Lord of the Harvest: How to be Faithful in Ministry, with Brett Butler – EM185

Lord of the Harvest: How to be Faithful in Ministry, with Brett Butler – EM185

engaging missions

Lord of the Harvest: How to be Faithful in Ministry

Episode 185 - Brett Butler Subscribe

In the Bay area of San Francisco, nearly 93 percent of the population have no relationship with Christ. Such statistics might seem extremely disheartening or overwhelming. But our guest, Brett Butler shares on how God has given him a call to reach this group.

In the next five years, he plans to see 500 churches planted, one for each zip code in the area.

During the show, Brett discusses the importance of abiding or resting in Jesus and how that plays out in his ministry. He also talks about his salvation story and how God gradually brought him to a relationship with Him. This episode is full of conviction, hope, and strength as we hear about God’s movement in the world. Reaching 93% might sound impossible, but God has an amazing way of doing more than we could ever imagine.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:54:08)
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What we talked about

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One Key to an Intimate Relationship with God

One Key to an Intimate Relationship with God

I don't know if this has ever happened to you in your relationship with God. But if you're like me and many of my guests, you can probably point to a time when it did.

Because if you're like me, you want to have a deeply intimate relationship with God. You want to feel His joy in your work and your play. You want to feel His pleasure. But maybe it's just a bit “off” sometimes.

And you might be struggling with that right now. You might be trying to figure it out.

This misconception about your relationship with God can lead to that kind of struggle

Maybe you believed the myth that a deeply intimate relationship with God should be the natural byproduct of doing stuff for God.

It's a common misconception. It's one that I've held. It's one that Jesus even talked about when he had gone to visit Mary and Martha (you can read about it in Luke 10).

If you remember the story, they'd invited Jesus and his disciples over. Martha was busy getting everything ready – serving God. Mary was sitting on the floor just listening to Jesus, focusing on her relationship with God.

Martha got upset and made a bit of a scene and Jesus said “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.f Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I can't suppose to know Martha's motivation. But the way this played out is interesting:

  • Martha was working to serve Jesus
  • Mary was enjoying Jesus

And that brings me to what I think is the point of this whole thing: put Jesus first.

I don't know what that looks like for you.

Maybe it's having a time of worship early in the morning. Perhaps it's time in fellowship with other believers. Maybe it's stopping the stuff you're doing for a season.

Brent and Temple had an answer

I remember when I was talking to Brent and Temple Cundall. They were in the middle of raising funds to go overseas. They felt called into missions and realized they had to learn an entirely new job first – how to raise funds. It was challenging. I asked them what their final piece of advice was – and they had some very good advice coming from their experience.

I think it might even be a good answer for all of us.

Focus more on God in your daily, hourly life. Consider Him. Ask for His presence.

— Brent and Temple Cundall

That reminded me that just doing “God” stuff isn't enough. Doing is important. But it doesn't necessarily mean that we'll experience God's pleasure. In fact, if we're serving God the way we think we should, it will very likely get in the way of our intimacy with God.

And if we continue down that path, it can lead to the feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness that might just suck the joy out of our lives. But even in the middle of all this, God can remind us of the most important thing – just like He did for Martha.

What's next?

  • Are you looking for a place of deeper intimacy in your relationship with God?
  • Have you made space for it?

Take a minute or two to consider where you are and what's going on and then take it to God. Don't just try to figure it out. Listen to His answer and then do it.

focus on your relationship with god

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
Praying for Boldness: How to Share the Gospel Without Fear in Church Planting, with Braden Olsen – EM184

Praying for Boldness: How to Share the Gospel Without Fear in Church Planting, with Braden Olsen – EM184

engaging missions

Praying for Boldness: How to Share the Gospel Without Fear in Church Planting

Episode 184 - Braden Olsen

Our guest today, Braden Olsen, is changing the atmosphere of his college campus in Florida. He, along with other believers, work to spread the Gospel of Jesus and to disciple people in their community. He hopes to see many students across campus come to know Jesus.

With boldness and determination, Braden seeks to share the Gospel to as many people as possible. He has already planted a church on his campus, which they call “Dorm Church.” In the interview, he emphasizes the importance of reading the Bible and being obedient to God in all things. Through this humble submission to God, Braden has seen students receive the salvation God gives.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:36:15)
Want to listen to the Bible on the go? Download for free by trying out Audible.com (and help support the show)!

What we talked about

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How to Recover from Burnout in Business or Ministry

How to Recover from Burnout in Business or Ministry

Do you ever wonder if there's actually a place of peace for your life? A place where you can know that you're being and doing all God's created you for? That you're able to be incredibly effective in what you're doing and also rest in God?

Sometimes I do.

And I think that it's often because I feel like I have to “do” or “accomplish” something to be valuable. Because there are so many competing priorities. That I have to “earn” the right to rest.

If you're like me, that might describe you, too. And it's a common story. It affected Sean Steckbeck. And Paul Yoder talked about it too.

Paul, who founded DonorElf, shared a time when he was really pushing hard and became incredibly tired. He was working full time and also building and promoting DonorElf pretty heavily. And that began to take its toll. He was wondering and praying about what to do and God shared this with him:

When you get burnt out, take a Sabbath.

That might not seem like a remarkable truth. But if you're struggling to keep your feet under you. If you're feeling overwhelmed. If you've believed the lie that your value comes from what you've done rather than God…

Then it can take a moment of revelation to realize that you might just be worshiping an idol. Even if you think you're serving God.

Paul talked about that, too.

In Paul's case, he took a “Sabbath” or a partial sabbatical for a month. He was still working but he cut back his time with DonorElf to only basic support. And God grew his business anyway.

He now serves more missionaries than he ever did before.

And that brings us to the real challenge: will we trust God?

Will we recognize that our value comes from Him and He loves us because of who He is, not what we have accomplished? Will we recognize that God is more interested in faithful obedience than our perceptions of success? That His Kingdom is immeasurably more valuable than our fiefdoms.

Even if that obedience is simply resting and abiding. Maybe those are the sweetest times when we realign ourselves to His priority.

If you're in that place of overwhelm now, consider how God might be leading you to rest in Him. Maybe in quiet times. Maybe by taking a day off. Maybe by taking a season off.

Or if you're all good, consider whether there's someone who needs to hear this.

But in either case, start by asking God. Follow His leading. Obey Him. Love Him.

when you get burnt out take a sabbath

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
How to Be Generous: Supporting Others Sacrificially, with Gret Glyer of DonorSee – EM183

How to Be Generous: Supporting Others Sacrificially, with Gret Glyer of DonorSee – EM183

engaging missions

How to Be Generous: Supporting Others Sacrificially

Episode 183 - Gret Glyer of DonorSee SubscribeDonorSee

This week, Gret Glyer returns to the show to share about DonorSee and how it works. It is an app he created to help the fund-raisers and donors stay connected. By sharing videos and information of where the money is going, missionaries encourage donors to keep supporting their ministry.

Over the last few months, Gret and his team have been able to share their story through different outlets, everywhere from Huffington Post to this show. As more people have started using the app, stories of support and financial opportunity have spread throughout the world.

(Note: There were some technical issues with my audio on a couple of questions but Gret's answers were great, so I didn't want to cut them out just because I didn't sound amazing.)

Listen to the Episode Below (00:31:58)
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What we talked about

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What an Autocorrect Error Taught Me About God’s Kingdom Culture

What an Autocorrect Error Taught Me About God’s Kingdom Culture

Does God ever speak to you in unexpected ways? At unexpected times?

Sometimes He does for me. LIke what happened this morning (as I'm writing this – you'll be reading it later).

This morning I was minding my own business. I had the coffee going, I was reading the Bible on my phone before I hopped in the shower, and the Verse of the Day caught my eye. As I pondered it, I had no idea that God was about to use my phone's autocorrect to show me something.

Sure, God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. Sure, He spoke to Balaam through a donkey. But speaking to me through an autocorrect error. That's new.

It was James 3, verse 16, which reads “Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.” (NCV)

As I pondered it, I wanted to share it on Facebook with a comment because I thought it was important. My comment was ultimately intended to look like this.

But when I typed out the word “culture” in my comment, my phone tried to correct it to “vulture.” And I had to go back to “fix” it.

I don't know why.

But that led me to think of this

Isn't that just like God?

To remind us of his amazing goodness in stark contrast to all of the things that could try to steal His abundant life from us. To mar the image of His creation on the earth!

Why am I sharing this?

Because now that God's shown this to me, I need to pause and consider whether what I think, say, and do brings His abundant life or preys on the injured or dead. Because that's one of the ways that He transforms us into His image, taking us from glory to glory.

And maybe He has another step for you – from where you are now, to where you're closer to Him.

a culture of vultures

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
How to Pass the Baton in Ministry and Spend Time with Jesus, with Zack Woolwine – EM182

How to Pass the Baton in Ministry and Spend Time with Jesus, with Zack Woolwine – EM182

engaging missions

How to Pass the Baton in Ministry and Spend Time with Jesus

Episode 182 - Zack Woolwine

When working in ministry, it is crucial to spend time with Jesus. Without Him, we really can do nothing. Our guest, Zack Woolwine, talks about just how important abiding in Christ is. As a pioneer missionary to the Pacific Island area, he has many stories of how God is moving there.

Zack has a vision to work himself out of a job. As he continues to make disciples in Tonga and surrounding islands, he plans to pass the baton onto the local pastors and leaders. With local leaders taking charge, the Gospel has continued to spread to the outer reaches of the Pacific, leaving almost no place left without the Good News of Jesus.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:35:04)
Want to listen to the Bible on the go? Download for free by trying out Audible.com (and help support the show)!

What we talked about

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Overcoming Memories of Your Past in Missions, Church Planting and the Marketplace

Overcoming Memories of Your Past in Missions, Church Planting and the Marketplace

Overcoming Memories of Your Past in Missions, Church Planting, and the Marketplace

Do you ever feel like you're unworthy to do something God's calling you to do because of something in your past? Or does a memory of who you used to be just take the proverbial wind right out of your sails?

Whether it's an ill-spoken word, an error, or a sin issue, there's an enemy who just LOVES to remind us of who we used to be. Sometimes years ago. Sometimes minutes ago.

This enemy likes to accuse us (Revelation 12, v. 10). Whether we're “senders” or “goers”, there's always an opportunity for this kind of accusation. We hear it in the marketplace. We hear it in foreign and domestic missions.

So the question follows: What should we do?

I've heard some say “When the enemy reminds me of my past, I remind him of his future.” And I guess that's OK. But I don't feel like it addresses the real issue. You see, the issue isn't his future. The issue is whether what Christ did on the cross is sufficient. It's whether or not we are truly new creations. That our futures are in Heaven.

So, I prefer to go back to what Laura Beth Harbin shared when I talked with her.

When Jesus died on the Cross, He said, “It is Finished!

Laura Beth Harbin

And He wasn't kidding. It is finished.

So, if you find yourself feeling like your past is trying to pull you back down, remind yourself that Jesus said that it is finished. He's done the work. You are a new creation.

And you can live like it because His Spirit lives in you.

 

when jesus died on the cross he said it is finished

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.

How Bryan Thompson Got Started in Missions

How Bryan Thompson got started in Missions

Bryan Thompson trains people to reach people who can't (or prefer not to) read with the Gospel. By focusing on personal interactions and telling stories rather than pointing to books, he's able to to share God's love in ways that people understand.

Name: Bryan Thompson
Website: http://story4all.com
Where do you serve? Globally

Who are the primary people you serve?
Currently, there is no focused people group, though I have served several in the past

What do you do to serve those people?
Currently teaching all people with whom I come in contact about oral Bible storytelling/study

When did you start doing this?
Started the training side full-time in 2007

When did you realize you had a heart for missions? How did that develop?
I never had a heart for missions (as indicative of influencing my call!). 2 weeks before being saved I knew that if I was to believe this Gospel that I would need to give the rest of my life to proclaiming it. I was thus called to missions 2 weeks before I was saved! 🙂

What were you doing when God called you this direction?
I was in school (16 years old)

How did God call you? How did you recognize His call?
See 7 above. I had just a clear idea in my head that if following Christ was of worth it would mean I had to give my life to sharing the Message! I do have a specific UPG geographical calling that has not been recognised yet, but I will not be able to talk about that group by name or the country on radio or Internet

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for your ministry?
At 16, yes, it was simple. Give my life to Jesus, go where I could learn more about Him and then go where He was not known

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
I would have started with Bible storytelling in 1977!

Financial / Deputation

How are your financial needs taken care of?
God has promised to provide for me/us out of a “hidden treasury”. He has done for 40 years

How do you stay connected with your partners or supporters?
I have a monthly prayer letter (email only), a weekly brief email prayer/praise update, an almost daily email 1-prayer or praise point update, a WhatsApp prayer group where I write at least once daily. I also have a [Facebook] page that highlights what we are doing as a family and a few other things (but always avoids politics and controversial issues that would alienate some of my prayer supporters and friends – I see [Facebook] as a way to influence people to Jesus and to storytelling the Message. I use other social media to reach other prayer supporters.

How do you find new partners or supporters?
I meet them on my travels usually or people approach me through social media and occasional blogging and audio blogging (via Soundcloud)

Is there a book, tool, resource that has changed the way you stay connected?
Lots! Yikes! Tech books/screencasts on the use of tech, various titles that are missionary bios like George Müller of Bristol, etc.

Ministry / Administrative Tools

Name 2-3 tools that you couldn't live without.
Bible is what I couldn’t live without. If I think of being in prison or having everything lost in a fire, I would be sad but nothing else could be categorised as “I cannot live without”

Is there a book, tool, or resource
Tools are my Mac desktop, an iPad, and iPhone. I use various pieces of software to automate and run regular tasks and my ‘workflow’. A bit too detailed to mention here, but I would be happy to chat about how I manage life.

What do you do to be

Spiritually Healthy
3 times a day: Morning Watch, Noon Watch and Evening Watch. Bible meditation at night is a vital, healthy tool as well

Emotionally Healthy
Keeping short accounts. Don’t let sun go down on wrath. Investing in family as much as possible

Vision Driven
I don’t like “driven”, but the secret to vision is found by following #1 above under this paragraph. Also PTMTO – a series of five words the Lord gave me in the 70s. In everything I must have a life of Praise, Thanksgiving, Meditation (on the Word!), Trust & Obedience
Fully Funded Matthew vi 33. Nothing more. I obey; He supplies. Step out in obedience not when the funding allows you to! You can serve God or Mammon but not both!

Knowing what you know now, would you go again?
Duh! 🙂

  • How could your partners better serve you?
  • Spiritually: Prayer, prayer, prayer
  • Financially: Give sacrificially or hilariously
  • Otherwise: When I am out in the boonies, check to see if I would like stuff from home

What’s your advice for people just getting started?

What are some first or initial steps they could take?
Learn a life of PTMTO. Trust that God can be trusted (even if He kills you!). Don’t neglect the prayer closet and unhurried time in the Word DAILY (at least once)

What missions training did you take or could recommend before going?
The best training is the School of the Holy Spirit – trusting and obeying Him always and being in a place where you can follow that pattern and be encouraged in it. I went out for 4 years (doing a lot of kamikaze type outreach – and got arrested while at it several times) with Operation Mobilisation (OM) in Communist Europe. A friend of mine said if he had been God he would have two entry requirements for Heaven (salvation in Jesus and getting a passport). There is nothing like a good short-term missions trip as far from home as possible and outside your homeland to get you prepared for the long-term. If young, the rougher the better! The rest of my training I have continued as I go.

What do you do for ongoing training and coaching?
I take courses on the Internet, listen to podcasts, study books, attend conferences, webinars, watch screencasts and sign up for whatever I feel will help me in my missions focus and obeying Jesus better

What was/is your mindset?

A good listener (A KEY)?
Essential – listen to God/Holy Spirit. Listen to the Word. Listen to audience before preaching or telling the Message

Legalistic?
Dangerous on the field and destructive, but every missionary needs to be entirely ruthless with themselves in obeying to the detail what God has called them to do. If He says, “Don’t drink coffee!”, and then sends you to a coffee-drinking nation you need to obey Him first and foremost: don’t drink coffee – ever!

Flexible?
More than flexible. You need to die to yourself. If you are used to an individualistic society of “your space” and you go to some relational culture where “your space” is not understood, guess who has to learn to adapt. I learned through a simple choice in 1989 how to rest with people all around me, even though my rest preference was to get alone and have ‘me time’. I can do both since 1989. I’m happy with crowds in my home all the time and I am happy alone on a deserted island for weeks alone. It was a choice in 1989, and just stepping out in belief. In YWAM they used to say that you had to be “fluid” (because flexible was not good enough). Follow the Cloud and that will make you fluid!

Are you a good example of what you are presenting?
I hope so

My thanks to Bryan Thompson for taking the time to do this. To learn more about Bryan, check out his website or listen to his powerfully engaging interview.

Bryan Thompson

Bryan Thompson

Website: story4all.com

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Following the Holy Spirit: How to Be a Strong Church Planter, with Jacob Via – EM181

Following the Holy Spirit: How to Be a Strong Church Planter, with Jacob Via – EM181

engaging missions

Following the Holy Spirit: How to Be a Strong Church Planter

Episode 181 - Jacob Via

Sometimes, discipleship can be messy. Our guest, Jacob Via shares about his experience in sharing the Gospel across cultures. He is currently a missionary and church planter in Haiti. Eventually, he wants to see the Gospel spread to every corner of Haiti, to where there is no place left to spread the Gospel.

Jacob also discusses the process of discipleship, including both its joys and struggles. Although there have been moments of difficulty, God has been faithful to lead in the ministry and bring many to salvation. More people in Haiti have finally heard the story of God’s redemption, and no longer see Jesus as a “good luck charm,” but as their Lord and Savior.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:39:05)
Want to listen to the Bible on the go? Download for free by trying out Audible.com (and help support the show)!

What we talked about

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