Archive - 2017

1
Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails
2
When the Nations Come to Us
3
Can Tattoos Lead to Salvation?
4
How Community Development Leads People to Christ [October Prayer Focus]
5
When School Credit Meets Global Missions
6
What the Psalms Taught Me About Safety in Missions
7
Why Missionary Kids Need Missionaries, Too
8
7 Ways to Pray for Teaching and Education Ministries [September Prayer Focus]
9
Does God Care Where I Go?
10
Building a Kingdom of Diversity

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 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.* Two Nations, One Ministry When the Douglases moved to America after 30 years in the Middle East, it was amazing…

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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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When School Credit Meets Global Missions

missions internship
Internships by TEAM are designed to help students try out their skills and passions in a global environment and to grow not only professionally, but also spiritually. Photo by TEAM

If you’re a student looking for internship credit, you could spend a summer at a corporate office fetching coffee and making copies — or you could spend it on the other side of the world sharing the Gospel while growing in your field of study! Getting to travel and serve overseas is exciting on its own. The fact that you can do that while also fulfilling internship requirements makes it even better. Internships by TEAM was designed for students who want to try out their skills and passions in an international environment. Here are four ways you will benefit from…

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What the Psalms Taught Me About Safety in Missions

safety in missions
Missions work isn't always safe. But TEAM missionary Beth Barthelemy uses the Psalms to remember that no matter what we do in life, there is true safety in God's sovereignty. Photo by TEAM

In the summer of 2008, I spent two months in the Middle East. My time was focused on discipling Christian women by training local teachers in English and leading Bible studies among nurses at a local hospital. My first day there, I accompanied my hosts to a local wedding reception. Upon arrival, we saw a group of men celebrating by shooting guns straight up into the air. My hosts explained that this was a cultural celebratory tradition, regretfully sharing about the unfortunate deaths that occur from falling bullets. I lay in bed that night, listening to gunshots in the distance,…

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Why Missionary Kids Need Missionaries, Too

discipling missionary kids
Even though missionary kids grow up in a Christian atmosphere, it's not uncommon for them to struggle with their faith. See how one TEAM missionary couple is reaching these students in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Laura O'Day

When it comes to reaching the lost, few people think of missionary kids. After all, their parents are the ultimate Christians, right? But according to TEAM missionaries Seth and Laura O’Day, the MK status as super Christian offspring can be exactly what hinders them from becoming devout believers themselves. “They’ve gotten used to burying things … because it looks bad for their family if they’re obviously having a problem with something,” says Seth. And what could look worse than an MK having doubts about God? When MKs struggle with their faith, many would rather pretend than reach out for help….

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7 Ways to Pray for Teaching and Education Ministries [September Prayer Focus]

teaching and education ministries
Education has the power to break poverty cycles and point people to Jesus. And thanks to your support, there are more opportunities for education all around the world. Photo by TEAM

Education is one of the most powerful tools you can offer another person. Not only does it prepare someone to live a more fulfilling life, rise above poverty and avoid exploitation, but also, education empowers people to live up to their highest potential as followers of Christ. This September, will you pray with us for teaching and education ministries around the world? Click here to get a printable version of these requests, and sign up here to get the new prayer focus in your inbox each month. 1. Pray for increased faith in students’ hearts. Hai* enrolled at a TEAM-affiliated…

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Does God Care Where I Go?

missions destination
Many prospective missionaries feel God is leading them to move overseas, but don’t know where. Does that even matter? Consider the following perspective. Photo by TEAM

Many of us prefer to deal with situations in black-and-white terms and steer clear of the gray areas in the Bible. We like rules, even if we fail to stick to them. But there are areas where Scripture is less clear about what to do, like, “What college should I go to?” or “Who should I marry?” For missionaries, the question is often, “Does God care where I go overseas?” Many prospective missionaries feel God is leading them to move their lives across the world, but don’t know where. They may have some thoughts of where they would like to go,…

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Building a Kingdom of Diversity

African-American missionaries
From their 20-plus years of missionary work in Africa to their continued service in the States, David and Marjory Patrick have been trailblazers for promoting diversity in missions. | Photo courtesy of David Patrick

As she listened to African-American missionaries from her home church tell their stories in front of the congregation, 14-year-old Marjory heard a voice — small at first, but distinct. She was completely enthralled with these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the sake of the Gospel. Could she ever be like them? Then, she heard the voice again. Louder this time, and clearer: “You are looking at your future.” Several years later, a visiting pastor offered David Patrick a pamphlet called “Hearing the Call of God.” David flipped through it as the author, David…

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