“I’d Rather Help Kids in America”

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It doesn’t happen often, but now and then, people have an odd reaction when they hear that I work at an orphanage in Mexico. They say, “I’d rather help kids in America.” This statement brings up so many uncomfortable and unhealthy issues. The snarky side of me really wants to say, “Great, what are you doing for kids in America?” I can almost guarantee they aren’t doing anything for anybody. Continue reading

Who Will You Follow?

handsLeadership in ministry matters. This sounds like an obvious statement, but it’s amazing how little thought is given to this. Who we partner with, who is hosting us in ministry, is everything. Ministry is a top-down thing. If the leadership is weak, the best funding, planning, or organization in the world won’t help. An organization will never be better than its leader. Continue reading

Short-term Missions is Money Well Spent

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Short-term missions are a very big deal in the American church. One out of three churches will send a team internationally this year. Tens of thousands of people and many millions of dollars will be dedicated to these efforts. Why? Why do we as individuals, or a church body, put all of these resources into these trips? Sometimes it’s good to step back and just ask the simple, but important, question: Are short-term missions worth all the funds and resources dedicated to them? Continue reading

“Short-term Missions Are Horrible!”

missionphotoOK, it’s a clickbait title, but a lot of people do believe that short-term missions are horrible. Many others believe short-term missions are a huge blessing. Like so many topics, the truth is somewhere in the fuzzy middle. When done correctly, short-term missions can change lives for the better, if done poorly, they can do a lot of damage. It’s good to take a balanced look at both sides and move forward wisely. Continue reading

A Different Gift

79802997_10157823661083698_7172175744540344320_nThis time of year, so much of our time and energy is focused on finding the “right” gift. Currently, countless websites list “The best gifts under $20”, “The most popular gifts on Amazon”, “Top toys of the year”, etc. All these lists have one thing in common; we spend money to buy something for someone else. Retailers are trying to get you to spend money on gifts in their store or on their website. Let’s talk for a minute about a different kind of gift. Continue reading

Embrace the Mess That is Short-Term Missions

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Most people are a complicated jumble of conflicting priorities, values, and reactions. Anyone who has worked with a homeless outreach, done marriage counseling, or worked with teenagers will tell you that the vast majority of people are messy. In a perfect world, things wouldn’t be so difficult. It’s not a perfect world. Not even close. Until we embrace the “messy,” ministry will be an unending exercise in frustration. Continue reading

Just Be Quiet!

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There is a new Tom Hanks movie out called “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood“, about the life of Mr. Rogers. There is one scene that’s being mentioned over and over again in reviews. While sitting in a diner during an interview, Mr. Rogers asks a reporter to be silent for one minute. Mr. Rogers doesn’t speak, the reporter doesn’t speak, for one full minute. A full minute to just listen. There are no flashbacks, no inner-dialog, only silence. Two men are just sitting in a restaurant booth. A minute of silence with no action in a movie feels like an eternity. It’s something we all need to practice. Continue reading