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What does a Missionary Do Now and How Can The Church Help?

“Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord there.” -Acts 15:35

When talking about Paula and Barnabas it is easy to just focus on their journeys taking the gospel to many new places and planting churches all over the known world. Their is so much to focus on in Paul’s letters to those churches and his trials and hardships that it is easy to miss out on what was likely a very important part of Paul’s ministry as well but is really only mentioned in this one verse. After Their first missionary journey Paula and Barnabas stayed in Antioch teaching and preaching.

We don’t get much context here as what their reception was like or exactly how they were apart of the church in Antioch outside of preaching and teaching but I think we can infer that they were very much welcomed back in and were able to use their experiences and stories from their time traveling to encourage the church and teach and train the believers.

Looking at maps of Paul’s missionary journeys we see that after the first two he returned back to his sending church in Antioch and the church benefited from him being there and I’m sure he also benefited from being able to encourage and build up that church.

As we look around today, so many missionaries have had to return back to their passport countries due to COVID-19. What an incredible opportunity for the church to incorporate their missionaries into what you’re doing to encourage and build up the church. We know of a church that recently gave a missionary who was on furlough a Wednesday night class to teach how they share the gospel where they serve and how that can be done in America as well. That church and missionary are also excited at the possibility of doing college-age ministry together during the pandemic time if their schedules work out.

So often, because the church and missionary are viewed as separate entities, we have such a difficult time joining the two when we’re together. This can be a very difficult time for a missionary who is unable to do the thing that God has called them to do in the place where God has called them to be because they can’t be there.

So here are two questions:

First, for the missionaries, how will you make yourself available to your church(es)? Obviously, if you’re supported by many churches that are spread out across states it is impossible to serve them all. Do you have a home/sending church or a major support/partner church that you could invest in while you’re there?

Second, for the churches, do you have a missionary that is close that you can utilize, share ministry with, connect with while they’re here? Don’t just see them as a missionary but see them as a brother, sister, or friend. How can you provide for them while their world is upside down? How can they help further you vision? Can they teach and/or train people in ministry?

These are just some of the things to think about right now. It all starts by having a conversation and finding ways to be mutually beneficial to each other. Find out how you can become ONE and how to work together to advance God’s kingdom.

Here2There’s mission is to close the gap between churches and missionaries. If you need help coming up with ideas on how to make your missionaries a part of your church instead of a mission you support contact us, we love talking about this.

information@here2there.org

Coronavirus Is Here but We’re Still Working

Even as Covid-19 has the world at a standstill in many places and just crawling forward in others, Here2There Ministries is stil hard at work serving and preparing the church to think missionally. Since April we have been very active online creating many resources and videos to keep The Church engaged.

Go to our youtube channel to check out some of the great videos and conversations we’ve had lately.

An Empty Ocean and the 10 Things We Must Remember About Grief

Walking alone at a park, a friend of mine saw a woman busily walking towards her, dictating something into her phone. The woman looked earnest and concentrated.

She came closer and closer, and as her words became more distinct, my socially-distancing friend heard these slow, simple words:

“Sadness is an ocean with nothing in it. Period.”

Oh how I want to know that woman’s story. I recently googled those words and came up empty; apparently, she hasn’t published them yet. In any case, I’m guessing you resonate with her sentiment.

Thank you so much to the Trotter’s for sharing this special piece about grief and what it can look like and the different ways it can show up in our lives. For the rest of this blog by Jonathan Trotter click here.

Combating the Virus With Love and Intentionality

It seems hard to believe that seven months into 2020 we are still dealing with this worldwide killer called “Covid 19”. Each news broadcast is focused on numbers which are staggering to think about. Our last blog dealt with ways to minister during and following this pandemic with suggestions for actions which focused efforts on the church using the tools God has provided in the most efficient and impactful ways to accomplish ministry goals.

Though Covid remains the topic on most minds, let me draw your attention to two other viruses with which our nation and the world is facing – Racial Tension and Spiritual Decay. The first is certainly spoken of in the news more than the second, but the second has both present and eternal impacts on lives greater than the first.

Let’s deal with the Racial Tension first with an example I witnessed and was a part of recently. My Dad and I have breakfast twice a week to talk about all sorts of things. He is 91 and still very active and sharp mentally. This week we were dining at a restaurant neither of us had been to before to accommodate a vehicle repair appointment I had near this cafe. Sitting at a table nearby was an African American family of senior adult age having breakfast with their adult daughter.

 My Dad, as he often does, asked if he could pay for their breakfast, to which they responded with such joy and expression of the blessing this would be to them. They told us they had just come from a local cancer center where the Mom had rung the bell signifying she had taken her last chemo treatment. They were rejoicing over that and God had allowed us to be a part of this celebration.

I went over to them and we all prayed together thanking God for His mercy, power, and grace. They expressed they were believers and we all praised our Lord for His saving grace. We talked about the fact that we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ and His love transcends all matters.

Scripture tells us a lot about this matter of LOVE in our lives. This was my Dad’s way of expressing his and God’s love for these people. Christ said in Matthew 22 that Loving God and Loving our Neighbor are the two greatest commandments. Paul tells us that Love never fails in I Corinthians 13. In John 13 Jesus admonishes His disciples to love one another. John tells us in I John that Love is of God. Jesus’ teaching about loving our enemies in Matthew 5 is certainly a reversal of how we usually treat them.

You get the picture here. The answer to the Racial Tensions being so divisive in our world and nation is the Love of God being shared with others of All races alike. We the Believers are the vehicle God has instructed and appointed to do this. It’s not just a “Church” proclamation. It is every Christ Followers mandate. There is ample evidence in scripture and in life to support the power which acts of love and kindness can have on others. The question becomes, can others tell we are Christ’s Disciples by our love? How can you show God’s love to those within your sphere of contact? Like Nike says, “Just Do It”. You will be amazed how far love will take you in your work of caring for others.

The second virus of which we spoke is that of a Spiritual Decay and decline we see all around us. Of much greater eternal consequence than Covid, yet it is not treated like the condemning pandemic it truly is in lives today.

When Christ gave instructions for the proclamation of the Gospel in Matthew 28, He was not making a mere suggestion. He was giving us a clear Commission – a Great Commission to Go, Teach , Baptize, and Make Disciples. When I was a boy, any time my parents would tell me to do something it was not done with the thought of “if I feel like doing it” in their minds.  Any lack of immediate response with obedience on my part was met with a quick and usually painful course correction for me from my Mother or Father. 

To bring about evangelism in our world will take complete obedience to the Great Commission given us by Christ. That may take on various methods and means, but certainly it must be INTENTIONAL on our part.

I have a friend  who is an African American Attorney. He is a graduate of the University of Florida both undergrad and Law School. When not working he wears an LSU, purple and gold jersey for a unique purpose, which he had shared with me the first time I saw him wear it knowing he was a Florida grad.

 I was with him at a local ice cream shop, standing in line outside waiting to be served. A gentleman came up to him and commented on his LSU jersey to which he immediately replied with his very INTENTIONAL plan for sharing the gospel. 

In a matter of minutes he had told the man that he was a graduate of Florida, but wears the LSU colors because it gives him greater opportunity to tell others about the Love of God. Without delay or hesitation he took the man through the plan of salvation, to which this man replied that he was a Christ Follower, but what an awesome purpose and way of sharing the gospel. My friend is a big guy with an attorney’s voice, so a lot of people heard the plan of salvation at this ice cream shop. He was very intentional  in his response and reaction to this man’s comments about his LSU jersey. That is his way of being intentional for sharing the gospel.

Overcoming the Spiritual Decay plaguing us worldwide starts with Christ Followers being Intentional about sharing their faith with others. You don’t have to have a fancy, long narrative about religion. The most effective testimony and witness is what God has done in your life. At Pentecost in Acts 2:11 those empowered to be witnesses were telling others of the wondrous works of Jesus which they had seen and experienced. These works had changed their life forever.

The world doesn’t need a bunch of theology they don’t understand. They need to hear how a Savior changed your life and can change theirs. They need to hear about God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and New LIfe! The work of Christ Followers is to Be INTENTIONAL with our witness. 

   You might be questioning what these things have to do with Here2There Ministries. Simply, this is why we exist. To help individuals, churches, and missionaries become more effective in accomplishing the Great Commission in their lives and ministries. 

  • Our work focuses on Prayer Development which leads to the establishing of an 
  • Acts 1:8 Vision for defining your JJSU (Jerusalem,Judea,Samaria,Uttermost) &
  • Creating a MAP (Mission Action Plan) to reach your JJSU by
  • Training and Mobilizing members to Serve Others. 

To discover more about the work of Here2There contact us at information@here2there.org for more information about who we are and what we do. We want to work with YOU.

By Wayne A. Dinsbeer, Church Partnership Lead

De-clutter The Church

Cleaning out the Ministry Closets

I am not an OCD person, but I do not like clutter. I don’t mind piles and stacks, as long as they are neat and not in my way. BUT, eventually they get on my nerves and I need them gone. NOW! Then, I have to stop what I NEED to be doing to deal with them. As I am rifling through the stack, the majority of it gets thrown away, and I ask myself, ‘why did I save that in the first place?’.

When we allow the piles around us to grow, they get on our nerves, but they also block our vision, they dull our senses and we often just adjust or accept them.

Have you de-cluttered your church lately?

What ministry, ongoing project, system, tradition, leader… is cluttering your ability to accomplish your purpose? If you let these things continue to pile up they will (if they haven’t already) become the focal point of your church. They might not be wrong, but they also might not be right. They can be a
distraction, a frustration, a trap.

Each church has it’s special calling and vision, but The Church has an underlying focus:

  • Location – Acts 1:8
  • Vocation – Ephesians 4:11-12
  • Maturation – Hebrews 5:11-4
  • Devotion – Acts 2:42

In my effort to stay de-cluttered I try and implement some rules to prevent clutter or too much unneeded stuff.

  • When I get a new piece of clothing, I get rid of one that I do not use or need anymore.
  • When we pack for a trip, I deep clean and de-clutter the closet.
  • When my husband is gone I throw away his stuff (haha)

Is it time to de-clutter?

Take some time to ask God what, if anything, needs de-cluttering around your church. Are you staying in tune with God’s leading and God’s purpose for your church, or have you fallen pray to the clutter of programs, good ideas and we need to do something’s? Do your current ministries line up with the vision of The Church or do they need to be dusted off, and realigned, or even thrown out?

Having clear, direct lines to our mandate and vision help prevent clutter, keep us in line and give an easy answer to the people who bring those amazing ‘great ideas’ to the table. Don’t worry about if it ‘includes’ everyone, will be attractive, or able to do in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When those piles are gone, I am unstoppable!!! Well, maybe not, but I feel like it. I can get back to what I need to be doing, I don’t have to worry about dealing with them, and they don’t prevent me from utilizing all the extra space on the things that really matter.

Stefanie Nicholson
Founder & Team Lead

P.S. If your church would like to talk about the DNA and mission structure of your church, reach out to our team for a call or visit today. Our DNA Matrix Tool is an easy to use guide to help you de-clutter and get inline! information@here2there.org

The World is Still Closed

Doing Missions in uncertain Times

No one is using ink anymore. We are all using pencils again and very quickly wearing down the erasers. It’s not just change, it’s rapid change and it’s constant. It’s causing us to be a bit more vulnerable, flexible, adding less busy-ness to our days and re-evaluating our routines and systems.

There is one thing that is constant: our need to personally connect with people and take the Gospel to all nations and make disciples.

Yes, this looks different than it did just 3 months ago, but it’s still our biggest
command of action as The Church. Our system of missions is shifting. Our plans are needing alterations. But, our goal is still the same. So, now what do we do?

Our church’s participation in missions has never been more vital. As the shift in ‘physically present’ ministry seems to be on hold we need to be creative. We need more hands on deck to bring innovative ways to connect, care, serve and share.

As many of us turn to online platforms the world has vastly opened to us and those seeking for community and connection are at our fingertips, literally.

The isolation has been strange and difficult, but it also brought some shape-
shifting with it. Forcing us to fight for connectivity, forcing us to try new ways, and opening our eyes to new possibilities of community.

By now your church has a new view of the world. Your church has never had a greater connection to the world. Your church has a new opportunity to connect, impact, share through the individual’s innovation lying in waiting.

Your doors might be reopening, but the world is still closed. As you stay
committed to your Great Commission vision, look inward to the innovation sitting right beside you. Look for ways to deploy those waiting to reconnect with the world. Now is the opportunity to recreate the structure of your systems and services to include mobilization and equipping elements of equipping and preparations.

The process might not be as grandiose as before. And every activity or event
might not include the whole church. But, that’s ok. It utilizes more people, in a more intentional way and it’s the thing your missionaries need and it’s what your church body has been empowered to do.

Don’t let uncertainty keep you from making plans and seeking out new options.

Our mission hasn’t changed, just the way we get to do it.

Stefanie Nicholson
Founder & Team Lead

P.S. If your church would like to have a conversation about church-wide
mobilization, please contact me. Stefanie.nicholson@here2there.org

Second Fiddle

I am currently preparing a video series on Boundaries as found in the Bible. I am using the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life, by Larry Crab and John Townsend, as supporting material. As I was browsing through to refresh my memory, I was reminded of the condition of: “playing second fiddle”. This is not a term that is used very often these days, and when it is, it is sometimes misused.

Many people use it to indicate that they, the second fiddler, have been left out of the performance because of the first fiddler. Of course, I am not writing about orchestra participation today, but about relationships. If we use this term in the way I described, it might suggest that a person is being left out of a relationship because another person, the first fiddler, has replaced them. This would not be a proper use of this term. The second fiddler is indeed active in the performance, but it is the first fiddler who has
the most valuable role.

In an orchestra, there are often two sections of violins. These sections are led by the first violin and the second violin. The section led by the first violin is the primary one and it is led by the violinist who is considered the most valuable player. This violinist often fills the role of concertmaster, a position just under the conductor. The rest of the orchestra is subordinate to the concertmaster and looks to him or her to know when it is their time to come in (as they say).

So it follows that the second violin, or second fiddle, is also subordinate to, and takes its cues from the first violinist. The second fiddle does not have a primary role and is not considered to be valuable like the first fiddler. He or she is not one who functions in a position of importance in the eyes of the conductor. In fact, the role of the second section of fiddles is simply to be a backup to the primary – when more sound is needed.

What might this second fiddle concept look like in a ministry or missionary family?

  • Spouse One
    Conductor
    -Pastor
    -Missionary
    -Director
  • The Ministry
    primary
    -first violin
    -concertmaster
    -most valuable
  • Spouse Two
    second fiddle

In this model, Spouse Two is indeed active in the orchestra, but is also subordinate to the ministry. He or she is present, but has little or nothing to do with the ministry, minimal access to the conductor, and nearly no authority. Spouse Two, our second fiddle, must watch for signs that the ministry can allow him or her an opportunity to join in. If joining in does happen, Spouse Two must be ready to give way to the needs of the ministry at a moments notice. In this model, the ministry has authority and priority over Spouse Two – as granted by the conductor (Spouse One). This is problematic as it can cause Spouse Two to feel ineffective in the relationship and the ministry, cause resentment toward Spouse One, and even worse, kill Spouse Two’s appreciation of ministry in general. Ultimately, an established place of independence can lead Spouse Two away from the ministry and the marriage. If there are children involved in this model, they will likely follow Spouse Two, but the damage may be worse. They may never learn to trust the ministry or Who it represents – effecting or even inhibiting their faith.

This situation represents a common lack of boundaries in marriages in the world today, and those involved in ministry are not immune to the effects of these weak marital/ministry boundaries. Genesis 2:24 makes it clear that husband and wife are to become one flesh, and if this is to be true, neither
spouse can be independently focused on something outside of their marriage and family. This includes ministry.

I am sure some of the folks reading this can provide many good reasons why ministry must trump everything else, and I am sure I would not disagree with any supporting information you might provide. After all, our primary responsibility is to stand firm in the faith and fully give ourselves for the works of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). As missionaries, we are strongly connected to Acts 1:8 which identifies that the power of the Holy Spirit is given to us in such a way that we become driven to witness in Jerusalem,
Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts. This seems to put ministry and missionary work out front, because – let’s face it – this is what the Lord expects us to do with the power He provides.

But let me offer that a part of every pastor, missionary, or other servant’s Jerusalem is their family. As we get back to our orchestra analogy, we need to figure out where our spouse and family fit. Someone told me just yesterday that in many cases Spouse Two (and the family) is not even considered to be in the orchestra by some ministry leaders. I suppose that in such a case, they are simply spectators. At any rate, they are not in the place where the Lord expects them to be. At best they are second fiddle.

In many of these scenarios, the spouse and family are indeed in the orchestra, but they are only engaged when absolutely necessary. Most ministries want pastors, missionaries, and other leaders to have a family, and I have spoken to a few who married only to satisfy that requirement. Most of the time, those families are just sitting in the background for effect and waiting to be activated by the conductor as needed. Ultimately, a family structured this way will fail – and therefore, so will the associated ministry.

To avoid this second fiddle condition, couples should work together to set boundaries that identify the family as the most important aspect of their life in Christ. Next, there must be a clear definition of where the family starts and ends, that the whole family is the most valuable player in the orchestra, and that the ministry of priority is that of the family. Next, the extended ministry should be understood as the families ministry; each member having a strong and intentional purpose in it. Remember, the family that
serves together stays together.

Here 2 There Ministries teaches that the church and all of its member ministries (missionaries) function best when they are fully engaged together as supportive partners. It is also true that those who serve in ministry will function best when fully engaged with and supported by their family. Eliminate the second fiddle position, move your family to a partnership level, and let the ministry flourish in the wake of a family strongly connected to the word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

By: Mark Painter, MA

Together on Mission with God: A Biblical Basis for Partnership

“Two are better than one” is a statement most people would affirm, at least until the two are left fighting over a single cinnamon roll. Who would disagree that sharing, working together, or getting along with others is virtuous? When considering God’s mission to redeem a lost world, we must have a more substantial foundation for partnership than generic moral platitudes.

Certainly, there are practical considerations that encourage Christians to work with others.

  • Two people can accomplish a bigger job more efficiently than someone working alone.
  • Globalization forces interaction across cultures whether it is pursued or not.
  • Working with local people more adept at culture and language has obvious benefits.
  • Specialization and cheaper labor can lead to “more bang for the buck.” 

While these pragmatic advantages are not inconsequential, missionaries need biblical support and guidance for entering cross-cultural partnerships. I would like to address four foundational Biblical truths that lead to partnership in mission. In subsequent posts, I will propose a definition of partnership and offer principles and practices for healthy partnership.

To read the rest of this blog at The Upstream Collective’s website click here.

Room In My Heart

Phil 1:3-11
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure
of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, [d] both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the
gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


Reading social media today I saw where a friend and business associate of H2T posted, and I paraphrase, “a room in my heart for you”. This sent me on a Word search, only to find where Paul told his Partners “I hold you in my heart”. He later in the passage writes, “I yearn for
you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” What a great picture of holding someone in your heart by creating a room for them.

When we fill our hearts with the Love of God, He makes room for our love to grow so we can add others. As Paul wrote, while in prison, “It is right for me to feel this way.” As a team we hold a place in our hearts, for our partners, our missionaries, and our churches. There is also
room individually for our families, our neighbors, and yes those that may not agree with us.

We at Here2There come together at a minimum 2 times weekly to pray. We make room in our hearts for you. We make room in our hearts for our neighbors. We make room in our hearts for others. Today I encourage you to not harden your heart to others, but make room in
your heart for Jesus, so He can make room for us and others, as we make room for you.

Prayerfully,
Wayne Pierce
Operations Lead

My Observations of The Church During COVID-19

Here we are 2-3 months into the shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic and depending on where you are living could determine the stage of lockdown you’re experiencing as some states is the USA have started to ease restrictions. Now is maybe a good time to start looking back and evaluating some things. One of those things for is to see how The Church has handled and weathered the crises. Obviously the church is in no danger of disappearing as we’re promised, “…the gates of Hades will not overcome it.(Matt 16:18)” But if we look through the last few months what has your church been doing? Or maybe more specifically what have the people of your church been doing?

Not that it will be a revolutionary thought to many but it has been my observation for quite some time now that the North American church is almost completely a consumer-driven entity. The vast majority of people who show up on Sunday morning come to be fed and not for much more. My purpose here isn’t to lay the blame at anyone’s feet as I would just say we’ve all likely played a part in getting us here.

All that being said, here’s what I’m seeing right now. I see people that have no idea what to do without a building to meet in and church staff in which to be given direction. A verse I’ve read a number of times recently in Hebrews chapter 5,

“11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

This just seemed so timely to me. So many of us have been in church long enough that we should be able to teach biblical principles and the story of Jesus’ love and salvation but we are so accustomed to having someone teach us, “the elementary truths of God’s word,” over and over again with no expectation that we should know it and go teach it to others. Of course this is nothing new for God’s people. We see time and again in the Old Testament where the Nation of Israel was continually in need for God to send someone to lead them

Most of what I see right now is geared towards the anticipation of when we will be able to meet together again. Don’t get me wrong it is important that we emphasize meeting together and I too am hopeful we will be able to soon but in the mean time we should be seeking God and looking for ways to show God’s love to our neighbors. This is a great time to be able to say, “Yes, I am scared too and unsure about wha the future will look like but I have a hope that rises above that fear of the unknown. God is still sovereign.

I believe one of the best ways to get people get more comfortable serving others and sharing the gospel is to have them go on a short term journey and spend time with missionaries in other places. It is a great opportunity to have people spend time learning and practice living out their faith and sharing it with others. If you would like help mobilizing people to GO Here2There can help. Email us at information@here2there.org for more information.

Bryan Nicholson – Media & Marketing Lead