met Larry in intermission gatherings and have known his siblings since my college days. So, when I heard that this seasoned missionary leader had written a book on the demise of the missions movement, I wanted to know what he had to say. Many great BAM… Read the whole post
Hardship, Stress Management

Is It Possible to Parent Well?

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally posted on the blog, A Life Overseas. It is reposted with permission from the author, Abby Alleman. She previously served overseas as a missionary with her husband and three children. Now she and her husband touch the lives of refugees through the ministry of the Welcome Network. Learn more about Abigail at her blog and website (abigailalleman.com). Follow her on Instagram @abigail.allema. Can I as a missionary parent well? Somewhere between the 1,100-mile move and the wheels falling off (not literally, but figuratively) of our family’s parenting vehicle, I asked the question: ‘Is it possible for me, as a career missionary, to parent well?’ It seems I crucify myself between two thieves: Fear and Self-Doubt. And there are probably a million other places I can go which defeat me as a parent. But, fellow cross-cultural parent, I am not writing this for any… Read the whole post
Hardship

Should missionaries work long hours?

I have observed that missionaries are no longer quite as willing to talk about how many hours we are working. Have you noticed the difference as well? I used to see it as a badge of honor that I had worked more than 60 hours in the past week. I am not so sure that I would admit that today. Would my colleagues see me as a workaholic or unbalanced in my priorities? I also must acknowledge that I don’t have the same level of energy as I did 30 years ago. My work weeks rarely if ever exceed sixty hours these days, whereas when I was a first-term missionary, they were commonplace. As missionaries, we still like to say that we are busy. But in contrast to what I remember from 30 years ago, we are now much more likely to think that something is wrong with us or… Read the whole post
Cultural learning, Learning Attitude

A different understanding of boundaries

A Gentle Word to Those Wanting to Help Ukrainian Refugees Editor’s note: Julie Mosse and her husband Alfie have spent many years working as cross-cultural workers in Ukraine. Recently, they spent a few months in Poland, helping Ukrainian refugees fleeing the military conflict in their own country. Recently, I sat with one beautiful Ukrainian church worker in a little cafe in Krakow, Poland. She loves Jesus, is a seminary mission program graduate, and has a wealth of ministry and cross-cultural experience. Currently she is also a refugee from the war in Ukraine, having fled Odessa with her mom, sister, and tiny nephew.1 See another blog post about refugees from Ukraine. She works with a local Ukrainian church which, like all of these churches, is flooded – with people, with needs, with decisions, and with opportunities.   Weary leaders The leaders of these Ukrainian diaspora churches are doing everything they can to… Read the whole post
Training

My children chose not to believe

This blog post was originally posted on the blog “A Life Overseas“. The full title of the blog post was “I went to a foreign country to share the gospel. My children grew up and chose not to believe”. It is reposted with permission from the author who has chosen to remain anonymous to protect her family’s privacy. If you wish to reach out to her for support, please leave a reply at the bottom of this blog post. The SEND U blog editor will then connect you to the author through email. Raising up children on the mission field I never intended to be an overseas missionary. Then in 1997, I found myself living in Russia with my husband and four small children. We believed God had sent us to this place, and we had a glorious ten years of serving and ministering there. When we arrived, our children… Read the whole post
Book Reviews, Evangelism

Models of Evangelism

I needed a different model I have never seen myself as an evangelist. Maybe that is a strange admission for someone who has been a cross-cultural missionary for more than 35 years. I enjoyed leading evangelistic Bible studies when I was a church planter in the Philippines. I found great delight in crafting and sharing a brief Gospel message at the end of each of our TESOL nights at the Central Baptist Church in Kyiv a few years ago. But just walking up to random strangers and initiating conversations about the Gospel has never fitted my personality. Nor did it seem particularly effective. My own distrust and avoidance of salesmen is probably part of the problem here. I would prefer a different model of evangelism. My problem was further compounded by the amount of time I devote to interacting with other cross-cultural workers. The longer I have been in mission… Read the whole post
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