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Missions 101

Posts Tagged: Missions

Tears of the Saints: 3% of Missionaries Work Among the Unreached

Oct. 6, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio


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How to Partner with a Poor Church Without Screwing Everything Up

Sep. 24, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

From A Life Overseas:

Partnering directly with poor churches is a promising way to do mission for affluent churches. Skip the middleman and Go Directis the mantra of this internet age.

I personally like the idea of this approach because of the possibility it holds for real, long-term, mutual relationships to emerge between rich and poor. But if you’ve been involved in one of these “Church-to-Church Partnerships,” you’ll know that they are FRAUGHT with difficulty. Fraught.

Read the rest here to get some advise on how not to screw everything up.


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Teaching, Preaching and Information Dumping

Sep. 21, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio


Jesus once said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up inhis heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."  The heart is a wellspring of life.  What infects the heart, influences the rest of the person.

There is a way of teaching that is actually teaching and there is a way of teaching that is nothing more than information dumping.  Similarly, there is a way I should talk to my wife that actually engages her and there is way where I only state facts and stay disconnected.  I've done both in case you are wondering.  In the first option I have a dynamic understanding of what is being discussed, while in the second I am reading I teleprompter or transcript and will forget it when I am done reading.

I am afraid that many teachers and preachers are not teaching or preaching at all.  They are just dumping information on people.  I have seen it happen in the business world when someone gives a presentation that someone else was meant to do.  I have seen it in parenting when after you read the latest parenting technique you follow the script without a broader understanding.  And I have certainly seen it in the church!  If you find yourself in the role of teacher for the Church, here are some caution flags.  

  1. You are not teaching if you are second-handing your teaching material.  If you regurgitate sermons, commentaries and lecture notes and don’t teach from your own material. it's not teaching.
  2. You are not teaching if you are content to teach the same things from the same notes over and over again.  Of course you often teach the same things, but if you never adjust, make changes or add new insights you are not teaching.
  3. If you are preacher and your sermon prep started and ended on saturday you are probably not preaching.  You are not allowing anytime for the text to marinate in you heart.  You read a few commentaries, take what they say, get an illustration from a book or internet article and the sermon is completed.  You haven’t preached it to yourself or applied it all week.  You are just passing information from a book to a person.  You may get angry people don’t remember what you preached on, but in all honestly, you won’t either.
  4. You are not teaching if as a professor at a school, you teach from the same lecture notes you did 10 years ago.  There is no update, no interaction with new (helpful or not) scholarship.  You don’t think about how your students have changed or how they are receiving what you are teaching.  You are just dumping information.
  5. You are not teaching if you don’t adjust your teaching style according to culture.  We see this in TLI A LOT, and is something I have had to learn (the hard way if I am honest).  Again, you don’t have a dynamic relationship with those you teach.  

What causes information dumping?  Laziness.  As a pastor or teacher or both, you have been tasked to study and feed the people of God.  You have not been tasked to feast for a few years in school and then fast for the rest of your ministry.  Feed yourself.  Feed the sheep. Jesus said that somewhere too.

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A Pastor Just Prophesied That My Wife is Delilah

Sep. 17, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

What would you do if a pastor walked up to your wife and said, "God spoke to me today. He wants me to tell you that you are a deceiver and liar. You have the spirit of Delilah. When you make love to your husband you are thinking of someone else."

This is what happened on a recent trip. 

Luckily another team member pulled this pastor aside before the husband could do anything. As they sat down the pastor strode in confident that God has spoken and revealed this to him. One of our staff began the meeting with, "That is nice that you say God spoke to you, but can you confirm what you said in Scripture?" The pastor could not and a back and forth insued for an hour and a half. 

The pastor had been taught that whatever came into his heart and mind was from God and that he should speak it to others (he was just being obedient!). He had never been taught to weigh what he said through the lens of Scripture. Ironically, we were teaching Hermeneutics to a group of pastors that he was a part of.

Thankfully, after meeting, the pastor came to the husband and wife and apologized. They both forgave him and he was joyfully admitted back into our class. 

This is God at work through the ministry of TLI.

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Why the Missional Church Isn't Enough

Sep. 9, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

About-us-Missional-church-1024x768Jonathan Dodson in his article, Why the Missional Church Isn't Enough writes:

The missional church in the United States is not missional enough. The local focus of mission is shortsighted. If we only make disciples who make disciples in our cities, thousands of unengaged, un-discipled peoples of the earth will not hear the gospel. 


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