How Podcasting has Changed Me

I recently had the opportunity to share some of my story with Alexander Laurin on his podcast – The Podcaster's Life.

Here's a little of what he wrote up about it.

Bryan Entzminger serves people who desperately want to see the Kingdom of God active on earth as it is in heaven. By sharing stories and resources from missionaries, ministry leaders, and church planters he highlights what God is doing on the Earth, encourage the body of Christ at large, and provide valuable resources.

It's great to get to talk with more people about what's going on and my hope is that it was valuable for his audience and helped him connect with people.

I'd love it if you could take a minute to check it out and share it as well.

How Scott Stripling Got Started as a Biblical Archaeologist and Educator

How Scott Stripling Got Started as a Biblical Archaeologist and Educator

Name + Contact Info

Where and what people do you primarily serve?
I serve simultaneously as the Provost and Professor of Biblical Archaeology and Church History at The Bible Seminary in Katy (Houston), Texas and as the Director of Excavations for the Associates for Biblical Research in Israel. My roles primarily reach into the Evangelical faith community.

How do you serve those people?
I empower Christian scholars and students to succeed in ministry by offering a rigorous curriculum which includes first-hand scholarship at the Shiloh, Israel Excavation.

When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
At age 16 I embraced a strong desire to communicate the gospel cross-culturally.

How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
God delivered me from several life-controlling addictions. He put a desire in me to help others find the same freedom that I had found.

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
In the early years my goals were clear – to win the lost for Christ. Only much later did I develop the discipline of articulating measurable goals.

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
I would have attempted to be more self-aware and less arrogant about my doctrinal beliefs. Along with this, I would have sought mentoring from older believers.

How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
I stay connected in three principal ways: 1.) personal website and organizational websites, 2.) Facebook, and 3.) E-mail distribution list. I speak regularly at churches and conferences where I am always meeting new people. Media interviews help too.

What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
In the last two years, I have released two new books: Somebody Call 9:11 and The Trowel and the Truth (Second Edition). I highly recommend the NIV Study Bible and How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Fee and Stuart.

How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
I read professional journals and attend professional conferences. I welcome people in my “inner-circle” to speak into my life.

What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?
Get connected to a mentor, read your Bible, pray, serve, and study. I like to see people study broadly (literature, philosophy, history) and narrowly in the Bible.

What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
Leaders can influence 100 times more than they can control. Great leaders know when to influence and when to control.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
Absolutely! I do have some specific regrets regarding things that I have said and done, but I have no regrets in the path that I chose.

Scott Stripling

Scott Stripling

Biblical Archaeologist, Educator

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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How Stephen Hamilton Got Started as an Outreach Pastor

Stephen Hamilton is the outreach pastor at Bow Down Church in Florida. He leads various ministries within the community and also hosts groups who are partnering in the local community. Yet, even with all he has going on, he is also pursuing a graduate degree to continue growing.

Name + Contact Info

Where and what people do you primarily serve?
I serve in the inner city of West Palm Beach Fl. as an outreach pastor.

How do you serve those people?
I serve through a wide range of different ministries in the community I live in. We hold recreational outreaches, homeless feedings, bible studies, prayer walks, and other quarterly outreaches.

When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
I began desiring to want to enter youth ministry in high school.

How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
After graduation from Liberty University God brought me here through a friend that had already graduated and started ministering in West Palm. He has given me extra favor here and has really opened the way for the ministry here to take root relationally.

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
Yes but they have changed throughout the years.

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
I would have definitely become more educated. I also would have emphasized prayer more.

How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
I'm not really great at this one. lol I still need work on this one. However, a monthly newsletter goes out or it is suppose to. 🙂

What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
I use anything I can get my hands on that comes from an experienced, educated and fruitful life.

How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
The staff I'm apart of prioritizes it and I'm pursuing a graduate degree at the moment as well.

What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?
Make sure you are being discipled by a mature believer that is miles ahead of you in your spiritual walk.

What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
Stay humble so that you can continue to learn and listen to rebukes and instructions, they are valuable.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
Yes, without hesitation!

Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

Outreach Pastor, Bow Down Church

Let's Do This Together!

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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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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 https://midcitymissions.edifyhub.com/five-part-approach/. 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 onemilliontracts.com and tractplanet.com 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 https://www.mnnonline.org/2015/03/10/the-mission-in-missionaries/
  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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How La’Wana Harris got Started as a Missionary in Haiti

La'Wana Harris is an author, a speaker, and a missionary to Haiti. She's led multiple trips to Haiti, focusing on education, health, orphanages, evangelism and more. Here's how she got started.

Name + Contact Info

Where and what people do you primarily serve?
Haiti

How do you serve those people?
Children's Ministry, Medical Clinics, Teaching at Orphanages and Schools, Evangelism

When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
I began to realize that I had a heart for missions as a child. My grandmother and I would serve as domestic missionaries in our local community. I loved to serve the people of our community more than anything else. I remember my grandmother buying an empty cargo van and having my uncle go to the salvage yard to pull seats out of old school buses. He bolted the seats to the floor in the van and I painted the church name and address on the side of the van. I would make corn beef hash and egg salad sandwiches for the children.

That was the beginning of our youth ministry which included weekly bible study, vacation bible school and meals.

How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
God gave me a spirit of compassion at an early age. He allowed me to care deeply for the needs of others around me. His love also motivated me to action. I felt compelled to help those that were hurting, in need or without a relationship with Jesus Christ. He called me to Haiti during a church service. God had been speaking to my heart about going on a mission's trip for months.

One Sunday during praise and worship, God spoke to my heart letting me know that I should go serve in Haiti. Our church announced a short term mission's trip to Cabaret, Haiti the following week and the rest is history. I answered God's call and I know in my heart that I am serving in the way he created me to serve.

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
Initially, I did not have a clear goal for ministry in Haiti. I just wanted to go serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in any capacity that I could. The needs in Haiti are so great, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

After the earthquake in 2010, there were thousands of orphans due to the tragic loss of life. Some children were placed in orphanages and no one even knew their names. God gave me a clear vision to help the children of Haiti. I started with a large scale project to build on orphanage in Leogane, Haiti, the epicenter of the earthquake.

I partnered Samaritan's Purse on a construction project for the Greta Home and Academy. Our team dug ditches, poured concrete and tied rebar. This was my first construction mission and it was very hard work in the tropical heat of summer.

The orphanage has been completed and the program is having a tremendous impact on the children in Leogane.

God has shifted my focus to sharing the gospel through children's books. The access to quality books is very limited in Haiti. And access to books in Haitian Creole is even less.

My goal is two fold: To fulfill the great commission by sharing the gospel with children's books and to help eradicate illiteracy to break the cycle of poverty for sustainable impact. The goal for 2017 is to provide 10,000 books to the orphanages and schools in Haiti. We officially launched our “10,000 Books for Haiti” campaign in February.

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
If I were starting today with the knowledge that I have gained over the years while serving in Haiti, I would take a different approach as to how we get items to the children. It has been painful and quite heartbreaking at times as we travelled to Haiti with supplies for the children. Unfortunately, there have been incidences of corruption that intercepted mission's teams at the airport and confiscated donated gifts or held them in customs for extremely high fees.

Most teams have now learned to work with 3rd party carriers to help ensure that the items go directly to the intended orphanage or school. The shipping and transportation process is quite expensive due to this complex dynamic. The extra effort required to get the items to Haiti is well worth it and often forgotten when we see those little faces light up with joy! Where God guides, He provides.

How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
Staying connected with our partners and supporters has been made easier by the various social media platforms. We use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other platforms to stay connected with our partners.

We also use more traditional approaches such as our monthly newsletter. That said, nothing beats getting face to face with our partners. I try to attend as many church services, conferences and sit down discussions as possible to share our progress and God's vision for our ministry.

What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
My ultimate resource to guide our mission's ministry is the bible—God's instruction manual. There are also a number of books and ministry tools that help guide our path based on lessons from pioneer missionaries. Some of my favorite resources are from the Live Dead ministry lead by Dick Brogden. “To LIVE DEAD is to live life wholly for Jesus. To die to self, know God will do a greater work through you. To announce the life of God among those who are unreached.” I also enjoy reading and learning from Charles Spurgeon's writings.

How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
Ongoing training and coaching is extremely important for sustainable ministry that gives glory to God. I attend mission's conferences, participate in online trainings and spend time with seasoned missionaries to learn from their journeys. I am also a Rapid Response Chaplain with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. BGEA offers excellent training programs and courses in collaboration with other Christian organizations. Lifelong learning is a vital part of lifelong ministry.

What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?
I highly recommend the Live Dead 30 day journal for those that are starting out in their mission's ministry. I also recommend reading “Operation World” by Jason Mandyrk. I remember Pastor George Daniels of Hope Fellowship Church in Raleigh, NC giving that book to me as a gift when I was getting started in mission's ministry. It was such a timely blessing, and I am sure that it will be a blessing to others. The Live Dead journal helps us with our inward look and “Operation World” helps frame our outward look.

I also recommend that new missionaries connect with a seasoned ministry team or missionary couple for mentoring, prayer and accountability.

What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
It is of utmost importance that we enter the mission's ministry with an open heart and a willing spirit. We must surrender our preconceived ways of thinking and working as we yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We've all heard the expression, “Life happens.” Well that saying is greatly amplified on the mission field.

Many times we are serving in underdeveloped areas with non-existent or minimal infrastructure. Timeliness and structure may seem to be figments of our imagination. We must have a teachable spirit that yields to the spirit of God and the local leadership in the country where we serve.

Believe it or not, there are very different approaches to do just about everything in underdeveloped areas. Our ability to remain flexible, listen to understand and demonstrate limitless grace will enable our ministry to flourish in the face of unsurmountable challenges. We will see the hand of God perform miraculous deeds when we embrace the “Surrender all” mindset.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
Absolutely! Being a missionary is what I was created to do. My very existence is validated when I am surrendered to God, guided by the Holy Spirit and serving the children of Haiti.

La'Wana Harris

La'Wana Harris

Author, Speaker, Missionary

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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Struggling with where you are in life and ministry? Consider this.

Struggling with where you are in life and ministry? Consider this.

Are you content? I mean, really content with your life, your calling, your relationship with God?

Sometimes I'm not.

I wish I was. But sometimes it's so easy to start focusing on the things that aren't going the way I'd like. To look at others who seem super-successful or effective in life or ministry. To compare the blooper reel that often is my life to the picture-perfect Instagram feeds of those around me. And to feel like my life and what I'm doing doesn't matter.

And maybe that kind of dissatisfaction sometimes affects you, too.

Overcoming the dissatisfaction

It's in those times that I remember what Curt Bryson shared after he returned from Kenya the first time. It was fairly early on in the show and I was just happy to get some time to talk with my friend about his experiences and to see what God had done in his life.

As we were sharing, he dropped a couple of bombshells that really impacted me and have helped me to reset my thinking.

I can tell you about Christ but if you don't see it in my actions, it means nothing.

– Curt Bryson

That first one helps me remember that our places in life are a matter of God's calling and leading. At least they are if we're actually following Him. And the idea of stepping outside of His calling to pursue “greatness,” while common, is silly

But the second one really hit me because it can be an indictment. Maybe there are times when I'm dissatisfied because my actions are misaligned with what I believe or say. And maybe those times are stealing my joy.

But also, maybe there are times that I don't see what I'm doing as valuable because I've forgotten that I'm an Ambassador for the Kingdom. That I have the high and holy calling of bringing God's presence with me wherever I go. That I am called to bring light into places of darkness.

Maybe I need to remember that God made me for His purpose, not mine. And that it's at His pleasure I serve. And that my service to Him is valuable, whether I see it as noble or common. It's His choice, not mine (Romans [9:20]-21).

And while I might not get the places I would choose, I do get the light that comes from Christ living in me. And that's pretty powerful.

While I might not be “doing” missions in the traditional sense, I am living the life of Christ when I bring His light with me.

It's in realigning and remembering

It's in being aligned with God's calling and remembering that it's in His presence we find our joy that we also see our calling as it is. That what we say and do has eternal value.

And it's then that we find contentment.

What about you?

Are you content?

  • If you know you’re not doing what God’s directed you to do or if your actions are not aligned to what you believe, ask Him to forgive you and help you to align with His will.
  • If you’re dissatisfied, examine your expectations and what you have your eyes on rather than Him.
  • And if you’re all good but you know someone who’s struggling, gently encourage them. Your encouragement may make all the difference to them.

 

I can tell you about Christ but if you don't see it in my actions, it means nothing.

Our Fundraiser!

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