The Power Is in the Seed, Not the Seed Thrower

In missions and in ministry in general, we often think it’s our job to achieve results. But in this week’s upcoming episode, E.D. Burns shares why we’re only responsible to scatter the gospel seed.

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A Pastoral Approach to Theological Training

The world’s pastors need training. But they also need shepherding. This week, Live Global missionary David Prairie shares how we can approach the task of global theological education with a pastoral heart.

David Prairie serves on ABWE’s Live Global team doing theological education, pastoral training, and ministry mentoring for students and church leaders internationally. He has a doctorate in Biblical Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and lives in Chattanooga, TN with his wife, Brandi, and four children, where he also serves at Grace Baptist Church. Support his ministry.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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The Missions Podcast is a ministry resource of ABWE. Learn more at abwe.org.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

The Right Type of Training

The world’s pastors need training. But they also need shepherding. This week, Live Global missionary David Prairie shares how we can approach the task of global theological education with a pastoral heart.

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Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

The Air We Breathe: Glen Scrivener on the Ghost of Christianity in Western Culture

Why does Western society believe in ideals like freedom and equality? Where did we get the notion of human rights or self-sacrifice? What about the idea of “secularism” itself? This week, author and apologist Glen Scrivener explains how the specter of Christianity continues to haunt the Western mind—and how, as missionaries, we can reclaim it.

Glen is the author of The Air We Breathe: How We All Came to Believe in Freedom, Kindness, Progress, and Equality. is passionate about people meeting Christ and equipping Christians to share their faith. He’s often found speaking at churches and universities, in the studio producing online media or in his office, writing books and other evangelistic material. Glen is married to
Emma, and they have a daughter, Ruby and son, J.J.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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The Missions Podcast is a ministry resource of ABWE. Learn more at abwe.org.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

The Shadow of the Cross Over the West

Western culture is haunted by the spectre of Christianity. How did the cross revolutionize the direction of history? Author and director of Speak Life, Glen Scrivener, shares in this week’s upcoming episode.

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The Beauty of International Churches: Dr. Michael Crane

English-speaking churches in cities like Dubai or Bangkok don’t appear to be the most missiologically strategic—at least on paper. But as with any local church, there’s more to international churches than meets the eye. Dr. Michael Crane returns to the show to share the beauties, challenges, and unique blessings of expat fellowships abroad and multiethnic churches at home.

Michael and his wife moved to Southeast Asia working in a variety of roles with development agencies. During this time, Michael completed a Ph.D. in urban missiology. Michael Crane (M.Div., Th.M., Ph.D.) loves cities and loves the church. Michael has lived in a number of global cities (Taipei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and San Francisco). He serves as faculty of two different seminaries and is a co-director of Radius Global Cities Network, an urban research think-tank that assists the church in seeking the welfare of the city. In addition, he is involved in training and equipping church planters through City to City. Michael has contributed to a number of books and articles on topics related to the city.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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The Missions Podcast is a ministry resource of ABWE. Learn more at abwe.org.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

Church: Don’t Be Comfortable With Just Who You Have

In our next episode, missiologist Dr. Michael Crane returns to the show to talk about international churches and the unique intersection of missiological issues they unearth.

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When a Sending Church Un-Sends a Missionary

What should missionaries do when a sending church withdraws their support? If we value submission to the local church as much as we value missions, the answer isn’t always easy. This week, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman discuss how overseas workers can address rifts with their home church. 

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Christian: Remember Who You Are in Christ

Coming up this week, we’re having a candid conversation about what happens when a missionary’s church withdraws his or her support. Stay tuned.

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Josh McDowell: What Missionaries Need to Know About Apologetics

What do missionaries need to know about apologetics? Veteran author, speaker, and apologetics Josh McDowell reminds us about our commitment to defending truth—and sharing the evidence.

Josh McDowell has been at the forefront of cultural trends and groundbreaking ministry for more than 58 years. He shares the essentials of the Christian faith in everyday language so that people of all ages and stages can know Christ, understand what they believe and why it is true, and learn how to live, share and defend their faith.

Well-known as an articulate speaker, Josh has spoken to approximately 46 million people in 139 countries. Josh has written or co-authored 152 books with some translated in 128 languages. These include More Than a Carpenter with over 27 million copies distributed. He also authored Evidence That Demands a Verdict, named by World Magazine as one of the twentieth century’s top 40 books and one of the thirteen most influential books on Christian thought of the last 50 years. Evidence That Demands a Verdict also won the 2018 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association award in the Bible Reference Book category.

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Josh McDowell: Are You Ready to Give an Answer?

Christians in the US and across the world live among people that are hostile to truth. Are we equipped to defend our faith? Veteran apologist Josh McDowell asks some penetrating questions in this week’s episode.

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Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

What Motivates Gen Z Towards Missions?

The generation now coming of age is fraught with anxiety and feeling isolated. What will it take for missionaries and church leaders to motivate Generation Z towards cross-cultural missions? We explore this fascinating question with Dr. Jolene Erlacher, author, speaker, consultant, leadership coach, and teacher.

Dr. Jolene Erlacher founded Leading Tomorrow in 2014 with the aim of equipping churches, businesses, schools, missions agencies and other organizations for effective inter-generational leadership in an evolving culture.  Her passion for equipping a new generation of leaders emerged from various leadership experiences in education and ministry. 

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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The Difference Between Millennials and Gen Z

This week, researcher Dr. Jolene Erlacher shares the differences between mobilizing Millennials for cross-cultural missions and motivating Generation Z.

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Medical Missions, Church Planting, and Lessons Learned in Africa: Steven Chmil

Steven Chmil serves as a surgeon and church-planting missionary in Togo. Now returned from his first term overseas, Steven shares the unique challenges, blessings, and opportunities of ministry in an Islamic context where precision—theological and medical—matters.

Learn more about Steven’s ministry or support him and Bethany here.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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Having Surgical Precision in Doctrine

What does healthcare have to do with theology? Missionary surgeon Steven Chmil shares why having surgical precision is essential in both domains.

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Mission-Driven Christian Leadership in Cowardly Times: Joel Wayne

Where are the leaders in the church—much less the mission field? Pastor Joel Wayne of bethechurch.org and Chapel Pointe weighs in this week on how churches and missionaries can solve the leadership pipeline and raise up leaders when it counts.

Joel’s is also the founder and executive director of Be the Church, a movement to revitalize the local church through authentic leadership development. Joel holds a business degree from the University of Georgia and a Master of Divinity from Mercer University.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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Will Christian Leaders Speak Up?

Pastor Joel Wayne shares a stirring challenge for Christians on the mission field and at home in changing days. Tune in this upcoming Sunday night to hear the full episode.

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‘Glurbanization,’ Church Planting, and Why Our Definition of ‘People Group’ Is Outdated: Dr. Michael Crane

Globalization has made the world smaller and smaller. Increasingly, cities are overtaking suburban and rural areas as the center of society. What does all this mean for church planting? Is the ethnolinguistic people group definition itself outdated? Missiologist Dr. Michael Crane unpacks the implications of what he calls “glurbanization.”

Michael and his wife moved to Southeast Asia working in a variety of roles with development agencies. During this time, Michael completed a Ph.D. in urban missiology. Michael Crane (M.Div., Th.M., Ph.D.) loves cities and loves the church. Michael has lived in a number of global cities (Taipei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and San Francisco). He serves as faculty of two different seminaries and is a co-director of Radius Global Cities Network, an urban research think-tank that assists the church in seeking the welfare of the city. In addition, he is involved in training and equipping church planters through City to City. Michael has contributed to a number of books and articles on topics related to the city.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

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Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

Missiology Needs to Change

Coming up in this week’s episode: missiology Michael Crane explains why missiology’s outdated views of ethnicity need to change.

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#RMC22: The Final Word

In this tenth and final exclusive from the Radius Missiology Conference, Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford discuss their favorite takeaways from their conversations with Kevin DeYoung, Ian Hamilton, Brad Buser, Brooks Buser, Wayne Chen, Chad Vegas, Jonathan Master, and Steve Meister.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

#RMC22: Steve Meister on Classical Hermeneutics and Bible Translation

Right now, two controversies are brewing. In the world of theology, conservative evangelicals are torn over classical theism and pre-modern hermeneutics. And in the missions world, Bible translation methodologies remain a lightning-rod issue. In this meaty conversation from the Radius Missiology Conference, Steve Meister, pastor and board member for Bible Translation Fellowship, explains why these two theological controversies are two sides of the same coin—and how classical hermeneutics can cut through the fog currently enveloping missiology.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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#RMC22: Growing in Grace as a Missionary With Jonathan Master

What does it mean for a Christian on mission to “grow in grace”? Dr. Jonathan Master, president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, explains at the recent Radius Missiology Conference.

Learn more about GPTS’s new partnership with Radius at gpts.edu/radius-partnership.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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#RMC22: What You Might Not Know About Missions in Asia: Wayne Chen

What is the state of the church in Asia? And what makes Asian missions so unique? We talk to Wayne Chen, director of Radius Asia, at the recent Radius Missiology Conference.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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#RMC22: Brad Buser on Missionary Endurance

Before helping found Radius International, Brad Buser served among the Iteri people of Papua New Guinea. Continuing our theme of finishing well, we ask him how he instills endurance in the missionaries he trains in this interview from the recent Radius International Missiology Conference.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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#RMC22: Ian Hamilton on the Missionary Life as Abiding in Christ

How can missionaries serve in the midst of difficult, spiritually-dry seasons? And did Jesus himself ever feel like all his labors were for nothing? Dr. Ian Hamilton—theologian, minister, author, and president of Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Newcastle, England—shares some surprising answers at the recent Radius International Missiology Conference.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

#RMC22: Brooks Buser on Leaving Well

Missions done well means staying the course. So how do you know when it’s time to transition off the field and entrust local believers with leadership? Brooks Buser, president of Radius International, discusses his experience among the YembiYembi people in Papua New Guinea at the recent Radius International Missiology Conference.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

#RMC22: Kevin DeYoung on the Mission of the Church

What is the church’s mission? Better yet, what isn’t her mission? Alex and Scott talk to pastor, author, and theologian Kevin DeYoung at the recent Radius International Missiology Conference.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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#RMC22: Are We Idolizing Missions? A Chat With Chad Vegas

For some Christians, missions is out of sight and out of mind. For others, it’s the absolute center of the Christian life. Is it possible for us to make an idol out of missions? If so, how would we know we’ve done so? We ask Chad Vegas, co-founder of Radius International and pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Bakersfield, CA in this second RMC22 exclusive.

Watch the video version of this episode on the ABWE YouTube channel.

Listen to all of our RMC22 exclusives here.

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#RMC22: Why the Radius Missiology Conference?

We recently attended the 2022 Radius International Missiology Conference to capture some exclusive content. Here’s the first in a series of exclusive, behind-the-scenes episodes from RMC. Enjoy!

Watch the video version of this episode here.

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Missionary Security, Big Tech, and Cancel Culture

Watch the video version of this episode here.

Thanks to modern technology, our every move is tracked and recorded. What does this mean for missionaries living and serving in parts of the world where evangelism is illegal? And what might it soon mean for Christians in the Western world facing an increasingly hostile environment?

This week, Alex and Scott talk to Andrew, executive director for Live Global about digital security and missions.

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How to Talk to a Missionary in a Closed Country

Risk is right… or is it? In this week’s upcoming episode, we talk to an IT security expert about the best, most secure ways to communicate with missionaries in restricted-access fields.

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The ‘Three Worlds’ of Evangelicalism: A Paradigm for Missions? Aaron Renn Answers

Watch the video version of this episode here.

In the US, being a Christian used to be a prerequisite for popularity as a politician or social influencer. That hasn’t been true for a while. But why? And, what can analyzing the state of Christianity in America teach us about the state of Christianity in other nations? Aaron Renn weighs in with some penetrating insights from his First Things article on the ‘three worlds’ of evangelicalism.

Aaron M. Renn is an opinion-leading urban analyst, consultant, speaker and writer on a mission to help America’s cities and people thrive and find real success in the 21st century. He focuses on urban, economic development and infrastructure policy in the greater American Midwest. He also regularly contributes to and is cited by national and global media outlets, and his work has appeared in many publications, including the The GuardianThe New York Times and The Washington Post. He also founded American Reformer. He can be reached at aaron@aaronrenn.com or on Twitter at @aaron_renn.

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When Did Christianity Become So Unpopular?

What changed in the Western mind to make biblical Christianity suddenly so abhorrent in the public eye? Social researcher Aaron Renn shares his “three worlds” explanation in this week’s upcoming interview.

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The Stranger on Our Shore With Joshua Sherif

Watch the video version of this episode here.

Joshua Sherif grew up Muslim, escaped from Egypt, and found Christ in the US. In The Stranger at Our Shore, he shares his remarkable testimony, Chicago pastor Joshua Sherif calls the Western Church to reconsider the plight of the modern day sojourners in our land—the strangers at our shore and the ones living right next door—and to return wholeheartedly to its first charge: making disciples.

Joshua was born in Egypt to a Muslim family and immigrated to the United States, where he later came to faith in Jesus. For the past decade, he has planted and pastored in Albany Park, Chicago, IL, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. His congregation represents more than thirty nationalities, speaking twenty languages. Josh has enjoyed his years equipping and coaching other missionaries and pastors around the world. His story was featured in Love Costs Everything, a documentary produced by CIY and Voice of the Martyrs, concerning Christian persecution.

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Do Christians Love Foreigners?

Joshua Sherif wasn’t always a Christian. But he wrote The Stranger on Our Shore: How Immigrants and Refugees Strengthen the Church not to critique the church, but to praise the church for the way experienced God’s love when he was leaving his Muslim background. Hear more in this Sunday’s interview.

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Pride, Culture, and Mission With Josh Teis

Watch the video version of this episode here.

Western culture has made a radical shift. How should Christians respond? What does the gospel have to say about sexuality? How can we approach a culture of pride as bold, humble missionaries? Alex and Scott talk to Josh Teis, pastor of Southern Hills Church in Las Vegas, N.V., and founder of Idea Network.

To purchase and replay the EveryEthne LGBTQ webinar, click here.

He earned his B.A. in Pastoral Theology from Pensacola Christian College where he met his wife, Heather, and also holds a Master’s in Bible Exposition and his M.Div. from Liberty University. Josh leads Idea Network and hosts The Idea Talks Podcast. Josh and his wife Heather have one son, Jonathan David, and two daughters, Savannah Tyler and Scarlett Noel.

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How Should We Talk About Sexual Sin?

How should Christians talk about sexual sin in our present culture? Pastor Josh Teis takes us back to the pages of Scripture and the Apostle Paul’s approach.

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How to Reach LGBTQ With the Gospel: Jim Childs

Enter our giveaway to attend the Radius Missiology Conference in person or virtually. Details at missionspodcast.com/radius22.

Many of us are afraid to directly present Christ to those caught up in the LGBTQ subculture. Should we be afraid? How can we win the person, not just the argument? And what does Scripture say?

In this episode, we cut from our normal format to present you a conversation between Alex Kocman, Jim Childs, Kylie Dulo, and Drew Polanycia that took place in March of 2022 on the Idea Talks podcast. You can hear our previous interview with Jim here.

Jim Childs serves with ABWE in the US through EveryEthne, helping churches engage LGBTQ individuals with the gospel. Learn more here.

This episode is brought to you in collaboration with the Idea Network. To learn more about Idea Network and purchase access to the replay of their LGBTQ webinar with Jim Childs, Christopher Yuan, and more, visit IdeaNetwork.church.

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Why Missionaries Must Read Old Books: Banner of Truth’s John Rawlinson

Enter our giveaway to attend the Radius Missiology Conference in person or virtually. Details at missionspodcast.com/radius22.

The Missions Podcast exists to help goers think and thinkers go. Perhaps no other modern Christian publisher is more concerned with helping believers to think deeply about—and experience—the things of God than Banner of Truth. What cross-cultural impact is the Banner having globally, and why should missionaries steep themselves in the riches of the Puritan tradition and historic Protestantism? John Rawlinson, Banner’s general manager, visits the studio for an encouraging conversation.

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Too Busy Chasing Methods?

Coming up: Are we so busy chasing the latest fads in missions that we forget the tried-and-true? John Rawlinson, General Manager of Banner of Truth Trust, joins the show to talk about the riches of the Puritan heritage and what it means for missions practitioners today.

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When Helping Works: Michael Badriaki on Western Dependence in Uganda

Enter our giveaway to attend the Radius Missiology Conference in person or virtually. Details at missionspodcast.com/radius22.

Many missions-minded Christians have read When Helping Hurts and resonated with its message—that sometimes in missionary work, we can do more harm than good in the name of Jesus. But in When Helping Works: Alleviating Fear and Pain in Global Missions, Michael Bamwesigye Badriaki offers a counter-perspective. Is creating “dependence” on foreign missionaries the worst possible outcome? And are we making excuses that allow us to ignore the needy?

Dr. Michael B. Badriaki has worked globally in education, holistic missions, global health, and consulting and leadership development for over 20 years. He is passionate about human flourishing, sharing hope and love with people. Michael is also committed to caring for people and children affected by war, poverty and certain hardships. Michael and Kristen co-founded the Global Leadership Community where together with a global team they seek to nurture leadership through quality education. Michael now serves as high school and middle school principal at Lancaster Mennonite in Lancaster, Pa.

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What’s Wrong With Creating ‘Dependence?’

What’s wrong with creating “dependence” on foreign missionaries? This week, Michael Bamwesigye Badriaki, author of When Helping Works: Alleviating Fear and Pain in Global Missions, challenges our conventional wisdom.

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What Is Every Christian’s Calling?

Should every Christian be in ministry? How do missions and evangelism fit with our theology of work? This week, we take a break from our normal conversation format as Alex Kocman answers in this lecture on 1 Peter 2:9-12 delivered to the Central Pennsylvania chapter of the C.S. Lewis Institute.

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Does Evangelism Have to Be Scary?

Evangelism can’t be one-size-fits-all. Or can it? This week, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman discuss their upbringing doing door-to-door evangelism, methods of presenting the gospel, contextualization, and the Book of Acts. If you’ve ever been discouraged in your efforts to share your faith, this conversation will embolden you.

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Let’s Talk About Evangelism

This week: It’s back to the basics. Let’s have a conversation about how to do evangelism. Is there a one-size-fits-all method?

New episodes Sundays at 7 p.m. Subscribe now to never miss an episode when it drops.

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T4G22: Jason Allen on Building Missions Cultures in Christian Leadership

How can Christian leaders make time to prioritize short-term missions trips? Jason Allen shares how he’s built a missions culture inside of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which he leads as president. Also featured in this conversation is Paul Davis, president of ABWE.

In addition to his seminary duties, Dr. Allen has served as pastor and interim pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, as well as M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. Currently, in addition to his responsibilities as president of Midwestern Seminary, he serves the church more broadly through writing and preaching ministries.

You can watch the video version of this episode on the Missions Podcast Facebook page.

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T4G22: Brooks Buser on Missionary Training That Matters

Too many styles of missions promise fast results. What kind of training to missionaries really need? Brooks Buser of Radius International returns to the show during T4G.

Brooks and Nina Buser planted a church among the Yembiyembi people in Papua New Guinea. In 2016, they returned to San Diego. Both Brooks and Nina participate in the teaching at Radius International as well as leading and traveling to spread the word about the necessity of training. Follow Brooks on Twitter.

Hear our previous conversations with Brooks here.

You can watch the video version of this episode on the Missions Podcast Facebook page.

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T4G22: The Need for Church Planting With Thad Bergmeier

Thousands of churches worldwide are closing each year. What can we do to stem the tide? Thad Bergmeier, executive director of EveryEthne, shares solutions.

Join the movement. Sign up to participate in the Day of Prayer for Church Planting.

You can watch the video version of this episode on the Missions Podcast Facebook page.

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T4G22: Why the Need for Speed in Missions? Sean DeMars and Caleb Morrell

Why do Americans have such a need for speed in missions, and how can we change that? Alex sits down with Sean DeMars of Confirm and Defend podcast and Caleb Morrell of 9Marks and Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

Caleb Morell is a child of missionaries and graduate of Georgetown University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He serves on staff at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.  Sean DeMars is pastor at 6th Avenue Community Church in Decatur, Alabama. He previously served in Peru as a missionary.

You can watch the video version of this episode on the Missions Podcast Facebook page.

Hear our previous interview with Sean on prosperity heresy and the American Gospel film here.

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T4G22: Ryan Robertson on Reaching and Teaching

Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a theological mecca. In this conversation, Ryan Robertson, president of Reaching and Teaching International Ministries, shares his burden to take the riches of theological rigor in a place like Louisville and unleash is across the globe.

Ryan Robertson has served as the President of Reaching & Teaching since April 2020. Robertson has previously served in executive leadership positions for public companies and other non-profit organizations, and has been a board member of several different charities. In 2014, he obtained his CPA from the State of Massachusetts. Robertson is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Missiology program at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ryan and his wife Erin have three children and are members of Third Avenue Baptist Church.

You can watch the video version of this episode on the Missions Podcast Facebook page.

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