Casual December Friday

Dec 7, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

The year is rapidly running out on us.  But your opportunities to care for global workers will never diminish. In fact, this is the perfect time of year to step it up a bit. These resources will help you do that.



Performance fatigue—a common malady among global workers. Many attempts to mitigate it are built around the externalities: better organization, fewer obligations, prioritized agendas… Scott Saul suggests a different approach and starts internally. Know someone who needs to read this?


Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Christian Ministry, the newest book from the Lausanne Library, explores why looking after yourself is so vital to surviving and thriving in Christian ministry. Here is an interview with the author, and here is a link to his book. You may want a copy for yourself, as well as one to give away to your favorite missionary.


This article is about the need that leaders have for intercessors, but missionaries have the same need. Sound advice here, both for you as an intercessor (or potential intercessor) and for those you know on the field who desire to raise up and maintain a team of pray-ers.



Sometimes a bad example is actually a good example—of how not to do something. The folks at Support Raising Solutions have posted this helpful reminder of what an awful newsletter looks like.



Barnabas Zentrum has posted their schedule of debriefing opportunities for 2019, beginning in February. If you know anyone who is returning to the U.S. between now and then, you might want to direct them to this site. Early registration is advised. Maybe you could cover the cost for someone? While you’re visiting their site, check out the other services they offer to cross-cultural workers.


Believe it or not, it’s already time to register for the annual Midwest Conference on Missionary Care. Held in Minneapolis, on February 15-16, this year’s theme will be “Living in the Tension Between Rest and Risk.” This is a great opportunity for networking with other church members who are involved in missionary care.


Far too many missionaries are driven by shame, and many more suffer from its effect on their ministry. Potter’s Inn is sponsoring a one-day seminar by Dr. Curt Thompson, author of The Soul of Shame, January 25, in Colorado Springs. You may be interested in expanding your understanding of this topic and learning ways to deal with it.


The folks at Thrive have opened registration for their July, 2019 women’s retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Who could you host for the exceptional deal? Want to volunteer to help at the retreat? There’s opportunity for that, too (scroll down a bit on the page).


It’s not too early to register for the ABIDE re-entry debriefing coming up in February. In fact, TRAIN International, the host, is offering 2018 prices for this and their ORIENT pre-field program scheduled for April. Who could you bless by paying their way to one of these events?



Good missionary care starts before they are ever sent. That includes the selection of team leaders. Based on his years of assessing potential leaders, Larry McCrary (from the Upstream Collective) has written this 5 page guide that includes 10 key identifiers. Free download.


How long would you say is the average length of time a missionary spends on the field? The answer may surprise you as much as it did Craig Thompson, who wrote this very thought-provoking piece to examine the reasons. The question for you, dear reader, is what can you do to ensure that your missionary friends will beat the average.


Want to know how your church can develop a healthy relationship with your missionaries? Pastor Matthew Philip has a two-part podcast full of great ideas. You can access them both through this link.


Being sent means ‘leaving well.’ And leaving well requires a lot. Listen to Susan McCrary talk about what being sent often means.




Missionaries are not immune to mental health problems, or even to substance abuse. How do you know if the missionary you care about is suffering from these? Mental Health First Aid USA wants everyone to be equipped to recognize and respond to this challenge. (Note: This is in no way meant to be an alternative to professional help. But early detection can go a long way toward preventing the damage that comes from unaddressed issues.)


May your advent season be saturated with the wonder of the incarnation. And may your wonder rub off on all with whom you come in contact.


New on my bookshelf:

  • Vantage Point: A new view of rest, rhythm, and the work of God, by Brenda Jank
  • Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The Lost World of Genesis One, by John Walton
  • Crafting a Rule of Life, by Steve Macchia
  • The Good and Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith
  • All Stressed Up and Everywhere to God! by Gaylyn and Ken Williams
  • The Sacred Echo: Hearing God’s Voice in Every Area of Your Life, by Margaret Feinberg

What I’m reading this week:

  • Comfort Ye My People, by Kay Bruner
  • The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time, by various authors
  • Those Who Wait, by Tanya Marlow
  • Celebrating Abundance, by Walter Brueggemann
  • 25 Days of Advent, by Kenneth Boa
  • Good News of Great Joy, by John Piper
  • The Glory of Christmas, by assorted authors
  • Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel

Recently finished reading:

  • Winston Churchill: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939, by Martin Gilbert
  • Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race, by Benjamin Watson
  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Ya
  • Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith