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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Trauma, Sex Trafficking, and Gospel Ministry in India With Smita Singh

It’s the final week to enter our giveaway! As a way of thanking our loyal listeners, we’re giving away some great, free books and spiffy, new ABWE swag. Click here for details and to enter our drawing.


According to UNICEF, nearly 2 million girls are exploited/sold into the global sex trade each year—and 1 million of them are in India. To boot, Kolkata, the capitol of India’s West Bengal state, boasts what is arguably Asia’s biggest red light district. And that’s exactly where Smita Singh finds herself engaged in frontlines gospel ministry.

Smita is a global expert in rescuing trafficked girls from brothels and helping them build new futures. Smita, by profession, is a clinical psychologist, having worked with hundreds of victims of trafficking to help them rediscover their sense of self-worth. Smita is Director of Justice Initiatives for JKPS, which launched Mahima Homes to help trafficked girls and boys receive counseling, education and vocational training.

You can support the ministries of Smita and other JKPS partners through ABWE’s GAP program.

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 Missionaries Should Think About Economics With Matthew Arbo

Announcement: It’s the show’s first birthday! As a way of thanking our loyal listeners, we’re giving away some great, free books and spiffy, new ABWE swag. Click here for details and to enter our drawing.

“It’s the economy, stupid.” Economics is complicated enough already, but injecting a Christian perspective adds a new layer. How do we think Christianly about economics? And specifically, how should missionaries think about economics—especially in that critical moment where they arrive in a new country and see poverty, corruption, or systemic injustices that are completely foreign (literally)?

To answer, we spoke with Dr. Matthew Arbo of Oklahoma Baptist University, where he serves as Assistant Professor of Theological Studies and Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Dr. Arbo is the author of Political Vanity: Adam Ferguson on the Moral Tensions of Early Capitalism (Fortress Press, 2014) and, more recently, Walking Through Infertility: Biblical, Theological, and Moral Counsel for those who are Struggling (Crossway, 2018). His essays and articles on wide-ranging moral and political questions appear in several edited volumes and top-tier journals, including Political Theology, Studies in Christian Ethics, and the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics. Arbo is an active participant in the scholarly community, contributing as an invited panelist or presenter for conferences at Princeton University, University of Notre Dame, and Tyndale House (Cambridge), among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, Society of Christian Ethics, and Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Arbo is an appointed Research Fellow in Christian Ethics for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Arbo’s wife, Ashli, is an attorney and together they have two sons, Henry and James. The Arbo family are members of Frontline Church, Oklahoma City, where Matthew also serves as an elder. Follow Matt on Twitter. Dr. Arbo also recommended Oxford University Press’s Very Short Introductions.

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 a Missionary “Calling”? Caleb Suko Answers

Announcement: It’s the show’s first birthday! As a way of thanking our loyal listeners, we’re giving away some great, free books and spiffy, new ABWE swag. Click here for details and to enter our drawing.

What is God’s will for my life? Is God calling me to missions? Is there such a thing as a missionary calling—and if so, what is it? ABWE missionary to Ukraine Caleb Suko joins us this week to help us answer ten questions as it relates to the missionary call, desire, affirmation and counsel from loved ones, the local church, experience, prayer, opportunity, and more, based on his new book Is God Calling Me to Missions? 10 Questions to Help You Determine God’s Calling. 

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

You can listen to Caleb’s podcast “Now Is the Time” or follow him on Twitter.

At the end of the show, we also highlighted some more key resources:

Bonus content! After we recorded this episode, we also joined Caleb on his own podcast to answer the question: “What is Missions Mobilization?” We think you’ll enjoy this bonus installment. Click here to listen.

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 Iran’s Underground Church Is Miraculously Growing

Announcement: It’s the show’s first birthday! As a way of thanking our loyal listeners, we’re giving away some great, free books and spiffy, new ABWE swag. Click here for details and to enter our drawing.

The Islamic revolution of the 1970’s plunged Iran into a state of political and spiritual darkness, but God’s kingdom hasn’t been halted. This week we talk to a missionary converted from a Muslim background in Iran after becoming disillusioned with the Islamic religion. He and his wife has ministered extensively in the underground church in Iran, and he now continues to serve and resource believers and churches for Farsi-language evangelism and discipleship. Hear how the Iranian church is standing firm amidst persecution, radical Islam, and political upheaval.

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 Life Really Like in a 99.9% Muslim Country?

What does it look like to meet physical needs, share Christ, and risk persecution to serve in a 99.9% Islamic country? Two anonymous, female ABWE missionaries in North Africa join us over the phone to share from their experiences in tilling the soil, building trust, avoiding security risks, and praying that God gradually opens hearts to the gospel.

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

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Tom Schreiner: What Is the Role of the Holy Spirit and Miracles in Missions?

Dreams and visions in the Islamic world. Miraculous healings. “Power-encounters.” What is the role of the Holy Spirit in missions? Are miracles still normative in front-lines missions—and specifically, what about the apostolic sign gifts seen throughout the Book of Acts? There’s perhaps no one better to ask than Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner, one of the leading New Testament scholars of our day, and author (most recently) of Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter and articles like “Why I Am a Cessationist.”

Thomas R. Schreiner has been a professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky since 1997 and is the James Harrison Buchanan Professor of New Testament Interpretation. He has also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University and Bethel Theological Seminary. He received a B.S. from Western Oregon University, a M.Div. and Th.M. from Western Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary. Schreiner’s writings include commentaries on Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, and 1–2 Peter and Jude, and forthcoming commentaries on 1 Corinthians and Revelation. He has also written a theology of the Apostle Paul, a New Testament theology, and a theology of the entire Bible. He is a pastor at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Schreiner is married to Diane, and they have four children and eight grandchildren. You can follow Dr. Schreiner on Twitter.

In the episode, we mentioned some helpful resources including:

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

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John Taylor: 5 Problems With Money, Nationals, and Helping That Hurts

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More money, more problems. Wealth, generosity, pay scales, financial practices, and differing standards of living can all be hair-trigger issues in dealing with relationships with nationals while serving on the foreign field. Sometimes when we mean to help, we end up hurting those we’re serving in the long-term. And it’s not just limited to developing countries; anywhere we go in the world, different cultures are likely to have different views of wealth. How do we avoid misunderstandings with nationals? How can we avoid fostering dependency on Western missionaries, or unintentionally fostering an attitude of paternalism? ABWE Vice President of Training John Taylor joins us to discuss five problems with the “wealth of nations,” four solutions that don’t work, and some better strategies that do.

John and his wife Jacky were appointed as missionaries by ABWE Canada in 1991 and served in Odessa, Ukraine for more than 22 years. There, they served on the leadership team of two church plants, served as team leaders, and mentored and assisted many Ukrainian church planters and pastors. John was co-founder of the Church Ministries Institute (Eurasia), and served for many years as its president.

John holds graduate degrees in missions, theology and education. John is passionate about facilitating learning in communities of faith, and joined the ABWE training team in 2016, while Jacky has a passion for the lost throughout the world and for developing relationships with unbelievers.

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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Conrad Mbewe: Combatting Prosperity Teaching in Africa

Christianity isn’t spreading into Africa; it’s already there. But as our guest this week shares, it is afflicted by the problem of syncretism, hyper-charismatic influence, so-called prosperity “gospel” teaching, and weak theology. How can pastors and missionaries confront these threats and help the African church develop theologies that are rich, sound, and historically rooted? Conrad Mbewe answers.

Conrad Mbewe—called the “African Spugeon” by some—has pastored Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia for nearly three decades. He holds a Ph.D. in Missions from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and is Chancellor of African Christian University, Zambia. He is also a prolific itinerant preacher who has ministered globally with a passion for writing be it his books, blog, articles for sites like The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks, Ligonier, and Desiring God, or as a national weekly columnist. You can follow him on Twitter.

If you missed it during the episode, don’t forget to check out these helpful resources from Pastor Mbewe:

We also referred to our past interview with John Morgan of ABWE on problems of syncretism and animism in West Africa. Listen to that episode 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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Does Business as Mission Work?

Tentmaking. Platform. Business as mission. BAM. All terms that are used sometimes interchangeably throughout the missions community—but what do they mean? Is it really practical to use a for-profit business venture as a ministry platform in another culture, and how can we make sure we’re doing it the right way? How can there be any time to make disciples if a missionary spends 40+ hours working per week in a “secular” arena? Is there a biblical basis for using business as mission? In honor of Labor Day, we pick Scott Dunford’s mind as he shares from his three years’ experience on the field and significant research in the area of work, vocation, and mission.

If you missed any of the resources Scott mentioned, see below:

Don’t forget to share this episode, rate the show, and leave a review in your favorite listening platform.

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

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Serving Christ in Suffering: Jenn DeKryger on Togo and the Loss of Todd DeKryger

In 2016, Todd DeKryger, surgeon and medical missionary to Togo in West Africa, died in Cologne, Germany, where he had been evacuated to receive treatment for illness contracted in Africa. His wife, Jennifer, was by his side—and he left behind four young boys. In the time since, God has used grief, brokenness, and suffering to teach Jennifer the valuable lesson on absolute dependence upon Christ—so much that she is returning again to minister in Togo with her boys, and continuing to trust the Lord more each day. In this powerful story, Jennifer shares her story of loss and growth in Christ.

Learn more about what God is doing through ABWE workers in the Islamic north of Togo on ABWE’s website or the official website of Hospital of Hope. You can also reach Jen at jennifer@dekrygersfortogo.com.

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 Morgan: Animism, Syncretism, and Witchcraft in West Africa

When the gospel enters a new place—like Togo in West Africa—those who hear the message have a tendency to interpret it through their worldview lens. This week, John Morgan shares the sobering results of his studies relating to how professing believers in this African nation are still wrestling with their traditional views of animism, witchcraft, and spiritual activity. You’ll be challenged to think biblically about the topic of angelic and demonic activity, and inspired as you hear about how he and other workers on the ground are helping national pastors receive the theological education needed to reverse these syncretistic trends. This is a don’t-miss episode.

Dr. John Morgan, Ph.D., heads up ABWE’s Strategic Initiatives and Research. After serving as medical missionaries to Togo, he and his wife Michele returned to Ohio as church planters. They now minister at ABWE’s International Headquarters. You can read more about their work 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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Lucy Peabody: The Groundbreaking Pioneer Missionary You’ve Never Heard of

There are lots of names of women who could vie for the title of being a “mother” of the modern missions movement—and Lucy Peabody is certainly one such candidate. This pioneer missionary to India endured the loss of her first husband, mobilized marginalized women across the country to give millions of dollars towards missions, befriended President Taft and the Rockefeller family—and, along the way, founded ABWE and become its first president. How did she do it, and what can we learn from her? That’s what we explore with one of our resident historians here on this episode of the show.

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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Josh Daggett on Personal Evangelism and Prayer

We’ve all struggled to share our faith in one-on-one conversations. We also struggle with personal spiritual disciplines intimately connected to our effectiveness in evangelism—i.e., prayer. On this episode, Josh Daggett, lead pastor at Living Waters Fellowship in Des Moines, Iowa, shares his own encouragements, failures, and victories in these critical areas of ministry. We dig into a theology of evangelism, God’s sovereignty, and human responsibility in the process of conversion, then move deep into the practicalities of how we can all improve in our personal discipline. You’ll be deeply encouraged and challenged.

Josh earned his Bachelor’s degree (Pastoral Major, Greek Minor) from Faith Baptist Bible College in 2004 and earned his Master’s degree (Biblical Studies) from Faith Baptist Seminary in 2005. Josh and his wife, Danielle, have been married fourteen years and have four children.  He has been an ABWE Board member since 2012 and has been an ACBC Certified Biblical Counselor since 2017. Follow Josh 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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Racial Reconciliation and Multiethnic Church Planting in South Africa

In this episode, Scott and Alex discuss the uniquenesses of racial reconciliation and multiethnic church planting in South Africa. With Apartheid a mere 20 years in South Africa’s rearview, ethnic tensions still threaten to divide the church. In this insightful interview, our guest, an 18-year veteran of church planting missions to South Africa, shares simple strategies their team has used in bridging ethnic divides—even when it’s been costly.

Learn more about ABWE’s work in South Africa here.

Don’t forget to share this episode, rate the show, and leave a review in your favorite listening platform.

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

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Chris Bruno: Biblical Theology Versus Systematic Theology in Missions

Protestants in the West have a rich heritage of systematic theology—but it doesn’t always translate easily into new cultural contexts. Is a return to narrative-focused, biblical theology the answer? Chris Bruno, Assistant Professor of Greek and New Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary, joins us to answer and weigh in on his own cross-cultural experiences in Hawaii. We also address ways for small, unconnected churches can pool their resources together to deepen their impact at home and abroad.

Chris Bruno is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, and teacher who desires to give his life to helping others see the centrality of Jesus in all the Scriptures for the glory of God. He has served at Northland International University, Cedarville University, and Trinity Christian School in Kailua, HI. Before that, he was pastor of discipleship and training at Harbor Church in Honolulu, HI.

He has written and co-written five books, as well as written articles and reviews for several publications and websites, including The Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society, Tyndale Bulletin, Westminster Theological Journal, Vetus Testamentum, Themelios, The Bulletin for Ecclesial Theology, Reformation 21, and The Gospel Coalition and has presented papers at the Tyndale Fellowship Triennial Meeting, the ETS Annual meeting, the SBL Annual meeting, and the CPT Fellowship. He is a member of ETS, SBL, IBR, and CPT. Chris and his wife Katie have been married since 2001 and have four sons who love to be outdoors playing ball or pretending to be super heroes, all while wrestling their dad.

You can follow Chris on Twitter at @chrisbruno1.

Here’s a recap of the resources we recommended in this episode:

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

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Paul Davis: Why Missionaries Must Be Theologians

On this episode, ABWE President Paul Davis joins us to share why it’s crucial that missionaries be theologians. We dive into why a “big God” theology that acknowledges the absolute supremacy of Christ is the only theology weighty enough to compel an unbeliever to convert and commit “treason” against their old gods. It’s also the only theology big enough to compel a believer to go as a missionary.

Prior to his appointment as ABWE President in 2017, Pastor Paul Davis sat on the ABWE Board and served as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland, MI.

Paul is known as a strong communicator and an innovative spiritual overseer with experience in executing large projects, team building, fundraising, leadership development, discipleship and ministry growth.

He attended Liberty University and Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a Master’s Degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Paul and his wife, Martha, have been married for 28 years, and have both served in numerous roles in Christian ministry and education. They have four young-adult children. You can follow Paul on Twitter via @pdavis_davis.

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 God doing in China? Steve Schirmer Answers

The President of China was just appointed to lifelong office. Church buildings are being demolished. Cults are on the rise due to a lack of trained church leaders. What is God up to in China? Steve Schirmer, president and founder of Silk Road Catalyst, joins us to answer.

Steve is a missionary who has poured out his life out for the least-evangelized since 2000, and Silk Road Catalyst exists to multiply churches and disciples among gospel-deprived peoples in and from the Silk Road region. Steve was saved in 1995 and ministered for 17 years among the Han people, and continues to focus on the least-reached people of East Asia. He’s also the co-founder and co-host of Missions Talk. Follow Steve on Twitter at @SteveSilkRoad.

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

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Zane Pratt: Are Explosive Disciple-Making Movements Really Healthy?

You’ve probably heard that Muslims are coming to Christ throughout the Islamic world in record numbers, many of them prompted by dreams and visions. Perhaps you’ve also heard of related disciple-making movements and church-planting movements that report exponential multiplication of converts and fledgling churches. But what’s the real story behind these stats, and are these explosive growth movements really healthy and biblical? Zane Pratt joins us today to answer.

Zane Pratt was elected as the IMB’s vice president for global training in November 2014. For 20 years, he served as an IMB church planter and regional leader in Central Asia. From 2011-13, Pratt was dean of the Billy Graham School at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he 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 co-author of Introduction to Global Missions and a contributor to Theology and Practice of Mission. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZanePratt.

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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Collin Hansen: Social Justice, Racial Reconciliation, and Missions

What is a biblical definition “social justice” and how does it relate to the gospel? What bearing does the recent conversation about racial reconciliation—and the resulting controversy—have for missionaries ministering to disparate and people groups and ethnicities? How can the church do a better job of addressing social justice and racial issues without proposing leftist or statist solutions? We dive into all of these challenging questions this week with Collin Hansen of The Gospel Coalition.

Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of several books, including Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists and A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir (with John Woodbridge). He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He edited Our Secular Age: Ten Years of Reading and Applying Charles Taylor and The New City Catechism Devotional, among other books. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School.

Don’t forget to share this episode, rate the show, and leave a review in your favorite listening platform.

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

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Church Planting: Multiethnic or Homogeneous Units?

Should churches aim to be multiethnic, or should we stick to the homogenous unit principle inherited from missiologists? In today’s episode, Brian (last name withheld), a former IMB missionary to the Middle East and current missions pastor focusing on diaspora ministries, shares why the answer isn’t as simple as it seems—and how globalism is making cultural boundaries fuzzier than ever.

The church world is ablaze with conversation about multiethnic churches, racial reconciliation, and the social implications of believers’ fundamental unity in Christ. Meanwhile, expats and refugees from across the world are moving into North American cities in droves, but linguistic and cultural barriers prevent most churches from effectively engaging migrants.

Brian is a missions pastor for Wilcrest Baptist Church, a dynamic church in Houston—one of the U.S.’s most diverse cities. In our interview, he also shares how in the process of trying to engage expats in Houston, their church “accidentally” became an effective missions sending church in the process.

If you have been stumped by recent debates over the ethnic makeup of our churches, this episode will help you think in biblical categories—both in terms of our gospel unity, and the imperative to take the gospel into subgroups that wouldn’t otherwise hear the good news.

Don’t forget to share this episode, rate the show, and leave a review in your favorite listening platform.

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

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Is LGBT the Next Mission Field?

How can Christians understand individuals connected with the LGBT movement a mission field—full of people made in the image of God, in need of the gospel? ABWE North America missionary Jim Childs shares his story to help answer.

Jim is helping spearhead Every Ethne’s iniative to help churches in the U.S. reach across cultures without crossing borders, which includes reaching into the North American LGBT subculture. Jim was saved from an early age but spent decades in a homosexual lifestyle until the Lord brought him out through tragic circumstances and unexpected hospitality from believers. Today, he serves as an associate pastor with 360 Church and ministers to those facing same-sex attraction with Breakthough.

If you’ve been blessed by hearing Jim’s testimony, we encourage you to prayerfully support his budding ministry with ABWE.

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

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Jared C. Wilson: Why Missionaries Need the Gospel Too

Pastors and missionaries are supposed to be sharing the gospel, but inwardly, many believe that they’re justified by their own performance. In this episode, Jared C. Wilson—a “failed church planter” who “once made a mess of his marriage” (his words, not ours!) whose rediscovery of gospel-centeredness transformed his life and ministry—shares why missionaries need to be preaching the gospel to themselves. Jared’s gospel emphasis is woven through all his books (including his most recent publication, Supernatural Power for Everyday People) with unique relevance for ministry workers facing burnout and forgetting their identity in Christ.

Later in the show we also tackle some of the issues with the seeker-sensitive/attractional church model and why church growth strategies end up having an adverse effect on a church’s ability to send cross-cultural workers overseas.

Jared C. Wilson is the Director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Managing Editor of For The Church (and host of the FTC Podcast), and Director of The Pastoral Training Center at Liberty Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO.

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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India, Sex Trafficking, and the Gospel

India is home to more unreached people groups, women and children in the sex industry, impoverished families, and idols then anywhere else on the planet. What impact could a few missionaries possibly have, and how does the hope of the gospel encourage them in the midst of such massive physical need? How are they balancing the priorities of social justice with their evangelistic mandate? Today, two ABWE workers join us to discuss the incredible doors God has opened for them in South Asia, and how the local church is filling a spiritual need that no NGO or sex trafficking rescue operation alone can address.

We’re enormously grateful for the chance to spread this expert content. Would you help us by sharing the episode, rating, leaving a review in your favorite listening platform, and subscribing? Together we can influence more gospel-centered theological teachers, writers, translators, and pastors to use their gifts where they’re most needed among the unreached.

Click here to see the ABWE history video we referenced towards the end of the episode.

Interested in supporting this couple’s work? To help us protect their identity, please email alex@missionspodcast.com. You can also learn more about ABWE’s partnership arm, GAP, on their public site, LiveGlobal.

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How Does Hospitality Fuel Mission?

Starting gospel conversations—whether at home or overseas—is difficult in our distracted, technology-addicted world. Is returning to a practice of holistic, biblical hospitality part of the solution to strengthen our evangelism? Jeff Dalrymple, former president of Baptist Haiti Mission and president and founder of The Hospitality Project, helps us answer that question and explains why we struggle so much to let our neighbors into our homes. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @JeffDalrymple.

In the episode, Jeff recommended a variety of resources on biblical hospitality. In case you missed it, those books were:

Listeners: We need your help! If you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast, you can help us bridge the divide between the gospel-centered theology movement and the world of missions. Remember to rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or whatever listening platform you prefer. Also, don’t forget to share this episode and follow us to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Finally, please send your ideas or questions to alex@missionspodcast.com.

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How Can We Prevent Missionary Burnout?

Ministry burnout is real. On the mission field, the pressures are vastly multiplied. Cultural shock, marital strain, poor team dynamics, and temptation all threaten missionaries’ spiritual, mental, and emotional health. Better, more proactive member care is the answer. But how? Brad Winkler, ABWE’s director leading member care and prefield ministries, joins us to explain.

As a pastor for 17 years, Brad helped members of his congregation discover their call to missions and now he is doing the same thing on a broader scale. In addition to training our missionaries in fundraising and building prayer partners, Brad also coaches churches through the process of sending and sustaining their missionaries on the mission field.

Brad also recommends the following resources for missionaries, pastors, and everyday believers seeking to provide better pastoral care for cross-cultural workers:

If you want to reach Brad, we invite you to email him.

We’re enormously grateful for the chance to spread this expert content. Would you help us by sharing the episode, rating, leaving a review in your favorite listening platform, and subscribing? Together we can influence more gospel-centered people to use their gifts where they’re most needed among the unreached.

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

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Barnabas Piper on Ministry Kids, Curiosity, and Identity

How do you handle the pressures of growing up hearing “don’t waste your life,” and what lessons can missionary kids and pastors’ kids take away? Barnabas Piper joins us this week as we wander to and fro to discuss those topics along with cultivating a curiosity with other cultures, parenting with an eye towards missions, and avoiding ministry cynicism by grounding our identity in Christ.

Barnabas is a writer, author, speaker, co-host of The Happy Rant Podcast, and Marketing Manager for B&H Academic. He has written for numerous print and online publications. Most recently, he published The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life. He now lives in the Nashville area and can be followed on Twitter via @BarnabasPiper.

We’re enormously grateful for the chance to spread this expert content. Would you help us by sharing the episode, rating, leaving a review in your favorite listening platform, and subscribing? Together we can influence more gospel-centered people to use their gifts where they’re most needed among the unreached.

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

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T4G Panel on Theological Training in Missions

There’s a theological famine across the majority world. How can we fix that? Are translated English resources the solution? How can we encourage more theological educators to serve overseas? And why does the chasm between the gospel-centered, big-God theology movement and the missions world seem so large?

On April 12th, 2018 at Together for the Gospel in Louisville, Kentucky, ABWE and Baptist Haiti Mission co-hosted an expert panel to answer those questions and more. In this episode you’ll hear IMB Vice President Zane Pratt, David Sills (at the time, president of Reaching and Teaching; now former), Scott Dunford of ABWE, Rick Denham of 9Marks, Darren Carlson of Training Leaders International, and Bill Walsh of The Gospel Coalition share their burdens and solutions.

We’re enormously grateful for the chance to spread this expert content. Would you help us by sharing the episode, rating, leaving a review in your favorite listening platform, and subscribing? Together we can influence more gospel-centered theological teachers, writers, translators, and pastors to use their gifts where they’re most needed among the unreached.

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

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God’s Sovereignty, Human Responsibility, and Missions

Is Reformed theology antithetical to missions? Can Calvinists and Arminians partner together in gospel ministry? Today, Scott and Alex take a swing at these hotly-debated topics and provide answers from a biblical perspective recognizing that God’s sovereignty is fully compatible with the call to repent and believe the gospel—and how the fact that Christ has definitively “purchased for God people from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9) is what fuels all missionary hope.

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

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Charles Smith on Missions Leadership “For the Church”

What does leadership have to do with missions? Everything. Although conversations on leadership are often kept separate from the realm of missiology, Charles Smith believes that now is the time to talk about what gospel-centered leadership—for the church—means for missions.

Charles Smith serves as Vice President for Institutional Relations at Midwestern Seminary and oversees the offices of Admissions, Institutional Advancement, Alumni, Communications, Student Life and Events, and Center for Church Planting and Partnering. He earned a Business Administration degree from Mississippi College in 2007 and a Master’s of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2011, and he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian Leadership.

Charles is also a cofounder and general editor of For the Church, which exists to engage, encourage, and equip the Church with gospel-centered resources that are pastoral, practical, and devotional.

Just a few days left before T4G! To join us at our expert panel and luncheon on Thursday, click here.

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

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The Kingdom of God and the Authority of the Great Commission

We speak so much of the “kingdom of God”—but what does that mean, and how does Jesus’ present reign in heaven impact our mission? These questions are often neglected, misunderstood, or purposefully avoided in American evangelicalism, and there’s lots of confusion about Christ’s return and the nature of his kingdom. But understanding Jesus’ present authority over heaven and earth undergirds everything we do in cross-cultural ministry.

We’re taking a break this week from our format to bring you a message delivered by Alex Kocman on March 9, 2018 at ABWE’s New Missionary Orientation, titled “The Authority of the Great Commission” from Psalm 2.

If you’re interested in joining us at T4G, click here to learn more.

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

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The Gift of Singleness in Missions: an Interview With Lina AbuJamra

Singleness can feel like a death sentence for some—but for women like Lina AbuJamra, it’s a gift to be stewarded. How can God use singles on the mission field? Lina weighs in and shares her perspective as a Lebanese-American physician currently involved in Bible teaching and medical missions to Syrian refugees.

Lina AbuJamra is founder of Living with Power Ministries and has authored several books including ThriveStripped, and Resolved. You can listen to Lina’s podcast on iTunes or Podbean and watch her inspiring thousands via the Faith Booster series and other Bible teachings on YouTube and Vimeo. Lina is the host of Today’s Single Christian on Moody Radio and the host of Morning Minutes, a daily audio devotional available on her website.

Lina’s most recent adventure has taken her back to the Middle East and her birth country, Lebanon, where she is providing regular medical care for Syrian refugees. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Lina now calls Chicago home.

If you’re interested in joining us at T4G, click here to learn more.

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

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