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

Archive for the ‘Serving as senders’ Category

Interview with John McVay: Mentoring for Missions

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

by Paul Nielsen

M-DAT has been good friends with mission mobilizer John McVay for ten years now. His projects have included mission conferences and websites along with his service with In His Image, which trains medical professionals for Christian service. In this interview he talks specifically about mentoring the next generation of missionaries.

Propel: When and how did you become involved and interested in missions as a mobilizer?

John McVay: I read an illustration by Ralph Winter who said, “If you see a roaring fire you can grab your bucket, run to the stream, then run to the fire and pour water on it—and you can do that repeatedly. Or you could wake 100 sleeping firemen.” Missions mobilization is waking the 100 sleeping firemen. In my current season of life God is guiding me to wake the 100 sleeping firemen.

Propel: What is the importance of mentoring in the context of missions?

John McVay: Most aspiring missionaries struggle with feelings of inadequacy. They need mentors to encourage them to abide in Christ and trust in His strength. (more…)

Strengthening the M-DAT leadership team

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

by David Armstrong

At the annual M-DAT Board Retreat this Spring, the staff and Board made some significant changes in M-DAT’s leadership roles to better facilitate continuing growth in our services and better match our team member’s skills and gifts with needs in the office.

Some key responsibilities were shuffled and the organization is moving to a three person leadership team composed of an Executive Director, a Director of Program Services and a Director of Operations.

Our previous executive director, who has ably led M-DAT for its first 10 years, has assumed the role of Program Services Director to focus his energies and skills on the ongoing development of our web based missions training and preparation services.

The legal, financial and overall administrative tasks for the organization will now be covered by the Director of Operations. David Armstrong has moved into that role. Amanda Snodgrass has assumed the position of Service Manager and will be helping the many organizations who use to make known the opportunities they offer.

And lastly, we are now looking for a new Executive Director. Pray for our Board as they define the unique job description for this position and then find and interview candidates. We would appreciate your prayers as we wait on God to provide the right person for the new role. Also pray for the team as a whole as we adjust to these transitions.

As always we remain committed to helping people take their next step in missions involvement.

Embracing your inner giver

Friday, December 12th, 2008

In missions we talk about goers and senders. Goers are people on the field planting churches, facilitating community development, training nationals or even working in administrative roles. Senders are people who pray, mobilize, work out logistics and give money so that the goers can stay gone and finish their work.

The purpose of this brief article is to encourage Christians to take ownership of the giving aspect of mission involvement. Giving money to missions may be less public, less glamorous, than actually going overseas, but it is no less important than physically being on the field.

Rarely are Christians discipled to be disciplined and intentional missional givers, whether that giving is directly to missionaries or through church mission committees. So, then, what can we do to train ourselves to take our role as givers seriously?

  • Begin by remembering that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21). With this in mind, think of how you can mold your heart to become more generous. Practice disciplines to align your heart with God’s.
  • Next, give regularly, whether that’s monthly, every other month or quarterly. Whether or not you believe the principal of a tithe carried over from the Old Testament to New Testament times, God still deserves our first-fruits.


Resource Highlight: Generous Giving conferences

Friday, December 12th, 2008

I’m highlighting Generous Giving again, following the theme of this issue. Generous Giving is aptly self-described. It contains an incredible wealth of information from stories to statistics. One of my favorite anecdotes on the site is a story about two doctors living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The first time the IRS audited the couple it did so thinking that no one could give as much of their income away as the Finchers.

This time I’d also like to point out their upcoming conference in Arizona as well. Find more information about the spring event via this link.

Interview with David F.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

This interview with David F., a missionary kid who grew up in Indonesia, lends us the perspective of someone a few years beyond college. David is married with two young children and recently ventured out into an unexpected but successful business partnership after a number of years teaching and working for a local greeting card company. All the while, his heart desires to be overseas at some point in the future.

Propel: Once in a while I come across stories of missionary kids who resent their upbringing overseas for various reasons. How was life as a missionary kid for you? What were the pros, the cons?

David: I absolutely love the fact that I was brought up overseas, and really cherish my unique upbringing. I got to enjoy all kinds of cool things and activities that I wouldn’t have if I had grown up in the good ‘ol U.S.A. I guess I missed McDonalds? Don’t know any of the TV shows people do? Honestly, I credit my parents for clearly demonstrating and communicating that it was family first, work and ministry second on the mission field. Most MK [missionary kid] resentment comes from the all-to-familiar attitude of ‘nothing but my ministry’ that some mission organizations once espoused. Family is our first ministry. The same disenchantment exists in the homes of pastors — or just busy people.

Propel: How did growing up as a missionary kid influence your decisions today? How did it affect your outlook on life, goals for life and spiritual walk?

David: It’s definitely broadened my horizons; other cultures are really, really not like our culture! They’re not worse, they’re different. Viv ‘la difference! I take very seriously the charge of Jesus to go into all the nations, and want my life to always be involved with missions as God leads. I’ve seen mission activity produce a great harvest — with my own eyes — and this makes me value it and desire it to go forward unhindered.

Propel: When in life did you decide you wanted to be a missionary? What led up to this realization?

David: God wants us all to be a missionary where we are. However — and I may be a little weird — but I think that being a missionary is really cool, even fun. Yes, it has a lot of challenges and generally scares me to death as well. Helping people know God is just about the highest goal for anyone; I’m convinced it’s a great way to spend a life. I’ve thought so for a long while, not sure I could put my finger on exactly when. (more…)

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