First Casual Friday of 2019

Jan 4, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

Hard to believe, isn’t it? Another new year. We are almost two decades into this century already. Doubtless there will be many surprises in the days ahead—some good, many not so much. But one thing will remain the same: the need that missionaries have for your partnership. Resolve to refine your involvement in the lives of sent-ones with whom you labor for the sake of the Kingdom. Resources like these will help.



Here’s a free assessment tool for determining one’s readiness for deploying. The folks at Go.Serve.Love have quite a few other tools that you may find useful, so check them out.


Larry McCrary, over at Upstream Collective, has just made available a handy PDF checklist for those who are leaving the country soon. Pass this along to those you know who are preparing to go soon.



The folks at WorldAware have just put out their global forecast for 2019 regarding safety and security issues. If you partner with anyone working in a sensitive part of the world, you will probably want a copy of this.



Who do you know on the mission field that could use a little boost in their hope quotient? Missionary C. Anderson has penned a piece that would probably help. Pass this one around.


Living between two countries—two cultures—involves paradox and tension. Stephie’s article will help you understand what that feels like for the vast majority of cross-cultural workers. This will stimulate your prayer life.


While written for a secular audience, this Chicago Tribune article has some things to say that most missionaries should hear.

Start thinking of alone time as a need, just like food and water.

Just because it’s hard to come by doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pursued. Pass this one around.


While we’re on the subject of rest, take a look at this post by Thrive contributor Bonne Lisech. There is a type of rest to be had in the midst of chaos, noise, troubles and woes.

It is the “yes” of the soul to the call of Christ.

This type of rest is something every global worker should strive to enter.


Dr. Scott Rodin, president of The Steward’s Journey, has appeared more than once in these Casual Friday compilations. But this post is probably the most important one of his that I’ve ever read.

A change of perspective that changes everything

Having been on the same journey myself, I can say with absolute confidence that every missionary (actually, every Christian) needs to adopt this perspective. Read it. Ponder it. Spread it abroad.


Tired of New Year’s resolutions? Still want a better year than 2018 was? Jerry Jones offers “a ridiculously effective alternative.” I think he may be on to something. How might you partner with someone on the mission field to employ this concept?


Lisa O’Brien takes a moment to reflect on Mary’s experience in the nativity story. I know, lots of people have written about that. But Lisa admonishes her readers to follow Mary’s example of pondering, of treasuring her experiences in her heart. What application might that have for those you know on the mission field this year?


Know anyone on the field who is looking for counseling over the internet? Godspeed Resources will be accepting clients starting in mid-January. More information is available on their site.



The folks at Support Raising Solutions ask:

Where would you like to see different actions take place in your own Ministry Partner Development?

They have some suggestions, of course, including a podcast to help you dive deeper.



Everyone knows that long flights with a small child can be hard on parents, children, and fellow passengers. Whether you are planning such a trip yourself (to visit your missionary friend, of course) or you know a global worker who must endure such a trip routinely, this step-by-step survival guide from Elizabeth Spencer at Taking Route will be extremely helpful.



Here’s Stephie again, from Things We Didn’t Know. This time she’s talking about identity theft and TCKs. It’s probably not what you think, but it is something you should think about.



The 6th Asia Member Care Network Conference will be held April 29-May 3 in Penang, Malaysia, and registration is now open. The theme this year is Member Care in an Age of Accelerated Change. A great opportunity in a beautiful location. Who could you take with you?


The ReBoot MK re-entry programs for 2019 are now open for registration. These are for Canadians and are hosted in Canada. Know anyone who might be interested?


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.


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).



TJ Addington posted this book review that may entice you to read this volume. Understanding other cultures is not an easy task. Everything we do to help us understand will benefit whatever efforts we have within those cultures.


Amy Medina has dared to venture into territory that many would shy away from. This is a conversation that needs to happen—on both sides of the missions equation (senders and sent-ones). Constructive criticism is a vital part of effective work. Will you be the one to broach the subject at your church? In your missions committee?


Suffering is inherent in missionary work. (In any of our lives, actually.) When suffering becomes chronic, how does one walk with the Lord in a way that honors him? What is God up to in such situations? Scott Shaum has good, personal reasons for exploring these topics. As you minister to missionaries, Scott’s thoughts will be of great value. He has written The Uninvited Companion to offer insights that you will find profoundly helpful, and right now the Kindle version is free. But only through January 5.



Many people—senders and sent-ones alike—engage in reflection this time of year. What went well in 2018? Where did we drop the ball? What could be done better in 2019? What would have been helpful if I had a better understanding at the time? What do I need to learn to be more effective? I encourage you to apply some of those questions to your partnership with missionaries. Happy New Year!


New on my bookshelf:

  • True You: Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created, by Michelle DeRusha
  • Take Care of Yourself: Survive and thrive in Christian ministry, by Pablo Martinez
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, by Peter Senge

What I’m reading this week:

  • Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young

Recently finished reading:

  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Making Space for Millennials: A Blueprint for your Culture, Ministry, Leadership and Facilities, by Barna

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith