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?

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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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T4G22: Matt Bennett on the Qur’an and the Christian

How do Muslims think? What should Christians know about the Qur’an? And how is any of that helpful in missions? Our friend Matt Bennett, Assistant Professor of Missions and Theology at Cedarville University, returns to talk about his new book, The Qur’an and the Christian, in this exclusive interview recorded live at Together for the Gospel.

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

Hear our previous interviews with Matt here.

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T4G22: Charles Smith and Paul Davis on Missions, Education, and the Church

Why do so few seminary graduates go to the mission field? Charles Smith, vice president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and ABWE board member, and Paul Davis, ABWE president, share solutions.

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

Hear our previous interviews with Charles here.

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T4G22: Zane Pratt on Methods and Defining ‘Church’

When it comes to the popular methods used on the mission field today, we often talk past one another. What do we mean by “church,” “convert,” or “disciple”? Zane Pratt, vice president of training for IMB, returns to the show.

Hear our previous interviews with Zane here.

You can watch the video version of this episode here, or watch all of our T4G exclusives on the Missions Podcast Facebook page.

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T4G22: Why National Partnerships? David Prairie on Live Global

Missions is no longer from the West to the rest—it’s from everywhere, to everywhere. In this T4G exclusive, Live Global missionary David Prairie explains why their model is challenging traditional missions assumptions.

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

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T4G22: Why Upstream Sending? Nathan Sloan Shares

Sending missionaries is the local church’s job—so why start a new parachurch missions sending organization? Nathan Sloan, pastor and executive director of the Upstream Sending explains in this exclusive interview recorded at the final Together for the Gospel conference.

Nathan has a Doctor of Missiology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Previously, Nathan and his wife Sarah served as missionaries in Kathmandu, Nepal, training national pastors and working with an unreached people group.

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

Hear our previous interview with Nathan here.

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T4G22: Women and Singles in Missions? Lisa LaGeorge’s Take

Why do so many women and singles pursue missions—and what does it mean for biblical manhood and womanhood? Dr. Lisa LaGeorge, director of CHF Academy at Children’s Hunger Fund in Sylmar, CA, returns to the show to talk about her experiences as a complementarian woman on mission.

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

Hear our previous interview with Lisa here. You can also read her blog or follow her on Twitter.

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T4G22: Prayer and Movements? Jonathan Arnold Explains

Prayer is the beating heart of missions. But how should we pray? Can we repeat pre-written prayers, or is that inauthentic? And what can history teach us about how prayer has sparked missions movements? Our friend Dr. Jonathan Arnold returns to the show to explain in this bonus interview.

This conversation was recorded live at Together for the Gospel 2022 in Louisville, Kent. Watch or listen to more of our T4G22 exclusives.

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

Hear our previous episodes with Jonathan Arnold here.

Dr. Arnold serves as associate professor of church history and historical theology in the School of Theology and director of Research Doctoral Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has held a range of academic and ministerial positions including, senior pastor, student ministry leader, professor, and college administrator. Read more here.

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The Russian Church, Ukraine, and What American Christians Can Learn: Yevgeny Bakhmutsky at T4G22

American believers aren’t the only ones polarized over the last few years. For believers in Russia, the conflict in Ukraine is driving the same wedge through congregations that the social justice debate is in the West. How is the Russian church doing? How do Russian Christians view Ukraine? And what can American Christians and missionaries learn? Pastor and professor Yevgeny Bakhmutsky answers in this exclusive interview hosted at the final Together for the Gospel (T4G).

Bakhmutsky is a pastor in Moscow, Russia. Visit his site or follow him on Twitter. Visit his site or follow him on Twitter.

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Live at T4G22

It’s the final Together for the Gospel conference, and Scott and Alex are recording on the convention floor and connecting with missions experts and Christian leaders from across the nation. Tune in to our first update!

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Peter Greer: Helping Without Hurting, Avoiding Mission Drift, and Supporting Enterprise

Sometimes in missions, helping can hurt. But have we taken that simple fact too far—as an excuse for inaction? Peter Greer, president of HOPE International, explains how missionaries can responsibly approach the problem of poverty and how churches and ministries can avoid mission drift.

Peter Greer is the president and CEO of HOPE International, a global Christ-centered economic development organization serving throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. As an advocate for the Church’s role in missions and alleviating extreme poverty, Peter has co-authored over 10 books, including Mission Drift (selected as a 2015 Book Award Winner from Christianity Today), Rooting for Rivals (selected as a 2019 Leadership Resource of the Year in Outreach magazine), The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good (selected as one of the top 40 books on poverty by WORLD Magazine), Created to Flourish (which his mom reviewed with five stars and a smiley face emoji), and The Gift of Disillusionment.

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Admitting When Helping Hurts: Peter Greer

Coming this Sunday: Sometimes in the world of missions, our best efforts to help those in need can actually hurt. But has that become an excuse to do nothing? Peter Greer, president of HOPE International, explains.

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Doing Ministry Out of the Overflow: Kyle Farran

Whether you’re in missions or ministry at home, we all struggle to labor in the strength God provides. How can we make sure we’re serving out of the overflow of our hearts? Kyle Farran, ABWE missionary and author of Overflowing: Ministry and Missions That Flow From the Heart.

Serving as the Regional Director of Western Europe, Kyle lives in Portugal and serve the missionaries in that region. His goal is to facilitate effective ministries by providing spiritual care, encouragement, leadership development, and recruitment. Learn more or support Kyle’s ministry.

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Who Will Hear ‘Well Done’?

Coming up this week: author and missionary Kyle Farran explains who will hear “well done, good and faithful servant” at the end of their race. Tune in this Sunday to hear the full interview.

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Doing Missions Committees Right: Paul Davis Shares

For some, the word “committee” means slow, ineffective bureaucracy. How can we keep the passive, maintenance mindset out of our local church missions committees? And what does Scripture have to say about this mode of church organization? ABWE President Paul Davis answers.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Are Missions Committees Even Biblical?

In this week’s upcoming episode, ABWE President Paul Davis discusses the biblical rationale for—and critiques of—modern missions programs, teams, and committees in local churches.

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Jesus, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union: Duane Early

Around the time that the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine experienced massive spiritual revival. Duane Early, who served there as a missionary, is convinced that’s part of the reason Ukraine is being targeted today.

In this interview, he explains the current situation in Ukraine, miracles that happened during that revival, lessons learned, and missiological takeaways that can be applied anywhere.

To help missionaries meet Ukrainian refugees’ needs and share the gospel to those affected by the war, support the Ukraine Crisis Fund.

Duane Early is ABWE’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. The Lord led Duane into full-time ministry while a student at the University of Michigan. He continued his education and theological training at Summit University in Clarks Summit, PA, and Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. Duane and his wife, Susan, were involved in two pastoral ministries and one church plant during their first 15 years of marriage. In the 90s, the Lord led them Duane, Sue, and their two daughters to join ABWE in order to open and lead the first team in the country of Ukraine. The team was able to grow both in quantity and quality while developing the Church Ministries Institute, multiply churches, and launch mission endeavors throughout the Russian-speaking world. In 2000, Duane was asked to serve as the Regional Director for Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and in 2009, Duane became Vice President of Global Operations. He began his current role in 2017.

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Will the Soviet Union Return?

In our next episode, Duane Early, former missionary to Ukraine and current vice president of strategic partnerships with ABWE, explains how Ukrainians reacted when the Soviet Union fell—and how it informed their missiological tactics.

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How One Missionary Started a Century-Long Movement: Jim Ruff on ABWE Founder Raphael Thomas

Watch the video version of this episode here.

In 1927, the evangelical church was split in two—between gospel-proclaiming fundamentalists and followers of the social gospel. Caught in the struggle was Baptist missionary Dr. Raphael Thomas. When his life and ministry took some unexpected turns, he was faced with a choice—and his actions sparked a missions movement nearly 100 years long. Who was Raphael Thomas? Jim Ruff, missionary and author of an upcoming biography on the ABWE founder, walks us through Thomas’ life and why it matters for Christians today.

Learn more about the legacy of Dr. Thomas and its connection to the mission today.

Jim (M.Div., D.Min.) is a retired church-planting and leadership training missionary to Japan (20 years) and Trainer and Associate Director of training for ABWE (14 years). He’s also served for a term in church planting in the Chicago area. He wrote one of the ABWE Bible courses, and serves as a Proctor for missionaries taking the Methods of Bible Study course. For the past seven years, he’s taught at Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit University.

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Jesus’ Imminent Return?

Is Jesus is returning at any moment, what happens to missionary efforts? That was a concern of ABWE’s founding missionary, Dr. Raphael Thomas, 100 years ago. Veteran missionary Jim Ruff explains in this week’s upcoming episode.

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The Forgotten Principle of Money and Missions: Conley Owens on ‘The Dorean Principle’

Watch the video version of this episode here.

Throughout the ministry world, content is exchanged for money. But is this biblical? Or should the rest of the Christian world take a cue from how missionaries have operated all along? In The Dorean Principle, Pastor Conley Owens analyzes the puzzling biblical teachings on fundraising and reaches some startling conclusions that apply to anyone in ministry.

Conley Owens (M.Div., The Log College & Seminary) is a pastor at Silicon Valley Reformed Baptist Church and a senior software engineer at Google. He lives with his wife and seven children in Sunnyvale, California.

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Ukraine Refugee Update: Caleb Suko Exclusive

When we last spoke with our friend Caleb Suko, the Russia-Ukraine war hadn’t yet begun. Now, he’s taken refuge—along with two million others—in another country. In this episode, he provides live updates from Moldova and explains how God is at work among the body of Christ and the masses of refugees.

You can support the Ukraine Crisis Fund at abwe.org/ukrainehelp.

Since 2007 Caleb has served as a missionary in Odessa, Ukraine where he is pastor at Hope for People Church and director of the “Evangelism Today” center for evangelism and discipleship. Caleb attended Shasta Bible College and graduated from Northwest Baptist Seminary in 2005 with a Master’s of Divinity. Together with his wife Christina their desire is to help believers and churches to do biblical evangelism and discipleship through training seminars on evangelism and discipleship for churches, personal discipleship, and working closely with national pastors to help strengthen and multiply the church in Ukraine and beyond. The Sukos also have five children. Support their ministry.

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What if Everyone Fundraised Like a Missionary?

We all know that missionary life usually means asking for financial support. That scares many people away. But what if that’s the way all sorts of ministries are supposed to work? Hear Conley Owens, author of The Dorean Principle, explain in the next episode.

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Nik Ripken on Persecution, Missions, and Ukraine

Nik Ripken has collected the stories of suffering believers from all over the world—including Ukraine. In this episode, he talks to us about missions and what he’s learned from time spent with persecuted believers in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Nik (pseudonym) is the author of The Insanity of God (2013) and other books, and previously served as a missionary with the IMB beginning in 1991.

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Nik Ripken: ‘You Get the Country You Deserve’

Coming up in our next episode: Nik Ripken shares his insights from observing the persecuted church in Ukraine and around the world—and what it all has to do with missions and our own country.

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No Shortcuts to Success: Matt Rhodes’ ‘Manifesto’

Watch the video version of this episode here.

Americans have a need for speed—and missionaries aren’t immune. But in his new “manifesto,” author and missionary Matt Rhodes explains why faithful missions requires long-term commitment. This week, we talk to him about historic missionaries’ example, why definitions matter, and how to gain agreement on a field team.

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Mission Affirmed: Elliot Clark on Recovering Paul’s Missionary Motivation

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Christians talk a lot about grace. We get it from the Apostle Paul. Yet Paul also yearned to be approved by the Lord on the last day for his missionary work. How do we hold these themes together? Elliot Clark, author of Mission Affirmed: Recovering the Missionary Motivation of Paul, joins Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman to discuss—and explain why it matters for today’s results-oriented missionaries.

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What Elliot Clark Would Do Differently

Elliot Clark just wrote Mission Affirmed: Recovering the Missionary Motivation of Paul. What lessons did he learn that he would have applied on the field in hindsight?

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Helping Goers Think and Thinkers Go: Paul Davis on Media and Missions

Why does this show exist? What do media and technology have to do with missions? This week, ABWE President Paul Davis turns the table on Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman in a three-way conversation about the state of the show and why it’s critical to equip missionaries and church leaders through resources online.

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What Is a Church For?

What is the mission of the church? In this week’s upcoming show, we talk about the biblical role of the church in missions and why this very podcast exists—helping goers think and thinkers go.

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Ukraine From the Ground: Caleb Suko Reports

Watch the video version of this episode here.

Tensions are rising between Ukraine and Russia. The US is considering involvement. What does that mean for Christian workers and churches in Ukraine? Caleb Suko, pastor and ABWE worker, shares his first-hand perspective.

Since 2007 Caleb has served as a missionary in Odessa, Ukraine where he is pastor at Hope for People Church and director of the “Evangelism Today” center for evangelism and discipleship. Caleb attended Shasta Bible College and graduated from Northwest Baptist Seminary in 2005 with a Master’s of Divinity. Together with his wife Christina their desire is to help believers and churches to do biblical evangelism and discipleship through training seminars on evangelism and discipleship for churches, personal discipleship, and working closely with national pastors to help strengthen and multiply the church in Ukraine and beyond. The Sukos also have five children. Support their ministry.

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Ukraine and Psalm 31

Coming up this week: Caleb Suko explains what workers and national believers are facing in Ukraine firsthand.

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Sending When It Hurts: Josh Teis on the Pastor’s Job in Mobilization

Everyone says they believe in sending missionaries. But what about when it hurts? What about when your church’s most gifted people leave? And what about when missions seems to compete in priority with local outreach? In this episode, Josh Teis weighs in.

Josh pastors Southern Hills Baptist Church in Las Vegas, N.V. 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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The Biblical Case for the Faith Support Model: Steve Shadrach Shares

Watch the video version of this episode here.

In June of 2021, a well-known pastor made waves for connecting partnership development with concepts surrounding systemic injustice and racism. It forces us
back to a foundational question: Is it right for missionaries to develop financial support partnerships? Is a centralized,
salaried model of missions support better? And what does Scripture have to say? Steve Shadrach, arguably the guru of partnership development in the faith-support missions
world, joins us to delve in.

Steve Shadrach is founder of Support Raising Solutions, and the founder of the Center for Mission Mobilization (CMM), which is the parent ministry of SRS. Steve has trained thousands of Christian workers from over 1,200 organizations around the world how to raise support and authored The God Ask. He and his wife, Carol reside in Fayetteville, AR. They have five grown children and eight grandchildren.

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Is Raising Support Biblical? Steve Shadrach Answers

Should missionaries stop asking for money? We ask partnership development guru Steve Shadrach of the Center for Mission Mobilization.

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Chad Vegas: Defining the ‘Proclamational Model’ (Part 2)

Watch the video version of this episode here.

This week, we continue our conversation with Chad Vegas defining proclamation, outlining the dangers of pragmatism, and sketching a vision for a biblically-driven missiology.

Miss part 1? Listen here.

Chad is the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Bakersfield, the founding board chairman of Radius International and Radius Theological Institute, and the founding board vice-chairman of Providence Classical Academy. He also serves as adjunct faculty for IRBS Theological Seminary and the Institute of Public Theology. He has been married to Teresa since 1994 and has two children.

You can purchase Alex and Chad’s new book, Missions by the Book: How Theology and Missions Walk Together, from Founders Press.

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Chad Vegas: The Bottom Line

Coming up: Part two of our conversation with Chad Vegas, where we get to the bottom line definition of healthy missions and its implications for overseas workers.

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Chad Vegas: Defining the ‘Proclamational Model’ (Part 1)

Watch the video version of this episode here.

In the missions world, there’s a rift between movement practitioners and advocates of biblical proclamation. Why the disagreement? And is there such a thing as the “proclamational model”? Chad Vegas weighs in this week.

Chad is the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Bakersfield, the founding board chairman of Radius International and Radius Theological Institute, and the founding board vice-chairman of Providence Classical Academy. He also serves as adjunct faculty for IRBS Theological Seminary and the Institute of Public Theology. He has been married to Teresa since 1994 and has two children.

You can purchase Alex and Chad’s new book, Missions by the Book: How Theology and Missions Walk Together, from Founders Press.

Listen to our previous two-part dialogue with Ted Esler here.

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Chad Vegas: Why Evangelism Is Confrontational

Does a missionary have to be confrontation in evangelism? Chad Vegas, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Bakersfield, California, explains one of the inescapable aspects of faithful evangelism.

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Refresh: Doing Short-Term Missions Responsibly With Jason Phillips

As global travel uncertainty continues, will short-term missions trips happen in 2022? No one knows the answer for sure, but as Christian leaders, we must plan for the future. So when missions trips do come back at full strength, what can we do to do them better?

This week we’re diving into the archives to bring you, once again, our interview with Launch Point Executive Director Jason Phillips. Just because we’re on vacation over the holidays doesn’t mean we can’t serve you with content.

Jason has more than 30 years of experience in senior corporate and ministry roles in a variety of organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100 enterprises. He has served in multiple pastoral roles, and he co-founded and directed Hope2Live Ministries, a ministry that worked primarily in Sierra Leone. He earned a BBA in finance from Georgia State University, a Master of Divinity in theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in disciple-making from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jason and his wife, Jeannie, have been partners in ministry throughout their twenty-five years of marriage, and they have two children in college who love the Lord. You can email Jason here.

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Away From Home for the Holidays: A Missionary Perspective From Stephanie Boon

How do missionaries feel when separated from holiday traditions back home? Should global workers feel guilty for the abundance they enjoy at Christmastime? And what can churches do to support missionaries who feel stuck in the middle between home and the field? Stephanie Boon, ABWE missionary to Tanzania, shares.

Read Stephanie’s advent devotional article here.

Stephanie Boon lives in Tanzania with her husband and their five children. She co-founded Sifa Collective, which equips women with the hope of the gospel and tools to launch their own local businesses. After earning her M.A. in Counseling and B.S. in Counseling (Theology/Psychology), she worked with colleagues to open a Community Counseling Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where they provide gospel-centered individual and group counseling, and counseling training for local churches. Read her blog at Things We Didn’t Know or support her ministry.

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Saving Babies’ Lives in Papua New Guinea: Lori Smith Speaks

Abortion isn’t just a US problem. In Papua New Guinea, too many working-class women expect that rape will happen to them at some point in their lifetimes—and almost as many women, when they become pregnant, are unaware that what is inside them is alive.

For ABWE missionary Lori Smith, this isn’t just a social problem—it’s a spiritual problem with a gospel solution. From her clinic where their team sees over 20,000 patients each year, Lori is witnessing life change regularly. In this episode, she explains why being pro-missions means being pro-life.

You can support Lori’s work and other life-centered ministries at abwe.org/life.

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