Why Theology Must Shape Mission: A Chat With Zane Pratt

It’s our 100th episode! Listen all the way through the episode for details on how to win our podcast anniversary giveaway.

In honor of the occasion, we brought back a favorite friend of the show—Zane Pratt, vice president for global training for the IMB—for a heavy-hitting conversation about why our theology must absolutely, unapologetically shape our missiology.

In this interview, we tackle the honor and shame paradigm, the nature of faithful contextualization, the role of systematic and historical theology, and why our theology must ultimately bring us to our knees in devotion and worship.

For twenty years, he served as an IMB church planter and regional leader in Central Asia. From 2011–13, Zane was dean of the Billy Graham School at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he currently serves as associate professor of Christian missions. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is a Ph.D. candidate at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the coauthor of Introduction to Global Missions and a contributor to Theology and Practice of Mission. Listen to Zane’s talk at CROSS 2019, hear our preview interview with Zane on disciple-making movements, and follow him on Twitter.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Christopher Yuan on Holy Sexuality and the Gospel

The current flood of issues relating to sexuality isn’t just a challenge for pastors in the West, but for missionaries abroad—especially those serving in Asia, where gender fluidity has been accepted into the cultural assumptions of certain countries for some time. How can Christians approach the issues of homosexuality, transgenderism, and more with gospel-centered, missionary mindsets? Dr. Christopher Yuan weighs in.

Yuan has taught the Bible at Moody Bible Institute for over ten years and his speaking ministry on faith and sexuality has reached five continents. He speaks at conferences, on college campuses, and in churches. He has co-authored with his mother their memoir, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope. Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005, Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and received his doctorate of ministry in 2014 from Bethel Seminary. Dr. Yuan’s newest book is Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Why Character Matters in Ministry: Paul Davis on Knowing Christ

When pastors, missionaries, and others in ministry fail to actively abide in Christ, that’s when pragmatism becomes most tempting—and most dangerous. How can missionaries remain rooted?

ABWE President Paul Davis stops by the studio this week to share what most burdens him for the missionaries he’s met across the world over the last year, and how remaining weak and dependent upon the Lord reorients our ministry. Listen to this week’s episode for these and other lessons from the field.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

What Happens When Missionaries Get Kicked Out? John Klaassen Answers

Missions always comes with risk, and nothing is guaranteed—especially in hostile, unreached contexts. What should missionaries do when they get kicked off the field? How should they adjust their own expectations when God closes ministry doors?

In this episode, John Klaassen, President of Reaching and Teaching, shares his own powerful story and how he has drawn strength from grasping the sovereignty of God. Born in Colombia, Dr. Klaassen has 18 years of cross-cultural experience overseas in Europe and North Africa, and a further 9 years of experience teaching at Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he will continue to teach in the field of missions and global studies. John lives with his wife, Shari, in the city of Louisville where they actively serve amongst Iraqi refugees through their church, Highview Baptist.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Michael Foster on the Crisis of Masculinity and Missions

Why are there so few men in missions? Does the cultural mandate conflict with the Great Commission? And how has the overall downgrade of teaching on biblical manhood in evangelicalism adversely affected the cross-cultural witness of the Christian family unit? Michael Foster joins this week to address these questions and offer insights on the cultural mandate in Genesis, the biblical view of the household, and why so many young men suffer from “failure to launch.”

Michael is a director of It’s Good to Be a Man and co-host of the podcast by the same name. is a serial-entrepreneur who has been in bi-vocational ministry the better part of his adult life. God has blessed him with a beautiful wife and seven children. He is also an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Follow Michael on Twitter.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Special Episode: What Do the Hong Kong Protests Have to Do With Missions?

Between 1-2 million people have been taking to the streets in Hong Kong—even singing Christian hymns—in peaceful protest over a new extradition law representing China’s continued aim to tighten its fist and squelch political and religious liberties in the semi-autonomous region. What can believers learn from this complex situation?

In this special episode, Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford—a former missionary in Asia—discuss the situation on the ground, the history, and implications for believers seeking to boldly engage the surrounding culture both on the mission field and at home.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Race, Evolution, and Missions: Charles Ware Speaks

If missionaries are to carry the gospel across cultural and national lines, it’s critical that they have a thoroughly biblical theology of race and ethnicity. And while much of modern progressive, secular culture repudiates anything remotely “racist,” Dr. Charles Ware explains why that wasn’t always the case. Secularism and Darwinism lie near the root of much contemporary racist ideology in the West, and only the biblical worldview offers a sound diagnosis of the sin of partiality and its gospel cure.

This week, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman unpack this deep and profound topic with Dr. Ware, president emeritus of Crossroads Bible College and coauthor of One Race, One Blood with Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis. Charles also serves on the board of ABWE and with other organizations including ABHE (Association for Biblical Higher Education), Anchorsaway, and the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is a sought-after speaker on racial reconciliation, counseling, and other topics relating to biblical worldview.

You don’t want to miss this hard-hitting episode on the plague of racism and the answers only Christ can provide.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Brooks Buser on the Urgency of Eternity and the Dangers of Pragmatism

Do we really grasp the urgency of taking the gospel to those who have never heard? And if the task of making disciples among the unreached is so urgent, why shouldn’t we employ every pragmatic means at our disposal to finish the task? Brooks Buser weighs in this week and discusses pioneer missions, disciple-making movements, church planting movements, and other important missiological issues from a mobilizer’s perspective.

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.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Is ‘Marketplace Missions’ Sustainable? Mark Silvers Talks Mobilization

Increasingly, Millennials and young people are redefining “long-term” missions. At the same time, fewer are willing to raise missionary support. Is recruiting marketplace missionaries—many of whom are short-term tentmakers—a sustainable solution? And if so, how do we get the word out to professionals that the Great Commission isn’t just for full-time religious workers?

This week we go back and forth with Mark Silvers, Director of Mobilization for Crossworld, on the pros and cons of using marketplace missionaries alongside long-term church planters. Mark Silvers served with Crossworld in the Philippines for 10 years and joined the home office staff in 2009. Mark’s driving passion is the goal of reaching the 2.9 billion people in the world today with no access to the gospel.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

What Missionaries Need to Know About the Faith and Works Debate: Chris Bruno on Justification and the Missiology of Paul and James

For New Testament students, fewer topics are more frequently studied and debated than the relationship between faith and works in the book of James and the letters of Paul. The question “how are we justified?” isn’t just a question asked in churches and seminaries—it’s also a vital question that relates to how we do missions. Could it be that Paul and James emphasize different truths, not because of doctrinal differences, but because they’re thinking like missionaries and contextualizing for their audience?

In this interview, Chris Bruno (Ph.D., Wheaton) returns to discuss his latest book, Paul Vs. James: What We’ve Been Missing in the Faith and Works Debate (Moody, 2019). Chris serves as assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis. He previously taught Bible and theology at Cedarville University and Northland International University and served as a pastor at Harbor Church in Honolulu, Hawaii. Chris and his wife, Katie, have four sons. Follow Chris on Twitter and listen to our previous episode with him on biblical theology.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

What Is the Mission of God’s People?

What is the mission of the people of God in the world? Christians often get this basic question wrong. Are the people of God primarily called to social work, church planting, evangelistic campaigns, or all three somehow? This week, Scott Dunford explains why Romans 15 establishes a paradigm for the whole body of Christ to follow.

This episode features a message that was originally preached at Community Evangelical Free Church in Harrisburg, Pa.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

How Much Do the Unreached Know? Natural Revelation and Evangelism

When we consider unreached and unengaged people groups, we typically think of them as knowing nothing at all of God. But a biblical theology of natural revelation and common grace drives us to a deeper understanding of the fact that all human beings are surrounded by the visible glory of God—and it’s precisely this fact that makes them accountable before their Creator.

In this conversation, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman explore the ways in which a healthier understanding of general revelation and natural theology can add depth to our cross-cultural evangelism. We also tackle presuppositional apologetics, the priority of special revelation, and end with some encouragements for us all to slow down more and respond to God’s majesty with adoration.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Brad Buser on Tribal Religion, Contextualization, and Disciple-Making Movements

When we think “missions,” we tend to think jungles, tribes, animism, strange languages, and thatched roofs. That impression isn’t always accurate. But for veteran missionary and legendary mobilizer Brad Buser, that’s exactly what he experienced. In this episode, we pick Brad’s brain about the importance of tribal missions and long-term, patient language acquisition and contextualization. We also dive into the topic of faithful methods of disciple-making and how the desire to do things quickly can sometimes come at the expense of long-term impact.

Brad lives in San Diego, California where he is Director of Radius International, a training program in Tijuana, Mexico. He started church planting in Papua New Guinea from 1979-1999, living among the animistic Iteri people, serving under New Tribes (now Ethnos 360). You can read Brad’s dramatic story and his articles for Radius.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Longevity and Endurance in Church Planting: Bob Trout Shares

In our impatient, have-it-now society, it’s difficult to think long-term about serving in one field of ministry for decades—much less healthy church planting and multiplication over the long haul. In this episode, ABWE veteran Bob Trout shares the blessings of and keys to longevity and endurance in a field where he saw over 40 Colombian churches planted or grown in the course of his career.

Bob and Lynne Trout served for many years in Colombia as church planters and then Regional Director for Spanish Speaking South America. He currently directs ABWE’s Member Care department.

You can learn more about how ABWE shepherds and cares for its missionaries through our Member Care portal.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Benjamin Vrbicek: Don’t Just Send a Resume to a Church—Or a Missions Agency

Too often in pursuit of full-time ministry abroad or at home, ministry applicants simply email a church or missions agency their resume and leave the rest of the hiring process to chance. Whether you’re fresh out of seminary or transitioning to ministry after a full career in the outside workforce, such a haphazard approach is bound to fail. Maybe we need to learn more about how to conduct ourselves professional during the the onboarding processes into pastoral or cross-cultural ministry.

Benjamin Vrbicek returns to the show to discuss his newest book, Don’t Just Send a Resume: How to Find the Right Job in a Local Church. He believes that the typical pastor or missionary, while fully equipped to do his job, is not equipped to transition effectively when God calls him to move to another ministry context. The book also features short contributions by 12 published authors and ministry leaders including David Mathis, Jared C. Wilson, and others. In the interview, Scott and Alex catch up with Benjamin on a personal level and explore the similarities and dissimilarities between hiring in the ministry world and the secular world, and wrap up with some wisdom on transitioning well.

Benjamin is a teaching pastor at Community Evangelical Free Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Brooke, have six children. He earned an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary. Benjamin blogs regularly at Fan and Flame and is also the author of Struggle Against Porn, about which he was interviewed on the podcast in January 2019. You can follow him on Twitter.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Are Honor and Shame the Keys to Cross-Cultural Evangelism?

In the West, we tend to think in terms of law, justice, guilt, and innocence. Our gospel presentation naturally picks up this flavor. But in many Eastern cultures, honor and shame are the dominant values—and in tribal contexts, it’s fear and power that take center stage. Has the Western church focused too much on a “legal” gospel and missed out on critical components of the biblical message? And if so, how do we avoid overcompensating and leaving out critical parts of the gospel such as the doctrine of justification?

This week, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman interact with the core ideas from books like Rolland Muller’s Honor and Shame: Unlocking the Door (2001) and discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and biblical wisdom surrounding the cultural lenses of guilt and innocence, honor and shame, and fear and power.

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Your Questions (Finally) Answered: Mailbag Episode

Is it biblical for a missionary to change sending churches or agencies? Is there a right or wrong way to do it? How often should pastors visit their missionaries? Is it worth it to start a family on the field? Is missions easier or harder as a single?

We’ve been soliciting your questions and feedback since episode 1, and in this episode we finally dig into the mailbag and tackle some of our listeners’ most insightful inquiries. We also discuss other pressing matters including fried chicken restaurants and signs of the apocalypse.

We also recommended Benjamin Vrbicek’s latest book, Don’t Just Send a Resume. If you purchase a copy, be sure to let Benjamin know.

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 for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Rachel Jankovic on Identity, Christian Women, and the Mission Field of Motherhood

How are Christian women to respond to the onslaught of lies barraging them from the surrounding culture about who they are and the basis of their identity? And how is motherhood a “mission field” for the Christian woman? This week Rachel Jankovic, pastor’s daughter and author based in Moscow, Idaho, tackles these questions with whit, flare, and deep biblical wisdom that’s rare.

Be forewarned—Scott and Alex were a bit punchy for the recording of this episode.

Rachel Jankovic is a wife and mother of seven children. She is author of You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal With It and Loving the Little Years and has been featured on sites including Desiring God. She is heavily involved with the Christ Church Ladies Bible Reading Challenge and invites you all to join in that great movement of Christian women becoming women of the word. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Faithfulness or Pragmatism? Andy Johnson on Methodologies

What are the non-negotiables of how we do missions? Is it possible to reverse-engineer what’s “working” on the field to build our methodology, or are we locked in to a finite set of prescriptions from Scripture about how to do ministry—thinks like preaching the word training elders? Andy Johnson (Ph.D., Texas A&M), Associate Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and contributor to 9Marks, is unafraid to answer these weighty questions. Andy joins us this week to discuss his short book Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global and why faithfulness beats modern North American pragmatism any day of the week.

Andy was born and raised in a believing family in Texas. He worked both on church staff and managing a small, family cattle operation. After completing degrees at Texas A&M, Andy moved to Washington, DC in 1997. Andy earned a living as an agricultural advisor for the US Congress while serving CHBC as an elder. In January of 2006, Andy joined CHBC as an Associate Pastor. Andy also gives special attention to the discipling and international missions efforts of CHBC. Andy loves reading, gardening and, most of all, spending time with his wonderful wife, Rebecca, and their children, Andrew, Evelyn, and Samuel.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

This show is powered by ABWE International and the Global Gospel Fund.

Fouad Masri on What Christians Get Wrong About Reaching Muslims

What is it like for a Christian living in the Middle East? What do believers usually get wrong about Islam and how to share Christ with Muslims? These questions are especially pressing during the month of Ramadan. This week Fouad Masri shares his personal conversion account and weighs in on these issues.

Author and lecturer Fouad Masri was born and raised in the war zone of Beirut, Lebanon. As a third-generation ordained pastor, he has a passion for sharing the love of Christ with Muslims and has been reaching out to Muslims and inspiring others to follow his example since 1979.

After coming to the United States to attend seminary, Fouad realized the urgency for teaching American Christians to reach out to the growing population of internationals, particularly Muslims. In 1993, he founded Crescent Project to nurture transformational relationships between Christians and Muslims and to rally the Church to reach out to Muslims to share Christ. You can follow him on Twitter.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Should Missions Be ‘Radical’ or Ordinary? Michael Horton Answers

Radical. Transformative. Impact. Crazy, even. These words fill the atmosphere when Christians discuss the sacrifice and risk involved in missions. But has all this talk of “radical” living left us unable to cope with regular life, ordinariness, boredom, and God’s normal means of grace? This week we talked with Dr. Michael Horton, professor, author, and nationally-syndicated radio host, regarding his book Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World.

Dr. Horton is the J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California since 1998, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Reformation magazine, and president and host of the nationally syndicated radio broadcast, The White Horse Inn. He also leads Core Christianity and hosts Core Radio. Dr. Horton is an ordained minister in the United Reformed Churches in North America and lives in Escondido with his wife, Lisa, and four children. Follow him on Twitter.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Why Aren’t We Talking About ‘Gospel Privilege’? Chad Vegas Answers

The social justice controversy echoing across conservative evangelicalism has brought terms like “privilege” into the Christian vernacular, but in all the discussion of rights, equity, and cultural engagement, we’ve missed a critical category: gospel privilege. Chad Vegas, founding board member of Radius International and lead pastor of Sovereign Grace Church, joins the show this week to discuss privilege, the reality of eternity, and how pastors can keep their congregations aware of global spiritual need.

Later in the conversation, we address the critical need for biblical and theological training among missionaries and why seminaries and pulpits can’t afford to stay divorced from the missiological community.

Chad is the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church. After completing his MA 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 2 children. You can email him.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Dean Inserra on How to Reach America’s Most-Underrated Mission Field

Christmas-and-Easter Christians. Mainline Protestants. Nominal Catholics. Bible-Belt believers. Let’s face it—cultural Christians are everywhere. And the problem is that we see cultural Christianity as a discipleship issue rather than an evangelistic field.

In this enriching conversation, Dean Inserra expounds on his book The Unsaved Christian and the eight types of cultural Christians he identifies as being in special need of evangelism. He builds a case for why North America’s pew-warmers really are a bona fide mission field, and explains some practical tips to help true disciples understand that America’s civil religion is another faith altogether.

Dean Inserra is the founding and lead pastor of City Church in Tallahassee. He graduated from Liberty University and attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He holds a M.A. in Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing a D.Min. from Southern Seminary. Dean is an advisory member of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s Leadership Council with the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also a member of Baptist 21. Follow Dean on Twitter.

Dean is married to Krissie, and they have two sons, Tommy and Ty, and a daughter, Sally Ashlyn. Dean likes baseball, wrestling, and the Miami Hurricanes. He believes Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback, and that everyone who disagrees holds the right to be wrong.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Culture: When to Bend, When to Break—Kenneth Nehrbass Explains

Everybody talks about “engaging culture.” Culture is a slippery concept. When should missionaries break from their host culture, and when should they bend with it? Is missions mainly about creating countless contextualized Christianities across various cultures, or is it also about assimilating believers into one overarching Christian culture? We discussed these issues with Dr. Kenneth Nehrbass of Biola University, author of multiple books including God’s Image and Global Cultures.

Kenneth Nehrbass was a pastor before he and his wife Mendy joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 2000. In 2002, they moved to the island of Tanna (in Vanuatu) to translate the New Testament with a team of nationals. In 2012 they moved back to the USA, and Nehrbass became assistant professor of International Studies at Belhaven University. In 2014, he moved to Biola to teach and direct the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in intercultural studies. He continues to volunteer as a translation and anthropology consultant with SIL and the Seed Company. His research focuses on contextual theology and missiological anthropology. He and his wife have four children. Visit his site to learn more.

You can also read Scott Dunford’s review of Nehrbass’ book on the ABWE blog.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Do We Need to Redefine Unreached? Matthew Bennett Answers

For decades, missiologists have assumed the priority of the “unreached”—and for good reason—building entire organizational strategies around it. But do we need to redefine this term? Matthew Bennett, Ph.D., former IMB missionary and current Assistant Professor of Missions and Theology at Cedarville University, weighs in.

In a recent article, Matthew argues that we’ve taken the arbitrary 2-percent definition of “unreached” too far, countering that we need to consider both unreached people groups and unreached places. He also argues in another piece that we must shift our focus from “finishing the task” to being faithful in the constant disciple-making mandate. In this interview, we ask Matthew about the history of UPG emphasis and talk about Ralph Winter, Donald McGavran, and how the homogeneous unit principle morphed from description into prescription. Finally, we discuss the importance of unhitching our missiology from a narrow conception of eschatology so that we can focus on our present callings. Nerds, this episode is for you. (And everyone else too, of course. We promise.)

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. He currently teaches The Bible and the Gospel, Theology I, Urban Missiology, Contemporary World Missions, Global Theology, and World Religions. You can listen to our preview interview with Matthew here.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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What Every Missionary Needs to Know About Lament: Mark Vroegop Explains

Lament—though it litters the psalter—is a lost art form in modern evangelicalism. In a culture as torn-apart as ours, it makes sense that engaging grief biblically can open spiritual doors previously shut. Not only that, but embracing the grace of lament can also prepare missionaries and pastors for the pains and losses that often mark the suffering, missional life.

Mark Vroegop, lead pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis, trustee at Cedarville University, and council member of The Gospel Coalition, joins us to discuss his new book Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy. In this interview, we dive in to his own experience seeing missionaries like Jennifer DeKryger experience loss, and we talk about the pastoral and personal benefits of this lost spiritual discipline.

Along with being married to Sarah and the father of four children, he is a contributor to 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me, and blogs regularly on his personal site. Follow Mark on Twitter.

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Muslim Refugees Meeting Christ: Darren Carlson on ‘Jesus in Athens’ Documentary

Are all the accounts of miraculous conversions among Muslim refugees true? What is unique about Athens, Greece amidst the ongoing people displacements in the Middle East? And what can U.S. churches learn from the hospitality and evangelistic zeal of Greek Christians? In this episode, Scott and Alex invited Darren Carlson to weigh in and take us on a journey through the planning and creation of his new documentary, Jesus in Athens.

Darren is President of Training Leaders International (TLI), a theological education ministry launched from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota to equip and resource the 85 percent of pastors worldwide who have no formal biblical training. He’s also the brains behind the new documentary which chronicles the harrowing ordeal of Muslim refugees flooding into Athens from countries like Syria, Libya, and Iraq, only to encounter the love of Christ in the form of bold witness and radical mercy ministry among Greece’s tiny yet unignorable number of evangelical believers.

Darren founded TLI 2009, and now serves with a staff of over 50 people serving around the world, providing theological training in underserved and undertrained areas. Darren holds two masters from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the London School of Theology. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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The Life of the Missionary Mind

Reading well in Scripture, theology, culture, and literature in general is key to preaching and teaching that connects—especially for the cross-cultural worker. What should we be reading? Why does it matter? And how can we who are busy working and doing ministry have time to cultivate the life of the mind as we constantly prepare to minister God’s word?

In this episode, Scott and Alex talk about best practices for engaging Scripture, historical theology, and other key study sources without breaking our stride in all of life’s obligations.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore on the Priority of Preaching, God’s Sovereignty, and Discernment

Is preaching essential to missions, or is it a Western tradition that can be sacrificed for the sake of contextualization? Some advocates of disciple-making movements (DMM’s) claim the latter. In this interview, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore of Founders Ministries explain why authoritative proclamation is indispensable to ministry in any culture.

Later in the episode, we address whether or not Reformed theology is compatible with missions and evangelism, and give pastors and seminarians words of advice for avoiding cultural trends bringing worldly sociological categories into our methods of outreach.

Tom Ascol is pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and Executive Director of Founders. Jared Longshore serves as associate pastor at Grace Baptist and Administrative Director of Founders. Together they host The Sword and the Trowel podcast, where they discuss issues of theology and culture ranging from church ministry and pastoral theology to social justice and biblical law.

Founder’s Ministry exists for the recovery of the gospel and the biblical reformation of churches. With a focus on serving the Southern Baptist Convention, Founders educates pastors and students on historic baptist theology through their journal, online study center, and more.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Should We Stop Sending Indebted Missionaries? Luke Womack on Student Loans

The average college student in the U.S. leaves with about $30,000 in educational debt. At what point do we stop sending missionaries to the field with students loans? Is it immoral to send expensive Western missionaries to serve where national partners could do the work of ministry much more affordably?

Luke Womack, executive director of The Go Fund, weighs in. The Go Fund specializes in student debt repayment for long-term missionaries, helping missionaries overcome financial hurdles to get the gospel into least-reached places.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Why You Should ‘Adult’ Before Pursuing Missions: A Chat With Lori McDaniel

What’s the danger in missions conferences and serial short-term missions trips? This week, we welcome back our friend Lori McDaniel, Church Initiatives Manager for IMB and also a pastor’s wife, to give her take on trends we’re seeing among Christian college students and why it’s so critical to learn to “adult”—in finances, education, career, marriage, family, and the local church—before moving overseas long-term.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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The Number One Reason Missionaries Go Home

Globally, 71% of missionaries who return home each year leave the field for preventable reasons. What might be the biggest factor? We believe it all comes down to team dynamics.

What is it about cross-cultural ministry that is so uniquely stressful for teams? How can missionaries better handle conflict? And what does the Bible say about resolving disputes in a ministry context? Scott and Alex explore all these questions and more in this episode.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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A Biblical Theology of Spiritual Warfare and Missions

Among the practical topics on which missionaries receive hands-on training, spiritual warfare can sometimes fall by the wayside—but spiritual warfare is crucial for missionaries to grasp and engage effectively. How should we understand spiritual warfare in relation to pagan nations? Is exorcism normal and to be expected on the field? Do missionaries need to name territorial spirits by name and spiritually “map” their field? This week, Scott and Alex dive into these questions and build a brief biblical theology of spiritual warfare.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Micah Fries: What Christians Should Know About Islam in North America

The presence of Islam in North America is still a lightning-rod issue, even 17 years after 9/11. This week we return to the topic of how Christians can engage their Muslim immigrant and refugee neighbors—and wade through the complicated waters of related political issues—in a way that is biblical and missional. We consulted a new guest, Micah Fries, Senior Pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN and editor of Islam and North America: Loving Our Muslim Neighbors.

Prior to serving at Brainerd, he served as the Vice President of LifeWay Research in Nashville, TN and as a frequent speaker in churches and conferences. He has served as a Senior Pastor in Missouri and an international church planter in Burkina Faso, West Africa. He holds a Master of Divinity from Midwestern Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from The Baptist College of Florida. While in college, Micah met Tracy, and they married in May of 2000. Micah is currently a Ph.D. student, studying North American Missiology at Southeastern Seminary. After college graduation Micah & Tracy moved to Burkina Faso, West Africa where they worked as church planters among the Dagaara people of Burkina Faso and Ghana. After planting churches in West Africa, Micah and Tracy returned to the US where they moved to Kansas City so that Micah could attend seminary. Follow Micah on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Paul Maxwell on What Missionaries Should Know About Trauma

Everybody is talking about trauma. Our culture is highly concerned with mental health, but a lot of half-baked opinions from pop psychology dominate the conversation. Simultaneously, those within the church are usually the last to show any willingness to address the legitimacy of biblically-informed psychology. For missionaries, the pressures are even greater as they face the stresses of life in a new culture—so how should missionaries think about trauma and the brain? Paul C. Maxwell joins us address how serious, Bible-believing, conservative Christians can should think about trauma, PTSD, and related struggles facing people in ministry.

Paul runs TheoFit. Paul earned his B. A. in Biblical Languages from Moody Bible Institute and his M.Div from Westminster Theological Seminary. While in Philadelphia, Paul served at a think tank devoted to integrating psychology and theology, where he was encouraged to research more about trauma as he began to process his own childhood abuse. Paul witnessed in conservative Protestantism a closed posture toward psychology, while at the same time, he saw in the psychological literature a growing obsession and hysteria with the concept of trauma among therapists in particular. Conservative Protestants were too captivated by the concept of moral responsibility to see the real pathological elements of trauma, and psychologists could not explain why or how the traumatized could take moral responsibility for their own recovery. Both opposing camps seemed, to Paul, too ideologically motivated to do meaningful work at the intersection of masculinity, faith, and trauma.

Paul earned his Ph.D. in 2018 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a focus on trauma psychology. His doctoral dissertation was The Trauma of Doctrine: A Dogmatic Account of the Effects of Abuse upon the Believer’s Experience of God. Paul was a professor of philosophy for 3 years at Moody and published over 12 peer-reviewed articles and reviews in journals such as Journal of Psychology & TheologyJournal of Spirituality in Mental Health,  Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul CareJournal of Interdisciplinary StudiesPhiloWestminster Theological Journal, and Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. 

After finishing his final year of doctoral research, Paul moved to Noblesville, IN, with his wife Molly. He is currently a personal trainer in the Indianapolis area. Paul has also consulted with university administrations to improve their level of mental health care for students. Follow him on Twitter.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Fighting Abortion in Ukraine With the Gospel: Holly Friesen on Medical Missions

According to some stats, Ukraine—in many ways a nominally Christian country—leads the world in per-capita abortions. One in three Ukrainian women has had an abortion, and many women have had upwards of seven abortions each. What is the role of the local church of addressing this genocide of the unborn, both overseas and at home, and where does the gospel fit in? To answer those questions and share her own journey into medical missions in Eurasia, ABWE missionary Holly Friesen stopped by.

Holly Friesen serves in Odessa, Ukraine. A family nurse practitioner, she serves in Ukrainian church ministry, village clinics, abstinence teaching, and the pro-life ministry and pregnancy care center, with a focus on national partnership and evangelism. You can learn more about the Ukraine team’s ministry here.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Missions and the Need for Deeper Women: Karen Swallow Prior and Anne Kennedy

Across the Internet—the place where many missionaries away from home get much of their theology and encouragement—there is a critical drought of deep-thinking resources for women. Many of the women’s resources simply play to one’s emotions or repackage common tropes like “you are loved” or “you are beautiful.” How can we make sure that we are helping women deepen in their faith, their view of culture, and their heart for the local church—so that they can be more effective on mission?

This week, we followed up with friend of the show Dr. Karen Swallow Prior of Liberty University, prolific author and research fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, to talk about The Pelican Project, a new resource designed to take evangelical woman deeper. Karen is the author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life in Great Books. We also spoke with Anne Kennedy, an MK, active church member, writer for The Pelican Project, and author of Nailed It: 365 Sarcastic Devotions for Angry and Worn-Out People.

Click here to hear our original interview with Karen.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Breaking Down Cultural Walls to Reach Muslims: Mariya Dostzadah’s Story

Mariya Dostzadah Goodbrake comes from a Sunni Afghan background, dabbled into New Age mysticism, and found herself surrounded by Roman Catholics in Mexico—and it’s there that God brought her face-to-face with an evangelical Christian and the biblical gospel. Now, she draws on her rich cultural experiences to help Muslim refugees and expats realize that they don’t have to give up the trappings of their Near Eastern culture to authentically trust and follow Jesus Christ. In this episode, we hear Mariya’s powerful testimony and draw points of insight for those seeking to engage Muslims and other groups in the U.S. through sports outreach, hospitality, and other ways of building relationship.

Mariya is the director of Branch Global, delivering intercultural solutions, diversity and inclusion training, and migrant services. Mariya is the Executive Director of Global FC, a non-profit organization based in Kansas City that uses soccer as a vehicle for transformative impact, supporting refugee youth and families with the tools to overcome obstacles to success. A native from Afghanistan, Mariya was raised in Iran and India, immigrated to Canada with her family, and later to America in 2012. She studied at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada in Political Science and International Relations. She is fluent in English, Dari and Farsi.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Porn: the Killer of Missions—With Benjamin Vrbicek

In our culture, sexual temptation is hitting the church like a tidal wave, and those serving overseas as missionaries are far from immune. Porn is a fatal undercurrent that Satan uses to eliminate gospel workers sniper-style and cripple missions efforts, and overseas workers separated from accountability and friends are particularly vulnerable. What factors drive a person in full-time ministry to pornography for comfort, control, or stress relief—and what gospel hope is there for someone struggling? This week we sat down in-studio with Benjamin Vrbicek, teaching pastor at Community Evangelical Free Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and author of the upcoming book Struggle Against Porn: 40 Diagnostic Tests for Your Head and Heart.

Benjamin Vrbicek blogs at Fan and Flame, and is the co-author of More People to Love. You can follow him on Twitter @BenjaminVrbicek. He has written for Desiring GodThe Gospel Coalition, and For The Church.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Danny Akin on Mobilizing Millennials — and Young Men

Where are all the qualified, seminary-educated young men in the missions world? How can a Bible college or seminary maximize its potential to mobilize students for the work of the Great Commission? Where is the modern missions movement going? This week we’re joined by Dr. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, author, scholar, and passionate missions-mobilizer.

Dr. Akin is the sixth president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been serving in the role since 2004. Known as an advocate for international missions and expository preaching, he also has a reputation as a faithful husband and father and genuine man of God. Akin and his wife Charlotte have four sons, three daughters-in-law, and 12 grandchildren. You can follow Dr. Akin on Twitter or email him.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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How to Think Like a Missionary: David Doran Jr. on Missional Living

What does it mean to be “missional”? We asked David Doran Jr., church planter in Lincoln Park, Michigan, an urban center in the Detroit metroplex, how thinking like a missionary has helped him reach with the gospel different communities just a stone’s throw from where he himself grew up. The result was a powerful chat about what it means to be on missions, whether overseas or in our own backyards.

David Doran Jr. serves as Lead Pastor of Resurrection Church. Saved at a young age, David grew through the ministry of Inter-City Baptist Church, where his father serves as pastor. After earning his bachelor’s degree, David earned an M.Div. and a Master of Theology from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Resurrection Church called David as Lead Pastor on July 10, 2016. You can follow him on Twitter.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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What Are Worldviews and How Do They Change? John Mark Yeats on Paul Hiebert

We use the word “worldview” a lot, but what does it actually mean? Does anthropology have anything to teach missionaries—and can it give us a model for how worldviews actually change as people are converted to Christ? To help us make sense of these questions addressed in the late Dr. Paul Hiebert’s classic missiological text Transforming Worldviews, we consulted our friend Dr. John Mark Yeats.

Dr. John Mark Yeats serves as both the undergraduate dean and an associate professor of church history at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College. He earned his Ph.D. in Church History from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and also holds degrees from Southern Seminary, Oxford University, and Criswell College. John Mark is married to Angie, and they have four children: Briley, Sean, Cadie, and Jackson. He has published three books and one on the way:

You can follow John Mark on Twitter or visit his personal site.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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How Many Unreached Are There Really? A Chat on Statistics With Justin Long

How do we really know how many unreached people groups there are—and is that the thing we should be counting, anyway? What can statistics tell us, and what can’t they? We ask these and other tough questions to expert missions researcher Justin Long, Director of Global Research for Beyond, adept cataloguer of missions statistics and enthusiastic documenter of missions movements. This interview will educate you, excite you, and break your heart for the lost. You can follow Justin on Twitter.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Special Episode: Scott’s Transition and Church Planting in Silicon Valley

In this special episode, we take a break from the normal flow as Scott Dunford shares an important update on his life and ministry.

We’re also joined by Bob Bixby, lead pastor of Redeemer Church in Fremont, California, to talk about why the San Francisco Bay Area is truly a mission field—and how listeners can prayerfully engage what God is doing there in and amongst the unchurched and unreached expat communities.

Bob grew up in the Central African Republic and France and brings to us twenty-two years of pastoral experience in multicultural settings. After studying in France, Bob returned to his birth country to study for the ministry. It was there that he met his life-long companion and together they returned to Europe where Bob served as a pastor for ten years. In 2002, Bob became the founding pastor of a church plant that grew to become a thriving ministry. After twelve years of hard work and loving relationships, that church, Morning Star Church, sent Bob with their blessing to start a church in Fremont.

You can support Redeemer’s vital ministry to the Bay Area by giving on their website. You can also email sdunford@abwe.org to connect.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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What Is Gospel-Centered Missions?

What is the gospel? It’s a question missionaries can’t afford to take for granted. Specifically, what would a distinctly gospel-centered approach to missions look like, and how would it differ—or not differ—from forms of mission that focus heavily on meeting physical, tangible needs? What is the relationship between gospel proclamation and cultural engagement? Scott and Alex dive into some of these controversial questions together on the show today and offer some meaningful counter-perspectives to each other.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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John Chau: Missions, Methodology, and Martyrdom

Today we’re taking a break from our regular interview lineup to address the recent death of missionary John Allen Chau. In his final letter before being arrowed to death by the hostile North Sentinelese islanders, Chau penned, “It’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.” As we mourn Chau’s loss, how should discerning Christians react to Chau’s gospel zeal, methodology, and apparent motivations—and what can he teach the church and the broader Western culture which condemns conversionary missions altogether as mere colonialism? We address these important questions in this special conversation about a topic that affects us deeply in the missions community.

In this episode we referenced our previous interview with Dr. Thomas Schreiner on the Holy Spirit. You can listen to that episode here. You can also read Scott’s reflections on Chau on his blog.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Mere Hope: Jason Duesing on Missionary Hope in a Cynical Age

We live in an age of perpetual outrage and cynicism, and lost hope takes its greatest toll upon the missionary endeavor. This week we spoke with Dr. Jason Duesing, passionate missions sender and academic Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, author of the new book Mere Hope: Life in An Age of Cynicism (B&H, 2018). We discuss how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s romanticism, the concept of the “Puritan hope,” and the mythical phoenix can help us see why biblical hope should lead to radical optimism amidst suffering and should fuel passionate missionary effort (really!).

Jason Duesing MBTS after serving for more than a decade on the administrative leadership team and faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Duesing earned his Ph.D. in Historical Theology and Baptist Studies from Southwestern Seminary in 2008. He also holds a M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary and a B.A. in Speech Communications from Texas A&M University in College Station. He serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, on the board of directors for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 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 and regular contributor to Baptist Press. Duesing is married to Kalee, and together they have four children: Gracyn, Ford, Lindsey, and George. You can visit his personal site and follow him on Twitter.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Mentorship: the Missing Ingredient in Missions? With Marvin Brubacher

Is mentorship the missing ingredient in missions? This week, Marvin Brubacher, Executive Director of MentorLink Canada and ABWE board member emeritus, joins to share from his decades of experience in promoting deep, one-on-one relationships of discipleship and personal development in international settings.

Previously, he served as the first President of Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario for more than 21 years. Before that he served in pastoral ministries in London and St. Thomas, Ontario for more than 14 years. Marvin has ministered in many churches and conferences throughout Canada. He has also served internationally in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. Marvin and his wife, Kay, have three adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren. Marvin serves as an elder at Forward Church in Cambridge, Ontario. You can support Marvin’s ministry and follow him on Twitter.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Andrew Fuller: The Man Behind the Man Behind Modern Missions — With Travis Myers

Behind every great missionary, there’s a great sending pastor. That was certainly true in the case of Andrew Fuller, the pastor of William Carey and a fellow advocate of the modern missionary movement among the English Particular Baptists of his day. What can modern ministers learn from this influential local church leader who helped launch a global movement without even leaving home? We ask that question to Travis Myers (M.A., M.Div., Ph.D.), assistant professor of church history and mission studies at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, MN, who recently wrote an in-depth article on Fuller for Boston University. You can follow Travis on Twitter

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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Church Planting in the Middle East Through Business as Mission

The early 2000’s wasn’t a prime time for Americans visiting the Middle East. But that’s when our guest, the son of a Kansas farmer, found himself called to the mission field in an undeniable way. On today’s episode, he shares stories of death-defying ministry to mullahs and how God used his ministry to plant the gospel in the surprisingly fertile soil of the Middle East—and how God is opening doors for business as mission today.

Don’t forget our sponsor, the Global Gospel Fund. We believe missionaries should be free to do the ministry they’re called to—not to waste precious ministry hours handling logistics. The Global Gospel Fund provides 1,000 missionaries across 70 countries with counsel, support, and a team of experts who know them by name. If you’re burdened for missions this giving season but don’t know where to start, we invite you to become a partner.

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

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email alex@missionspodcast.com.

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