Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Archive for the ‘Missions and video’ Category

Begin motivating your church to missions in 2011

Monday, March 7th, 2011

by David Armstrong

How can small churches motivate their people to missions?

As a leader of a small church, let me first recognize the very limited time a pastor or leader of a small church has to focus on any one thing. Pastors and leaders in small churches do everything from sweeping the floor to teaching the Word to settling petty arguments. And those things happen when they happen, not when you want them to happen.

So how in that busy, unpredictable setting does one motivate people to missions? My best response is — intentionally. It won’t happen by chance. Everything else will work to keep it at the bottom of the pile of good things to do.

As you start 2011, start by defining what two things you would like to see happen in your church in terms of mission emphasis. Make one of those goals educational in nature. Help them to better understand what God is doing around the world today. Help them understand what missions really is. Help them understand more clearly God’s heart of compassion. Help them visualize how they could be Jesus’ hands and feet in our really messed up world.

There are resources available to help you in this endeavor. You don’t have to be the expert, but not just anyone will do. Hand pick a missionary who has helped you better understand what God is doing around the world and have him speak. They need to be able to relate to your people and communicate in ways your people find interesting. (more…)

Start with a good name then add content

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

We finalized the name for the new internet resource center for aspiring missionaries. Can I have a drum roll please? The name of the website will be…

Although we tentatively used that domain name to refer to the project for awhile, we did not know if it would go over well with the intended audience. On our quest to make a final name selection, we brainstormed 200+ alternate names, eliminated all but five, and made a survey. Fifty aspiring missionaries gave us their input. The result? emerged as the leader. We think it is a good name to work with—a solid name that relates well to the content of the website, has few negatives, and is easy to remember and spell.

A good name only goes so far though. Ultimately the content on the website supersedes the name. We are happy to report progress on the content the front!

In May, an intern from JBU edited down the footage from several missionary interviews and our pilot run of an organization headquarter tour. In July, we set up the ability to post the videos on That brings us to beta version 0.6 for the website! Hurray for progress! You can watch these first samples at . Or watch them via our YouTube channel. If you have a YouTube account please subscribe to the channel and add us as a friend.

Although we have made progress, we also encountered a few setbacks. Unable to figure out a satisfactory method to get around closed country issues for the mission field reports we envisioned, we decided to put production of these video clips on hold indefinitely. Also, our week long mission trip to produce a series of mission agency headquarter tours fell through. Between staff training, travel, and office remodeling projects, summer is not a good time to schedule these tours for the mission agencies. In fact, it may be pretty near impossible to coordinate producing a series of tours in a one week time frame. Lining up the schedules of multiple organizations is tricky! We’re not abandoning the idea though. We will just have to work out a different way of accomplishing the goal.

The next few pieces of the website we are working on are a directory of mission organizations, a logo for the website, and producing more video clips. Content. Content. Content!

Lights, camera . . .

Friday, April 25th, 2008

 M-DAT Executive Director

I always thought steady cams were cool. Now, I know they are! Last week Paul and I made one out of a mono pod, a 2.5 pound weight, and a weed trimmer handle. We rigged up the contraption in preparation for a trip I take at the end of April. I fly to Atlanta to do a test video shoot at Operation Mobilization. If all goes well, it will be the first organization headquarters tour for the website we are developing for aspiring missionaries — a very exciting milestone.

For good reasons, selecting a mission organization to go with from the hundreds out there can be a daunting task. We believe these headquarter tours will take the edge off of that experience. Viewers will catch the vision of the organization, hear what God is doing through them, meet key staff, learn about the mission candidate process, and hear why people who serve with the organization decided to join up.

How we will cram all of this into a three to five minute video clip is a mystery. That is why we are looking for gifted video editors to volunteer their skills. Six have already stepped forward. We need at least six more so we can spread out the work and publish new video clips more frequently. If you have video editing skills you would like to apply to the Great Commission please contact us.

My trip to Atlanta will get us ready for a rather unique mission trip we are assembling a team for — a week-long mission headquarter blitz in July. Each day we will visit a mission agency and shoot the raw video for the tour. We will also conduct interviews with missionaries who are home from the field. We will inquire about key moments in their journey to the mission field and get their responses to questions commonly asked by aspiring missionaries. At night we will review our footage and start editing. In the morning we will move onto another mission agency. I anticipate this will be a challenging and fruitful week. If you are a cameraman or video editor and want to get in on the action we want to hear from you.

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