Hello missions family & friends-
Every Friday, we're going to put together a list of interesting articles that we think might be worth your while to read over the weekend. The subjects will be wide-ranging, but in general they'll have something to do with living as a faithful and culturally aware follower of Jesus in a pluralistic world. Inclusion does not necessarily equal endorsement or agreement.
A professor at Wheaton College was recently disciplined for asserting that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Thoughtful evangelicals from around the world shed some light on this complicated and important question.
2016 will be the year of conversational commerce (Chris Messina on Medium)
Churches, ministries, non-profits, and missionaries who want to leverage digital media effectively need to pay attention to trends in the ways consumers access information and process transactions. This author predicts that, increasingly, businesses must be found and interact with people in the context of their use of various messaging apps (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Snapchat, etc.) rather than through standalone apps or websites.
Terrorists Kill Seven Missionaries in Burkina Faso (Christianity Today)
Let's continue to pray for the persecution Christians face worldwide--both nationals in their own countries and non-nationals doing work in those countries.
Why Your Church Should Support Fewer Missionaries (Gospel Coalition)
Don't let the title throw you off; the author makes an interesting argument about how best to support missionaries: spend more time and money on less people to foster a deeper investment all around. Whether you agree or disagree, he raises important points worth considering.
An appeal to end the suffering in Syria (UNICEF on Medium)
UNICEF (together with the UN and more than 120 humanitarian organizations) issued a join appeal "urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians." Global Outreach International is exploring some ministry opportunities to Syrian refugees in Israel and Jordan. Pray that the Lord continues to send workers to ease the suffering of those oppressed and afflicted because of the conflict in Syria, and pray that the Lord will guide Global as we seek to make wise choices about our investments of ministry time and energy.
Religion in America: An Interview with Greg Smith of the Pew Research Center (Christianity Today)
Ed Stetzer interviews Greg Smith about some recent Pew Center findings about the changing religious landscape in America. There are many important points here, including: "...the data also show very clearly that even though the religiously unaffiliated are growing, the vast majority of American adults continue to identify with a religion, primarily Christianity."