Posts in Missions

Underutilized Resources

By Dave Keehn Jun. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Theology

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

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Did the Apostle Thomas Die as a Martyr?

By Sean McDowell Jun. 1, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Evangelism, Missions

In my last post, I evaluated the tradition that the apostle Thomas ministered in India. While the evidence for Thomas in India is not as strong as for Peter and Paul in Rome, it is at least probable that he founded the church in India. But did Thomas die as a martyr?

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Did the Apostle Thomas Minister in India?

By Sean McDowell May. 30, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Evangelism, Missions

In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I examine the evidence the apostles of Jesus died as martyrs. Because the evidence is early and consistent, there is widespread agreement that Peter, Paul, and both James died as martyrs. But scholars are much more divided over the tradition surrounding “doubting” Thomas. Did he really make it to India, as tradition suggests, and die there as a martyr? ...

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How Do We Truly Help Those in Need?

By Karin Stetina May. 5, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Missions

As the Gospels proclaim, the poor will always be with us (Mt. 26:11) and we are called to help those in need (Mt. 25:31-46). The problem is—how do we do that without causing more harm than good? Anyone who has served in charities in a long-term capacity can recognize a common pattern that author Bob Lupton points out in Toxic Charity ...

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Thoughts on Spring Break Missions Trips: Do They Help or Hurt?

By Dave Keehn Apr. 5, 2016 12:30 p.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Missions

Let me begin by saying I am passionate about exposing teenagers to the work of God around the world, as well as to using their talents to help continue that work both where they live as well as other locations both near and far.

However, I am concerned about how most short-term mission trips are planned, administered and experienced in ways that demean and undermine the people and ministries we seek to serve, while impressing upon our teenagers “missions” is something you do (i.e. an event) rather than an attitude or lifestyle. I am concerned because for many years as a youth pastor, I was the problem ...

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Blood Brothers

By Kenneth Berding Feb. 8, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, Evangelism, Missions

More than a generation ago, Don Richardson popularized the idea that Christians who share Christ across cultures might encounter—and even ought to look for—“redemptive analogies” in those cultures. The idea was that God has pre-placed customs or stories into cultures that prepare people to respond to the gospel ...

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The Shepherds of Christmas

By Mick Boersma Dec. 17, 2015 9:00 a.m. Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

It was Christmas 1984. The snow was flying and the roads slippery, but Rolane and I had paid $120 for four seats to take our daughters to the ‘Nutcracker’ in Seattle and nothing was going to stop us from enjoying the show. We crammed into our old VW and made the opening curtain. What great seats they were! Front row, first balcony – the kind of view reserved for royalty! ...

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