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Care For Your Leaders

I Thessalonians 5:11 says: “Therefore encourage one another and build each
other up, just as in fact you are doing.

As believers, when we are involved in church we often hear a couple of things.

  1. We need to be serving within the church
  2. We need to be ministering to those outside of the church

The best way of doing so is by being an encouragement to those that we attend church with, and those in our neighborhoods and community. I think for the most part we try to be encouragers to others around us. We like the feeling of being encouraged and we know that by developing strong relationships with others it is important to build them up and encourage them in what they do.

That being said sometimes we can forget about the leaders in our church, as well as our missionaries and extended ministry partners we don’t see every week. They can be standing on stage or sitting in our classroom and talking about ways in which we can show love toward each other by spending time with them, praying for them, or just acknowledging them. As we are sitting there listening our minds can go a mile a minute thinking about who we know that we need to spend extra time with. Often we can think of a handful of people that are struggling and that could use our prayers or words of encouragement. But, how often do we think about giving that encouragement back to our leaders and missionaries?

How often do we pray for our pastors, teachers, and missionaries? How often do we ask to spend time with those that mean so much to us and have influenced our own spiritual journey?

In past blog posts we have talked about burn out rate among pastors and missionaries According to Pastoral Care Inc, on their website they list some astonishing statistics:
“35% of pastors battle depression or fear of inadequacy.
26% of pastors report being over fatigued.
28% of pastors report they are spiritually undernourished.
70% of pastors report they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
70% of pastors do not have someone they consider to be a close friend.
27% of pastors report not having anyone to turn to for help in a crisis situation
The profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman”.
• 71% of churches have no plan for a pastor to receive a periodic sabbatical.
• 66% of churches have no lay counseling support.
• and only 1 out of 10 pastors will retire as a pastor.”

Statistics show that when churches have pastor appreciation, and support for their pastors the above statistics improve. I challenge you this week to think about the pastors, missionaries, teachers and spiritual leaders in your life. Then take one or all of these actions steps:
1.) Call/text/email them and not only let them know you are praying for them, but ask if they have a specific prayer request.
2.) Send them a card and even a gift card or special gift with words of encouragement telling them specifically what they have done or said to you that has positively influenced you spiritually
3.) Ask them to lunch, dinner or time getting coffee. Spend quality time with them listening to them and showing them that you care. Coffee over facetime and skype work too!

For more information or to get more involved supporting local pastors and missionaries please contact Here2There ministries at
-Christy Paul, LMHC

Here2There has a new missions devotional!!! Sign up at here.

What’s Your 2020 Vision?

What’s Your 2020 Vision?

                                                              By Wayne Dinsbeer

My dad is about to turn 91 years of age. He has been around the block a time or two. He is still very sharp, spending 4 to 5 hours daily on his computer researching and writing Bible study materials for his church. He teaches a Men’s Bible Study class weekly and preaches regularly at his home church and other places. His knees are bad and his eye sight suspect, but he doesn’t let anything slow him down, especially me.

Today a great deal of importance is placed on “Sight”. I am sure in this year of 2020 that the marketing gurus will take advantage someway of this natural theme. Having 2020 Vision is very good. Our optometrists get us to spend a lot of money trying to return our eyes to this quality standard. We know the importance that Vision is vital to the successful work of any church, business, and life. Yet too often we fail to discover and develop our vision, leaving us to flounder day to day failing to accomplish what God desires for us.

I was taking my 8 year old granddaughter to school this past week when she looked at me and with her serious look asked, “GrandPa. What do you want to accomplish this year?” Her question caught me off guard. I had to quickly think of a response. The one I gave her off the cuff apparently did not meet her guidelines for something I was going to DO. So I had to re-answer her with a more viable response.

That got me thinking about this same question posed in a spiritual setting. “What do I want to accomplish for the Lord in 2020?” I work with a lot of Pastors and Missionaries who would have a difficult time giving a clear response to this relating to their ministries.

This requires clear Vision for our ministries and lives.

Our Christian world is a Faith Based one which differs greatly from a society that promotes “Seeing is Believing.” The facts of our faith are that our Belief leads to Sight or Vision. What is it you Believe God has for you to accomplish and do this year? Your heart will turn this to seeing God’s plan for strategy development to bring your faith to Vision and Sight (reality).

Have you considered all the power which Vision holds?  One simply needs to study the life of Nehemiah to see the importance that Burden, Passion, Belief, and Vision play in accomplishing that which God is leading us to do. 

Note his Strategy, Plan, and Actions:

  1. Nehemiah Prays First  1:4
  • Prayer internalizes allowing us burden and deepens ownership
  • Prayer insists we slow our reaction allowing us to hear from God
  • Prayer influences Vision enabling us to see what God sees
  • Prayer initiates Vision and becomes a catalyst for action

      2.  Nehemiah’s MAP (Mission Action Plan)

  • Approached Key Influencers 2:1-9  Gained support from King Artaxerxes 
  • Assessed Situation  2:11-15 Saw Jerusalem damage first hand
  • Cast Vision to Others  2:16,17 Spoke with Jews, Priests, Nobels, Officials, and people to do work   
  • Reminded them of past successes  2:18 Hand of God is with them.
  • Got “Buy in” from people  2:18 “Let us rise up and build”.
  • Organized people to work  3:1-32 Families worked according to planned priorities, beginning with the city’s gates.
  • Defended his work against opposition  4:1-23
  • Developed others to carry on  2:5-6:14  
  • Completed Wall in 52 Days   6:15      

Nehemiah is a great example of receiving a Vision from God and  following a plan to carry it out. Truly we can see the importance that Nehemiah’s vision had on his actions.

Consider these important thoughts about the power of Vision which Malphures gives in his book Advanced Strategic Planning.

       Seven Ways Vision Impacts Ministry:

  1. Provides Energy for the Actions of People- not much happens without a compelling vision.
  2. Creates Cause and Gives Meaning to People’s Service with a Divine Purpose.
  3. Fosters Risk Taking as People are Asked to Respond.
  4. Legitimizes Leadership as Leaders Paint the Picture for What Can Be.
  5. Energizes Leadership and Becomes the Fuel Leaders Run on which Creates Action.
  6. Sustains Ministry as it Encourages People to Look Beyond the Mundane to the Eternal.
  7. Motivates Giving as People Accept Financial Responsibility to Accomplish the Vision.

We all understand and believe what scripture says  – that without Vision people perish.

Too often we fail to know what to Do about either the lack of it in our ministries or the response to structure a MAP (Mission Action Plan) to fulfill it in our ministries.

It is critical to be able to write down and articulate the Vision. It is not enough just to have a head knowledge, or even a passionate heart relative to the Vision. For Vision to be effective it has to be shared with others who will help carry it out. That requires definition, writing it out in a way it can be easily shared with others.

  1. Start with the Heart
  •    After much prayer, write out what God is speaking to you regarding His plan for the specific area of ministry being developed.

      2.   Once all your thoughts are written 

  • Ask God to give wisdom as to how He would have you accomplish His Vision He has placed in your heart.
  • Be specific in your search for this. Ask :

             “Who” is to be reached by this vision? 

What are the “Resources” it will take to fulfill this Vision

       3.  Develop a Strategy to accomplish the Vision which includes details sufficient to establish a viable plan which can be shared with others.

Vision and Strategy development are critical to the success of any ministry. Contact us to see how our H2T team can assist you with your ministry development and implementation in  2020. 

The above thoughts are shared from Here2There’s ampd (Association of Mission Partnership Development) curriculum for Church Partnership. This is an Eleven month Cohort designed to teach, coach, and develop the entire scope of ministry for churches.


Making Missions Personal

Have you heard the expression, “You don’t know what you don’t know”? (YDKYDK)

There has never been a greater sentence created for the understanding of missions. By the time you think you have a good handle on it, the trends change, the processes are updated, the focus points have moved and the care needed has shifted. 

When our team visits churches, holds seminar or just talks to people, we hear A TON of these YDKYDK. statements. 

  • “I didn’t know I could contact our missionaries directly”
  • “I didn’t know that was possible to just visit missionaries to encourage them”
  • “I didn’t know missionaries faced those issues”
  • “I didn’t know that was the reason missionaries struggle”
  • “I didn’t know missionaries needed my skill set in their ministry”

And the list goes on and on.

There has been a recent shift in missions from a Pastor or Mission Leader only lead connection between church and missionary to a church-wide, hands on engaged partnership model. The latter partnership model provides more individuals in the church the opportunity to have a personal involvement and even responsibility in the ministries of their partners. The partnership model also brings the overall mission back to the ownership of the church, and not all the weight is left of the missionaries shoulders. 

While this shift of engagement is happening, there also needs to be a shift in each church’s preparation to make missions more personal, accessible and realistic for each individual in the church body – young and old. 

  • Church’s have the opportunity to increase the amount of missions exposure the church is seeing to make missions a normal part of conversation and activity in the church. 
  • Church’s can increase the church body’s participation through Mission Support Teams (or whatever your church calls them), that include more people directly connected to each missionary the church partners with.
  • Church’s can prepare their body to GO, both short and long term, through mission classes, internships and leadership development. 

This personal involvement of the church body has created and will continue to create an excitement and joy that is not containable. Just like Isaiah, when He saw God in a new way responded, “I am ruined… I’ll do it”, your church will begin experiencing the same type of surrender. 

2020 is the year to expand your reach and make missions personal for each individual in your church. 

If H2T can help you create a church-wide missions strategy for 2020, or help you plan your missions focus month or plan better partnerships with your existing missionaries, we would love to speak to you today! will connect you with our team and get your partnership plan started right away.

Stefanie Nicholson

Founder and Team Lead

Top 5 Blogs of 2019

You’ve asked for it and we’ve delivered. Well, maybe you didn’t ask for it. Anyways, we have given our top 5 picks from our 2019 blogs. Without further ado and in no particular order here they are:


Christmas Cheer

“Christmas is a time for being thankful, Christmas is a time for saying “Praise the Lord”, Christmas is a time for counting blessings of the year, and only time when you can feel that special Christmas cheer.” Lyrics to a song (if I recall them correctly) that I sang as a teenager in a church musical. I recall them virtually every year and somehow that last stanza hadn’t stood out as much as it has this season. Yes, we are always thankful and say “Praise the Lord” as we look back on what God has given us, the grace we have been shown and the Love He has given us through so many, but why is it the only time we feel that “Christmas Cheer”? Is Christmas the only time it is shown? Or, is it the only time we look for it to be shown?

The celebration of Christmas, birth of our Savior, Christ introduced to the world, wise men traveling far, shepherds leaving their sheep, carols, trees, gifts, programs, food, fun, fellowship, Santa,elf on a shelf, decorations, travel, time with family and friends. It’s so easy to cram all of this into that little bucket of time and say we celebrated, did our part and said thank you Jesus for coming into the world. Then the new year, new goals, new ideas, new _ (fill in the blank) take over and that “Cheer” is gone.

As that Operations Lead for Here2There I know all too well about those new ideas, new goals, etc. so I am the first that needs to realize spreading the good news of Christ coming into the world needs to continue after the celebration. I also realize that both across the street and across the ocean people are waiting to hear the good news and feel that Christmas Cheer today and into 2020. We have planned, been challenged, and am looking forward to what God has laid before us to accomplish. We have new partners and contacts around the globe spreading the good news of Jesus. Now we need you more than ever to Pray, Give, and Go. Pray Matthew 9:38, to send out laborers into his harvest. Give so that those that are willing, can Go. Let’s all commit that we will spread Christmas Cheer throughout 2020 so “That all may know Him”.

Wayne Pierce – Operations Lead

Could You Risk It All

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. -Luke 9:23.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. -Luke 14:26

Theses verses and others like them have a renewed meaning to me now. I recently got back from spending about three weeks in southern Asia with the first two weeks being focused on sharing the Gospel in an area that a missionary our church partners with is hoping to start up some house churches. A team of 5(3 men, 2 women) from our church went to a rather large city knowing we were going to be sharing the Gospel but not quite sure how it would look there.

As I walked around with a young, inexperienced Christian translator and had many opportunities to tell people about the One True God I was faced with something new and something that I was not prepared for or equipped at all to handle.

To set the stage, we’re invited into a home, as having religious conversations in this place is something that the people there enjoy, and sitting down in a small room while everyone in the house is invited to come and listen. On this trip we often started out the conversation using the Creation to Christ story about how the One True God created everything and then summarizes the Bible up to Christ dying on the cross. This is because this particular culture’s main religious beliefs often times were a collection of beliefs and so in order to separate the true God with any of the other gods they might believe in this method worked fairly well in explaining the difference. So I run through the story and at the end ask them if they’ve ever heard that before which is usually a no. I would follow that up by asking what they thought of that story and we’d usually have a conversation about a wide range of things that they didn’t understand or were curious about. All of that was no problem.

The part that I was unprepared for was hearing, “I believe what you’re telling me is the truth and I want to believe, but if I do my family and I might be run out of this area and I could lose everything.” I can remember sitting there, my mind racing, at a loss for words on what to say next. The only thing I could think about was the truth of the Bible. Those two verses at the top came to mind but I couldn’t help but think that there was no way for me to identify with their situation. I kept wanting to say something comforting to the effect of, “It’ll all work out in the end.” But I knew that I couldn’t because it might not be true from their perspective. In hindsight, I could have talked about temporary pain versus eternal joy and maybe that would have made ad difference but the words of Jesus in those two verses took on a whole new, sobering meaning at that moment.

In the United States we experience an infinitely small fraction of what it means to pick up our cross. It literally means to walk to your death on purpose. We know that; but do we really know that?
This is part of the reason it is so important to send missionaries out in the world. While we were there we all had many opportunities to disciple the young Christians who translated for us and many were had never shared the Gospel before and were afraid of what was going to happen. The missionary told us afterwards that there was no way he could have done what was accomplished while we were there without a team coming to help him.

In what ways is your church partnering with missionaries to expand the work that God has called them to do? In what ways does your church partner with missionaries to mobilize the church body towards the mission field?

Here2There can help your church learn to partner with your missionaries, mobilize people and create a strategy on being a missions-minded church. If you’re interested email us at

Mr. Rogers Teaches Partnership

                                   By Wayne Dinsbeer

                                            Church Partnership Lead

This week my wife, Donna, and I went to see the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” about the life of the famed children’s TV host, Mr. Rogers. As you would expect, it was very uplifting and full of character building lessons for all to learn, even the adults filling the theaters. 

As I watched this story unfold (ok maybe a little later) I realized one of the great lessons being taught paralleled our H2T teachings to churches and missionaries about “Partnership”. Without disclosing too much of the story line, for those who have yet to see the movie, let me share my observations. Keep in mind this was a secular film made from a non religious  point of view. Yet, it had applications to “Partnership” that are very true to life.

The movie focused on the set and filming of one of the “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” episodes. Woven into the theme was an encounter Mr Rogers has with a very popular magazine writer tasked to do a story about Fred Rogers. This writers reputation was that of ripping apart anyone about whom he had ever written. His goal for this story was to accomplish the same results.

As the story progresses he, the writer, finds a much different writing path than he expected. The difference come about as he encounters the life of Fred Rogers in a real way. Many of these experiences depicted relate so much to our teachings on “Partnership”.

First, Mr Rogers was very warm and sincerely interested in meeting this “not so pleasant” writer. This was an unexpected surprise for the writer who was used to being shunned by his subjects. One of the things missionaries experience is this same negative response from Pastors. One Haiti missionary told us his greatest need was just to talk to someone, but he couldn’t get Pastors to take his calls.

Partnership starts with building a relationship that allows for communication between missionaries, pastors, members, and friends. Everyone needs to know that they can talk to someone at anytime about anything. H2T teaches churches how to establish MSTs(Missionary Support Teams) that are trained to address and meet a varied format of needs a missionary encounters as they serve.

The open communication between Mr Rogers and the writer proves to be a “game changer” in the way the article is written. Open Communication between your Missionaries and Church Leadership will make all the difference in the world for the Missionary as well as those in your church in touch with that Missionary. This will also have a great impact on and in your church!

Another item in the movie that stood out was a scene where Mr Rogers was kneeling by his bedside and calling out names of people for whom he was praying. Mr Rogers had sensed a need in the writer’s life and had expressed to him his intention to pray for him.

In H2T one of our core values is that nothing happens without prayer.

For that reason we always start our coaching discussions seeking to discover what prayer mechanisms are in place to support the ministry being discussed. H2T has a tool we provide churches and missionaries to assist them in establishing organized, intentional, systematic Prayer Ministries targeted to address the needs of the church or missionary.

We are all familiar with the verse in James which speaks of how the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. That being truth, can you vision how much greater that impact could, should, and would be with an organized Prayer Team of righteous people lifting up the needs of a church and missionary on a consistent basis?

Prayer makes the difference that we alone can’t make. It is that God connectivity that must be a part of the equation to maximize the power afforded each of us to accomplish His work and will in our lives and ministries. Without it we miss so much that God intends for us to have when He is invited to be included in all things.

If your ministry does not have an organized Prayer Team in place I urge you to contact Here2There Ministries to discuss the implementation of one.

Back to our movie, we all know that Mr Rogers is surrounded by his own support cast called the “Neighborhood”. When the writer became a part of the plot for that day’s episode he was thrust into the “Neighborhood”. He became a part of the “Community” of friends living together, in this case make believe. Both churches and missionaries have this same need to be surrounded by others living in community which become their support group for all things they experience and encounter.

Members and missionaries alike need to feel a part of something greater than themselves. We know how easy it is for a Missionary to experience this feeling of being alone as they are separated from others while serving in far off lands. H2T teaches both missionaries and church leaders how to address this need by various methods of including the missionary and member in church life. One important key is the effective work of an MST assigned to the Missionary.

Did you know that church members can also feel alienated from their church neighborhoods and experience that same “does anyone even know I exist” attitude?

Church leaders often use the excuse that someone in this condition just needs to get more involved. Lack of Vision driven strategies in a ministry leads to this member disconnect. 

Here2There teaches the importance of seeing “Missions” as the DNA of the church. By this we mean that every aspect of the church ministry IS MISSIONS. Whether it is sending someone across the ocean or across the street to your own community, there needs to be a Vision Driven Strategy that considers how you will teach, train, budget, resource, mobilize, support, and celebrate the work being targeted. H2T works with churches and missionaries to accomplish this important goal.

One very touching scene in this movie was when Mr Rogers and the writer were on a subway train in New York and the passengers broke out singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine, would you be mine…”  Everyone was singing this. At that point the writer experienced first hand the impact of the sincere work of Mr Rogers on and in society. 

Each year at Christmas I send a gift to my Here2There Partners in appreciation for their Prayers and Partnership with the ministry. This year I am sending  them a book written by MIssionaries who went to serve in New Guinea in the 1950’s. This book recalls their encounters with tribes who had never seen people other than their kind. They also had never seen a written word. What a blessing to read of how this couple responded to life’s ups and downs unlike anything most of us will ever experience – all because of the passion, calling, and vision God had given them to reach these people.

It took years to develop a written version of their language for the translation of their first copy of God’s Word. The impact these missionaries had will only be fully known in eternity.

The impact we have as we minister day to day may only be known in eternity. It is important that we make the most out of the opportunities God puts before us. Here 2 There Ministries is purposed in teaching and training church leaders, members, missionaries and others seeking to make an eternal impact how to accomplish His Great Commission. Partnership Development is a major part of our Vision Driven Strategy.  

One book that would give you insight on the importance of changing the way we do missions and the need for “Partnership” is Antioch Revisited by Tom Julien.

Where Is Your Heart?

Staying Connected to your Missionaries

Nehemiah’s body was in Sousa, but his heart was with his people.

I am torn between the two amazing worlds I get to live in. Currently, my heart is in Asia right now with the new believers we introduced to Christ. After spending three weeks working and playing side-by-side, you kinda get attached. I can’t tell you how many times my heart has longed to be with our various friends and partners around the world. Especially after a time of visiting and working side-by-side, meeting their friends and co-workers, my heart longs to be back in those places.
When Nehemiah heard about the destruction of the wall of Jerusalem, his heart longed to be there with them. He knew he needed to act but wasn’t quite sure how.
Isn’t that where we find ourselves a lot of the time in regard to serving others or missions? We want to help, we want to be a part of what they are doing, we want to take action, but we just don’t know how. Many times when we talk to churches, they have the same response. ‘We want to do more in missions, we just don’t know where to start’.
When our hearts long for the nations, for our partners, for a deeper connection we need to act like Nehemiah and pray. Instead of just acting without thinking, Nehemiah stopped and prayed. In fact, before he even asked for help, he prayed and fasted many days.
Take time to pray and fast for your ministry and missionary partners. Invite others to join you on their behalf. When we can’t join them, we can pray for them.

Stefanie Nicholson
Founder and Team Lead

P.S. We have a free Prayer Team Guide on our homepage!!!

H2T focuses on strengthening the partnerships and relationships between churches and missionaries. If your church wishes to provide greater care to your partners, please allow H2T to join you on this journey. If you are a missionary and desire greater partnerships we would love to walk you through the partnership process too.

Emergency Vehicles

Recently, an old acquaintance posted on social media an announcement that she was upset with her loved ones and friends for not responding to her depression. At first glance at her post, I was concerned that her support base might have dropped the ball. As I considered her words I noticed that she insinuated that her husband and friends should just know that she was having a difficult time and react to her accordingly. To be fair, I am not sure if she had intentionally provided any signals that should have caused a reaction, but it occurred to me that she may not have.

I can think back to messages from every pastor I have sat under that directed congregants to be more honest with their church cohorts. The messages usually identify that most people, when asked how they are, claim that life is perfect and blessed from one end to the other. These pastors asked questions like: “How can you expect your neighbor to love you if they don’t know what you need?” Or, “How can you bear one another’s burdens if you do not share them with each other?”  For the most part, these messages go through one ear and out the other before the next service. Come next Sunday, everyone’s lives are perfect.

We do this also in our closest relationships. Most of us have had times when we were experiencing some mild pain, manageable fear, or uncommon sadness that put us in a somewhat melancholy state. And in many of those cases, we want mild, manageable,  and uncommon to stay that way, so when asked, we say “I am fine” or “I just zoned-out for a moment – I’m good”. We are afraid that if we let it out in the open we will have to acknowledge it. Other times we do not want to be a burden to those closest to us, or we do not want our friends to think of us as anything but well adjusted.

What we may not realize is that we are erroneously conditioning those closest to us to avoid connecting with us when we need them most. Consider that the conditioning we impose on others when we are lightly affected by some minor pain, fear, or sadness may lead them to ignore our negative expressions and varying moods when conditions are more extreme.   Over time, we may find ourselves alone except in the most extreme conditions. In fact, we often do not express extreme disequilibrium immediately following serious emotional trauma. For one who normally tries to hold back on their feelings, a significant emotional trauma might be expressed moderately at first, then escalate to a level that finally seems extreme to others.  Up to this point, the distraught person is alone and feeling abandoned by those closest to them.

I can hear this person’s friends saying: “This just snuck up on us – we had no idea she was suffering so.” The best thing anyone is able to do at this point is to react to a condition with which they are completely unprepared to help. This is a lot like an experience I had a few weeks ago at a busy intersection during rush hour. I was about six vehicles from the red light that had 60 cars crammed into three lanes when an emergency vehicle started screaming for a way through the pile of cars. All of a sudden sixty drivers started looking for a way to help the screaming vehicle get through what instantly became a confusing mess. With more warnings from the emergency vehicle, all of the cars might have been able to create a better, less messy, way for the emergency vehicle to get through its challenge.

The moral of this story is that it is best, to be honest with your emotions, so those around you will not be suddenly thrown off balance and literally bouncing off of each other to help you through your traumas. If we will allow those close to us to experience our true lives with us, they will always be ready to help us with the little and big emotional challenges and trials that crop up from time to time. If your family and friends are not responding to your cries, consider how you have trained them over the years. Now, just tell someone who you know loves you, what you need. Simple?

Mark Painter MCM/PC

10 Ways to Get Your Congregation Engaged in Missions

It’s easy for a church to lose sight of missions.

With preaching, planning and managing the Sunday service, orchestrating small groups, facilitating childcare, and putting on the occasional church event, pastors are often forced to give missions whatever scraps of time and energy they have left over.

But missions deserves to be one of the core ministries receiving the firstfruits of the church’s attention—because it is at the heart of the gospel. It is, after all, part of Christ’s great commission to the church:

Read the rest of this blog at ABWE’s website.