If you want to cause a stir among people in the ministry word, one way is to distinguish between “mission” and “missions” or contrast being “missional” with being a “missionary.” This is more than arguing semantics. Words matter. Words import all kinds of implied theology since words carry assumptions, many of which are subtle and hidden. Perhaps, our wording of things may contradict our stated theology and values; over time, certain ways of speaking undermine sound thinking. Unpacking this would… Read more

Here are some good words for those who seek to live a missional life: Balance is bunk. Here are a few words from the post: “Here’s the hard reality. All of us have multiple priorities. Each of these priorities has multiple and competing demands. Not only that, but most of these demands are mutually exclusive. That is, if you choose to do one thing, you’re also choosing not to do something else. . . .” I would add one thing…. Read more

Here’s a ministry more people should become familiar with. They focus on doing theological education internationally. They’re called Training Leaders International. Here’s their own self introduction: Throughout the world there are millions of pastors who are doing the difficult work of leading the church with little or no sound theological training. Training Leaders International is meeting this need in three ways. We send short-term teams to provide theological education. Our short-term trips partner with a variety of ministries around the… Read more

Shame and guilt are similar but have different orientations. It’s important we clarify our definitions. Read more

Over on Karl Dahfred’s blog, he has posted my review of Garrison’s book Church Planting Movements. Join in the conversion. By the way, Karl has written a book himself, entitled Theology Drives Methodology. I’ve read it and will be posting my review of it next month. Read more

QUESTION FROM A FRIEND: Does the Chinese church have denominations? No, at least in the sense most people in the West would think of denominations. Strictly speaking, you won’t find a network of PCA, Vineyard, Methodist, or Baptist churches. Theologically speaking, local churches will tend towards being more or less baptistic, reformed, charasmatic, etc. Churches are generally divided up into networks (which of course functionally act like denominations). These networks may be linked geographically (a city, province, region), stem from… Read more

This is from Chinese “Christianeze” | Chinese Church Voices.How Some Christians Today Greet One Another“Beloved Brother, Peace in the Lord.”“Thank the Lord for his Grace.” Read more

I’m convinced that 80% or more of our disagreements would be settled if we could first agree on the definitions of our words. If we could agree on the terms we’re using, countless implications would flow from that common starting point. In this post, we’re going to try to somehow define “honor.” We’ll consider “shame” in the next post. I use the word “define” loosely. I really prefer “to generally describe” honor. Westerners love definitions because we can then start… Read more

When people think about the cost of being a missionary, they typically think about being martyred, thrown in prison, or something like that. On the other extreme, many never become missionaries because they can’t imagine “suffering” without iPhones and college sports on the TV. In reality, missionaries leave the field because of what I call “death by a thousand cuts.” The daily stresses of living cross culturally are like numerous small cuts upon the mind an emotions. Some things include… Read more

I could use your suggestions on a matter. We recently met with a couple soon to be married. First, there are a few things one needs to understand about how Chinese view the “getting married” process. Chinese faced extreme pressure to get married by the age of 30. There’s even a word for unmarried women 30 or older––剩女, which means a “left over woman.” Men face similar pestering though it’s a bit less intense. For Chinese believers, the pressure is… Read more

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