The Great Value of Relationships in Missions, with Paul Chinchen – EM198

The Great Value of Relationships in Missions, with Paul Chinchen – EM198

engaging missions

The Great Value of Relationships in Missions

Episode 198 - Dr. Paul Chinchen

For many people, short term missions can be seen as something like a trap door. The believer takes their money, time, and resources, drops it through the door to those in need, and leaves. Our guest, Dr. Paul Chinchen, shows us how this is not the case. These trips are instead like a revolving door, where relationships are formed and where everyone gains something.

His ministry, African Bible Colleges, works with students throughout Africa, providing education and the Good News of Jesus. More than anything, Dr. Chinchen values the relationships that come through the ministry, because that is what the Kingdom of God is all about.

Listen to the Episode Below (0:48:20)
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What we talked about


God is Faithful: How to Trust Jesus for Great Things, with Kyle Philippi – EM197

God is Faithful: How to Trust Jesus for Great Things, with Kyle Philippi – EM197

engaging missions

God is Faithful: How to Trust Jesus for Great Things

Episode 197 - Kyle Philippi

Serving in the Kingdom of God can come in many shapes and sizes. Our guest today, Kyle Philippi, works to create documentaries for missionaries across the world. He and his team at Far Flung Tin Can strive to share these missionaries’ stories with others. Through his films, he has been able to see people take action and pour into the missionaries.

As Kyle shares about his experiences, he discusses some of the lessons he has learned over the last seven years. From packing to researching, a lot goes into preparing for a trip, and he gives great pointers on the process. More than anything else, Kyle reminds us that God is faithful, and if He is calling you, He will work it out.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:42:26)
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What we talked about


How to Reframe Failure in Life and Ministry

How to Reframe Failure in Life and Ministry

Have you ever failed at something? Something big?

I know that I have plenty of failures in my life and I suspect that pretty much everybody does.

And the hard thing about failure isn't always the failure itself, it's often the shame or the guilt that can come from knowing that you've let other people (or God) down. It's the hit to our pride when our perceptions of ourselves change because of it.

And if we're not careful, that shame or guilt becomes the gift that keeps on giving because we have an enemy who likes to remind us of all the times that we've failed.

I don't want to minimize the reality of failure

To be sure, there are some who would tell you that failure doesn't matter. That it's just a learning. And to an extent, they're right.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't matter. It just means that if we're able to get back up, learn something, and move on, the failure isn't a total loss.

In terms of learning to do something or pursuing a valuable but difficult goal, that is accurate. If we are rejected as we share God's love, we should certainly learn from it and continue on.

Much like an athlete building stamina or a musician learning an instrument, those “failures” are just a stopping point on the path to improvement and greatness.

But whether our failures are learning opportunities or experiences where we let God and others down, they share a common thing that Jordan Boom shared with us.

Failure highlights our dependence on God.

– Jordan Boom

And when we realize (or remember) that we are fully reliant on God, we are able to do two powerful things that no guru can share from ancient worldly wisdom.

  • Take our failures of any kind to God
  • Accept His complete forgiveness and the strength to go on

To put it bluntly, that's POWERFUL!

There is no mind game or exercise that we can do that will replace or improve on the reality of God's sacrifice on our behalf and the strength of the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a life worthy of God's calling. And we have a high and holy calling.

Whether we are called to apparent greatness or lowest servitude, our calling in Christ is always this – to show God's glory on the earth through everything we think, do, and say. To be transformed into the image of God. To be ambassadors of the Kingdom. To be reconcilers. To make peace. To love and be loved.

And He allows (and empowers) us to do all of that in spite of our history of failure. In spite of our sinful past. In spite of our weakness. Because it's His power in us that allows it to happen.

We need to be reminded of this

Maybe you needed this today. As it turns out, I did – because as I was sharing this with you, I was encouraged in my walk.

Sometimes it's easy to allow the lesser voices to speak more loudly in our lives. But God can still speak to the core of who we are in an instant through a still small voice.

Maybe He spoke to you today. Maybe He will speak to someone else through you today.

But we remember this much: His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12, vs 9), He is faithful to complete the work that He began in us (Philippians 1, vs 6), and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8, vs 38-39).

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The Value and Power of Short-term Missions in the World, with Brian Buckelew – EM196

The Value and Power of Short-term Missions in the World, with Brian Buckelew – EM196

engaging missions

The Value and Power of Short-term Missions in the World

Episode 196 - Brian Buckelew

Today, Brian Buckelew visits us to share about the importance of short term missions. He has been on more than 15 trips and has many stories of God’s miraculous movements in the world. Although he is not a full-time missionary or minister, he clearly has a heart for spreading the Gospel throughout the world.

From India to Ukraine, to many other nations, Brian has worked to tell others about Jesus. During the show, he expresses his deep passion for missions, and he encourages us all to find where the Lord wants us to minister.

Listen to the Episode Below (0:51:10)
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What we talked about


How to be Faithful in Suffering and Blessing in Ministry, with Rex Schnelle – EM195

How to be Faithful in Suffering and Blessing in Ministry, with Rex Schnelle – EM195

engaging missions

How to be Faithful in Suffering and Blessing in Ministry

Episode 195 - Rex Schnelle

Being believers, we are full-time ministers whether we are in the marketplace or are vocational ministers. As you listen Rex Schnelle shares his story, you'll discover how he's ministered to people in the music business, led ministries in the Church, and supported those who are fighting through addictions in his years of faithful service.

Now God seems to be moving Rex from marketplace and lay ministry towards involvement in a Church plant. Discover how he's preparing to be involved in worship evangelism and discipleship – to pour into the lives of Believers and also the community at large.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:44:48)
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What we talked about


How to be Unstoppable in Ministry

How to be Unstoppable in Ministry

Does it seem like fairy tales and pixie dust to think that you can be truly unstoppable in ministry? That there’s never enough money or time to do what needs to be done?

If you’re like me, it certainly can.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained that I “just don’t have enough time to get it all done.” Or that I’d love to do [whatever it is that I want to do] but I just don’t have the money or expertise to do it.

Of course, the thing is – it’s partly true. At least with my limited perspective. And especially with my “do it all yourself” mindset (I’m still working through that one).

But I would submit to you that it is actually <strong>impossible</strong> to fail as long as we walk faithfully with God. And even in the face of apparent failure, Steve Bremner reminded us that we can be unstoppable.

Why it’s impossible to truly fail

As you read that, you might be thinking something like:

  • I’ve seen failure all over the place.
  • I’ve seen missionaries who failed to fulfill the vision for what God gave them to do.
  • I’ve seen churches divide and split.
  • I’ve seen moral failure.
  • I’ve seen nearly every kind of failure.

And I would say that all of those are possibly true. However, at least in my perspective, we always have to dig a little deeper and remember something.

And let’s assume for a moment that you are actually doing what God’s called you to do. If not, even if you succeed, it will not be success in the Kingdom.

What to remember

What that means is that we can’t measure our “success” by looking at whether we think we accomplished the goals we had. We can and should track the effect of our efforts. But we will almost never actually see the full vision fulfilled.

How to be unstoppable

So, you want to be unstoppable. I do, too. And here’s the key that Steve Bremner shared: keep obeying.

If you’re truly doing what God’s told you to do, you’re unstoppable as long as you obey.

— Steve Bremner

Be sure that you’re doing God’s will. And then keep following Him.

  • If God’s called you to give, give.
  • If God’s called you to love, love.
  • If God’s called you to go, go.
  • If God’s called you to parent, parent.
  • If God’s called you to pastor, pastor.
  • If God’s called you to an orphanage, do it well.

Because in the end, God is looking for love and faithful obedience. And in the face of faithful obedience out of love, all the ways we can and do get stopped short of our goals fade to insignificance as we follow His path to His success.

What about you?

Is there anything you're going to keep doing faithfully because success in the Kingdom doesn't look like success in the world? Anything you're going to change or stop doing?

Let's hear about it in the comments!

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What Happens When a Missionary Loses Support? with Keith Smith EM194

What Happens When a Missionary Loses Support? with Keith Smith EM194

engaging missions

What Happens When a Missionary Loses Support?

Episode 194 - Keith Smith

Sometimes missionaries lose support when they are away from home. Maybe there was a change of vision, maybe unmet expectations, or maybe they weren't seen as “strong enough” so their supporters decided to support someone with a better record of success – even when the missionary was simply being faithfully obedient.

Whatever the reason, when that happens, it can leave a missionary feeling lonely and isolated. It can separate them from the resources and break relationships.

But it doesn't have to be like that. We serve a God who honors faithful obedience and upholds the weak and oppressed. And, as Keith Smith shares, we can be part of the problem when we focus on being there to form healthy relationships in the beginning, support them through the tough times, and love them as people and fellow laborers in the Kingdom.

Listen to the Episode Below (01:01:06)
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What we talked about


Four Ways to Make Your Missionary Prayers More Meaningful

Four Ways to Make Your Missionary Prayers More Meaningful

Sometimes I hear that it can be lonely to be a cross-cultural minister serving in a city or country far from home. And, while needs like finances are certainly important, I also hear that prayer partnership is kind of a big deal and REALLY appreciated.

But what do you do if you want to make your prayers a more meaningful connection?

Maybe you’re already praying effective prayers but want to do more to be an encouragement. Maybe you know a missionary who’s just feeling tired and needs to know that somebody cares.

Well, it’s easy to pray a powerful and effective prayer for that missionary and shoot them a note to let them know that you care. But what if there was a way to take it to another level?

Would you like to do that?

Believe it or not, I’ve had a couple guests on the Engaging Missions Show who shared that some of their most meaningful connections happened when someone took the time to make their prayers a little more meaningful. And it’s not even that hard.

And today I’m going to share 5 tools that YOU can use.

But why tools?

Well, because what I hear from missionaries is that it’s the deep and personal connection of hearing or seeing someone pray that often makes those prayers more meaningful. That knowing exactly how someone is presenting their needs to the Father means a lot.

And there are some tools that you can use to take the prayers you’re praying and get them right to the missionary you’re praying for. They might even be tools that you already know how to use.

So let’s start with the most meaningful tools.

Get on a video call using Skype or Zoom

Take a minute to set up some time to chat on Skype or Zoom. If you and they are able to do that, you can connect across the miles in real time. You can (sometimes) see their faces and they can see yours. You can hear their voices. You can actually talk. And you can pray.

What if the time difference is too hard to bridge?

Let’s face it: sometimes we just can’t get our schedules to align. Or maybe you can’t set something up in advance.

Not to worry – there are other tools that will allow you to RECORD your prayer and send it to them.

Send a video message using Skype or YouTube

If you can’t ring them on Skype, do the next best thing and send a video message. Or you can record that same message and upload it to YouTube (just set the video to “unlisted” and send them the link).

If you have a smart phone, you already have all you need to make a video message and send it.

Send an audio message using Skype, SoundCloud, Vocaroo.

Not into video?

No problem. You can record your voice and send a file or link using Skype, SoundCloud, or Vocaroo. Depending on what service you use, you can record from either your computer or your mobile device and send a file or a link.

Don’t like the sound of your voice?

What about simply typing out (or dictating) your prayer and sending that to them?

Even an emailed prayer can be powerful in conveying your heart and showing the reality of your prayers so much more than a note that says “I'm praying for you.”

You can do that, right?

The point is, that there are ways that you can create a meaningful connection at the same time you’re praying for a missionary.

So why not give it a try?

Choose a missionary you love and choose one way to connect with them.

(go ahead, I’ll wait)

And then take that first step: set up some time to connect or just record and go.

You never know what an encouragement your prayer and message might be. It might just be what God wants to use to bring them through a tough time. Or it might be how He wants to encourage you and deepen your heart for His Kingdom.

Either way, it’s a win.

So what are you waiting for?

Take a minute. Get started. And let me know what you did.

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How to Share the Good News of Jesus with Boldness, with Rebecca Jefferson – EM193

How to Share the Good News of Jesus with Boldness, with Rebecca Jefferson – EM193

engaging missions

How to Share the Good News of Jesus with Boldness

Episode 193 - Rebecca Jefferson

Today, Rebecca Jefferson joins us to discuss the importance of domestic missions. She is originally from Maryland and serves in that area to spread the Gospel to others. The organization she works with, Open Air Campaigners, spends time on the streets sharing stories of Jesus.

As she shares about the ministry and her life, her love for Jesus becomes quite evident. To her, being a Christian isn’t about following Jesus to have a nice comfortable life. It’s about following Him because He is the treasure. Ministry is more than an obligation; it’s an act of love for what God has done.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:32:06)
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How Rebecca Jefferson Got Started

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What we talked about


How Rebecca Jefferson got Started as a Missionary

Rebecca Jefferson grew up in Church and was saved in her “tween” years. Then God called her to be a domestic missionary in the Northeastern United States. Here's how she got started.

Name + Contact Info

Where and what people do you primarily serve?
The people of the Baltimore-Washington area.

How do you serve those people?
Sharing the Gospel through visual sketch-board Gospel presentations in public forums and after school clubs and partnering with churches and like-minded believers to reach their communities for Christ.

When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
Probably when I was around 13 or 14 years old.

How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
By twelve years old, I was saved, but struggled with condemnation a lot over my salvation. Because of uncertainty over my salvation and fear, I didn't witness to people. But God convicted me of this and changed my heart. He made me want to do this all the time. I couldn't go anywhere without telling people about Jesus or giving them a Gospel tract. Soon, I realized I could do this for the rest of my life. I was fourteen years old when I told my parents I wanted to be a missionary for the rest of my life.

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
Some of my goals I've laid out at I am open to wherever God may lead me in the future. I can say that in order to share the Gospel in a larger capacity, I need to raise nearly $4800 a month. I work part-time, but would love to use most or all of the time that I work to share the Gospel. I would love to partner with fellow believers to make that happen.

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
There are several things I would do differently.

  1. Rely solely on the grace of God. Sometimes, when a dream is realized, it's easy to define yourself by the achievement of that goal more than what God has said about you in his Word. So when things went wrong, I defined myself by what the outcome of situations might be rather than Christ's own sacrifice for me on the Cross.
  2. Realize God has chosen you to do this. I didn't think I could do anything, so when the opportunity finally opened up to be a missionary-evangelist, let's just say I was in disbelief. But one mistake I made was that I got stuck there. I stayed in disbelief and doubt, and it really hindered me in the first year or so of being a part-time evangelist. I was constantly afraid of making a mistake instead of seeing what a gift God had given me in this opportunity and embracing it. I was also unsure of God's direction despite what he had clearly shown to me.
  3. Own it. This is similar to #2. Before doors began to open for me, I aspired to be an evangelist. After doors opened for me, I felt like an evange-failure. My fears held me back from truly taking advantage of this opportunity. I was frozen because I was too afraid of what others thought about me and what Satan said about me. If I had another chance to do things differently, I would have contacted churches asking them point-blank if I could speak for their groups or in front of their congregation. But I thought I might sound too forceful about it, and I was hesitant to speak in front of a church.
  4. Check yourself out, spiritually and mentally. The Bible says to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith and if God's Spirit is in you. Just because God may open a door for you to do a certain task doesn't mean you have it all together. In fact, in ministry, you will be in need of Christ even more than before. Satan will be sure to attack you. I think I underestimated the amount of spiritual assault that would come upon me and my family within the first year of joining Open Air Campaigners. The hardest times in my life thus far that I can remember have happened after I chose to be an evangelist with the organization. I don't regret my decision, but I wish I had taken more time to fortify myself with God's Word so I could have fought the Enemy back more effectively.

    I also wish I would have checked myself for my now-diagnosed Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. I believe I had it since I was young. It has affected every single area of my life. Because I have a hard time following people in conversation and miss signals to properly understand context, I sometimes misinterpret what people are saying, which has caused confusion, frustration, and anger on my part. This problem showed itself soon after I joined OAC. By the grace of God, my condition is managed through medication, counseling, and prayer. I would encourage anyone, especially anyone considering joining the mission field, to seriously consider their mental health. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your colleagues whom you will affect through your emotions and actions.

How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
I have a few ways of doing this. The Internet has made it so easy to stay connected with people interested in my work. I tend to email churches to ask if they would be interested in my newsletter. I also reach out to Bible studies and kid-friendly groups if they would be interested in a sketch-board Gospel presentation. One thing I love to do is to go witnessing with people whom I have met via social media or otherwise. This is a great way to build relationships and form evangelistic partnerships to reach the lost. Being part of a missions board like Open Air Campaigners has also been key to partner with churches to reach their communities. There are churches and people whom I may have never associated with had it not been for my branch director Tom Fox paving the way for those relationships.

What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
The Bible, but I guess that's cheating 🙂 For books, The Way of the Master is a great model to follow in evangelism. I get many of my tools from Open Air Campaigners' online store (i.e., paints). The mission board itself supports me by helping to process donations I receive. Staff conferences truly reveal the heart of the organization, as well as what is being newly utilized by the ministry. See the below answer for more on this question.

How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
My branch director shows me sketch-board-related techniques and dos and don'ts of outreach and engagement and takes time with me to show me communication skills. He encourages me to reach out to others to gain support for my work and to become an evangelist who represents the Lord and the organization well.

What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?

  1. Know your Bible well. It is a double-edged sword, and is to be used for teaching and instruction in righteousness. This is your #1 tool for evangelism.
  2. Preach the Gospel to yourself daily. This is something my pastor-father always says. You must know and have confidence in the Gospel in order to proclaim it and teach it to others.
  3. Expose yourself to sound Bible teaching. Don't listen to teaching that tickles your ears, but sermons that convicts you and inspires you to reach higher for Christ in your spiritual walk with Him.
  4. Surround yourself with compassionate believers who will tell you the truth. There is wisdom in an abundance of counselors, Proverbs says. It is easy to walk in pride, self-righteousness, and disobedience, and yet not know it. Having accountability is crucial.
  5. Don't forget the unsaved nearest you. The people in your life are your mission field. Reach out to them in word and deed. May your every action echo of Christ.
  6. Pray for the unsaved. You can't save the lost, but you can pray for them. This is how God operates in his universe. He responds to prayer.
  7. Get some great gospel tracts. There are good, as well as bad, gospel tracts out there. Websites like and have very sound gospel tracts for a reasonable price. There are some places where you can order tracts for free; the publishers may just ask you for an optional donation.
  8. Keep your options open. There are people all around the world who have never heard of Jesus, but ultimately, let God lead you. He knows how to use you and direct you to where you need to be.
  9. Immerse yourself in the lives of missionaries. Read missionary biographies, learn about current missionaries, support missionaries, pray for them, volunteer with them, send them letters. If they are coming back to the States on furlough, reach out to help them. One great place to volunteer to help missionaries is Siloam Missionary Homes in North Carolina; they help missionaries coming back from overseas. Also, there are organizations like OAC who love volunteers because it helps us to further the Gospel. Check for OAC branches in your area who you can help volunteer with. I wrote an article on how important it is to help missionaries in
  10. Take evangelism courses and seminars. Open Air Campaigners offers a weeklong Sketchboard Evangelism Training every year which is half evangelism seminar, half missions trip. This will be an unbelievable opportunity to stretch your faith to reach the lost around you. Living Waters offers a course you can take online called the School of Biblical Evangelism. This course contains 101 online lessons about how to reach the lost using the Law and the Gospel.

What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
This has everything to do with humility. If you are not willing to listen or be corrected, there is no sense in going into missions. Something I had to learn and continue to learn is that not every criticism is meant to tear me down. The same God who wounds also heals. Brothers and sisters in Christ are not perfect, but for the majority of the time, criticism is given in and through love. A key to extending love to others is realizing the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. If you fail to realize the love that Christ has for you personally, this makes it much harder to love and forgive others. I would encourage you, before going on the mission field and as you are going, be secure in the love that God has for you.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
I would do it again, but I would do things with hopefully more courage and more security in my identity in Christ.

Rebecca Jefferson

Rebecca Jefferson

Missionary, Open Air Campaigners

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.”

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