Two experts respond to these questions on security and longer term engagement we received from a ministry leader in Brazil:
I’d like to hear about good resources with advice about safety and security for groups coming out on short term mission trips. Oh…and another thing I’d like to hear on your podcast — what are some advice on how do we engage these short term mission tourists to become long term donors? They take a lot of our time and most we never hear from again after.
Mark shares with us his insights on Short Term Missions, having trained tens of thousands of volunteers to head overseas and make a difference. Mark served as the chair for short term missions at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Global Mission round table. He now consults and trains for faith-based and secular NGOs. He heads of STMleader.com and Stopover.ca....
First, ask yourself — What is my understanding of my call to impact the world? See if you can write it out in a sentence. Second, ask — What is my hope level of this happening? Rate on a scale of 1-10: One meaning little hope, 10 fullness of confidence. Third, ask — How has your ministry experience affected your belief in yourself, other people and God? Has there been a sliding toward negative attitudes in any of these three categories? Fourth — Consider the difference between faithfulness and impact. Which was your calling to? Often when we are called to a certain ministry, we add our own assumptions about how that ministry is going to change the world. When our assumptions don’t pan out we move easily to despair. ...
Reach out to your donors in a personal way by sending them a Christmas card. This is a simple way to say, "Hey, I'm thinking of you and wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas."
The thesis he advances is that most of the reasons for why people diminish their involvement in church attendance has virtually nothing to do with what churches do or don't do. Most of these things have to do with broad cultural changes within society.
Full transcripts and related resources are available without cost through our private Christian Ministry Academy membership site.
The background music featured on this podcast is by Christian musician Steve Bell and his producer and recording engineer Dave Zeglinski. It's called “O Love“ and is...
Between 40 and 50% of those who identify as Christian attend religious services mainly for religious holidays and rites of passage. They show up every Christmas. They show up every Easter. They baptize their children. They want to get married in a church, but they don't attend any other time of the year. Click the green play button to listen to Dr. Joel Thiessen: Dr. Thiessen identifies three reasons they do show up occasionally in church:
Tradition — Tradition is a powerful anchor that guides our behavior.
Family — Much like sitting around the dinner table, attending a religious service brings back the family memories.
Sacred Space — feeling closer to God in a church.
Full transcripts and related resources are available without cost through our private Christian Ministry Academy membership...
We have some communication and conflict problems on our ministry team. I feel very isolated and don’t know how to deal with this. Please… could you have your podcast give some regular tips for team conflict resolution. And how to deal with a team leader who doesn’t bring out the best in us? Click the green play button to listen to Dr. Ken Thiessen.
Church leadership teams will benefit from the resources on his Anxious Congregations website.
Dr. Ken Thiessen came into ministry after a very successful sales career. He spent 20 years in pastoral ministry before transitioning into a denominational leadership role for 5 years. During his time as a pastor he served small town and city churches....
In sociological terms they are labelled "religious nones".
Click the green play button to listen to Dr. Joel Thiessen:
He highlights five distinctive characteristics of Canadians who claim to have no religious affiliation ("religious nones"):
The background music featured on this podcast is by Christian musician Steve Bell and his producer and recording engineer Dave Zeglinski. It's called “O Love“ and is from their Landscape disc in the Pilgrimage boxed set.
Check him out at http://stevebell.com/.
Steve Bell is a songwriter, storyteller, and troubadour for...
Europe and North America are moving in a progressive and increasingly secular direction. Secularization is a dominant narrative. Click the green play button to listen to Dr. Joel Thiessen: The rise of people who say they have no religion represents one in three teenagers, one in four adults. It's the fastest growing "religious" group in the modern western world. For example in Canada:
...one in two Canadian teenagers never attend religious services today. One in three Canadian teenagers say they have no religion. If you want to know where a religious group is going, you look to your young people. It is very rare that people convert later on in life. It doesn't mean it's impossible and we would all think of anecdotal stories where that's happened. On the whole, you look to your young people. Another trend pertains to Christian identification. Christianity is the lead religion in...