When should missionaries who disagree about theology work together, and when do they need to separate?
Should doctrinal disagreements on non-salvation issues—like baptism—matter on the mission field? This week, Scott Dunford gets personal as he and Alex Kocman discuss theological triage and the missionary. Enter our giveaway for to see us live at the Radius Missiology Conference in Minneapolis this June! Get more information and enter the drawing here. Subscribe now.
Not every Christian is a missionary, and not everything that parades itself as missional activity is. This sounds controversial—but should it? We ask Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters, who discuss these issues in their latest book, Conversations on When Everything Is Missions, the follow-up to book to When Everything Is Missions. Hear our previous interviewContinue reading “Why Every Christian Isn’t a Missionary: Conversations on When Everything Is Missions with Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters”
Much of “missions” is missing a key ingredient: the gospel. Denny Spitters and Matthew Ellison, authors of When Everything Is Missions, explain in this week’s upcoming interview. Enter our giveaway for to see us live at the Radius Missiology Conference in Minneapolis this June! Get more information and enter the drawing here. Subscribe now.
Evangelism is hard. How can Christians share the gospel with Muslims during Ramadan? Should missionaries in Islamic lands adopt the spiritual practices of their neighbors? Matt Bennett, author and professor, shares his experience from ministering in the Middle East. Dr. Matthew Bennett joined the faculty at Cedarville University in fall 2017 after serving and living in NorthContinue reading “How to Share Christ With Muslims During Ramadan: Matt Bennett Speaks”
Within the Islamic worldview, earning one’s right standing before God—especially during Ramadan—makes sense if God is not a holy God who draws near to dwell among sinners. New episode on Ramadan featuring Matt Bennett premieres Sunday night at 7 p.m. EDT. Subscribe now.
According to CNN in 2015, about 15.1% of the world population is Hindu, including nearly 80% of India. And when we talk about the unreached, in many cases, we’re talking about Hindus. How can Christians share the gospel with Hindus and build lasting relationships leading to discipleship? We explore that topic this week with Velu Kadirvel,Continue reading “From Hinduism to Christ”
Sharing the gospel with Hindus can be daunting. What leads a person out of Hinduism to faith in Christ? Velu Kadirvel shares his story in this week’s episode on evangelism. Subscribe now.
How can parents say goodbye to their children who pursue missions? How can grandparents part with their grandchildren in the name of ministry? And what happens when parents are aren’t believers or don’t support their kids’ involvement in cross-cultural ministry? This week, we have a sit-down, heart-to-heart chat with the Dunford family about what itContinue reading “Parents, Goodbyes, and the Cost of Missions for Families”
Missionary life is costly for the whole family. What is it like for parents who say goodbye to their children? In the next episode, Bruce and Debbie Dunford share their experience sending their kids and grandkids to the mission field. Subscribe now.
Spiritual activity in Africa—whether one calls it African traditional religion, spiritism, tribal religion, or animism—is real. Christians are called not only to gospel witness but also to spiritual warfare. This week, Dr. Tom Kendall, medical missionary and chief of surgery at Hôpital Baptiste Biblique (HBB) in Tsiko, Togo, explains how missions-minded believers can fight onContinue reading “Prayer as Warfare: A Front-Lines Perspective With Dr. Tom Kendall”
In the West, we’re all naturalists. Not so in West Africa. In this episode, Dr. Tom Kendall, medical missionary to Togo, offers some insights into the spiritual makeup of the Togolese and why prayer is so important for the gospel worker. Subscribe now.
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”
What is “reverse missions”? Is it the Western world that actually needs missionaries sent from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere? This Sunday night at 7 p.m., Scott and Alex discuss what conservative evangelicals in the US have to learn from believers in the Majority World. Subscribe now.
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”
With all the controversy surrounding justice, have we forgotten our call to mercy ministry? Dr. George Grant explains how the gospel addresses the physical and spiritual dimensions of life. Catch the full episode as soon as it premieres. Subscribe now.
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”
Does the current missiological conversation around honor and shame undermine the penal substitution view of the atonement? Dr. Chris Flanders of Abilene Christian University, author of Honor, Shame, and the Gospel, shares his perspective in this week’s upcoming episode. It’s a don’t-miss. Subscribe now.
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”
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.
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”
Fact: 85% of the world’s pastoral workforce has no formal theological training. But there’s a cost to doing theological education the wrong way. Rob Hayden of Horizon Education Network explains. Subscribe now.
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”
We’ve all felt the missionary guilt trip before. Is it biblical, or manipulative? ABWE President Paul Davis joins us to dialogue. Subscribe now.
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”
What is taking place in Myanmar (Burma) with the recent military junta, and how is it affecting Christian believers, churches, and missionaries? John from Live Global returns to the show to explain. Subscribe now.
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”
What is preventing women from using their gifts in a biblical way in missions? Plus, what make a healthy short-term trip for students? Lisa LaGeorge shares in this week’s upcoming episode. Subscribe now.
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”
Coming in the next episode: Why is syncretism unacceptable in missions? Scott and Alex explore this Sunday at 7 pm. Subscribe now.
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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’?”
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”
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”
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”
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?”
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”
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”
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?”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”