The TEAM Blog

Go to the nations. Be the body of Christ. Blog about it.

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Should I Go Maverick or Go With a Missions Agency?
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How to Design a Beautiful Missionary Newsletter in 5 Steps
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10 Steps to Writing a Memorable Missionary Newsletter
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How to Honor Your Parents When You’re Called to Missions
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We Give Because They Can’t Go Without Us
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Finding Out What a Future in Missions Means
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37 Years of Humble Discipleship for Missionaries in France
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Monthly Prayer Journal: July 2016
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9 Intriguing Birthday Traditions From Around the World
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When God Calls You Off the Mission Field

Should I Go Maverick or Go With a Missions Agency?

go with a missions agency
If God has called you to be a missionary, you are probably deciding if you will serve alone or go with a missions agency. Consider these four points before you make your decision. Photo by TEAM

There is nothing more exciting than stepping on a plane and going to a country you’ve never visited to have adventures you’ve never had. If God has put a desire in your heart to pursue cross-cultural missions, to make him known and worshipped in regions where he is unknown, why not not begin your ministry now? Many people would rather go alone and be their own leader than serve with a missions agency. But through my own experience, I have discovered that a missions agency is crucial to success as a missionary. Here’s why: 1.  Missions agencies have the expertise….

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How to Design a Beautiful Missionary Newsletter in 5 Steps

missionary newsletter design
You don't have to be a graphic designer to design a beautiful missionary newsletter. Apply these 5 tips to create an appealing newsletter your supporters will love to read.

In a previous post, we shared our 10 step process to writing a memorable missionary newsletter. Now, your polished copy deserves a design that’s just as clean and appealing. Thankfully, with email services like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, sending a beautiful missionary newsletter is easier than ever. With those resources in hand, here are my favorite tips for creating a delightful email newsletter. How can they read it, if they can’t read it? As a graphic designer, the biggest problem I’ve noticed with poorly designed email newsletters is that they’re just too much work to read. You might have the…

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10 Steps to Writing a Memorable Missionary Newsletter

how to write a missionary newsletter
Staring at a blank screen when you sit down to write your missionary newsletter? Try out these time-tested tips to make updating your supporters a joy.

It was the kind of moment every ministry worker on a support trip looks forward to: The woman shared how excited she always got to see my blue newsletter envelope in the mail. Then she took me to the church sanctuary and told her friend, You’ve got to meet Beth. She’s been to Asia and Africa and all over the place! It was great. Except that I’d been to Asia once, my missions organization didn’t send people to Africa and, as a home staff copywriter, I did all my work from a cubicle near Dallas. Getting people to read your…

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How to Honor Your Parents When You’re Called to Missions

talking to your parents about missions
Following God overseas as a missionary is a decision that affects not only the missionary but also the missionary's parents left behind. It's possible to navigate these difficult conversations while honoring each other and God's calling. Photo by TEAM

I was sitting in a living room with a young man, his parents and another mentoring couple, when I realized the parent-child dynamic is strong and complex, even in adulthood. This young man was feeling called to serve cross-culturally, and there were tears, confusion and confessions. How do you follow God in your calling and honor your parents, even if they are not on board?  As a missions mobilizer, I was curious and anxious as I thought about the strong emotional pull for potential missionaries to be both true to God and respectful and loving to their parents. I set out to…

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We Give Because They Can’t Go Without Us

give to missions
Stewarding what God gives us is not a chore for our checklist, it’s an opportunity to join God in redeeming the world. Photo by TEAM

A few years back, I heard a story by Greg Matte, pastor of First Baptist Church in Houston, that shook me to the core. He explained that his friend was throwing a surprise party for his wife’s 40th birthday. (For the sake of this story, we will say their names are Eric and Mary.) When Mary arrived at the house, she was shocked at all the friends who came out. Toward the end of the night, everyone went around the circle and said one word that described what Mary meant to them. Eric was the last one to say something,…

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Finding Out What a Future in Missions Means

Jennifer-France
When Jennifer Hylton asked God for peace about her future, she got far more than she could have imagined. Photos by TEAM.

When TEAM missionary Jennifer Hylton shares how God called her to France, she gets straight to the point, with no effort to impress: “I felt God speak right to my heart: ‘You have a future in missions.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t even know what that means.’” As a first-generation Christian in her 20s, Hylton didn’t know a single missionary, much less how God would call one. She had been praying for peace about her future, thinking she might go to medical school or relocate, but mission work was nowhere on her list. When she sensed God speaking to…

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37 Years of Humble Discipleship for Missionaries in France

missionaries in France
Steve and Donna Niles have served for 37 years in France, with one constant theme to their work. Photo by TEAM.

This column appears in the summer 2016 issue of Horizons magazine, which you can now download for free here.  Most missionaries can look back at their former lives and see what God used to prepare them for the field. For Steve Niles, it was his father’s cows and life on the farm that prepared him for a life of discipling others and leading by example. “I’m not an intellectual teaching in the Bible school,” Niles said. “I grew up on a farm, and I learned everything hands on. I just like to do that with other people.”    Steve’s first mentees were…

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Monthly Prayer Journal: July 2016

july prayer journal
“In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God’s work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer.” - Dick Eastman | Photo by TEAM

From summer camps to musical festivals, missions workers around the world are preparing for summer ministry. Join us this month in praying for them and the relationships they are forming. Download your free printable prayer guide here. Week 1 ITALY | Pray for health and strength for Carmen Chugg as she, along with some American short-term workers, prepares to lead a week of children’s camp activities in Forli the first week of July. Pray for open hearts to receive the gospel. MEXICO | Ralph and Ellen Shepard write, “We are praising the Lord for a good response from men, for which we had been asking prayer….

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9 Intriguing Birthday Traditions From Around the World

birthday traditions
From whacking a piñata to scarfing a slice of fairy bread, check out these intriguing ways birthdays are celebrated around the world. Photo by TEAM

North Americans have long-standing traditions when it comes to birthdays: People gather, eat good food and cake and receive presents. Paper streamers and balloons and maybe even a banner that says, “Happy Birthday!” make the place look festive. Year after year, these traditions remain. Around the world, though, this scene might look a little different. Here are nine intriguing ways birthdays are celebrated around the world.  Ireland You might want to watch out if you are in Ireland on your birthday. Irish tradition states that the birthday boy is to be lifted by his arms and legs and “bumped” into the…

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When God Calls You Off the Mission Field

missionary calling
When her daughter developed serious health issues, Deb traded her exciting life among nomads in East Asia for doctors' offices in suburbia. But through her deferred dream, Deb learned critical lessons about her true calling in life. Photos courtesy of Deb Wyss

One of my clearest memories from my seven years in East Asia is lying inside a nomad tent, under a blue tarp, while rain gently drummed my entire body. I was alone — alone in the sense that there was no one like me for miles and miles around. Baby yaks stirred within arms reach on one side, and a family of nomads with wild hair snored on the other. How did a girl from the suburbs of Minnesota get here? I thought. It was a feeling of elation, as I had long yearned to live among this unreached people group. But it was also…

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