Engaging the Cults With Summer Jaeger

You may know her from Sheologians, but long before she was “internet famous,” a young Summer Jaeger would spend whole days with her family and friends engaged in street evangelism outside Mormon temples tackling tough apologetic issues and sharing the gospel. Now, as a married, homeschooling mother of four and an avid podcaster, Summer’s perspectiveContinue reading “Engaging the Cults With Summer Jaeger”

The Life of the Missionary Wife: Heather Farran on Motherhood on the Field

How can missionary wives balance the pressures of home, marriage, and children with the demands of ministry itself? And do wives have to be “called” to missions the same way their husbands do? Heather Farran, ABWE missionary and wife of Western Europe Regional Director Kyle Farran, shares her wisdom from raising three children in TanzaniaContinue reading “The Life of the Missionary Wife: Heather Farran on Motherhood on the Field”

A Theology of Language: Dr. Vern Poythress Speaks

The inconvenience of learning a foreign language is a major reason people choose not to pursue cross-cultural missions. But, as Dr. Vern Poythress explains, language isn’t just a barrier; it’s a gift from God that displays his creativity. In this special interview, Dr. Poythress explains why language itself finds its source in the Trinity, howContinue reading “A Theology of Language: Dr. Vern Poythress Speaks”

Is All Theology Cultural? Biblical Authority and Contextualization

Biblical authority is under attack. A missionary’s job is partly to make the transcendents truths of God’s word understandable within human language, context, and culture. But is it possible to know God’s objective truth, or are we always “stuck” within our culture—making modern missions inescapably colonialist? In this episode, Scott Dunford and Alex Kocman dialogueContinue reading “Is All Theology Cultural? Biblical Authority and Contextualization”

Why Europe Needs Missionaries: Jonathan Kleis on Reaching Roman Catholics in Italy

While Europe has been the cradle of Christian civilization for centuries, certain countries—like Italy—never truly enjoyed the fruits of the Reformation. Now, Italy is steeped in secularism, paganism, and the occult, in addition to nominal Roman Catholicism. How should missionaries reach into this context, and how can we all engage our Roman Catholic friends andContinue reading “Why Europe Needs Missionaries: Jonathan Kleis on Reaching Roman Catholics in Italy”

Disciple-Making Movements: A Critical Discussion With Dr. Glenn Sunshine

Disciple-making movements (DMM) and church planting movements (CPM) are more than just buzzwords—they represent controversial methodologies that are dividing missionaries along organization and theological lines. Do these methodologies represent faulty views of conversion or ecclesiology, or are the critics guilty of prayerlessness and quenching the Holy Spirit? We’ve explored these topics in the past onContinue reading “Disciple-Making Movements: A Critical Discussion With Dr. Glenn Sunshine”

C.R. Wiley on Missions, the Household, and the Cosmos

In much of the contemporary missions conversation, the good, ordinary gifts of God—like marriage and family—are often spoken of mainly as things to be sacrificed, not as things to be cultivated as a part of the church’s mission. This week, Chris “C.R.” Wiley explains why a return to the biblical understanding of the household canContinue reading “C.R. Wiley on Missions, the Household, and the Cosmos”

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 shapeContinue reading “Why Theology Must Shape Mission: A Chat With Zane Pratt”

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, missionaryContinue reading “Christopher Yuan on Holy Sexuality and the Gospel”

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, andContinue reading “Why Character Matters in Ministry: Paul Davis on Knowing Christ”

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 hasContinue reading “What Happens When Missionaries Get Kicked Out? John Klaassen Answers”

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 culturalContinue reading “Michael Foster on the Crisis of Masculinity and Missions”

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 KocmanContinue reading “Special Episode: What Do the Hong Kong Protests Have to Do With Missions?”

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 ofContinue reading “Race, Evolution, and Missions: Charles Ware Speaks”

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,Continue reading “Brooks Buser on the Urgency of Eternity and the Dangers of Pragmatism”

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 weekContinue reading “Is ‘Marketplace Missions’ Sustainable? Mark Silvers Talks Mobilization”

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

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 factContinue reading “How Much Do the Unreached Know? Natural Revelation and Evangelism”

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.Continue reading “Brad Buser on Tribal Religion, Contextualization, and Disciple-Making Movements”

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 ColombianContinue reading “Longevity and Endurance in Church Planting: Bob Trout Shares”

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

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 aContinue reading “Are Honor and Shame the Keys to Cross-Cultural Evangelism?”

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,Continue reading “Rachel Jankovic on Identity, Christian Women, and the Mission Field of Motherhood”

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 atContinue reading “Faithfulness or Pragmatism? Andy Johnson on Methodologies”

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 lecturerContinue reading “Fouad Masri on What Christians Get Wrong About Reaching Muslims”

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, andContinue reading “Should Missions Be ‘Radical’ or Ordinary? Michael Horton Answers”

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 weekContinue reading “Why Aren’t We Talking About ‘Gospel Privilege’? Chad Vegas Answers”

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 asContinue reading “Dean Inserra on How to Reach America’s Most-Underrated Mission Field”

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. KennethContinue reading “Culture: When to Bend, When to Break—Kenneth Nehrbass Explains”

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 theContinue reading “Do We Need to Redefine Unreached? Matthew Bennett Answers”

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 markContinue reading “What Every Missionary Needs to Know About Lament: Mark Vroegop Explains”

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 takeContinue reading “Muslim Refugees Meeting Christ: Darren Carlson on ‘Jesus in Athens’ Documentary”

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

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 ofContinue reading “Should We Stop Sending Indebted Missionaries? Luke Womack on Student Loans”

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,Continue reading “Why You Should ‘Adult’ Before Pursuing Missions: A Chat With Lori McDaniel”

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 resolvingContinue reading “The Number One Reason Missionaries Go Home”

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 nameContinue reading “A Biblical Theology of Spiritual Warfare and Missions”

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 newContinue reading “Micah Fries: What Christians Should Know About Islam in North America”

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, andContinue reading “Fighting Abortion in Ukraine With the Gospel: Holly Friesen on Medical Missions”

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 theyContinue reading “Breaking Down Cultural Walls to Reach Muslims: Mariya Dostzadah’s Story”

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 aContinue reading “Porn: the Killer of Missions—With Benjamin Vrbicek”

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,Continue reading “Danny Akin on Mobilizing Millennials — and Young Men”

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 chatContinue reading “How to Think Like a Missionary: David Doran Jr. on Missional Living”

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 TransformingContinue reading “What Are Worldviews and How Do They Change? John Mark Yeats on Paul Hiebert”

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 documenterContinue reading “How Many Unreached Are There Really? A Chat on Statistics With Justin Long”

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 canContinue reading “Special Episode: Scott’s Transition and Church Planting in Silicon Valley”

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 AlexContinue reading “What Is Gospel-Centered Missions?”