Navigating Theological Disagreement on the Mission Field

“In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” This phrase has often been used, quotes, misused, and misquoted among Christians. How should Christians handle doctrinal disagreements and controversy? This question is even more complicated on the field. How can missionary teammates know the difference between an essential, gospel-level issue and a non-essential? What is theological triage? This week, Scott and Alex discuss what happens when missionaries differ.

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The Missions Podcast is sponsored by ABWE InternationalRadius International, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

The Good Ol’ Baptist Boy

Should doctrinal disagreements on non-salvation issues—like baptism—matter on the mission field? This week, Scott Dunford gets personal as he and Alex Kocman discuss theological triage and the missionary.

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Why Every Christian Isn’t a Missionary: Conversations on When Everything Is Missions with Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters

Not every Christian is a missionary, and not everything that parades itself as missional activity is. This sounds controversial—but should it? We ask Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters, who discuss these issues in their latest book, Conversations on When Everything Is Missions, the follow-up to book to When Everything Is Missions.

Hear our previous interview with Spitters and Ellison here.

Enter our giveaway for to see us live at the Radius Missiology Conference in Minneapolis this June! Get more information and enter the drawing here.

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

The Missions Podcast is sponsored by ABWE InternationalRadius International, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

The Crisis in Missions

Much of “missions” is missing a key ingredient: the gospel. Denny Spitters and Matthew Ellison, authors of When Everything Is Missions, explain in this week’s upcoming interview.

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How to Share Christ With Muslims During Ramadan: Matt Bennett Speaks

Evangelism is hard. How can Christians share the gospel with Muslims during Ramadan? Should missionaries in Islamic lands adopt the spiritual practices of their neighbors? Matt Bennett, author and professor, shares his experience from ministering in the Middle East.

Dr. Matthew Bennett joined the faculty at Cedarville University in fall 2017 after serving and living in North Africa and the Middle East since 2011. Most recently he wrote 40 Questions About Islam. Hear our preview interviews with Matt here.

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

The Missions Podcast is sponsored by ABWE InternationalRadius International, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Earning Salvation During Ramadan

Within the Islamic worldview, earning one’s right standing before God—especially during Ramadan—makes sense if God is not a holy God who draws near to dwell among sinners.

New episode on Ramadan featuring Matt Bennett premieres Sunday night at 7 p.m. EDT.

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From Hinduism to Christ

According to CNN in 2015, about 15.1% of the world population is Hindu, including nearly 80% of India. And when we talk about the unreached, in many cases, we’re talking about Hindus.

How can Christians share the gospel with Hindus and build lasting relationships leading to discipleship? We explore that topic this week with Velu Kadirvel, a Hindu-background believer, as he shares his story of divine rescue from addiction and idolatry.

To learn more or to support EveryEthne’s Heart, Mind, and Soul Hindu evangelism training project, click here.

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

The Missions Podcast is sponsored by ABWE InternationalRadius International, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Parents, Goodbyes, and the Cost of Missions for Families

How can parents say goodbye to their children who pursue missions? How can grandparents part with their grandchildren in the name of ministry? And what happens when parents are aren’t believers or don’t support their kids’ involvement in cross-cultural ministry?

This week, we have a sit-down, heart-to-heart chat with the Dunford family about what it was like to send their kids and grandkids to a closed country as missionaries.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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

The Missions Podcast is sponsored by ABWE InternationalRadius International, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

What It’s Like Sending Your Kids Somewhere Dangerous

Missionary life is costly for the whole family. What is it like for parents who say goodbye to their children? In the next episode, Bruce and Debbie Dunford share their experience sending their kids and grandkids to the mission field.

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Prayer as Warfare: A Front-Lines Perspective With Dr. Tom Kendall

Spiritual activity in Africa—whether one calls it African traditional religion, spiritism, tribal religion, or animism—is real. Christians are called not only to gospel witness but also to spiritual warfare.

This week, Dr. Tom Kendall, medical missionary and chief of surgery at Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB) in Tsiko, Togo, explains how missions-minded believers can fight on their knees—even in a context where dark spiritual activity is apparent and pronounced.

Tom and Melissa Kendall are full-time missionaries with ABWE. Learn more or visit their Facebook page. You can also support their ministry or the HBB Vision Project.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Where Everything Is Supernatural

In the West, we’re all naturalists. Not so in West Africa. In this episode, Dr. Tom Kendall, medical missionary to Togo, offers some insights into the spiritual makeup of the Togolese and why prayer is so important for the gospel worker.

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‘Reverse Missions’ and Global Christianity

African Christians are coming to the US as missionaries—or are they? Many are saying that “reverse missions”—from the Majority World to the West—is on the rise. But the whole picture isn’t that simple, as the world and the Western church still have a lot to learn from each other. Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford explore in this special episode with limited commercial interruption.

Referenced in this episode:

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Maybe We’re the Ones Who Need the Missionaries

What is “reverse missions”? Is it the Western world that actually needs missionaries sent from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere? This Sunday night at 7 p.m., Scott and Alex discuss what conservative evangelicals in the US have to learn from believers in the Majority World.

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Mercy, Justice, and Missions: Dr. George Grant

Everyone is debating social justice. But what happened to mercy ministry? Have we forgotten compassion in the midst of our gospel preaching? Dr. George Grant explains how mercy and justice flow from gospel proclamation, sharing his insights from working with homeless, advocating for the unborn, and even helping plant classical Christian schools in the Middle East.

Dr. George Grant is the Pastor of Parish Presbyterian Church, Founder of New College Franklin, President of the King’s Meadow Study Center and Founder of Franklin Classical School. His work on behalf of the homeless, for international relief and development, for racial reconciliation and for the sanctity of life has been profiled in such varied media outlets as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, the Coral Ridge Hour,  Point of View, Crossfire, World Magazine and Christianity Today.

In addition to his pastoral responsibilities and regular classes in literature, history, theology and the arts, George maintains an active writing and speaking schedule at home and around the world.  He has degrees in Political Science at the University of Houston (B.A.), Philosophy at Whitefield Theological Seminary (M.A., D. Litt, PhD.), Humanities at Belhaven College (D. Hum.), and Theology at Knox Theological Seminary (D. Min. Cand.).  He makes his home on the east side of Franklin with his wife Karen (and their dogs, books, and gardens).  They have three grown children and six grandchildren. Learn more about George’s work on his website.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Preview: What Happened to Mercy Ministry?

With all the controversy surrounding justice, have we forgotten our call to mercy ministry? Dr. George Grant explains how the gospel addresses the physical and spiritual dimensions of life.

Catch the full episode as soon as it premieres. Subscribe now.

Mega Episode: Honor, Shame, and the Gospel With Chris Flanders

More and more missiologists are tired of talking about the gospel only in terms of guilt and innocence. This growing school of thought claims these concepts are “Western.” Writers like Roland Muller, Jayson Georges, and Jackson Wu say that honor and shame—not guilt and innocence—hold the keys to evangelism in Majority World cultures. Are they right? Does an honor-shame reading of Scripture undermine penal, substitutionary atonement? This week, we welcome Chris Flanders, co-editor of Honor, Shame, and the Gospel with Werner Mischke, to the hot seat to share his perspective.

Hear our previous episode discussing the honor-shame paradigm here.

Christopher Flanders (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of missions at Abilene Christian University. He served as a missionary in Thailand for eleven years. His current research focuses on face and honor-shame issues. Christopher is the author of About Face: Rethinking Face for 21st Century Missions. He is also assistant editor for Missio Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Preview: Honor-Shame and the Atonement

Does the current missiological conversation around honor and shame undermine the penal substitution view of the atonement? Dr. Chris Flanders of Abilene Christian University, author of Honor, Shame, and the Gospel, shares his perspective in this week’s upcoming episode. It’s a don’t-miss.

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Leading With Vision (For Normal People) With Bob Bixby

We all know that having a vision is important. But is vision-casting biblical, and if so, does it really matter for the ordinary missionary or pastor? In this interview, Scott and Alex ask some tough questions about leadership of Bob Bixby, pastor of Redeemer Church in Fremont, California, and president of Bayseed.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Preview: What Is Vision?

Is “vision” for everyone in ministry, or is it just a grandiose term thrown about by leadership experts? Tune in to our next episode to hear Bob Bixby, pastor of Redeemer Church in Fremont, California and Bayseed and president of Bayseed, explain what visioning means for the ordinary pastor or missionary.

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Online Education and Global Theological Famine

One year into the pandemic, it looks like the future of education is, in many respects, virtual. What does that mean for theological and biblical training for the 85% of evangelical pastors worldwide who lack any formal education? Al Cuthbert and Rob Hayden of Horizon Education Network join the show this week to explain how their dynamic organization is already ahead of the curve (if you will).

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Preview: Doing Theological Education Wrong

Fact: 85% of the world’s pastoral workforce has no formal theological training. But there’s a cost to doing theological education the wrong way. Rob Hayden of Horizon Education Network explains.

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Is the Missions ‘Guilt Trip’ Biblical? Guest: Paul Davis

We’ve all experienced the guilt of being made to feel like we’re not doing enough for world missions. Should preachers emphasize statistics on unreached people groups, the urgency of eternity, and lostness, or simply trust the Holy Spirit—or perhaps both? This week, ABWE President Paul Davis chats with Scott and Alex as they wrestle through the wisdom necessary in preaching, mobilization, and pastoral ministry.

You can browse resources from Paul here. To request Paul as a missions speaker for your church or ministry, see here. Follow him on Twitter: @pdavis_davis.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

What’s Happening to Myanmar and Why It Matters for Missions

A military coup is underway in Myanmar—a Buddhist nation nestled in the heart of the 10/40 Window. What does the junta mean for the cause of Christian missions, and how is the Burmese church responding? ABWE missionary John (last name withheld) with Live Global returns to the show to explain.

To support the work of ABWE partners in Myanmar, visit Live Global.

Hear our previous episode with John here.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Preview: What’s Happening to Myanmar?

What is taking place in Myanmar (Burma) with the recent military junta, and how is it affecting Christian believers, churches, and missionaries? John from Live Global returns to the show to explain.

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Lisa LaGeorge on Women’s Roles and Short-Term Missions

In 20 years of leading missions efforts and teaching students, Lisa LaGeorge has seen it all. This week, she shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of short-term missions trips with high school and college students. In the second half, we explore the role of women and singles on church-planting teams and why every member of the body of Christ must use their gifts.

Dr. Lisa LaGeorge serves as the director of CHF Academy at Children’s Hunger Fund in Sylmar, California. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Preview: What’s Stopping Women From Using Their Gifts?

What is preventing women from using their gifts in a biblical way in missions? Plus, what make a healthy short-term trip for students? Lisa LaGeorge shares in this week’s upcoming episode.

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The Dangers of Syncretism and How to Avoid It

Do rapid disciple-making techniques run the risk of welcoming syncretism into new churches by failing to teach new converts to forsake their former idols? It’s no light question, with no easy answers—but there is hope. Scripture is not silent.

This week, Scott and Alex discuss “The Potential Risk of Syncretism in Church Planting Movements” by Michael Cooper (EMQ, January-March 2021, Volume 57, Issue 1) and its vast implications both for practitioners of church-planting movements (CPM) and supporters of the traditional proclamational model.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Who Was George Liele? Jason Duesing on the First African American Missionary

Born into slavery, George Liele is credited as being the first African-American missionary and Baptist missionary in the modern missionary movement. So why haven’t we heard his story? Dr. Jason Duesing, missions advocate and academic Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains.

Duesing serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, academic editor of the Midwestern Journal of Theology, and general editor for For the Church resources. He is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, where he currently serves on the Nominations Committee and the review board for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. The most offensive thing about him is that he is a Yankees fan. Duesing is married to Kalee, and together they 4 children. Visit his personal site and follow him on Twitter.

You can hear our previous episode with Jason here.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Carl Trueman: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

How did Western society descend from culture of Christendom to the triumph of the “T” in LGBT? Dr. Carl Trueman, historian and author of The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (Crossway, 2020), lays blame at the feet of expressive individualism. But individualism isn’t just the world’s problem—it’s the air we breathe in the church and in cross-cultural missions, too.

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Trueman explains why. Carl Trueman (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. He has written more than a dozen books, including Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History, Luther on the Christian Life, The Creedal Imperative, and The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and The Road to Sexual Revolution.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Thad Bergmeier on the Power of Prayer in Missions

It’s hard to deny: we experience little power in evangelism and missions because we’re slothful in prayer. Jonathan Edwards believed that the world would be reached for Christ when God’s people pled divine promises back to God in prayer. Was he right? And what is the relationship between prayer and revival?

Dr. Thad Bergmeier, Regional Director for EveryEthne, joins us to discuss their Week of Prayer initiative and our own personal spiritual disciplines.

Thad served for over 18 years in pastoral ministry in three different states in the Midwest. In 2016, Thad joined EveryEthne as a regional director because of their commitment to helping local church plant churches. Thad and his wife Monique currently live east of Cleveland, Ohio. Click here to support Thad’s ministry.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Dan Strange: A Theology of Religions and The Southgate Fellowship

We know missionaries should have a theology of God, the Bible, and salvation—but what does it mean to develop a theology of religions? And what are the bigger problems plaguing evangelical missiology? Dr. Dan Strange, theological director at Oak Hill College and co-chair of The Southgate Fellowship, joins us from London to discuss his new book Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock: A Theology of Religions, the problem of pluralism, and why his fellowship is pushing back on some emerging trends in missions through its thorough statement of affirmations and denials.

Dan received his Ph.D. from Bristol University, publishing his dissertation The Possibility of Salvation among the Unevangelised (Paternoster, 2000). His speciality is in the area of Christianity’s relationship to other religions. You can follow him on Twitter.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

How Technology Is Transforming Missions

According to statistics, more than 4.6 billion people on the planet now have internet access—and many of them live among unreached people groups. How does that reshape the way we approach missions? And how can now-commonplace tools like Zoom help Christians in the West invest in fellow believers in hard-to-reach places? Andrew C., executive director for Live Global, shares his journey from ecommerce to ABWE and how technology can be leveraged for gospel aims.

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

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Thor Madsen: Why Missionaries Need to Know Philosophy

With all the lost and unreached people in the world, slowing down to think about philosophy may seem like a waste of time. This week, Thor Madsen of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary explains how understanding philosophy from a Christian worldview perspective can be game-changing for the missionary serving on the field afar or at home.

Dr. Thor Madsen has been at Midwestern Seminary since 1999 and is currently Dean of Doctoral Studies and Academic Initiatives and Professor of New Testament, Ethics and Philosophy. Since coming to MBTS, Dr. Madsen has served in a variety of roles including vice president of academic development (2003-2009). Dr. Madsen graduated from Wheaton College with the Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in philosophy. Following his studies at Wheaton, he went to Western Kentucky University for his Master of Arts degree, during which time he was also the graduate assistant for Dr. Ronald Nash. Upon graduation from WKU, Dr. Madsen spent a year in the doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With this foundation, he enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and followed this degree with doctoral study at the University of Aberdeen, from which he graduated with a Ph.D. in 1998.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Christmas Episode: Can Missions Be ‘Incarnational’?

Merry Christmas from the Missions Podcast! To celebrate the holiday, we’re honing in on the incarnation of Christ and asking: what do Christian leaders mean when they talk about “incarnational” ministry? Can the incarnation actually be imitated, or does referring to our ministry as incarnational cheapen the uniqueness of Christ’s birth? This week, Scott and Alex discuss Christ’s nature and example for missionaries in this special edition of the show.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Christian Nationalism, Patriotism, and Globalism

Recent political events and rallies have Christians asking: what is nationalism? Is it the same as patriotism? These questions are vitally important to the missionary. Can a missionary truly love his home country that he’s leaving—and if so, how? What does Scripture say about love of country—or countries, for that matter? And what about globalism? Scott and Alex wrestle with these big questions on this week’s episode.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

James Dolezal: What Every Missionary Needs to Know About the Doctrine of God

Only a big view of God can sustain the people of God on a big mission. Yet have missionaries gotten their very doctrine of God himself wrong? This week, Dr. James Dolezal highlights the doctrines of divine simplicity, immutability, and aseity—aspects of theology proper often lost on modern evangelicalism—and why they matter for reaching pagans, Muslims, secularists, and others.

James E. Dolezal is associate professor of theology in the School of Divinity at Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. He is the author of God Without Parts (Pickwick, 2011) and All That Is in God (Reformation Heritage, 2017).

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

How to Tell Good Missionary Stories—Without Lying

We’ve all sat through missionary presentations in church that were… less than dynamic. But we’ve also seen the dangers of sensationalized stories from across the world that proved untrue and led donors astray. How can missionaries become compelling storytellers, sharing what God is doing worldwide without fudging the truth? This week Scott and Alex talk about how to write compelling missionary updates, newsletter, and presentations with integrity.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Has the White Savior Complex Infected Evangelical Missions?

The story of American missionary Renee Bach made waves last year when she was implicated in the deaths of more than 100 Ugandan children. But does her complex situation serve as a mirror for us—and for modern evangelical missions in general? This week, Scott and Alex address whether or not Western missions is dominated by the “white savior” mindset and how pastors can send and train better to prevent stories like this from happening.

Read Darren Carlson’s article, “The White Savior Complex in Missions?” on The Gospel Coalition.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Paul Davis on Why Baptism Matters to Missions

Is baptism the most neglected part of the Great Commission? In this conversation, Paul Davis of ABWE shares why cross-cultural workers are tempted to neglect this ordinance among the least-reached—and how steeping ourselves in Scripture’s teaching on baptism can solve the problem.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Are Short-Term Missions Trips Dead? Jason Phillips Answers

The world has changed dramatically. Have we witnessed the demise of the short-term missions trip? Jason Phillips doesn’t think so. This week, he explains why—and how pastors and missions trip leaders can do a better job of maximizing the long-term impact of short-term trips.

Jason Phillips was recently appointed to ABWE as executive director for a new short-term missions program. He 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. Jason 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.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Do Missionaries Need to Meet the Biblical Qualifications for Elders?

In 2019, Paul Washer delivered a stirring message at the G3 Conference defining a biblical missionary. His challenge begs the question: must missionaries meet the standard set by 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9? Are all missionaries elder-qualified lead church-planters, or is there room for a diversity of roles on missionary teams? Scott and Alex explore this intricate topic with their Bibles open in this episode.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius InternationalCROSS ConferenceFusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

The Dangers of Insider Bible Translations: The Arlington Statement

Scripture calls Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Lamb slain for sinners. These glorious names run directly counter to the sensibilities of those belonging religions including Islam and Hinduism. Should Bible translators soften these words and concepts to contextualize God’s word?

The framers of the recently-published Arlington Statement on Bible Translation say no. This week, Scott and Alex welcome back Pierre Houssney and Seth Vitrano-Wilson to discuss the growing threats in Bible translation.

Pierre Houssney is MENA Regional Director for Horizons International. Pierre lives in Beirut, Lebanon, with his wife, Gigi, and their two children, where he leads a team of nationals and missionaries who run a center for evangelism and discipleship among Muslims. Seth Vitrano-Wilson was raised in the Mormon church, but God brought him to repentance and faith in Christ while he was living in Argentina. He has served cross-culturally in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for over 10 years, and holds an M.A. in Linguistics from Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Hear our previous episode with Pierre here.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International, CROSS Conference, Fusion, and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

How to Be a Word-Centered Missionary: E.D. Burns

What is a “word-driven” missionary, and how can you become one? Adoniram and Ann Judson are stirring examples of Scripture-saturated missionaries whose methods subverted human wisdom. To explain this week, author and missionary E.D. Burns joins the show.

E.D. Burns, Ph.D., is the author of The Missionary-Theologian and A Supreme Desire to Please Him: The Spirituality of Adoniram Judson. He has been a long-term missionary in the Middle East, East Asia, Alaska, and currently SE Asia. From his international location he directs the M.A. in Global Leadership at Western Seminary. A linguist and ordained minister, Burns develops theological resources and trains indigenous pastors and missionaries to the least-reached.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention. Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Was Adam a Missionary? Matthew Newkirk on the Creation Mandate and Missions

In Genesis, Adam was told to be fruitful, multiply, and take dominion of creation. He failed. Now, believers in Christ are called to spread the good news of Christ to the world. Are these two separate missions, or is the Great Commission a renewal of the original marching orders from Eden? Matthew Newkirk, author of Fill the Earth: The Creation Mandate and the Church’s Call to Missions.

Matthew (Ph.D., Wheaton College) is president and professor of Old Testament at Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan. For two decades he has served churches in a variety of ministerial roles including youth, worship, mercy, missions, and adult education, and has taught Hebrew and Old Testament in seminaries in the United States, Australia, and Japan. He is married to Caroline and together they have four children and reside in Japan.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention. Abuse Prevention National Conference 2021 attendees: use promo code ABWE21 to receive 20% off your registration.

Know Your Place: How to Identify and Study Your Mission Field

In today’s technology-saturated world, we can “be” anywhere—except where we actually are. Place matters. So how can we identify what our “mission field” is around us and know the way it thinks? In this episode, Scott and Alex dive into the book of Acts for answers about worldview, context, and missional living.

Remember to share, rate, leave a review, and subscribe. Together we can bridge the gap between the worlds of theology and missions.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

Throwback: The Greatest Injustice With Chad Vegas

In 2020, it’s impossible to escape the topic of privilege. This week, we dive into the archives and bring back our May 2019 interview with Chad Vegas, founding board member of Radius International and lead pastor of Sovereign Grace Church, and our discussion of “gospel privilege.” Perhaps it has never been more timely.

Chad is the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church. After completing his M.A. in Theology at Talbot, and being the high school pastor at RiverLakes Community Church, Chad was called to plant a church in Bakersfield. His passion is to know Christ and to make him known. He has been married to Teresa since 1994, and they have two children. You can email him.

Remember to share, rate, leave a review, and subscribe. Together we can bridge the gap between the worlds of theology and missions.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.

American Gospel or Biblical Gospel? Sean DeMars on the Danger of Prosperity Preaching

The so-called “prosperity gospel” has infected evangelical religious life. But it doesn’t just appear in the overt claims that God wants us to be rich and healthy—it takes far more insidious forms. Is the American dream antithetical to the missionary calling? What role does suffering play in our mission to the nations? Sean DeMars, former missionary known for his appearance in the American Gospel documentary, weighs in this week.

Sean DeMars is pastor at 6th Avenue Community Church in Decatur, Alabama. He previously served the peoples of Peru by preaching, teaching, and living God’s word.

Remember to share, rate, leave a review, and subscribe. Together we can bridge the gap between the worlds of theology and missions.

Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us.

The Missions Podcast is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund. This episode is also sponsored by Radius International and Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention.