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Well, tonight was the final Wednesday night of our Perspectives Exposure series.  I got the chance to be on a panel with 3 missions heavyweights (see the bottom of this post.)

Here are my big "take-aways" from last night:

  • First thots:
    • Our church can EAT!  (190 people finished off BBQ for 250)
    • Dean is a GREAT moderator
    • This series would NOT have happened without Troy and Bethany Beaver
  • Speaker thots:
    • From Paul — Great point about the colossal waste of money spent on untrained, untargeted, unfocused, & undebriefed short-term missions trips
    • From Jeff — Very insightful comments about the struggle to continually balance the tension between the evangelistic & socioeconomic development arms of missions
    • From SchaunI loved hearing about his work with church-planting in India & AIDS orphans in South Africa
  • What I said:
    • What I’m GLAD I said — I believe God is about to reveal our missions-target to us, just as He revealed our ministry-target a few years ago (i.e. people unreached by traditional models).  I compared it to Paul’s experience of trial-&-error-&-discernment found in Acts 16:6-10.  Several years ago, it would have been HARD to admit we haven’t "cracked the code" yet.
    • What I wish I could UN-SAY — I compared our church’s ministry-target to finding which fish God wants you to fish for (e.g. catfish or bass).  That’s good.  Then Dean mentioned salmon.  I tried to explain my example further…BAD IDEA.  (In my head, I thought, "Religious-types often LOOK DOWN on the type of non-religious people we are reaching."  Then I thought, "Hey, bass often LOOK DOWN on catfish in ponds.")  Unfortunately, what I said was, "Hey, I guess we are reaching the catfish in our community…you know, the bottom-feeders…the scum-suckers…"  NOT what I meant.  Next time, use the "inner voice," Tim!  🙂

So, take a couple seconds right now & post your thoughts about tonight’s closing panel!  Any thoughts?

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Jeff Adams
is a missionary-turned-pastor.  He was a missionary in El Salvador during the civil war & tells stories of laying on his young family in the bathtub while bullets were whizzing through his home.  He is Senior Pastor of the Kansas City Baptist Temple and is on the board of Christar.  Check out his blog where he already posted about last night.

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Paul Nyquist
is a pastor-turned-missionary.  He was pastor of First Federated Church of Des Moines and Evangelical Bible Church of Omaha before being called to be the president of Avant Ministries, founded in 1892.  He has led Avant through a period of change to adapt to the 21st Century world.

Missions_schaun_colin
Schaun Colin
is a missionary-turned-missions-pastor.  He is a white South African who grew up on the privileged side of the injustice known as "apartheid".  He became a believer later in life (late 30’s?) and began to see apartheid with fresh eyes of regret & repentance.  He is now the Chairman of the Board of Oceans of Mercy and is the Missions Pastor of Westside Family Church.