Casual Friday Resources

Jul 6, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

By now the summer exodus from mission fields all around the world is in full swing. Many global workers are back in their sending country for a period of home assignment. That means you, as a missionary advocate, are likely to have the opportunity to enjoy their company along the way. You can enrich your interactions with resources like these.



Elizabeth Spencer continues her three-part series on how women can maintain good health on the field with this post on adjusting their diet. I bet you know someone who would appreciate having this sent to them.


The mission field can be a difficult place in which to practice Sabbath, but proper and adequate rest are essential if missionaries are to remain resilient. The concept of savoring can be very effective in maximizing the effects of even short periods of rest. We could all benefit from this practice.


When you come from a culture that values performance above just about everything else (read: Americans) the danger of performance fatigue is a very real thing. Scott Sauls tackles the subject in this post using Martha (of the infamous Mary-Martha duo) as a case study.

Martha’s affliction is not that she is a busy-body. Her affliction is that she has a busy heart.

Turns out she is a poster child for far too many missionaries. Read this for yourself; pass it on to those you care about on the field.


Workaholism is at its worst when it is justified by theological excuses. Ironically, the very people that missionaries are trying to reach can be minimized in the busyness of ministry. And eventually global workers find themselves trying to water others from a dry well. Anna McShane shares about how God delivered her from that disease.


When sent ones do not consistently care for themselves, burnout is often the result. In this podcast from the folks at Upstream Collective, Bradley Bell talks honestly about his multiple experiences with burnout—and ways we as senders can help prevent it.



OK, I’m going to throw this one out there and see how you all respond. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with a scarcity mindset when it comes to our own support. (In case you’re unfamiliar with that term, it basically means that if you get a greater amount of money in support then I will get a lesser amount, because there is only so much to go around.) In this post, Doug Christensen has the audacity to suggest that missionaries should have at least a $10,000 buffer. What do you think? Does he have a case?


Can texting result in more funding? That’s the question Tailored Fundraising Solutions investigates in this brief article. Do you have experience with this? Has texting in this way been beneficial for you?



Assessing and managing risk involves more than hard facts. Sometimes a gut feeling is a crucial factor, as risk expert Dr. Anna Hampton asserts in this piece.

Emotions can be reasonable just as Reason can be emotional.

A disregard for emotions can have devastating results, just as ignoring the data can be.



This is the time of year when many missionaries return from their overseas assignments. Some for a short furlough, some permanently. Rachel Pieh Jones describes so well what it feels like for them. Her article will help you to sympathize and to pray intelligently for those you know who are experiencing the paradoxes of transition.



What does the concept of home mean to a third culture kid? When you interact with one, you need to understand their perspective on this topic. Dr. Rachel Cason’s article will help.


TCK Tanya Crossman also weighs in on the subject of home. Read this to add to your understanding of the topic and to know how to relate to MKs.


Know anyone who will be sending their child to an international school this next term? Ute Limacher-Riebold’s tips will help them prepare their child for a great start.



Coming up in September: Orient, hosted by Train International. “This two-week pre-departure training aims to equip people headed overseas with skills to help them navigate transition, stress, culture shock, and relationships who they can be more prepared and stay effective in whatever surroundings they find themselves.”


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.


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.



An important part of developing resilience and reducing unnecessary attrition is self-awareness. Global workers need to understand themselves and how they are likely to respond to adverse situations. Bradley Bell’s article talks about how you can play a vital part in that process.



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.



Don’t forget to forward these links to missionaries you know who would appreciate them. And please do let me know your thoughts on the fundraising issues. Until next week…


New on my bookshelf:

  • 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:

  • 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
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Just finished reading:

  • Finding Home, by Rachel Pieh Jones
  • New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton
  • Home James, by Emile Steele Jackson
  • Missionaries are Real People, by Ellen Rosenberger
  • Imagination Redeemed: Glorifying God with a neglected part of your mind, by Gene Edward Veith and Matthew Ristuccia
  • Scripture and Cosmology, by Dr. Kyle Greenwood

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns