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?”
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 ChristiansContinue reading “John Chau: Missions, Methodology, and Martyrdom”
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 AgeContinue reading “Mere Hope: Jason Duesing on Missionary Hope in a Cynical Age”
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 inContinue reading “Mentorship: the Missing Ingredient in Missions? With Marvin Brubacher”
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 launchContinue reading “Andrew Fuller: The Man Behind the Man Behind Modern Missions — With Travis Myers”
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 theContinue reading “Church Planting in the Middle East Through Business as Mission”
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 themContinue reading “Trauma, Sex Trafficking, and Gospel Ministry in India With Smita Singh”
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 doContinue reading “How Missionaries Should Think About Economics With Matthew Arbo”
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 aContinue reading “What Is a Missionary “Calling”? Caleb Suko Answers”
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’tContinue reading “How Iran’s Underground Church Is Miraculously Growing”
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 heartsContinue reading “What Is Life Really Like in a 99.9% Muslim Country?”
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 theContinue reading “Tom Schreiner: What Is the Role of the Holy Spirit and Miracles in Missions?”
John Taylor: 5 Problems With Money, Nationals, and Helping That Hurts
Announcement: We’re giving away 2x free VIP tickets (a $220 value!) to For the Church in Kansas City, Sept. 24-25! Enter by Sept. 19 to be eligible for the prize. Go to missionspodcast.com/giveaway to enter now. More money, more problems. Wealth, generosity, pay scales, financial practices, and differing standards of living can all be hair-triggerContinue reading “John Taylor: 5 Problems With Money, Nationals, and Helping That Hurts”
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? ConradContinue reading “Conrad Mbewe: Combatting Prosperity Teaching in Africa”
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 anyContinue reading “Does Business as Mission Work?”
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 toContinue reading “Serving Christ in Suffering: Jenn DeKryger on Togo and the Loss of Todd DeKryger”
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,Continue reading “John Morgan: Animism, Syncretism, and Witchcraft in West Africa”
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, befriendedContinue reading “Lucy Peabody: The Groundbreaking Pioneer Missionary You’ve Never Heard of”
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 digContinue reading “Josh Daggett on Personal Evangelism and Prayer”
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 teamContinue reading “Racial Reconciliation and Multiethnic Church Planting in South Africa”
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 experiencesContinue reading “Chris Bruno: Biblical Theology Versus Systematic Theology in Missions”
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 onlyContinue reading “Paul Davis: Why Missionaries Must Be Theologians”
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 outContinue reading “What is God doing in China? Steve Schirmer Answers”
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.
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 leftistContinue reading “Collin Hansen: Social Justice, Racial Reconciliation, and Missions”
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 makingContinue reading “Church Planting: Multiethnic or Homogeneous Units?”
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 withoutContinue reading “Is LGBT the Next Mission Field?”
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 beContinue reading “Jared C. Wilson: Why Missionaries Need the Gospel Too”
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 need? 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.
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 weContinue reading “How Does Hospitality Fuel Mission?”
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.
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.
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 GospelContinue reading “T4G Panel on Theological Training in Missions”
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 hasContinue reading “God’s Sovereignty, Human Responsibility, and Missions”
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 officesContinue reading “Charles Smith on Missions Leadership “For the Church””
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 authorityContinue reading “The Kingdom of God and the Authority of the Great Commission”
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.
How to Understand and Reach Hindus
Of all the world’s religions that are likely to stump Western Christians, Hinduism tops the list. How can Christians make sense of Hinduism’s millions of deities, belief in reincarnation, denial of human suffering, and rigorous caste system? Better yet—how can Christians reach those who hold to such a worldview?
How Should Christians Engage Other Religious Texts?
Should Christians read books the Qur’an—and if so, how? What about other religious texts? To help us answer those questions, we asked is Matthew Bennett, an experienced missionary who served in the Middle East, now instructor of missions and theology at Cedarville University.
Where Did the Gritty Missionaries Go? David Joannes on Missionary Motivations
C.T. Studd is credited with saying, “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” But in today’s world where everyone is encouraged to “live on mission,” this classic missionary grit is increasingly absent. What happened, and what are the internal and external motivators that lead someone to risk everything to serve abroad? To answer that question, we invited missionary, author, and researcher David Joannes.
When Everything Is Missions… (Nothing Is): A Chat With Denny Spitters and Matthew Ellison
Is every Christian a missionary? Is there a difference between “missions,” “missional,” and “mission?” Denny Spitters and President Matthew Ellison, authors of When Everything Is Missions, answer.
Suffering and Sovereignty in the Rohingya Crisis
You’ve probably heard of the plight of the Rohingya people—an unreached, Muslim people group forced out of Myanmar and into Bangladesh. But you probably haven’t heard about the Christian workers on the ground whom God has sovereignly positioned to impact them at such a time as this. It’s a story of redemption that only God can write.