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”
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”
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”
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?”
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”
Everyone says we should “follow the science.” How should we judge our results in missions?
Missiologists are always talking about contextualizing the church to the surrounding culture. But should we accommodate to a post-Christian culture, or a culture of death like we see in the West today? It’s time for us to rethink the ubiquitous acceptance of the logic of contextualization, says C.R. “Chris” Wiley. This week, Chris returns toContinue reading “Questioning Contextualization? With C.R. Wiley”
Who are the nations, and how should the local church reach them?
In the missions community, we all believe the gospel must be spread. But there is increasing resistance to the idea of “preaching” or “proclaiming” the gospel with authority and simplicity. Why is that? ABWE President Paul Davis joins Scott and Alex this week to explain what is burdening him and what he’s seeing in the heart ofContinue reading “Paul Davis: Why the Gospel Must Be ‘Preached’”
We often talk about the state of theology in the American church, but what about on the mission field? In this episode, Mark Tatlock, president of The Master’s Academy International (TMAI), explains why there is reason for rejoicing but also much concern—and how the root of many heresies overseas can be traced to a gradualContinue reading “The Tragic Fruit of Liberalism in Missions: Mark Tatlock Explains”
Can you identify as “socio-culturally Muslim” while still following Christ—and making disciples? That question lies at the heart of the Insider Movement methodology. In this episode, Matt Bennett joins to offer definitions and explain the dangers of the Insider Movement and provide practical guidance for pastors and missionaries navigating these controversial waters. Dr. Matthew BennettContinue reading “Insider Movements: Definitions and Dangers With Matthew Bennett”
As we leave the Advent season and enter the new year, it’s important to get back to the basics of the Christian life. Should we consider every Christians a “missionary”—and if not, why not? This week we’re diving back into the archives to enjoy our conversation with Pioneers USA VP Denny Spitters and 16:15 President Matthew Ellison, authorsContinue reading “Throwback: Is Every Christian a Missionary? Matthew Ellison and Denny Spitters Answer”
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”
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”
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”
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”
What is the mission of the people of God in the world? Christians often get this basic question wrong. Are the people of God primarily called to social work, church planting, evangelistic campaigns, or all three somehow? This week, Scott Dunford explains why Romans 15 establishes a paradigm for the whole body of Christ toContinue reading “What Is the Mission of God’s People?”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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?”
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.
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”
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 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.
Today in missions there’s a lot of talk about contextualization. The “C scale” developed by John Travis makes a case for so-called insider movements—professing believers in the Islamic world who follow Jesus, yet remain culturally and religiously Muslim. Is that biblical? How can we adapt the gospel to new cultures—and how far is too far?