‘Reverse Missions’ and Global Christianity

African Christians are coming to the US as missionaries—or are they? Many are saying that “reverse missions”—from the Majority World to the West—is on the rise. But the whole picture isn’t that simple, as the world and the Western church still have a lot to learn from each other. Alex Kocman and Scott Dunford exploreContinue reading “‘Reverse Missions’ and Global Christianity”

Mercy, Justice, and Missions: Dr. George Grant

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

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

More and more missiologists are tired of talking about the gospel only in terms of guilt and innocence. This growing school of thought claims these concepts are “Western.” Writers like Roland Muller, Jayson Georges, and Jackson Wu say that honor and shame—not guilt and innocence—hold the keys to evangelism in Majority World cultures. Are theyContinue reading “Mega Episode: Honor, Shame, and the Gospel With Chris Flanders”

Leading With Vision (For Normal People) With Bob Bixby

We all know that having a vision is important. But is vision-casting biblical, and if so, does it really matter for the ordinary missionary or pastor? In this interview, Scott and Alex ask some tough questions about leadership of Bob Bixby, pastor of Redeemer Church in Fremont, California, and president of Bayseed. Want to askContinue reading “Leading With Vision (For Normal People) With Bob Bixby”

Preview: What Is Vision?

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

Online Education and Global Theological Famine

One year into the pandemic, it looks like the future of education is, in many respects, virtual. What does that mean for theological and biblical training for the 85% of evangelical pastors worldwide who lack any formal education? Al Cuthbert and Rob Hayden of Horizon Education Network join the show this week to explain howContinue reading “Online Education and Global Theological Famine”

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

We’ve all experienced the guilt of being made to feel like we’re not doing enough for world missions. Should preachers emphasize statistics on unreached people groups, the urgency of eternity, and lostness, or simply trust the Holy Spirit—or perhaps both? This week, ABWE President Paul Davis chats with Scott and Alex as they wrestle throughContinue reading “Is the Missions ‘Guilt Trip’ Biblical? Guest: Paul Davis”

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

A military coup is underway in Myanmar—a Buddhist nation nestled in the heart of the 10/40 Window. What does the junta mean for the cause of Christian missions, and how is the Burmese church responding? ABWE missionary John (last name withheld) with Live Global returns to the show to explain. To support the work ofContinue reading “What’s Happening to Myanmar and Why It Matters for Missions”

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

In 20 years of leading missions efforts and teaching students, Lisa LaGeorge has seen it all. This week, she shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of short-term missions trips with high school and college students. In the second half, we explore the role of women and singles on church-planting teams and why everyContinue reading “Lisa LaGeorge on Women’s Roles and Short-Term Missions”

The Dangers of Syncretism and How to Avoid It

Do rapid disciple-making techniques run the risk of welcoming syncretism into new churches by failing to teach new converts to forsake their former idols? It’s no light question, with no easy answers—but there is hope. Scripture is not silent. This week, Scott and Alex discuss “The Potential Risk of Syncretism in Church Planting Movements” byContinue reading “The Dangers of Syncretism and How to Avoid It”

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

Born into slavery, George Liele is credited as being the first African-American missionary and Baptist missionary in the modern missionary movement. So why haven’t we heard his story? Dr. Jason Duesing, missions advocate and academic Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains. Duesing serves as a research fellow for the Ethics andContinue reading “Who Was George Liele? Jason Duesing on the First African American Missionary”

Carl Trueman: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

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

Thad Bergmeier on the Power of Prayer in Missions

It’s hard to deny: we experience little power in evangelism and missions because we’re slothful in prayer. Jonathan Edwards believed that the world would be reached for Christ when God’s people pled divine promises back to God in prayer. Was he right? And what is the relationship between prayer and revival? Dr. Thad Bergmeier, RegionalContinue reading “Thad Bergmeier on the Power of Prayer in Missions”

Dan Strange: A Theology of Religions and The Southgate Fellowship

We know missionaries should have a theology of God, the Bible, and salvation—but what does it mean to develop a theology of religions? And what are the bigger problems plaguing evangelical missiology? Dr. Dan Strange, theological director at Oak Hill College and co-chair of The Southgate Fellowship, joins us from London to discuss his newContinue reading “Dan Strange: A Theology of Religions and The Southgate Fellowship”

How Technology Is Transforming Missions

According to statistics, more than 4.6 billion people on the planet now have internet access—and many of them live among unreached people groups. How does that reshape the way we approach missions? And how can now-commonplace tools like Zoom help Christians in the West invest in fellow believers in hard-to-reach places? Andrew C., executive director for Live Global, sharesContinue reading “How Technology Is Transforming Missions”

Thor Madsen: Why Missionaries Need to Know Philosophy

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

Christmas Episode: Can Missions Be ‘Incarnational’?

Merry Christmas from the Missions Podcast! To celebrate the holiday, we’re honing in on the incarnation of Christ and asking: what do Christian leaders mean when they talk about “incarnational” ministry? Can the incarnation actually be imitated, or does referring to our ministry as incarnational cheapen the uniqueness of Christ’s birth? This week, Scott andContinue reading “Christmas Episode: Can Missions Be ‘Incarnational’?”

Christian Nationalism, Patriotism, and Globalism

Recent political events and rallies have Christians asking: what is nationalism? Is it the same as patriotism? These questions are vitally important to the missionary. Can a missionary truly love his home country that he’s leaving—and if so, how? What does Scripture say about love of country—or countries, for that matter? And what about globalism?Continue reading “Christian Nationalism, Patriotism, and Globalism”

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

Only a big view of God can sustain the people of God on a big mission. Yet have missionaries gotten their very doctrine of God himself wrong? This week, Dr. James Dolezal highlights the doctrines of divine simplicity, immutability, and aseity—aspects of theology proper often lost on modern evangelicalism—and why they matter for reaching pagans,Continue reading “James Dolezal: What Every Missionary Needs to Know About the Doctrine of God”

How to Tell Good Missionary Stories—Without Lying

We’ve all sat through missionary presentations in church that were… less than dynamic. But we’ve also seen the dangers of sensationalized stories from across the world that proved untrue and led donors astray. How can missionaries become compelling storytellers, sharing what God is doing worldwide without fudging the truth? This week Scott and Alex talkContinue reading “How to Tell Good Missionary Stories—Without Lying”

Has the White Savior Complex Infected Evangelical Missions?

The story of American missionary Renee Bach made waves last year when she was implicated in the deaths of more than 100 Ugandan children. But does her complex situation serve as a mirror for us—and for modern evangelical missions in general? This week, Scott and Alex address whether or not Western missions is dominated byContinue reading “Has the White Savior Complex Infected Evangelical Missions?”

Paul Davis on Why Baptism Matters to Missions

Is baptism the most neglected part of the Great Commission? In this conversation, Paul Davis of ABWE shares why cross-cultural workers are tempted to neglect this ordinance among the least-reached—and how steeping ourselves in Scripture’s teaching on baptism can solve the problem. Want to ask a question or suggest a topic? Email us. The Missions PodcastContinue reading “Paul Davis on Why Baptism Matters to Missions”

Are Short-Term Missions Trips Dead? Jason Phillips Answers

The world has changed dramatically. Have we witnessed the demise of the short-term missions trip? Jason Phillips doesn’t think so. This week, he explains why—and how pastors and missions trip leaders can do a better job of maximizing the long-term impact of short-term trips. Jason Phillips was recently appointed to ABWE as executive director for aContinue reading “Are Short-Term Missions Trips Dead? Jason Phillips Answers”

Do Missionaries Need to Meet the Biblical Qualifications for Elders?

In 2019, Paul Washer delivered a stirring message at the G3 Conference defining a biblical missionary. His challenge begs the question: must missionaries meet the standard set by 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9? Are all missionaries elder-qualified lead church-planters, or is there room for a diversity of roles on missionary teams? Scott and AlexContinue reading “Do Missionaries Need to Meet the Biblical Qualifications for Elders?”

The Dangers of Insider Bible Translations: The Arlington Statement

Scripture calls Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Lamb slain for sinners. These glorious names run directly counter to the sensibilities of those belonging religions including Islam and Hinduism. Should Bible translators soften these words and concepts to contextualize God’s word? The framers of the recently-published Arlington Statement on Bible Translation say no.Continue reading “The Dangers of Insider Bible Translations: The Arlington Statement”

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

What is a “word-driven” missionary, and how can you become one? Adoniram and Ann Judson are stirring examples of Scripture-saturated missionaries whose methods subverted human wisdom. To explain this week, author and missionary E.D. Burns joins the show. E.D. Burns, Ph.D., is the author of The Missionary-Theologian and A Supreme Desire to Please Him: TheContinue reading “How to Be a Word-Centered Missionary: E.D. Burns”

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

In Genesis, Adam was told to be fruitful, multiply, and take dominion of creation. He failed. Now, believers in Christ are called to spread the good news of Christ to the world. Are these two separate missions, or is the Great Commission a renewal of the original marching orders from Eden? Matthew Newkirk, author ofContinue reading “Was Adam a Missionary? Matthew Newkirk on the Creation Mandate and Missions”

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

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

Throwback: The Greatest Injustice With Chad Vegas

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

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

The so-called “prosperity gospel” has infected evangelical religious life. But it doesn’t just appear in the overt claims that God wants us to be rich and healthy—it takes far more insidious forms. Is the American dream antithetical to the missionary calling? What role does suffering play in our mission to the nations? Sean DeMars, formerContinue reading “American Gospel or Biblical Gospel? Sean DeMars on the Danger of Prosperity Preaching”

Evangelize or Civilize? C.J. Moore on William Carey

Sometimes the missionary task is a balance between evangelism and humanitarianism. William Carey believed that the more evangelized a society was, the more civilized it became—and the more civilized it was, the more open to evangelized it would become. But was he right? C.J. Moore, missions mobilizer, Midwestern Seminary Ph.D. student and fellow, and pastorContinue reading “Evangelize or Civilize? C.J. Moore on William Carey”

Are International Churches Missional? Scott Zeller on Pastoring Expats

Missions means doing hard things in hard places. So are English-speaking churches geared towards expats truly reaching the unreached, or does more need to be done? The answers may surprise you. This week, Scott Zeller, executive pastor of Redeemer Church of Dubai, reframes the issue. Scott Zeller is involved in regional church planting and theological educationContinue reading “Are International Churches Missional? Scott Zeller on Pastoring Expats”

Brooks Buser Answers: How Dare Missionaries Seek to Convert?

On August 8, 2020, a simple tweet by Brooks Buser, president of Radius International, ignited a firestorm of controversy: “Thank you for the prayers for Amdu people and team. By God’s grace, there are now members of that people group who are reconciled to God, who no longer have their sins counted against them.” Skeptics,Continue reading “Brooks Buser Answers: How Dare Missionaries Seek to Convert?”

Critical Theory, Post-Colonialism, and Missions: Neil Shenvi on Social Justice

Watch the video version of this episode on YouTube. Social justice. Critical theory. Post-colonialism. Intersectionality. These issues have divided believers and unbelievers alike in the church over the last few years, and in 2020 the issue is impossible to escape. Is conservative evangelicalism beginning to compromise biblical teaching on complex social issues? And if so,Continue reading “Critical Theory, Post-Colonialism, and Missions: Neil Shenvi on Social Justice”

Missions History in a ‘Cancel Culture’ Age: Jonathan Arnold Explains

Christians live in an age of iconoclasm. How can we do church history and modern missions history responsibly—without falling into the opposite errors of hero-worship or “cancel culture”? Jonathan Arnold, Associate Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, weighs in from his perspective as a church historian. For three years,Continue reading “Missions History in a ‘Cancel Culture’ Age: Jonathan Arnold Explains”

Tragedy in Beirut and What It Means for Missions: Pierre Houssney Speaks

On August 4, 2020, the world’s eyes were glued on Beirut, Lebanon as two fatal explosions in a major urban center caused at least 171 deaths, 6,000 injuries, rocked social media, and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless. Pierre Rashad Houssney is Middle East and North Africa Regional Director for Horizons International, based in Beirut,Continue reading “Tragedy in Beirut and What It Means for Missions: Pierre Houssney Speaks”

Is Netflix Killing Missions? Tony Reinke on Media and Technology

“Stay safe, stay home” may be a reasonable mantra during a pandemic, but that thinking long-term suffocates the missionary spirit. Most of us are already technology-addicted, and now streaming video services like Netflix are arguably making it harder to be faithful as a missionary. This week, Tony Reinke of Desiring God explains why the missionaryContinue reading “Is Netflix Killing Missions? Tony Reinke on Media and Technology”

Apologetics, Evangelism, and Revival in Norway: Nahum O’Brien and Edvard Moe Explain

When most people think of Norway, they think of gorgeous fjords, bitter cold, and secularism—not a revival of interest in apologetics or biblical doctrine. Is this Scandinavian nation simply circling the drain of postmodernism, or is God doing something new? We ask that question to Nahum O’Brien, ABWE missionary to Norway, along with his nationalContinue reading “Apologetics, Evangelism, and Revival in Norway: Nahum O’Brien and Edvard Moe Explain”