Tag - Church Ministries

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Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?
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When Your Sweet Tooth Leads Someone to Jesus
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Does Europe Need Missionaries?
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Church Plants Need Your Prayers [January Prayer Focus]
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An Alcoholic and a Missionary Get on a Plane …
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A Church For People Who Don’t Trust Church
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What Do You Really Think of Us?
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37 Years of Humble Discipleship for Missionaries in France
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5 Things No One Tells You About Church Planting
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Fighting the Prosperity Gospel in Guatemala

Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?

returnee ministry
TEAM missionary Roberta Peabody shares the struggles and the payoffs of working with new Christians in a Japanese returnee ministry. Photo by TEAM

When Kira* accepted Christ, she thought she had everything she needed. Kira and her friend, Azumi*, found Jesus while living in America for their husbands’ jobs. They both joined a large church that was full of energy and strong ministries. But after five years overseas, Kira returned to Japan, and quiet loneliness engulfed her like a fog. No one understood her new beliefs, including her own husband. He wanted her to stay home on Sundays because those were his days off from work. When she found a Christian mom’s group, he discouraged her from going because of the money she…

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When Your Sweet Tooth Leads Someone to Jesus

discipleship in Guatemala
If A.J. hadn't had a craving for apple crisp, Celestino might not know Jesus. Read this inspiring story about salvation and discipleship in Guatemala. Photo by TEAM

Have you ever craved a dessert so strongly you just knew it had to be from the Lord? Probably only if you’re prone to exaggeration. But after you hear Celestino’s story, you might think twice about your next hankering for sugar cookies. You see, Celestino didn’t have time for church. And after a lifetime of alcoholism and meeting Christians who only cared how much he could tithe, Celestino didn’t really have an interest in church either. Maybe that’s why TEAM missionary A.J. got a craving for apple crisp soon after he moved to Guatemala. That fall day, the grocery store…

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Does Europe Need Missionaries?

does europe need missionaries
The majority of Europeans identify with the Christian faith. So why is there a need for missionaries there? Photo by TEAM.

When you think of mission work, what comes to mind probably isn’t someone in France discussing theology with a neighbor over cappuccinos. But the reality is, Europe critically needs more Christian missionaries to make disciples. There are several reasons we leave Europe off the map when we think of spreading the gospel “to the ends of the earth.” The most glaring one being that the gospel has already been spread there. In the New Testament, we read about the gospel’s early adoption in Europe through Paul’s letters to the church in modern-day Greece, Italy and Turkey. Marble statues, massive cathedrals…

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Church Plants Need Your Prayers [January Prayer Focus]

pray for church plants
Missionaries around the world serve to help the church bloom and grow. Here's how you can partner with them through prayer this month. Photo by TEAM

At TEAM, our New Year’s resolution is always to serve you better than the year before. This year, we’ve changed our monthly prayer focus to make it even easier to use. We hope these simple requests will help you pray not only for TEAM missionaries but for every missionary you know! Sign up here to get the new prayer focus sent to your inbox each month. You can unsubscribe at any time. Whether they’re teaching in a school or passing out tracts, every missionary’s goal is to see the local church bloom and grow. The church is where new believers…

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An Alcoholic and a Missionary Get on a Plane …

salvation in spain
When Marti got on a plane to flee his problems, he couldn't have imagined the series of events that would unfold when his seatmate "just happened" to be a missionary. Photo by TEAM

If TEAM missionaries hadn’t seen it themselves, Marti’s* story would almost be too much like a Hallmark movie to believe: A broken marriage. A soul-searching trip to South America. An encounter with a wise, older man. And a fight to rebuild Marti’s life before it’s too late! It’s not just the set-up, though. From beginning to end, the coincidences are absurd, too frequent — and perfect proof of God’s hand. That’s why we had to share it with you. Coincidence 1: Alcoholic Marti Gets a Seat Next to Missionary Steve In 2013, Marti had driven his wife to the edge…

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A Church For People Who Don’t Trust Church

church in guatemala iglesia reforma
A church plant in Guatemala is quickly becoming a refuge for people ready to give up on church. But amidst rapid growth, challenges persist. Photo courtesy of Iglesia Reforma

Tragedy and chaos are familiar to the average Guatemalan. If you fail a class in school, well, that’s not good, but it’s common; hopefully you’ll do better upon repeating it. If you are badly hurt in an accident, well, you can’t count on great care at the public hospital and can’t afford a private one, so hopefully you’ll get better. If  your husband drinks too much or hangs around other women, well, you’ll likely separate, and hopefully you’ll make enough to feed your family, even if that means you only see your kids for an hour each night. Chaos. Disorganization….

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What Do You Really Think of Us?

homeless ministry guatemala
Life for homeless youth in Guatemala is characterized by cyclical poverty, addiction, and little hope for the future. But when a pastor started building relationships with these kids on the streets, he found out that they didn't need more preaching. They needed the gospel. Photo by TEAM

“What do you really think of us, drug-addicts and homeless people?” Angel asked me. I paused. He, like many of the “jovenes de la calle“ (street kids), has been living in the streets since he was a kid. Now, at 22, he’s seen it all, lived it all. He’s used drugs as a regular escape. He’s found ways to survive with barely any income. He’s been pushed out of churches and restaurants because he’s asking people for money, because he’s high or just because he doesn’t look presentable. He’s seen ministries come and go, do their good deed, pass out…

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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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5 Things No One Tells You About Church Planting

Church planting is more than establishing a building with filled seats. Read what three church planters have to say about what it really means to make disciples. Photo by TEAM.

In the days leading up to the 50th Super Bowl, football experts across the U.S. made their predictions known to the media. But Zach Harrod was probably the only one making public predictions in Prague — and hoping it would help him plant a church. Step into the ministry of church planting, and God is bound to surprise you with the directions he takes you. Around the world, missionaries have found themselves befriending acrobatic rock dancers, painting Bible stories in the park, working as baristas, using fish to grow tomatoes and, yes, making TV appearances as one of the few…

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Fighting the Prosperity Gospel in Guatemala

guatemala ministry street
With high poverty and crime rates, the prosperity gospel has taken root in Guatemala. Read about one missionary's heart to show his community the only hope to change this narrative.

Every single day, we wake up to the latest news in Guatemala. “Three people wounded in gun battle.” “Remains of two young girls who were murdered discovered in Zone 6.” “Millions of dollars swindled by president and vice president.” Even though these aren’t actual headlines, these are actual things that have happened. A Narrative of Violence and Brokenness  People are wounded and killed in gunshot battles every single day. Violence is rampant. The former president and vice president are currently in jail for stealing millions of dollars in what should have been taxes to help sustain and develop Guatemala. The stories aren’t just stories…

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