March 12

Business as Mission

BAM Logo (revised 2013)

Thursday, March 21

6:30-8:00 pm

Hosted at First Baptist Concord

Missions Center

11704 Kingston Pike

Knoxville, TN 37934

Have you ever wondered why you are where you are?  Is there a way God could use the gifts and

talents He has given you for Kingdom work in the Marketplace?

Our churches have a huge and mostly untapped resource in Christian business people. Business as Missions aims to mobilize these believers to use their gifts and unique business experience to meet the needs of our community, our country and the continents.

Join us for a night of fellowship and learning as people from different churches and denominations gather to hear examples of how God is using business people in our community to build relationships that are having a Kingdom impact.  You will leave with a new sense of purpose and with some practical tools for next steps.

September 24

Building Your Leadership Team

Putting together a team that will work side by side for an extended period of time requires some thought (and prayer!).  Assembling the pieces on the front end creates the synergy needed to build a firm foundation and strong leadership to not only accomplish a goal, but facilitate a movement.

You don’t necessarily need highly educated or successful business people, although they may be great.  God changed the world with twelve ordinary, flawed men.  You are seeking FAT people.  Not overweight, but Faithful, Available and Teachable people.  Those who connect with your vision…God’s vision!

Casting this vision may look a bit like fishermen casting their nets.  They know what they are looking for.  They are intentional with location and timing to reap the best harvest.  So what are you looking for?  Where is God leading you? Your church? Your organization?

A well formed group will include visionaries, nuts & bolts people, and servants.  Inevitably, they will experience both balance and tension.  Let me explain.

April 15

What Missionaries Wish Short-Term Volunteers Knew (continued)

What Missionaries Wish Short-Term Volunteers Knew (continued)

I want to continue our series on “What Missionaries Wish Short-Term Volunteers Knew Before Coming to the Field”. Last month we focused on “Lostness”. Click here if you would like to read the full article.

Spiritual Preparation
As “Sam” and I transitioned from preparing for the level of “Lostness” into “Spiritual Preparation”, the conversation confirmed the need for great leadership this side of the project. The training begins long before the trip and lasts forever afterwards.

I hear many stories of teams that meet their leader and teammates at the airport, as they are checking in for their flight or when they reach their final destination. If it is difficult to gather your team for regular meetings, consider using SKYPE or conference calls to include out of town members. This will help build team and they will feel like they know them when they meet them face to face.

March 12

What Missionaries Wish Short-Term Volunteers Knew…

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15

✴ I recently sat down with a retired missionary, whom we will call “Sam”. He worked with an Unreached People Group in a restricted area of the world. I wanted to know, “What do you wish short-term volunteers knew before they come to the field…?” We talked about many subjects which will be the content for future EquipTips.

Our first subject was ‘Lostness’. Sam most wanted volunteers to know how to connect to and hear from God. This may sound very basic but unfortunately a large number of volunteers don’t know how to be still and listen to Him. “God reveals a model for reaching a people group that isn’t necessarily transferrable to other people groups or areas of the world. It’s not a formula, so you must be able to walk among the people and hear what God is saying in relation to the level of ‘lostness’ you are in.”

Sam encourages volunteers to be prepared for whatever level of ‘lostness’ God takes you to, by being so connected to the Lord that you will not become confused or rattled when things happen on the field.

January 26

Worldviews and the Gospel

When entering into cross-cultural ministry it is helpful, if not imperative, to examine worldview starting with our own and looking to those who we will minister to. By definition worldview is: 1) the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world 2) a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.

Lloyd E. Kwast* illustrates four layers of culture that shape us in his article, “Understanding Culture”. Behavior, what is seen by others, tends to answer the question “what is done?” Values, pre-set decisions that a culture makes between choices commonly faced, answering the question “what is best?” Beliefs, reflect the underlying system of values or “what is true?” All of this leads to the heart of any given culture which is worldview, “what is real?”

What does all of this mean? How does it relate to short-term missions? We can be sure that if another culture looks and feels very different to us that our culture will feel the same to them. It will be helpful to spend some time in your team training to reflect on what your team sees as behavioral, universal, or cultural. A simple example would be: sleeping would be a universal behavior because everyone in every culture does it, however, sleeping in a bed would be a cultural behavior. Being concerned about your child’s illness would be universal but believing that illness was caused by a hex would be cultural.

November 10

Reaching the Unreached

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

The world’s 7 billionth baby was born a few days ago. Seven billion people in the world and nearly 3 billion still live with little or no chance to hear of the good news: living obediently and freely under the lordship and blessing of Christ. Although Jesus could take care of this in an instant, He chose to accomplish this by involving His followers through the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), taking the gospel to all nations, or people groups. Begin to pray for how God will use you to reach the unreached and then step out and do it!

Below are some terms and statistics taken from the Joshua Project website:

What is a people group? "For evangelization purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance" (Source: 1982 Lausanne Committee Chicago meeting.)

What does “unreached” mean? An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.

August 29

Culture Shock

Many things can trigger culture shock: Language barrier, accommodations, transportation, different foods, living conditions of locals, crowds, various sights and not-so-pleasant smells, to name a few. No matter what the trigger is for any specific individual…culture shock is real and can become debilitating if not dealt with.

Culture Shock: A sense of cultural disorientation when exposed to or immersed in a different society.

At first it is exciting to enter the new culture and we think of it as an adventure. However, once we move out of the Honeymoon stage we may begin to experience feelings of anxiety and irritability with all of the newness that leads us to an emotional low or theValley Stage. You may begin to feel stress, anger, physical illness, homesickness or depression.

It is important to have discussed these signs as a team in preparation for your trip. This will allow team members to recognize signs and help each other process situations that may occur. If the signs of culture shock are overlooked it can certainly lead to strained ministry and negative team dynamics. Being aware of the triggers and signs allows your team to minister to each other by praying and giving them to the Lord. You can begin to see the good in the host community and are able to connect with people. By the end of your time there you may even feel a sense of belonging with your new found friends.

Include in your preparation:

June 24

Team Dynamics

Everything about the trip is going great…except the relationship between two team members! What does a team leader do when the battle is within your team? The enemy seems to love to bring strife and difficulties to those who are serving the Lord. If he can bring the mission to a halt from within, even better.

Put people in stressful situations, foreign culture, less than comfortable accommodations and you may see that their nerves get a little frazzled. But God is victorious over all situations! Here are some tips to help those who are weary to rely on the One who brought them there and to bring reconciliation to tethered relationships.

  • Don’t overreact
  • Create a climate of healing
  • Deal directly with the parties involved
  • Encourage parties to talk when they are rested and calm
  • Serve as a mediator. Listen and lay out ground rules where each individual is allowed to state only their own issues. They cannot talk about what others have said or done if they are not present.
  • Encourage each party to ask forgiveness for their part of the problem.
  • Seek restoration
  • Propose a compromise
  • Pray together

Use Matthew 18: 15-17 as your guide. Dealing promptly with conflict will help your team members have a better mission experience as well as grow them spiritually.

By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:35

April 21

Evaluating Short Term Trips

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:1-3a

Part of the planning process should be an evaluation of how your short-term trip fits into the ‘big picture’ of overseas field strategy. Communication with those who live in the culture is imperative. It’s never a good idea to have your own agenda as you plan. Those who have given their lives to live among another culture in order to share the good news of the Gospel will have the best perspective.

Is the ground hard? Maybe you will need a team to prayerwalk and till the soil. Asking the Lord to lead you to persons of peace can be a great advantage for field workers.

Other teams may be asked to sow seeds by distribution or various camps that allow you to broadcast God’s Word far and wide. Some may have a more focused approach such as Bible Storying, or training national believers in the Word in order to see a Church Planting Movement (CPM) occur.

Whatever your role, you can make OR BREAK the work that a worker, or national believer, has poured into for years. Short-term trips get a bad rap from a lot of long term folks and sometimes understandably so. There are a plethora of stories of teams going overseas with their own ideas of what they will do (with no regard for the local culture) and ruining it for future short-termers. The goal is to add to the community not to add to your spiritual resumé.

March 15

How To Take Your First Trip


They’re ready. Your church members feel burdened for the lost and want to respond to the Great Commission by sharing the Gospel in an international context. You want to help lead them in taking short-term mission trips, but are at a loss as to exactly where to begin.

 

 

Upstream Collective is featuring an interview with Equipped To Go on how to get started.