Archive - October 2017

1
How American Football is Winning European Souls
2
Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails
3
When the Nations Come to Us
4
Can Tattoos Lead to Salvation?
5
How Community Development Leads People to Christ [October Prayer Focus]

How American Football is Winning European Souls

football ministry
American football is a new idea in Europe. But it’s opening hearts to other unusual ideas — like the Gospel. Photo courtesy of Jakub Pláteník

On a damp and wintry afternoon in Prague, Czech Republic, TEAM missionary Zach Harrod was running down the street — not for exercise, not to escape danger, but simply to go from one meeting to another. He and his wife, Míša, had just spent time with friends who were part of their support team. And now Zach had to hurry to his next meeting — football practice. The rest of the afternoon, Zach coached, recruited, hauled equipment between locations and led conditioning workouts and practices. Zach and Míša live with this interesting mix of ministry every day — helping plant…

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Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails

missions motivations
When you think about your involvement in missions, are you motivated by the law — by a sense of duty — or by the grace of the Gospel? Photo by TEAM

In our Sending Church Training events, I often lead a session about “embracing spiritual conviction.” Every time I facilitate this session, I knowingly disappoint the attendees. Here’s why. In a room full of church missions leaders, everyone thinks “embracing spiritual conviction” means they’ll learn ways to motivate their congregations toward missions. In that environment, I let everyone down by refusing to talk about behaviors and focusing instead on affections. When it comes to mission motivators, it doesn’t really work to only think about behaviors — what people do — without also thinking about affections — why they do what they…

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When the Nations Come to Us

Muslim ministry in America
After 30 years of ministry in the Middle East, one missionary couple is taking their Muslim ministry to the States. Photo by TEAM

Syrian refugee Ibrahim* instantly tensed when he saw the American couple approaching from across the park. Would they be friendly? What would they think when they realized he couldn’t speak English? “As-Salaam-Alaikum,” said the American man warmly as soon as he was within earshot of Ibrahim. Ibrahim’s fears immediately melted away. This American knew the traditional Arabic greeting: “Peace be unto you!” Astonished and relieved, Ibrahim and his family made their first two American friends, TEAM missionaries Miles and Ava Douglas*, that day in the park. Two Nations, One Ministry When the Douglases moved to America after 30 years in…

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Can Tattoos Lead to Salvation?

henna tattoos
Felicity didn't know how to get through to the women in her host country — until she started giving them henna tattoos. Photo by TEAM

When Felicity* heard the call to full-time missions in the Middle East, she thought she knew what to expect. After all, she’d grown up as a missionary kid in a Middle Eastern nation. She grew up with Muslim friends. She knew the Quran almost as well as she knew the Bible, and she could debate apologetics along with the best of them. But when she arrived in her new country, she realized none of it had prepared her for the ministry ahead of her. “In high school, I would sit down with neighbor kids and we’d play, and … our…

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How Community Development Leads People to Christ [October Prayer Focus]

praying for community development
Whether it's building a home or hosting a VBS, community development is best when fostered by missionaries who are invested in their communities. Join us in praying for community development ministries around the world. Photo by TEAM

The second-greatest command Jesus gave us was to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). What better way to do that than by building the kinds of communities for them that we would want to live in? Whether it’s teaching Ukrainians how to restore their community through recycling or teaching job skills to impoverished Papuans, seeking the welfare of others is a concrete way to show Christ’s love. When others see that God’s people truly care about their families and loved ones, they catch a glimpse of what His loving provision looks like in action. This October, will you pray…

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