Resource, Article

Q. One of our church members is sensing a call to serve God in mission. What are some next steps we as a mission committee can suggest?

A. That depends a lot on the age, experience and education that the person has. For a high school student a one week mission trip can be a great way to...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Now what?

Your mission trip is coming to an end…you’ve packed your bags to return home and are looking forward to seeing family and friends again. But what will that be like? How will they understand the experiences you’ve encountered? You are now looking at people and the world through...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

Sample outline for a budget for a short term missions trip.

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Brochure or Pamphlet

This brochure provides helpful tips for coming face to face with poverty on mission trips.

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Whether you went on a mission trip this summer or know someone who did, you might want to learn more about “re-entry”—what happens upon returning to a person’s home culture. People experiencing cultural re-entry can be tired, confused or discouraged, and are often critical of their own home...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

As groups prepare for a mission trip, many focus on the logistics, sleeping arrangements and what tools need to be brought to the work site. Many times the spiritual preparation for the experience takes a back seat and spiritual growth either "just happens" or doesn't when the team actually gets...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Service and Learning teams offer numerous possibilities for spiritual growth both individually and as a group. Offering time alone each morning whether 10 or 30 minutes, is a real gift to your team. It allows quiet time to read scripture, pray, reflect on what God is doing in their lives on the...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

CRC Volunteer Orientation – WHY GO?

John and World Renew Staff:

I want to say a special thank-you for last week’s ServiceLink training. It was my first experience with World Renew at the Burlington offices. I found people were warm, friendly, and very hospitable. Thank-you for...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

1. God-Centeredness
An excellent short-term mission seeks first God’s glory and his kingdom, and is expressed through our:

Purpose — Centering on God’s glory and his ends throughout our entire STM processLives — Sound biblical doctrine, persistent prayer, and godliness in all our...
January 12, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

The Gospel, the commands (and the example) of Jesus Christ have compelled the Church toward mission for nearly 2000 years. Although the task is not nearly complete, its dimensions, methods and intermediate goals have changed dramatically in recent years. This article aims to give you a thumbnail...

January 12, 2010 0 0 comments

The Triennial Urbana Missions Convention gathered about 17,000 people, mostly college students, for information and inspiration about missions. The CRC was well represented with more than 50 taking advantage of our travel grant and quite a few others who didn't hear about it. We also had three...

January 7, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Most people like to play with fire. There's something rewarding about burning long sticks until they're short, melting things; roasting things; or just sitting and watching the flames. But if there is insufficient kindling, the fire will not ignite; and if there is too much wind, the flame will...

January 1, 2010 0 0 comments
Resource, Chart

Visual book summary for When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Ourselves, Fikkert & Corbett (2009)

December 22, 2009 1 0 comments
Resource, Website

World Renew, formerly known as CRWRC, is the relief and development arm of the Christian Reformed Church. World Renew reaches out in God's name to people, both in North America and around the world, who are struggling with poverty, hunger, disaster, and injustice to help them find lasting ways to improve their lives.

December 18, 2009 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

Christian Reformed World Missions' task is to lead the CRC in her obedience to the Great Commission.

December 18, 2009 0 0 comments

What is the first image that comes into your mind when you hear the word "Mission?"Do you picture a rescue mission for homeless people in a decaying neighborhood, or a 19th century missionary in a pith helmet and khaki shorts?  Perhaps you think of a mission statement which your church labored to produce and now is struggling to implement (or has forgotten about).

December 16, 2009 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

“We’d like to be more involved in mission work. Do you have a sister church program?”

Many churches are interested in partnerships as a way to strengthen their church’s missions focus. The agencies of the CRCNA are committed to providing high-quality partnership opportunities for...

December 5, 2009 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Read book: When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Ourselves, Fikkert & Corbett (2009, rev. 2012) Download visual book summary

Ready to explore a global partnership? If you are just getting started, you should probably read the introduction first....

December 3, 2009 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Whether you’re a carpenter or cattle rancher, pastor or plumber, bookkeeper or baker, typist or teacher…or just have a passion for missions, there’s a place for you in God’s mission. 

Global missions is the work of the church. God entrusted His people with the privilege and responsibility...

December 3, 2009 0 0 comments
Resource, Article
Getting started as a member of a mission committee or global outreach team.

If you are a first time member of the group in your congregation that is responsible for global mission, you are trying to start such a group, or you are simply looking for ways to revitalize the global outreach of your...

December 3, 2009 0 1 comments
Resource, Article

There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet. If you are a member of your church’s Global Mission Committee, learning more is a large challenge put before you. Here are a few resources to help you learn more about global mission.

Articles Workshops Webinars Links


December 3, 2009 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

Partners Worldwide grew out of World Renew to become a free-standing organization which connects Christian businesspeople in North America with counterparts in the developing world.

November 30, 2009 0 0 comments



Thanks Fronse,

I had a similar experience this past summer in Zambia.  We were in Chipata about 4-5 hours from Lusaka.  We support a Reformed Pastor there.  It was a very necessary trip to establish a deeper connection with the people there.  They were soooo greatful and our relationship was strengthened.  We saw many needs and projects first hand and are now making plans to work together on some of these projects.  We've already established a new Zambian Ed fund to help students go to school and especially college.

In online conversation shouting is done in all uppercase -- SHOUTING.  Sorry, didn't mean to shout ;-)

Thanks Guys, I think we all agree this is our calling. Karl You always make good points and being efficient for Christ is a worthy goal. It's hard for me to type to explain what I feel. and I know you guys are God's servants. I just wanted affimation of the value of layman witnessing for Christ. I am completely funded by myself and I am sick too boot but I try to answer the call when it presents itself. That is the main STM I was refering too. But my kuid's and why have gone to Mexico many times and it was good on both ends.

Cross culture at home is different than when you are out of country and people are more equiped than they think. Trust and faith to attempt home stm's is the biggest requirement, Jesus can take your efforts and make changes in peoples lives. As the Aposteles found out Jesus doesn't measure quanitity but quality of intent of efforts in missions. Unless I misunderstand the story of the women washing Jesus's feet with expensive oil.

My life lessons have taught me not to worry about being judged, rather I remain open to all comments, criticisms and especially the guidance of people teaching life lessons of Faith and Love of Christ. It has been my STM (before I knew the term existed) purpose just to try and make a positive difference with believers here and wherever God places me. I continue to learn what it means to be Re-formed in Christ.

Yeah, it's real hard to be critical of STMs when you hear so many wonderful testimonies.  I'm thankful for all the ways God uses our stumbling and our weaknesses.  And he does!

And yet we wouldn't want to say that is an excuse to be sloppy about our programs.

What's important is to be realistic about how we use resources, and what unintended damage we might be doing, especially when we don't let mercy temper mercy, as Keller puts it in his book Ministries of Mercy.  His point is that it is not merciful to show mercy in ways that perpetuate dependence or harmful behavior.   

Ken, you and I know that God accomplishes his will through all kinds of bad situations, including when we ourselves screw up - he's still there working it out for good.  At the same time, he also expects us to keep on learning how to do it better.  THAT is the secret of good STM programs - are they willing to discipline themselves to keep doing it better, better stewardship, better cross cultural communication, better understanding of the cultural practices and what MY good intentions might mean in THEIR culture....  better orientation, better followup.  If there is not a rigorous process for evaluating and improving, that for me is a signal of a program to stay away from.

I hope nobody here thinks that I am in disagreement with good effectively trained missionaries as being essential to sustained missions. What I am trying to do is prevent the judgment of other forms of missionary work. I have witness God's work in many forms of spreading the gospel. I have also seen turn around's in social conditions as a result of STM in my area. Both methods were blessed by God. I can't speak for God on what he puts on everyone's heart, but I do know that Jesus uses many ways to spread his word .  I think we need to trust the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide us. With His council, anything can be accomplished.



Wrestling with the challenge of cross cultural missions is surely complicated by the reality of the "global village".  We are so easily led to think we can intervene meaningfully in almost anyone's life, just because it's so much easier to do!

I do really wrestle with this, especially after 20+ years with an agency that worked VERY hard to promote STM.  Three factors in high quality STMs are surely the dimensions of the preparation, the accompaniment, and the followup.  Some good data is beginning to be collected that suggests that the most meaningful and lasting changes happen in the lives of those who travel when the preparation is excellent, there is competent coaching accompaniment during the experience, and when returning home the STMissionary gets incorporated into a strong support group where s/he can process and integrate the experience and be helped to be accountable for sustaining the changes.

It's expensive to do it well, and surrounding the experience with every effort to make it sustainable in every way is vital.  Equally important is to pay attention to reducing the unintended negative side effects.   We often are tempted to say that helping the poor is not rocket science!   As a matter of fact it IS rocket science, and dangerous without wise counsel.

Ok you guys win, I thought it shouting. As far lessons are concerned,  Fronse has a wonderful mission experience and continue's to serve the Lord most faithfully. What a great testimony to a effective a mission and life.

Thanks Ken

I'm not sure what 'shouting' means in this context. I shout for joy for the lesson and God's revelation . That is all.

The cultural purpose of sharing my story by a personal example is Old Testament to me.

This doesn't sound like shouting to me.  It sounds like an important lesson was learned and applied well.  Thanks. 

Hi Fronse, That sounds like a humbling experience. I can see this has been a profound experience for you and glory be to God for your mission work. But is no need to shout.

SMS discussion is necessary so people can wrestle with purpose vs intent of interacting globally with other Christian people in lands far from home. There is a  more 'at home' opportunity the previous posts have brought to my mind.

In the mid-1990's my wife and I traveled to Lusaka, Zambia and established relationships with several Reformed Churches in Zambia which we continue in a different way now. The pastors, church leaders and students we met there we are still in touch with now, via Facebook, emails, and personal contacts. During one of my visits in 1999 I stayed at the Kamwala Congregation compound with the pastor's family. I want to share this story now.

I love Fanta orange soda and in lieu of drinking only bottled water each day my 'cool drink' would be Fanta. I bought enough for the family to share and yet for ten days they smiled and said no thanks. This seemed odd to me because they lived a very humble (sustainable) life-style. Their car was twelve years old and we spent two weeks driving to funerals in the searing heat (no air conditioning). Finally their smiling polite 'No thank you's' sank into a lesson for me. I was spending more money buying 'cool drink' each day than they were spending on food for the day. This was a God blessed 'I got it' moment that I carried forward in my approach to STM.

Now we provide guideance, encouragement, and advocacy for students seeking higher education here and in Zambia.

Also my wife and I keep in touch with the families that taught us money is not all they need. Followup with Zambians and other African students and immigrants here (relatives) keeps a trans-ocean link going forward. When and if we travel to Southern Africa we  let folks know that we are praying and thinking of them. They have shared this insight with us: The money spent for us to experience, visit and verify what they are doing weighs heavy on their hearts because without building a sense of family and community our STM leaves a spiritual and connectional void. So we still aid students when we can,

AND that is VERY important.

Steve, You had me worried. The way you explain your view in the last comment, makes a lot  clearer and I think your correct (not that what I think should matter). Thanks Steve for taking the time to explain. God bless you

Steve, I agree with you on that.

I'm with you on this one Ken. 

Lou, I hear your passion but also your angst.  I believe the Holy Spirit can work in people's lives despite us and our imperfect system.  But I picture you saying your comments with a lot of finger wagging.  This is a tough issue the church is working through.

BTW, this pastor from Zambia has come to see us 3 times in the past six years to encourage us, report and has blessed our congregation in many ways by doing so.  And seriously, it would be silly to even think that some of their folks could come here to work with us... unless we paid for it.  You have to work with what you've got.

Not at all.  The idea is to improve them.  That can be done with better orientation and even more so with better debriefing and follow up.  My last post suggests that STM visits are best done as part of long term relationship between a church here and a church or community there.  That kind of partnership, rather than a trip here and a trip there divorced from any long term strategy, is a much better way to go, in my view.

Steve , Do you feel God pushing you to stop STM type ministries?

The idea of a cross-cultural or transnational partnership is gaining some traction as an alternative to one off STM visits.  This can be a real advance it seems to me.  But, there are significant potential pitfalls to be avoided as well.  As Lou said, money that is sent without adequate supervision and structure does very little good.  In fact, it can do a lot of harm.  When we were living in Romania the average monthly income was around $100.  One of my students figured out that one year at Notre Dame would cost more than her father made in a lifetime.  So, what appears to be a small amount of money to Americans and Canadians can really distort the system in many parts of the world.  For LOTS more on global partnerships you can take a look here.  Steve

Thanks Wendy


Hi Ken, It depends greatly on the size of the audience and his existing schedule. Here is his website:

Lou, do you remember the story of the woman washing Christ's feet with expensive oil? Do remember what the apostle's thought about it? I think that is what I am talking about when I read your post. Ken

Well Lou I am not looking for your blessing, What I am observing is the verifiable need for a cultural sensitive training but the argument doesn't have to be at the expense of other ministries. As far as harm is concerned who are you to judge what other people;s experience and calling  from God is valid.

I'm sick Lou, yet I have done street ministries with mixed results I assume because I have faith that Jesus will use what I can offer. Your questioning my validity! Please Lou I don;t know how to explain my point and need your understanding. Ken

There is so very much to say on this topic; that is why Steve hit on something that is getting this much repsonse.  Just a couple of comments and questions: Allen and Ken write:. "...working side by side....two way blessings..."  When will the Zambian pastor be making a visit to your church to help you in the work there?  Correct, its far from only about $$; but read the literature and ask how many short-termers ever keep up the relationships, even corresponding, let alone mutual re-visits?  And NO, don't EVER just "send them the money."  Unless there is a well-structured and supervised organization and plan in place, most money will do very liitle good.  On the "blessing" front, I am so very tired of the cliche of hearing young people say "we thought we were going to help them, but WE were the ones to be blessed."  My understanding of Christian stewardship is that we expect NOTHING - not even that ephimeral blessing - in return. But yes, invest it the most wisely.  In a world where mission dollars are scarce, I can't justify a California reformed group going to Uganda for two weeks to "set up a library, build something, and help start a church" at a cost of $83,000 ($4,300 each person).      If you haven't yet read Fikkert's  When Helping Hurts, go to Chapter 7 "Doing Short-Term Missions without doing Long-Term Harm" and when you can tell me that you are meeting 90% of the critieria that he sets forth, I'll give you my "blessing."! Lou    


Hi Steve, How much does this guy charge if you would like him to come to our church or school?

I agree Allen, I think all missions are two way blessings and should be sought after. Your church sounds like they are committed. God bless you and your church.


My situation is this, we are working at growing a deeper partnering relationship with a Zambian pastor and his church (s) we have been supporting for some time. Two of us recently went there and firmly believe that working side by side even in stms is valuable. They want it and we want it. I can't help think that the discussion should not be all about best use of $$ because we all know it is not cheap to send people to Africa, but rather the significance of building such a relationship for the long-haul. It is valuable for them in connecting people and for us. Sometimes we need to experience a different culture just to see what God is doing and can do. Some people might say, "just send them money", but is that necessarily the best option for every situation?

Hi Lou, Welcome back from the sun. I think we need a clarification what kind of missionaries there are and the role they play in God's kingdom. When I think of home missions, I think of my nieghbor or the checker  at a coffee shop or anybody you come into contact with that presents a oppurtunity to help and witness to. Maybe we should call it personal missions. This is a very effective if you are willing to step out and do it. It requires a willing heart,the Holy Spirit and wisdom. It doesn't require money from the church and the goal is to get them into a body of believers so they can be supported.

Stm"s  Is something different and I can see how the training becomes important to understand the culture.of the place. My main concern is missions should be a broad definition of evangelizing to the lost people every where and especially here at home. Christians have a diminshed reputation because of the actions of a few highly visable movements. We need to change that.

Snowbird travel and transition got me behind on reading this link.  On 11/11 Steve wrote:

"And there is a qualitative difference, it seems to be, between the short term missionary who travels to a place where she doesn't speak the language or understand the culture, and the person who has invested deeply and over decades in understanding the uniqueness of the people with whom she is sharing the Gospel. "

"Qualitative difference" - we can't afford an inferior witness.  And the Holy Spirit notwithstanding, even in God's economy to a large extent "you get what you pay for."  STMs are misspending a lot of our mission resources.

For me - and I belive for the American churches - this is a foundational question that still needs a lot of clarifying debate and resolution.  After reading Fikkert's When Helping Hurts, I pretty much came down again on my original side of the fence I've tried to straddle out of convenience (if you can't fight them, join them), but now I'm 90% in favor of not sending STMs abroad, for both missiological (as per the discussion) and economic reasons. 

Who is carrying on the best discussion of that?   Are we close to resolution?


Hi Steve, When your in Lynden stop by for coffee. 360-961-5835 I'll buy. Lcs is where my daughter goes to high school.

A lot of comments about how do we do this, what should we do, the church must or should......., A very interesting question I read a while ago was, How come you Christians never show up if you are not in control, this may tie in with Kuiper's writing mentioned above about church and state being separated, with which i agree 100%. BUT, we should be in the business of the state, of inner city youth work, of shelters for the homeless etc., we are called to be the salt of the earth, does this saying imply that too much salt is not good?

Pretty cool, but a little fast.

Here's where I'm coming from for the most part.

Are You a Trader?

Okay, I'll weigh in here. I appreciate what has been said thus far. All I can say is that if ALL Christians are called to join God and participate in his mission in the world, then ALL Christians are missionaries of a sort whether in their own corner of the world in their community or as professionally trained missionaries.

I believe that part of the church equipping people for works of service includes how they are missionaries in their work places as well. Too often we make it sound as if the only valuable work of a Christian is how they serve in the church. People are looking to be equipped for ministering in the work place too.

Thanks Steve, I would like to add to your summary of your observation about missionaries. The one's that stay and love due so bacause they see the Spirit work through them and they walk hand in hand with Jesus. They would be the first one to say Glory be to God.

This is just the sort of vigorous conversation that I was hoping would follow my original post.  Some excellent points have been made.  Beginning with a love for those who don't yet know Christ (which is inspired by God's love for us) and engaging with them in an incarnational way is certainly key.  Each Christian has a responsibility to witness where they are and along the way of life.  Fundamentally, the mission is one: locally and globally, within cultures and across them.  And there is lots more cross-cultural work to be done locally than ever before.  I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from engaging in witness where they are while they wait vainly to be fully prepared.  That will never come.  Reliance on the Spirit is vital even as we engage in constant learning of the content of faith and the methods of sharing it. 

I guess the genesis of the original post is a concern that some want to make missions out to be something simple or easy.  Especially when crossing cultures, which is much of mission work now, it isn't.  And there is a qualitative difference, it seems to be, between the short term missionary who travels to a place where she doesn't speak the language or understand the culture, and the person who has invested deeply and over decades in understanding the uniqueness of the people with whom she is sharing the Gospel.

Thanks for a lively exchange.

I think the hard work is learning to trust that God will equip you to represent Him. Then your small part of being obeidient enough to look and listen. Allen, I don't think were that far apart. You need the training, but I believe most crc believers have the knowledge to be effective in leading people to Christ. Humility, knowledge,desire and trust in Holy Spirit will work through and in spite of you to accomplish His purpose. In organized missions I agree with you about specific contextual training is prudent. As far as results are concerned, who I'm I to judge or predict what the future of our efforts I can't take the credit because all missions happen through you. Not by you so how can I judge?

Amen! However, being discipled by Jesus and following him and his incarnational mission strategy requires using all the talents and learning and wisdom God has given us. I find too many who "simply trust in the Holy Spirit" using that as an excuse to not do the hard work. And some of the results I've seen are not very helpful to the mission or kingdom. 

Hi Allen,  What about the Holy Spirit. If you listen he can take over during the encounter and make your words due the job. This happens to me everytime I testify. Of Course the training in the Word was there from the beginning.

Hi Steve,  What I was trying to say, There all all sorts of mission callings for everybody that is looking for the chance to tell the gospel. Humility and love when presenting the gospel are the key ingregients to crossing the culture differences. All these mission type's have one thing in common and that is humble vessel to work through. He provides the wisdom. Training and knowledge are important but not defening attribute required to be God's witness. Thanks

I believe we are all called to be engaged in Christ's mission beginning in our Jerusalems and to the ends of the earth. We are called to this by Jesus in John 20:21. An important little word in this challenge of Jesus is the "as." We are sent "as" Jesus was sent - particularly in Jesusstrategic incarnational way (John 1:14). Only by "dwelling among" and entering into the particularities of the culture, sub-culture, and lives of the people where God locates us (our neighberhoods, places of work, etc.) can we "be" and "proclaim" the gospel. This is not done without prayerful and careful intentionality. A primary task of our local church community is to train, and mobilize us for this incarnational, missionary calling. When we genuinely enter the harvest field, we naturally seek out this incarnational, contextualizing training. Sit down with your unchurched neighbor and share the gospel. You will soon discover the need to find language that best communicates the gospel story in language your neighbor understands. Until we do this, we are not fully proclaiming the gospel. Following the incarnational strategy of Jesus is part of proclaiming the gospel.

So yes Steve, we are all called to be God's missionary people in all the different ways God has gifted us and given us diverse talents. However, we must take the time to do it Jesus way. And you have a right to be concerned that some would take this lightly or assume that it can be done without careful and prayerful preparation.

Thanks, Steve, for this subject.  I believe that all disciples of Jesus Christ are called by Christ ala the Great Commission to "go and make disciples of all nations..."  And as many others have said so eloquently in the past, today the nations have come to us-to our cities, workplaces, and neighborhoods.  My old hometown of Holland, Michigan, while never as homogeneous as one might think, is now a quite diverse and increasingly multi-cultural community. These changes challenge me to update my thinking about what I will experience whenever I go back home.

You rightly remind us that any outreach to our neighbors, next door, in the next office, or in some other local setting means extending friendship and hospitality to persons with quite different religious, social, and ethnic backgrounds and life experiences. And training in cross-cultural communication could be very helpful.  I've found over the years that as we break out of our own little social cells in order to listen to and grow in appreciation for our neighbors, the bonds of friendship and mutual hospitality unite us more than our differences divide us.  Often we have to do this even within our own families.  Who doesn't have an in-law who we'd rather avoid than learn to know and embrace?  Or a next door neighbor.  Or someone in the workplace.

So, where does God's call to the church and all its members to make disciples come in?  Well, as we learn over time what's going on in the lives of others, and as our prayers lift up to God those for whom we have a deepening concern, we will find numerous little ways to express the care and concern of Christ for our newly made friends.  It may take months, sometimes years, but our care for another will one day earn us an invitation from them to share the hope that is within us, and to recommend to them the real Evangel, the Good News of the saving love of God in Jesus Christ.  Sounds simple?  No it's not.  It will require each of us to change our priorities and alter our old habits and ways of seeing others.  It's anything but simple.

But the motivation for each one of us to become 'missionaries of Christ to the neighbors who surround us' is simple.  Our hope and our call from God to engage in mission rests upon the solid biblical foundation of the Gospel as given in John 3:16.

May God bless us each one as we learn to listen and respond to what his Spirit is saying to the churches.

Carl Kammeraad, pastor, on sabbatical in the post-Christian city of Cambridge, England 


I'm sorry Steve I'm brain damaded and I fogot to type the punchline.

"All parts make up the body and serve the body. The feet carry it to far places. the hands deliver empathy and caring, the voice speaks for all but there is one source of wisdom and conviction the Holy Spirit. There is one source that allows the body to live at all like the heart represents, and that is Jesus. I think you fnow who the brain is and everything I talked about in these comnents. You could probably school me on the facts,  I'm a broken person who is trying to help you brother. I have no desire to judge your faith. I 'm not even worthy of  delivering this message and I fail on a constant basis. God bless you

You guys want to hear a great story that happened a moments ago, The Holy Spirit spoke to me through this article. We support kid's abroad and it came to me that money should go to people that adopt orphans and remove them from their hardship. I called a freind who has adopted many kids. I offered our help just as she finnished converastion with her husband on adopting another child. They were praying wisdom and finacial help. I called at that moment of seeking for guidence by them on what to do You do the math!  Glory be to God

Thoughtful article, Steve.  I think you were so guarded, its a little hard to tell what you're actually arguing.....are you saying that the phrase "We are all missionaries and our mission field is right out that door" is accurate, inaccurate, or simply a tool that we can use rightly or wrongly?

Whatever your argument, it is a conversation we need to have because I see it as a key faultline in the CRC right now - who will do the work of mission, professionals or everyone?  Or, rather, who should be doing it?  In many ways, every congregation faces the same challenge with professional staff - does the pastor, youth pastor, church planter, etc. do ministry or does he/she facilitate ministry?  What is the difference between a professional pastor or missionary's calling versus that of every other member?  I tend to think there is no difference, but that we all team up financially to allow one or a few persons to dedicate their time fully to the task of the ministry we all participate in.  Easy to say, REALLY hard to do.

Hi Steve, I'm ken and I read your article with great interest. You are obviously in Christ service. Glory be to God. Some times the hand does't know or understand what the foot is doing or even it's worth. Only the brain and the eye's see the picture all the time.  God bless you

Christian Reformed World Missions and Worldwide Christian Schools US are trying something new in order to respond to people's desire to see individual's lives changed while not creating the ill effects mentioned in this article.  Take a look at this article and see if you think it is an effective response. 

Children are used to attract the donations. People are hesiatent to give to adults.( Sad) Good article. We need to change this so the benefit is contextual to the culture.

Thanks for this comment.  We have offered them all at noon until this fall.  We consistently heard that some people can't take advantage of them then.  So, we are trying evening, but that creates problems for others.  We hope the archive will help all those who can't be on at a specified time. 

Steve, re: your Oct 14 question about participation:

I'm interested in Jul's webinar, but it will be given at night, when I'm usually busy with family stuff.  I'm hoping to find it on the archive, though!

Bill will post the handout on the website today.  Steve