The TEAM Blog

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

1
My Conversion to Holistic Missions
2
13 Types of Missionary Newsletters We Should Stop Writing
3
New Look, Same Blog
4
Monthly Prayer Journal: July 2014
5
Why All Missionaries Are Environmentalists (or Should Be)
6
The “D” Word in Missions
7
What is Human Trafficking? A No-Hype, Honest Definition
8
Monthly Prayer Journal: June 2014
9
6 Lessons from a New Missionary
10
3 Ways Millennials See Missions Differently

My Conversion to Holistic Missions

In closed-access countries and increasingly in many other parts of the world, the only way to minister in a community is to "do something" that meets felt needs. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

We asked Dave Davis, one of TEAM’s experts on the Muslim world, to share his thoughts on the importance of community development in missions, especially in Muslim contexts. This column appears in the summer 2014 issue of Horizons magazine, which hits mailboxes starting next week.  We talk a lot about holistic outreach and cooperating agencies. But is it just different, or is it better? The answer is yes! That South Asian mountain village will never be the same. They now have an eight-foot-wide road to their village, which should help them rebuild their earthquake-destroyed homes. How do I know? I measured…

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13 Types of Missionary Newsletters We Should Stop Writing

missionary newsletter how to
Make sure your missionary newsletter isn’t getting buried in your supporter's inbox.

This week, missions writer Amy Walters of SEND International shares tips on improving the venerable and ubiquitous missionary newsletter. I read a lot of missionary newsletters — about 100 every month. As part of my job, newsletters are some of my main sources of stories and information. I also serve on my church’s missions committee. So between the two, I’ve seen newsletters from all over the world and from a variety of missions organizations. Some of the newsletters I read are excellent. And some, well, not so much. Missionaries have incredible stories to share — they’re on the front lines…

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New Look, Same Blog

blog-redesign
Photo by Andy Olsen / TEAM

This week, our blog got a little face lift. We love the new look and hope our readers will, too. We put a lot of thought into making the blog more engaging and user-friendly, as well as creating something that would do justice to TEAM’s beautiful photography. But most of all, we want to create a space for thoughtful dialogue. TEAM’s ministries are broad and diverse. On any given day, our hundreds of missionaries are serving in myriad contexts around the globe — urban and rural, churched and unchurched, Eastern and Western, advanced and primitive. This complex ministry mixture makes for…

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Monthly Prayer Journal: July 2014

Photo by Robert Johnson/TEAM

Thank you for joining us in praying for TEAM’s work around the world. Click here to download a .pdf of the July 2014 prayer journal. 1 PAPUA Please pray for the 7th Annual Merauke Youth Camp on June 30th-July 4th. Please pray for preparations, the speakers, and for lots of youth to attend and open their hearts to the gospel. 2 TAIWAN Ron and Julie Heinsman write, “Please pray for the start of the Trailblazer Camps Internship Program. Pray for this group of new interns who are being trained to serve in our summer camp programs and in their own church youth…

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Why All Missionaries Are Environmentalists (or Should Be)

all missionaries are environmentalists
Far from a political posture, caring for the earth was God's first command to man. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

Steve Dresselhaus, a senior director at TEAM, shares about the vision behind TEAM’s creation care initiatives. Whether or not he or she knows it, every missionary is an environmentalist. Perhaps not the tree-hugging, Gaia-worshiping, organic-brown-rice-eating style of environmentalist caricatured by the media, but a practicing one, nonetheless. Obviously, some of us are more specialized and intentional in creation care than others, and we could all do a bit better at it. But each of us is somewhere to be found on the caring-for-the planet continuum. Anyone who has fed a poor person, been involved in healthcare, helped in disaster relief,…

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The “D” Word in Missions

Tool or burden? Does student debt have a place on the mission field?
Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

Almost every missions mobilizer can tell this tale: They found the perfect would-be missionary, highly qualified and ready to ship all their belongings to the other side of the world, with one little problem. The candidate is drowning in debt. Debt is one of the biggest challenges of our time for North American missions and has been called “the greatest enemy other than Satan himself” to sending missionaries. This may be a slight overstatement, but there’s no doubt that personal debt is a huge obstacle for many young people who want to serve overseas (or domestically). Because missionaries tend to…

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What is Human Trafficking? A No-Hype, Honest Definition

Human trafficking is best combated through partnerships between governments, nonprofits and trained professionals. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

No two victims of sex trafficking have the same story. But many stories sound a lot like Sarah’s: a big dream and a wrong turn. A nursing student in Africa with six siblings, Sarah wanted to continue her nurse’s training in Europe. Her stepfather told her about a recruiter who would connect her with work at shops in Europe — exactly where, it’s unclear — to help her pay for her studies. The door for her dream opportunity was swinging wide open, or so she thought. Then she found herself locked in a house with ten other girls, the start…

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Monthly Prayer Journal: June 2014

Photo by Robert Johnson/TEAM

Thank you for joining us in praying for TEAM’s work around the world. Click here to download a .pdf of the June 2014 prayer journal. 1 CENTRAL ASIA Workers write, “We will be having our annual board meetings with our partner agency here in Central Asia. We are appointing a new Executive Director, which means some changes. We also will be talking about a new mission statement in which keeping the words ‘Christian organization’ is up for debate. Pray for wisdom, good meetings and a unified body.” 2 CHAD Scott and Suz Downing write, “The rains seem to have come early….

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6 Lessons from a New Missionary

In their first months as missionaries among garbage dump workers in Guatemala, Justin and Jenny Burkholder dealt with loneliness and Chick-fil-A cravings, among other challenges. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

In a Field Journal this week, a TEAM missionary in Guatemala shares what he’s learned — and been surprised by — during his first months as a missionary. It has been six months since my wife, Jenny, and I boarded a plane in Chicago and moved to Guatemala City. Our lives have changed dramatically since then. In the last year, we both stepped away from full-time jobs, liquidated everything we owned, and said good-bye to the place we called home for the seven years. We left behind the best friends we have ever made. And we did so while Jenny…

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3 Ways Millennials See Missions Differently

milennial christian
Millennials are changing the missions landscape and taking on challenges in ways previous generations have not.

The highways of online media are strewn with attempts to explain millennials, my hard-to-pin-down generation that’s currently somewhere between the ages of 14 and 34 — and even that range is a little squishy. Churches, marketers and, yes, missions agencies, would love to know exactly what makes millennials tick. But most attempts to put us in a box fall short. Millennials — even millennial Christians — are not monolithic. They defy unifying definitions, aside from superficial observations (“Those millennials and their iPhones!”) that often apply as much to other generations as they do to 20-somethings. There is little doubt, however,…

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