Casual Dog Days of Summer Friday
Ah, the dog days of summer. Hard to believe the season is soon to be over. Soon we will be inundated with pumpkin spice everything. Kids are already back in school in these parts. Trees are already beginning to shift toward chartreuse, and the sun rises later each morning. But the needs of missionaries are not seasonal. They depend on us, year-round, for encouragement and prayer. Equip yourself to do both well with resources like these.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Would the missionaries you know be willing to labor for years without ever seeing any fruit? Stewards are required to be found faithful, not productive. Patty realized that too much of her sense of identity was built upon what she thought she could contribute to the kingdom. She offers some ways in which your global worker friends can tell if they’re in the same boat.
Missionaries—scared? You better believe it. Fear is one of the enemy’s favorite weapons to hinder effort. In this brief video from Catalyst Leader, Christy Wright incites courage in those who have put themselves out there for the sake of the Name. (Note: not all fear falls within the category that Christy addresses.) Who do you know who might be encouraged by listening to this?
One source of burnout is the sense of being irreplaceable on the mission field. Erika Sawatzky challenges the common assumption of indispensability. As Fil Anderson has said, “God loves you too much to ever make anything depend on you.”
Missionaries—struggle with shame? It’s probably true more often than you realize. Lilly has some good words for your friends on the field who might we wrestling with this.
Lilly has another post that offers some good, practical advice on how to relax, even in a season of relentless stress. You’ll want your friends to read this one, too.
“Rest,” says Alia Joy, “cannot be a reward. It must be a requirement.” Wow—I wish I had said that. Alia has a gift with words; you will enjoy her musings. So will the people you love who are serving cross-culturally, where rest is indeed a requirement.
How do I model rest in my life if the only time I find rest is in retreat?
This is something we should all take to heart, and then spread it around.
If you’ve never lived and worked overseas, it may be difficult for you to know what it’s really like. Or the toll it can take. The stress is more than just physical; it’s mental, emotional, and spiritual, too. We all need the kind of insight and admonition that Aneurin Howorth provides in this piece.
Bonnie Gray talks about a key component in self-care in this post.
We need to take time to take care of our emotional needs in ways that uniquely restore and refresh us.
Your friends on the mission field probably need to read this.
ASSESSING & MANAGING RISK
The International Mission Board has posted a great panel discussion on counting the cost—both from the perspective of sending churches and on the field. Very thought-provoking, and I trust very helpful for you.
Is fear always the result of a lack of faith? Dr. Anna Hampton challenges that thinking in this “Missiological Risk Myth #14” post, which is also available as a free PDF. You should add this to your library of resources regarding risk assessment.
Also from Dr. Hampton, here is #8 in her series “Unhelpful Things People Say in Risk.” Read this so you will know what not to say.
Bethany Brummit tackles the topic of “belonging” in her recent post, an issue that dominates the thoughts of most third culture kids.
How do you cope with the feeling like you never belong anywhere?
Share this with the TCKs you know.
How does it feel for a global worker to release her son to a new chapter of life? To send him to college in a country in which he didn’t grow up? MaDonna can help you understand, because that is exactly what she is doing. This will fuel your prayers!
A successful fundraising plan is based upon the “why.” Russell Cooper explains in this post from Support Raising Solutions.
You might be surprised to know fundraising has little to do with money.
He provides some very practical steps toward developing a useful strategy that promises to be productive.
Mike Kim has chosen to use his marketing skills to benefit missionaries who are trying to raise support. He has teamed up with Mary Valloni to offer a free master class that begins on August 13, so hurry to register (or forward this to those you know who should).
Most people tend to think of a time of transition as more of a coping experience than a growing experience. Tim Austin, over at Encompass Life Coaching, offers five reasons people fail to take advantage of the potential built into a time of shifting gears.
Know any women working near Uganda or Cyprus who could use a refreshing break? An Azmera retreat may be just the ticket. You can even volunteer to help. Or perhaps you would like to contribute toward a scholarship for someone who might not be able to attend otherwise. Get all the details here.
There are a couple annual gatherings of care providers that you may want to consider attending. They are great opportunities to build upon your skill set and develop a network of like-minded people for the enhancement of your ministry to missionaries. The CareGivers Forum is one event. It will be held October 21-24 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. The other event is PTM: Pastoral Training in MemberCare, to be held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC October 2-5. If you live in the area and cannot attend the whole event, you may want to consider coming to the pre-conference workshop to be led by Neal Pirolo. His topic will be “developing and building a church-based member care plan.” Hurry; early-bird pricing for PTM ends August 31.
Registration is now open for the Thrive retreat to be held in the Philippines October 29-November 1. Did you know that you could apply to be a volunteer to help facilitate Thrive retreats? You can find more information for attendee and volunteers here.
Ruth is an experienced long-distance traveler. She offers some great tips for preparing to fly, what to do in flight, how to beat jet lag, among other things. You’ll appreciate her helpful advice when you plan your trip to visit your missionary friends. (You are, right?)
Most missionaries are familiar with the “Where There Is No…” series of books pertaining to various aspects of physical health. Here is one that relates specifically to mental/emotional health. Who might you gift with a copy of this?
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
Most missionaries, at least initially, are motivated by visions of successful ministry. Souls brought into the family of God. The expansion of God’s kingdom as territory is ripped from the enemy’s usurping hands. Justice manifested for widows, orphans, victims. Such dreams comprise the “promised land” toward which they persistently trudge. But what it that is not the best version of “promised land”? Ruth Haley Barton elaborates in this piece on leadership lessons from the life of Moses. Ponder it yourself, then send it on to those leaders you know out there at the ends of the earth.
Want to get an advanced perspective on missionary care issues? Are you looking for a place to network with professional care providers? Mental Health and Missions may be for you. Hosted by Barnabas International and held in northeastern Indiana, registration is now open for this November 15-18 event.
Of course you know that the links we post here each week are but a tiny portion of the resources that we have available at Paracletos, including workshops, debriefing, and coaching. Let us know if we can serve you in any way.
New on my bookshelf:
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
- Gen Z: The culture, beliefs, and motivations shaping the next generation, by Barna
- Insurgence, by Frank Viola
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
- Sojourner’s Workbook: A guide to thriving cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
- Christianity at the Crossroads: How the second century shaped the future of the church, by Michael Kruger
- Innovation in Mission: Insights into practical innovations creating kingdom impact, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst
What I’m reading this week:
- Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
- Understanding Gender Dysphoria, by Mark Yarhouse
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
- How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
- Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert
Recently finished reading:
- Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
- Extreme Teams, by Robert Shaw
- Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley
- Stones of Remembrance, by Lois Evans and Jane Rubietta
- Group Glue: The collective power of…group questions, by Jeffrey Cook
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan