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A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s Editor: Sheryl Martin Hash Contributing Editors: Kathy Chapman Sharp, Sondra Epley Graphic Designer and Illustrator: Danielle Waterman Writers: Ken McLemore, Tim Smith, Susan Smith Contributing Writers: Elvin McCann, Jerry Daniel, Sheryl Martin Hash

Adventures

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Adventures in Missions teaches Christians about adopting unreached people groups around the globe and how to become effective advocates for them. But the real advocate for all mankind is God’s Son, Jesus Christ. God made a way to give us the gift of salvation and eternal life when He sent His Son to die on a cross, bearing the sins of a lost world. This gift of salvation is received through faith alone—a decision of the heart, demonstrated by genuine repentance. Our task as believers is to fulfill Christ’s commandment to spread the gospel among all peoples: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you ... (Matt. 28:19, 20, NIV). Before we can make a connection to the lost peoples of the world, though, we must first make sure we have placed “our rope” firmly in the hands of Jesus Christ.


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This publication was made possible through the effort and cooperation of the Table 71 Partnership

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Campus Crusade for Christ, The JESUS Film Project DAWN Ministries International Mission Board (SBC) Pray Spokane Touch-a-Heart, Offer-a-Hand Walk Thru the Bible Wycliffe, SIL International and The Seed Company YWAM Frontier Missions, University of the Nations and Impact World Tour

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Copyright Š 2004 by Table71 All rights reserved. This work may be used, reproduced and distributed freely (not for profit) for the purpose of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Module 4:

From adoption to advocacy

C o n t e n t s

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Pages 5-10

Module 2: Shaping the vision of advocacy for your church

Pages 11-25

Module 3: Communication and security

Networking and partnering

Pages 26-35

Pages 36-41

Module 5: Missiological issues

Pages 42-44

Module 6: How to communicate the message of advocacy

Pages 45-49

Module 7: Starting your journey

Pages 50-55

Resources

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Discussion Questions

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Connecting you to the unreached world Introduction A dynamic movement in getting the gospel to unreached people groups has emerged during the past two decades. As the identity of these groups—and our understanding of them—has increased, more and more missionaries have been sent to carry the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have never heard. This is good news! But the number of unreached peoples is still staggering. Research indicates there are more than 5,000 people groups in the world with a population of approximately 1.6 billion who have little or no access to the gospel. Along with the rising number of missionaries is the increase of people group adoptions by churches around the world. God is calling His church to embrace unreached peoples as He calls His missionaries to engage them. Many churches are learning what it means to gain the heart of God for the nations through the booklet Impact Eternity. This seminar introduces churches to God’s eternal plan of redemption for all peoples and challenges believers to participate. Impact Eternity provides a deeper understanding of what it means to adopt an unreached people group and then guides churches in the discovery and selection process. To register your adoption commitment on the Web, please go to http://www.joshuaproject.net/registerform.php. Impact Eternity is a precursor to Adventures in Missions since adoption is foundational to advocacy. As churches adopt unreached people groups they evolve into advocates. This book guides individuals and churches in how to be effective advocates for their adopted peoples—so they can bridge the gap between their adopted people group and the strategies and resources needed to reach them with the gospel.

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From adoption to advocacy A. Adoption It’s important to fully understand the definition of people group adoption before trying to grasp advocacy. What is a people group? Longtime global researcher Dr. Orville Jenkins explains it this way: “A people group is an ethnolinguistic group with a common self-identity that is shared by the various members. There are two parts to that word: ‘ethno’ and ‘linguistic.’ Language is a primary and dominant identifying factor of a people group. But there are other factors that determine or are associated with ethnicity.” The AD2000 and Beyond Movement enlarged on this definition: “A people group is a significantly large ethnic or sociological grouping of individuals who perceive themselves to have a common affinity for one another. For evangelistic purposes, it is the largest group within which the gospel can be spread as a church-planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.” Why do they need to be adopted? Adoption of unreached peoples is essential because geographical, political, cultural or religious barriers have denied them access to the knowledge that God loves them and has provided salvation for them through Jesus Christ. Adoption is a method of providing strategic focus on exposure to the gospel and planting an indigenous, reproducing church among them that can evangelize its own people.

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But what does it really mean to adopt an unreached people group? Churches center their attention, prayers, energies and resources on the group for the purpose of getting the gospel to them—regardless of how long it takes. The obvious goal is that Jesus Christ be introduced to them, that they come to faith in Him and that an indigenous, reproducing church is planted among them. Modules 2 and 3 of Impact Eternity give specific guidelines to follow in the adoption process. Copies of Impact Eternity are available by e-mailing cyndi.wagner@ccci.org or by calling her at (703) 848-0622. A number of factors help narrow the field: prayer, local connections, strategic preferences, personal interests, historical, political or economic connections and social considerations. Points to consider: • Are there missionaries from your church already working among an unreached people group? • Are there members of an unreached people group living in your community? • Field personnel don’t necessarily have to be from your church. They may be missionaries from another church or organization in your town—but they can connect with your church when they come home. • Do some research! Contact a mission board or agency, surf the Internet, talk to a minister of missions at a local church, etc., to find out which people groups have the greatest needs. Example: A church in Illinois was considering adopting an unreached people group. They already had the beginnings of a relationship with a family working among the Gujarati 6

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Indians in Nairobi, Kenya. After research, the church discovered there was a large contingent of Gujarati Indians living in their area of Chicago—many of them owned and operated local doughnut shops. One day, a church member ventured into one of the doughnut shops. As Doughnut she began to talk to one of the Shop employees, she noticed the person had an accent and appeared to be of Indian descent. Curious, she asked the employee where she was from. The employee answered that the woman had probably never heard of this particular region of India called “Gujarat.” The future advocate got very excited! This not only confirmed that her church should adopt the Gujarati Indians, but also led this new advocate to take a job at the doughnut shop in order to befriend the employees and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.

B. Advocacy In the spring of 1793, the newly formed Baptist Missionary Society was conducting an intense meeting. William Carey, known as the father of the modern missionary movement, was considering where God wanted him to serve. In that meeting, Reverend Fuller, secretary of the society, looked at Carey and said, “It is clear that there is a rich mine of gold in India; if you will go down, I will hold the ropes.” (From William Carey: The Father of Modern Missions by Galen B. Royer.)

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That “holding the ropes” concept still exists today—only it is now called “advocacy.” Advocates hold the rope for the unreached “An advocate is someone who wants to see the people of God join in what God is doing to redeem all peoples for Himself. An advocate wants to see God’s dreams come true! So, the advocate becomes a voice for the cause of a specific group of unreached people. He or she may be a learner, a nurturer and networker, or an activist and champion. The advocate works with others to help bridge the gap between a specific unreached people group and specific resources within the global kingdom of God. Each unreached people group has somewhat different needs, and each advocate has somewhat different personality, gifting and calling.” —Marti Smith, Caleb Project Advocates can be churches, associations, organizations or individuals that plead the cause of unreached people groups to the body of Christ around the world. Advocates come from all walks of life, have all kinds of occupations and all types of spiritual gifts. Example: When a church misBusiness Seminar sions team went to Northern Africa to conduct a business seminar, “Martha,” (pseudonym) a team member, came face to face with the idea of advocacy. This team was a well-seasoned group of professionals with many years of business experience. They shared the common belief that God led them to go on this trip. Martha had been overseas before and had worked in Africa so she knew what to expect as far as living conditions, travel, etc. What she didn’t know was how God was about to change her life.

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While in Africa, Martha went to the mountains to visit people in various villages. As she walked among them, an overwhelming thought came to her: “Who is going to tell these people about Jesus?” She couldn’t stop thinking about this people group. When Martha returned from the missions trip she tried to give a report on her experiences, but she could not stop weeping—it was obvious her life had been changed. Martha shared how God allowed the country’s minister of education to sit in on one of the team’s business seminars. Following the meeting, the man had approached Martha and the missionary with whom she worked and gave them permission to do anything they wanted in this restricted country. In the words of the missionary, “Doors were opened beyond what we could have ever imagined.” Although God didn’t open the door for Martha to be a missionary at that time, He did plant a seed. Martha shared with her church how they could work alongside the missionaries to help those unreached people hear the gospel. An advocate for an unreached people group had been born. Advocacy is more about characteristics and relationships than a program. It requires a high-level commitment to do what it takes to reach the unreached. For example: • Advocates must have a passion to see their people group worship God. God worshiped among the nations is the driving force behind advocacy. • Advocates must be open to doing what is necessary to get the job done. As Henry Blackaby shares in his study, Experiencing God, “Christians need to look at where God is working and join Him there.” A d v e n t u r e s

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Example: A minister of missions went on a vision trip to Africa to visit a people group for whom he was advocating. As he rode around with a missionary looking at the needs among this unreached people, he noticed that most people had small cassette recorders. One tool that could be useful in sharing the gospel would be a cassette-duplicating machine. Gospel messages, songs and programming could be ages recorded in their heart language mess l e p Gos and distributed among these unreached people. Most (93 percent) were illiterate and could not read. This minister went home and began seeking a way to purchase equipment for this missionary to use for his unreached people group. • Advocates are proactive in their approach to pleading the cause of the unreached among the body of Christ. Good advocates move forward in their work without having to be told each step. • A good advocate must be open to working with those of like mind and strategy—no matter what the denominational background, culture or socio-economical level.

M o d u l e 2 Shaping the vision of advocacy for your church A critical element of advocacy is vision— what you hope to accomplish through what you and others do. The fulfillment of your vision is the primary guide for prayers, giving, expectations, recruiting and involvement.

VISION

For example: In construction a building’s foundation determines its size and shape. Its depth and breadth will hold and sustain the rest of the structure as it is erected. Ultimately, the duration and durability of the structure depend on the strength of the foundation. The same is true with your vision. Some key points to consider: • How big is your vision? (Does it include the missionary and unreached people group as well as others God might bring alongside?) • Is it singular or inclusive? (Is it just for you or are you open to allowing others into the network?) • Is it general or focused? (Is your intention to help a missionary or significantly affect the establishment of a reproducing church among its unreached people group?) • Is it deep or shallow? (How committed are you to stay with the strategy—even if it takes longer than planned?) Don’t underestimate the value of a sound vision for your advocacy team. It will either catalyze or constrain ministry efforts on behalf of your people group.

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A. Passion to pray: individual commitment Prayer is the next most important element in advocating for a people group. Continuing the building analogy, prayer is the floor—and everything else rests upon it. It is the connection point for every plan and activity. It’s not necessary that the floor be beautiful, but it is absolutely necessary that it be solid and sound. So it is with prayer in an advocacy group—all that is accomplished rests upon it.

them, and they will be granted you” (Mark 11:23, 24, NASB).

There are many good books on prayer (see Resources) and biblical examples to follow such as Luke 11:1-10 where Jesus teaches us to pray, Matthew 26:36-46 where Jesus submits in prayer, and many others. Prayer can happen by simple reminders, it can happen at designated times, and it can happen in the middle of the night when you wake up— but a lifestyle of prayer takes work and commitment. A potential advocate must then ask: • Do I have the desire to pray in a way that could change lives? • Will I pray to change the direction of a nation or the future of an unreached people group?

Each team member chose a day on which he or she would pray and fast. Then a three-person team went on a vision trip and saw firsthand the stronghold Satan had on their unreached people group. They realized the vital need for prayer as they walked among the people for the first time, seeing in their eyes the emptiness that only Jesus could fill. The team also had the opportunity to encourage the missionaries working with their unreached people group.

Paul pleads to believers in Rome when he says, “Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30, NASB). We must “strive together” in our prayers for those on the mission fields around the world. A story of advocacy “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,��� and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received

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At an advocacy team’s initial meeting, members were concerned about how to be effective in their new venture. The team adopted a people group with 1.5 million people who had no Bible in their language and fewer than five known Christians. What could team members do? PRAY!

A couple of weeks after the group returned home, six advocacy team members left on the first short-term mission trip to their unreached people group. To prepare for their trip, they asked missionaries to list the areas of greatest need and focused their prayers on those needs. The advocacy group also mobilized their church to pray and fast. When the mission trip team reached their destination, they met with field personnel Prayer and, with prayer list in hand, excitedly Requests and Need checked off answered prayers. One of the s missionaries’ prayer requests had been for their crated belongings to arrive. They had given up hope thinking the crates had been either lost or stolen. But on the other side of the world, advocates were praying. On the last day of the church members’ fasting and praying, trucks arrived with all the missionaries’ crates. God was at work! And, as a result of prayer, unexpected relationships were established with A d v e n t u r e s

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key contacts among the advocacy team’s people group. Do prayers really matter? Robert Speer once said, “The evangelization of the world depends first upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for workers; deeper far than the need for money; deeper down at the bottom of our spiritual lives, is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, worldwide prayer” (from Love on its Knees).

A story of advocacy “The prayer of one righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b, NIV). As the advocacy team left to go overseas, they had no idea prayer would play such a large role in their short-term mission trip. One of the missionaries they worked with had a gate guard named “Moses” (pseudonym). A devout Muslim, Moses prayed five times a day as he had been taught. While the team was visiting, Moses became seriously ill, and it was apparent that his illness was more serious than the missionary doctor could treat. The doctor took Moses to the primitive local hospital. There it was determined that his illness was life threatening. As Moses was being prepared for surgery, the advocacy team was asked to pray. Miraculously, Moses made it through the surgery but needed more care than the hospital could provide. The doctor converted his vehicle into an ambulance so he could transport Moses to a better hospital in the capital city. As they departed, many family and friends came to say their goodbyes to Moses, for they had no hope of seeing him alive again. Indeed, Moses should have died on that rough journey 1 4

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across the desert. More than once the missionary doctor and the advocacy team stopped to pray over him. When the group arrived at the hospital, the short-term team quickly sent word back to their home church asking members to lift Moses in prayer. The intensive care unit at the capital hospital was dismal. It was a dirt-filled room housing three other patients, almost no staff and little else. The missions team continued to visit Moses and pray over him at the hospital. Even the doctor attending Moses told him he would fast and pray for Moses’ healing in the name of Jesus Christ. During the next several days and weeks, Moses’ health began to improve. Several months later and fully healed, Moses traveled back to his hometown. The missionary doctor planned a great celebration for his return. Many people came—rich and poor—as a great feast was prepared. Friends and family who had said their last goodbyes to Moses saw him for the first time since his illness; they rejoiced and celebrated. Moses shared with everyone how Jesus had healed him through the prayers of the missionary and his friends. God worked through these events to open many doors in that area of the world. It was no longer the white man’s medicine that was healing people, for the doctor did little through these events other than pray. Satan still has a stronghold there, but some surrounding village leaders, including leaders of another religion, have welcomed the missionary into their villages. They come openly and privately to see the doctor, but not just for medical reasons. They want to see the JESUS film, talk about spiritual things, learn more about the stories in the Book and ask questions about this man called Jesus. Moses is still eager to study A d v e n t u r e s

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the Bible and learn all he can about Jesus, the One who healed him. Do our prayers really matter? When believers pray regularly and effectively for nations and people groups, there will be change! Christians are commanded to pray continuously until God’s truth is revealed to the lost of the world. The church also must realize the authority that rests upon it. God is pleased when His children pray that His kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:913). We, as Christians, have the power to effect change through prayer! B. Getting others to pray As an advocacy team is formed, members need everyone possible praying for their unreached people group. Here are some suggestions: • Members should commit to pray daily; in addition, they can choose one day a week to fast. • Call and e-mail missionaries and pass on their needs. When possible, ask the missionaries to include the names of individuals, nonbelievers and new believers in need of prayer. Try to have monthly prayer updates to and from the field. • Encourage church members to focus on their unreached people group and those working on the field through weekly prayer meetings, updates in Sunday School classes, and in women’s and men’s groups. • Produce monthly “prayer moments.” • Meet monthly as a team to pray and plan. • Host annual church-wide fasting and prayer times. • Have church-wide virtual prayerwalks by setting up

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booths to represent the areas and needs of your unreached people groups. There are many other ways to encourage people to pray: • Weekly/monthly bulletin inserts • Five-minute prayer focus in a church service • Prayer points in a weekly announcement sheet • Once-a-week missions prayer meeting • Sunday School activities • Youth meetings Church • Children’s church conferences Conferences • Home groups of missions • Outside of the church organizations • Pastors’ gatherings • Church conferences • Conferences of missions organizations • Initiate a new prayer venue or event, such as starting a new weekly prayer meeting with a people group focus. • Invite a missionary from your people group or nation to come and share with the church. This will make your prayer event more powerful. • Find videos and books on that people group and nation and organize a more visually attractive prayer meeting around them. • Place information and people group photos on a bulletin board in a highly visible location. • Initiate an all-night prayer meeting in the church. Most importantly, pray and ask God to direct you and your church concerning an unreached people group. Look at how Jesus prayed: • Matthew 14:23—He went alone to pray • Luke 22:32—He prayed for others • Mark 11:24—He prayed with confidence A d v e n t u r e s

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• Mark 14:32—He prayed with passion Will you pray now? “Father God, I praise You for who You are: the King of kings, Mighty God and Holy One. I thank You, Lord, for Your salvation, and for Your love for the unreached of the world. Lord, I pray for the outpouring of Your Spirit on the nations and unreached peoples of the world. “Lord, I pray spiritual darkness will be lifted. Show me strongholds, and bind the evil one as he holds this nation captive. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, and by His blood. “Lord, I pray for spiritual awakening and a hunger to seek after You. I pray for the next generation of my unreached people group to seek the truth. “Lord, I pray for those people working with this unreached people group, that You would show them Your heart to reach the nations, and call out many more to go to the harvest fields. “Lord, I thank You for Your love and faithfulness to all the nations and peoples of the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” The ultimate dream: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands (Rev. 7:9, NIV). 1 8

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C. Prayer resources A number of mission organizations and churches have taken the initiative to mobilize corporate prayer with different country and people group focuses. More information on these prayer emphases is available by contacting missions organizations. For instance, the International Mission Board prayer Web site is http://imb.org/compassionnet. Also, conduct Internet searches using key words such as “praying for nations” or “praying for unreached.” Tie into existing international prayer networks such as Praying Through the Window, Interprayer and Religion Today at http://www.crosswalk.com. Booklets focusing on specific people groups also are printed and distributed by various organizations, including the International Mission Board. Adopt-a-People Group, Peoplegroups.org, PeopleTeams.org and Caleb Project also are examples of organizations that have researched nations and people groups and make this information available to help people pray more effectively. Another option is e-mail subscriptions to specific people group focus reports. See more resources in the back of this booklet. Vision trip A vision trip is a visit to the location of your adopted unreached people group to learn about their history, culture, religion, family structure—and how to pray effectively and fervently for the people. How does the importance of a vision trip factor into your overall plan to be an advocate? Let’s look at a model from the Bible.

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Read Numbers 13. The people of Israel are at a place where God commanded Moses to select and send a man from each tribe to spy out the land of Canaan. As we read in this chapter, we see the spies reporting back to Moses and to the people of Israel that the Promised Land indeed was filled with milk and honey. However, the people who lived there were strong, their cities were large and fortified, and the people were like giants. With 10 of the 12 spies reporting this, the people of Israel thought the risk was far too great to take; they forgot God’s promise and chose not to enter into the land of Canaan. As we look through the story of the Israelites escaping bondage, we see that God repeatedly provided, guided and delivered the Israelites from every possible situation. He met their needs for food and water. He guided their every footstep with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God even opened the sea to allow them to escape sure death at the hands of the Egyptians. Yet, the Israelites never seemed satisfied with God’s provisions, the direction He led them or even His protection. How much are we like the Israelites today? As God commanded Moses to choose the men to spy out the land, God still told Moses that the land belonged to them. The promise that God gave Moses in the beginning (Ex. 3:8) was still in place (Num. 13:2). However, the people of Israel still doubted God and His promise after so many miracles. If God has given you a clear direction to adopt an 2 0

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unreached people group, then “spy” out their land. See what the land of milk and honey has in store. Walk through the mountains and valleys of the promised land with whatever resources you can find. Remember, God has already promised that every nation, tribe, people and tongue will stand before His throne (Rev. 7:9). Use every resource to understand how to reach your people group and, more importantly, how you can pray for your unreached people. The more you survey the land, the more you will know where the evil one is prowling and where his strongholds exist (1 Peter 5:6-9). God will provide, guide and deliver your unreached people group into His promised land—you just need to remember His promises. As you travel along the journey, do not get discouraged. Do not doubt God. What’s next after God has shown you an unreached people group to adopt? Go to where your unreached people group lives. Does that mean you need to hop on a plane and fly halfway around the world? Not necessarily. Look back at Module 1. Remember the woman who found her people group at the doughnut shop? You may find your unreached people group right in your back yard! The more you can learn about your people, the more you will understand their culture and their history. You will learn the importance of their family structure as well as their religious background. Through this learning process, you can better understand how to pray for your people group and against Satan’s strongholds. Some unreached people groups are not physically accessible due to political climates and/or logistical barriers. The more you pray, bringing these people to the throne of God, A d v e n t u r e s

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the more God will open doors for you and your church. Don’t give up on these unreached people groups; pray down the barriers.

their church in a fresh and exciting way. Their unreached people group was no longer a people in a far away country, but a people for whom the church came to love and pray.

Example: As one advocacy group recalled a vision trip to meet their adopted people group, several things remained etched in their memories. As they got off the plane, the first thing they noticed was an unforgettable smell—a mixture of blowing dust and open sewer. The second thing took a little longer to see and understand—the stronghold Satan had on this area and its people. As the team started to meet with their unreached people group, they saw no spiritual joy in their lives—no hope for the future. A veil of darkness appeared to hang over the land and its people. Even the missionaries struggled with the language and the culture.

Download of passion Without news from the mission field, it is nearly impossible to keep your adopted people group foremost in the minds of your congregation. When missionaries supply vivid descriptions and details about the lives of your people, it will not only compel your church to pray but will give members a deeper sense of connection to the unreached peoples. A word of caution: Be careful to check security issues before sharing updates.

The advocacy group began to understand the unreached people group’s religious beliefs and the impact the beliefs had on their family structure and their culture. The local religion consisted of witchcraft, animal sacrifices, amulets for protection, the evil eye, superstitions and a world religion mixed with folklore. It was quite different than anything the team had ever experienced. Many times during their trip, the group had the opportunity to prayerwalk through the streets and to speak with and touch their unreached people group. The advocates began to fall in love with the people as their hearts yearned for their salvation. The team returned home with a wealth of information. They began to develop materials, videos, brochures and mission updates from the pictures and stories they had gathered. They shared their passion for these unreached people with 2 2

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Missionary updates As workers prepared to leave for the Last Frontier (or 10/40 Window), many people were concerned for their safety. But as they became established and began working with their people groups, the missionaries began sending news and updates back home: “God’s definition of ‘safety’ is totally different from ours. We sometimes ‘expect’ God to keep us safe. That can mean many different things. Safety to us can mean that we stay healthy. It can mean that He keeps our families alive and free from disease. It could mean that He keeps us safe from enemies in this world. It can mean that He keeps us safe from danger. That He protects us from death. That He would never send us into the midst of discomfort, danger or death. But safety to Him means saved. That’s it. Those that are saved are safe. Those that aren’t are in grave danger— the only kind that really matters. And if we are safe— saved—then anything—anything—could happen, and we A d v e n t u r e s

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would still be SAFE forever! Praise God!” Through updates, an advocacy group met the people with whom their missionaries work—people like “Miriam” (pseudonym). Miriam’s story “There is a beautiful woman named Miriam with brown skin and deep black eyes. She was an angry, young, violent and disobedient woman whose father wished her dead. But one night as she lay sleeping on a mat next to her dying mother, Miriam was blinded by a bright light. A figure stepped out with a brilliantly shining face and hair like fire. He held out His nail-scarred hands and said to her in a voice like thunder: ‘Miriam, get up’ and she did. He said: ‘I am Jesus. These wounds on My hands are for you. I died to pay for your sins and to set you free and give you life. FOLLOW ME.’ And He was gone. Today, Miriam is a warrior for Jesus Christ.” One of the great things about a vision trip or short-term mission trip is the opportunity to meet people you have heard so much about—the people God uses for His kingdom purposes. Miriam is such a person. After Miriam became a believer, her advocacy group discovered she was one of only three known believers in their adopted people group. Before long, God was using Miriam as a language teacher for missionaries.

The team asked Miriam if they could videotape her story. In that crude videotaping, she cried out to others to fast and pray so her people’s eyes would be opened to the truths of God. When the team returned home, they produced a powerful video featuring Miriam’s story to share with their church and other mission groups. There are others about whom the missionaries wrote, such as “Shamoo” (pseudonym): “I can’t begin to explain to you how real this struggle is. It is life and death. Would you join with me on your knees? Pray that they would come to the fullness of the knowledge of Jesus. I believe that before I leave that I will see the first fruits of life here.” The first fruit was an angry young man named Shamoo, who belonged to a tribe considered brutal. The previous year, Shamoo’s tribe had killed almost 100 men from a rival tribe over the rights to a watering hole. After seeing the JESUS film and talking to the missionaries, Shamoo became interested in studying the Bible. Soon Shamoo’s life changed, and he dedicated himself to following Jesus. Today, Shamoo carries his Bible everywhere, passionately sharing his story with others.

As the advocacy group developed a relationship with Miriam, she told them how God had burdened her for her people. She began fasting and praying, walking miles each day to and from language class with no food or water because of her passion for her people. In broken English, she would plead with those who worked with her people to fast and pray: “No food, no water, pray, pray, pray!”

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Communication and security

deliver us, as you help us by your prayers …” (2 Cor. 1:8, 10-11, NIV).

A. Why is communication important? The apostle Paul had a large communication network with which he kept in touch—even without e-mail or telephones! As you read Romans 16, you can count the number of people with whom he communicated in Rome, and you will find more than 40 names. Paul understood the importance of communication.

(Africa 2001)—“Jay” and “Kay” (pseudonyms) live in Africa with their children. One day, Kay’s worst fears seemed to be coming true. It was late—well past the time her husband was due back from a village. Kay feared he had been in an accident and had died on the side of the road. For 24 hours, with no word, she feared and she prayed. The next day, she finally received word that her husband was alive.

If mission personnel work directly with your unreached people group, communication must start with them. You become a conduit—you pass needs and prayer requests on to others about your unreached people group. It is vital for missionaries to keep their advocacy team up-to-date.

Jay had been traveling back to the capital city with a friend from another religion, sharing stories from the Bible. As he got to the stories about restoration and forgiveness, his friend began crying. Just as Jay was getting ready to share about Jesus, he saw an unmarked little bridge ahead. He noticed a hole in the bridge taking up half of the road. As he slammed on the brakes, the truck skidded to a stop, hanging over the edge of the bridge. With help, they managed to get out of the truck. It then toppled over onto the driver’s side cab, crushing the roof.

Example: The advocacy group’s team leader meets annually with missionaries on the field to learn strategy plans, concerns and the focus for the coming year. Through this effort, the team joins the missionaries in a commitment to fast and pray the first Friday of each month. They call Updates and/or e-mail each other to Updates receive regular updates. Group members then pass on monthly prayer updates and missionary newsletters via e-mail to their entire network of prayer warriors. They, in turn, pass them on to others. A story of advocacy Paul was concerned with communication within the early church. “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia …on [God] we have set our hope that he will continue to 2 6

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Jay and his friend were taken to a nearby village with no means of communication. They were waiting to be taken to another village to see the authorities. Kay had no idea where Jay was or when he would be in contact again. So, she called her advocacy team, told them what had happened and asked them to pray. The group immediately began to mobilize and soon their whole church was praying. The advocacy team called and e-mailed everyone they knew and asked them to pray and to call or e-mail others. They also called the mission association to inform them of the situation. Within hours, the e-mail made its way around A d v e n t u r e s

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the world to Jay and Kay’s leader—who was amazed at the amount of prayers and the accuracy of the information shared in such a short time. As leaders tried to find Jay in Africa, the advocacy group prayed for God’s intervention. They prayed that Jay would be released without being forced to pay a bribe to the local leaders (possibly the reason for his detention). They also prayed for peace for Kay. As friends in their country heard what was happening, they went into action to try to find Jay. Mission personnel constantly updated the advocacy team on the events as they unfolded. The team continued to pray. They posted urgent prayer fliers at church and devoted their weekly church prayer time to the matter. Churches around the world prayed. Within 24 hours of Kay’s phone call, God worked a miracle. Jay and his friend were at home, praising God.

Urgent prayer!

Urgent prayer!

Kay reported: “One of the things we rejoice over the very most, and I weep as I write this, is you all and your prayers, your love and intercession. You guys are such a part of this, and I hope that when you read this report you feel personally a part of the joy and exaltation. Keep interceding. He is WORTHY!” Without establishing a commitment to communicate with the missionaries, this story would not have happened. When Kay called her leadership to inform them of the incident, their first instruction was to get out the word for others to pray. Kay had already done that. They were most impressed that Kay’s first instinct was to call her support family (the advocate team) and then her administrative and leadership support.

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We often are reminded of William Carey’s plea for “rope holders.” Without a commitment to communicate, we tend to lessen our hold on the rope. The rope we hold must include two-way communication. Without it, who would have been advocating for Jay and Kay? B. The importance of security in communication Different types of advocate relationships ❖ exist. Within those relationships, various Establish a types of communication and security con“need-to-know” cerns exist—so you must first establish a policy “need-to-know” policy. ❖

• The first relationship is between those who work directly with the unreached people group, leadership of the advocacy team and the advocate network. These people are directly involved with the group’s strategy and facilitating the prayer network; this is a “need-toknow” relationship. On this level, you should be able to give more detailed information concerning the work and the people. Some information is not for publication, and it will need to be communicated using proper security precautions such as encryption and encoding. • The second relationship level includes family, friends and those committed to pray for your unreached people group. You can pass along prayer requests and upcoming projects by changing names and sharing only certain information. Remember the “need-to-know” rule. You need to pass on only enough information to get the point across. Never divulge unnecessary details; remember to use caution and discretion. • The third relationship is with the public—such as other churches or groups you don’t know but who desire more information about your unreached peoples. These groups don’t need specific details about projects, A d v e n t u r e s

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names and places. You only need to convey an understanding of the mission and provide opportunities for others to join the team. This can be done without giving details in a public forum or in print. You also must remember the “need-to-know” basis applies where you are concerned. What you don’t know, you can’t tell! Don’t stop sharing—just share with discernment and discretion. Jesus advised His disciples in Matthew 10:16 (NIV): “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” We should take His advice. Example: As Bob served himself at a continental breakfast in the Middle East, he befriended a cheerful local man who invited him to sit down. The man’s English was excellent, and he quickly began talking about regional politics. Bob chose to keep his opinions to himself; he now knows it was the Lord’s protection. The man turned out to be a teacher of political extremists who, if he had his way, would replace every government leader in the region. His smile and casual demeanor masked his terrorist intentions. Your job as an advocate is to filter sensitive information to your network without giving away information that could endanger lives or ministries

Christianity. They do not grant visas to missionary personnel to live there. This results in the peoples of these countries having little or no access to the gospel. Christians who go there to minister must find other reasons for their presence. They must discover alternative ways to have legitimate access to the people. Once there, they can live out their Christian faith and discreetly witness and train new believers. But they must exercise caution not to jeopardize their established reason for being in the country. God is at work among these nations. We can be a part of what God is doing without putting ministries or people in jeopardy by being prepared, being cautious and using proper security measures. Example: Few people in the West can appreciate that emails are like postcards. They can be read by anyone who knows where to look. A Christian worker in Asia decided to test this theory when he lost an important report he had received via e-mail. During a lunch break, he stopped by the local post office. He asked if he could have the specific e-mail with its attachment. Smiling, the clerk pulled out a huge file drawer full of papers. He located the precise email with the requested report, photocopied it and handed it to the Christian worker.

C. Levels of security Security will vary depending on the area of the world in which your unreached people group lives. Some countries are open to evangelical work among the unreached in their area; others just look the other way.

The key to protecting people and information is to remember the “need-to-know” rule. Sometimes you do not need to know specifics—mission personnel just need advocates to pray. It’s important to know the security issues for your specific people group, as each one is different. However, here are some specific guidelines:

But some countries, because of world religions or political climate, have a very strict closed-door policy concerning

• If no missionaries work with your unreached people group, you must be cautious when trying to make

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contact so as not to put indigenous people in jeopardy. Contact mission-sending agencies, mission groups or any Christian group working in the same area of the world as your unreached people group. • Many ministry strategies exist to get the gospel into restricted countries. Field personnel working with your people group know what level of security is necessary. If asked, you must protect names, places and the purpose for which they have entered the country. Disclosing sensitive information could jeopardize the work and cause missionaries to be expelled from the country—thus ending the ministry with your people group. • National believers and their leaders are just as important as field personnel. Divulging any information that helps identify these believers could lead to physical danger and persecution to the point of death. National Christian workers are often imprisoned, tortured or martyred for their faith. Example: A pastor in Texas called a church leader in a Central Asian country. The American pastor expressed a deep passion for the salvation of the unreached people group—but, unfortunately, gave no thought to security risks or whether the telephone conversation might be tapped. The next day, the religious police arrested the Central Asian church leader and threw him in prison. Two months later, the church leader was dead; prison inmates said he had been crucified for not giving out the names of every church member. It was years before American workers were able to regain the trust of remaining Asian church officials. Can we communicate cautiously without saying or doing something to jeopardize people or the work? Yes! People who work with your unreached people group need to hear 3 2

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from you! Just remember the “need to know” rule and that actual details aren’t necessary. Information concerning the work of field personnel or any short-term team going to visit your people group should be avoided. Let those who work directly with your people group determine the level of security. In many countries, mail is often inspected, phone messages are taped and the Internet is not ... our father has secure. Even with the protection of been so good to encryption software it’s still a good us, we cannot stop thanking idea to use “safe” language when him ... writing e-mails. Avoid political or military topics along with obvious coding. Internet e-mail is scanned for certain words or phrases such as “security” or “secrecy”—words such as “privacy” or “sensitivity” are preferred. Ask workers and missionary-sending agencies about the verbiage they use to communicate to and from the field. They have devised a creative vocabulary for security-sensitive words and issues. Also, in some countries, laws restrict the use of encryptions. Your missionary or mission organization may be able to give you information on whether encryption is allowed in a specific country. Meeting and interacting with local contacts may put indigenous people in danger. Short-term visitors should not try to meet with local believers unless the missionaries to your unreached people group approve it. Example: A Christian group was living in the same country as an advocacy team’s unreached people group. While this Christian group did not minister to the team’s unreached peoples, their pastor did visit the people group’s missionary often. When the advocacy team arrived on a short-term A d v e n t u r e s

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mission trip, they met the pastor and asked for his picture so people back home could pray for him—and put a name with a face. This is what he said: “Please pray, but only show the picture deep, not wide.” He wanted the advocates to share his face only with those who really prayed. He would sacrifice anonymity for prayer, but not chance persecution for promotion or curiosity.

security issues that could endanger people on the field, and you take the necessary security precautions, your job as an advocate will be a great blessing to you and those for whom you advocate.

D. Personal commitment “... Preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble” (Prov. 3:21-23, NIV). Advocacy allows stateside churches to provide access to kingdom resources for unreached people groups. While security concerns demand caution, don’t be afraid to get involved! You must seek out partnership and cooperation; there are pools of resources that can never be tapped without good communication. Being able to communicate with those on the mission field and passing on their enthusiasm—and passion—to get others involved can be accomplished with a few precautions. Keep in mind the stories you have read in this module, and find out the security protocol for the mission agencies you will be working with before you get in touch with anyone on the mission field. Follow their recommendations for how you should communicate safely. When you are aware of the 3 4

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Networking and partnering As believers of different organizations and cultures work together on the mission field, Christians at home also must work together to bring about strategic Advocacy network advocacy networks. An advocacy network is a team of people, churches or organizations working together to help reach a particular unreached people group with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Using the Internet, advocacy networks can stretch around the world. Used effectively, these networks offer a strong support system capable of providing a variety of resources. Before we look at the advocacy network, let’s look at the type of person who is pivotal to the network’s success. Missionaries often have limited contact with people outside their country or people group. They must rely on advocates to help develop network connections for the people group and for themselves. Key qualities for individuals creating an advocacy network: A. Be proactive The first quality of a good networker is to be proactive in seeking out and making network connections. When meeting a person, they should ask specific questions, hoping it will lead to a connection with their people group. Example: At a missions networking meeting, an advocacy team member asked a young pastor where he was from 3 6

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and where he went to school. It was discovered that he was on staff at a church with the advocacy member’s brother-inlaw. The pastor and the team member soon began connecting concerning missions work. Good missions networking requires an advocate who continuously seeks new connections. Advocates who don’t seek new connections can kill a network. They also miss developing potential relationships if they aren’t proactive in following up with a connection. In advocacy, standing still in networking is the same as moving backward. With already established relationships, it is important to keep the connection moving with frequent phone calls, e-mails or other forms of communication. When a new connection presents itself, quick follow up is essential. Write an e-mail after the meeting to thank the person for coming or to express that it was nice to meet them. Maintaining relationships is vital. In today’s society we might be tempted to handle advocacy like a business—but people are still relational. We must realize that making a connection is good, but following up is important to take these connections to the next level. B. Good connector The second quality of good networking is being an effective connector. When they find a good “link” to someone else, a connector desires to introduce (or connect) these two people. Example: One pastor was an excellent connector—he was good at introducing people where he saw that a connection needed to be made. A good friend of the pastor’s was trying to recruit people to go to Russia on a new project. A couple in the pastor’s church was seeking how to fulfill God’s call A d v e n t u r e s

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to serve in Russia. The pastor immediately made a connection, introducing his friend to the couple. C. Focus The third key element is staying focused on your people group. Sometimes, the tendency arises to network and connect with anybody on everything! Staying focused on your unreached people group will help the network develop its talents for God’s kingdom. A great tool to discover people with the “connector” gift was developed by the Gallup organization. It’s called the “Strength Finder” profile, and can be found in the book Now, Discover Your Strengths (by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton). The book directs users to take an online test to help find people with “connector” and other relational strengths. Finding strong connectors will help move advocacy networks forward. D. Pulling together an advocacy team After connections begin to formulate and relationships are nurtured, the next step is to develop an advocacy team. An advocacy team is a team within a single church, a team of several churches, individuals, associations, organizations or anyone seeking to reach the same unreached people group with the gospel. The advocacy team consists of people both on the mission field and stateside. The home advocacy team is crucial to networking among those seeking to reach an unreached people group. Benefits of an advocacy team include: • They offer a focal point for information about the unreached people group. People seeking more information can be directed to this home advocacy network to learn what needs to be done to reach the group with the gospel. 3 8

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Example: A mission team needed a dental technician to work among an unreached people group for a trip only two months away. A field missionary learned of the need from a church in California. The missionary communicated the need to the home advocacy team. Within a few days, a church nearly 3,000 miles away was able to find a dental technician who was qualified and willing to go. • They can coordinate or develop vision trips to the unreached people group. • They can divide a given task, with different groups taking responsibility for a specific part. This can be productive and maximize resources. One person/group can develop a video while another distributes prayer requests. Another may have connections to provide materials to the mission field, while another is key in meeting missionary needs. Just as there are a variety of needs to be met, there are a variety of gifts to satisfy those needs. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. …The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (1 Cor. 12:4-6, 12, NIV). • They can host a home advocacy conference that serves to unite everyone wanting to work with the unreached people group. One advocacy team hosts a conference for their people group each year. The team invites churches, mission pastors, lay people, former missionaries who worked among their people group A d v e n t u r e s

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and leaders from other Advocacy organizations. Benefits from Conference a conference include increased knowledge and passion for unreached peoples, awareness and support of specific field strategies and a broader base of prayer support. Now that you know the value of an advocacy team, how do you find people to start an advocacy network? How to find others Seeking other advocates for an advocacy team takes time. For those already connected to a denominational mission board or agency, ask them who else works with your unreached people group. Other ways to find advocates include: • Attend mission conferences. Many times conferences are a great way to develop connections. You may find those who work with your people group or others who know people working with your group. Don’t overlook connecting with people advocating for other unreached people groups who are close to your own group. They may be close in proximity or affinity (i.e., language, customs).

• Search the Internet for other advocates. Web sites such as Joshua (http://www.joshuaproject.net), the Caleb Project (http://www.calebproject.org), www.joshuaproject.net People Teams www.calebproject.org (http://www.peopleteams.org) www.peopleteams.org and others are a few places to begin. Use caution for security and like-mindedness. Make sure to check any Internet contacts carefully with several references. You can never be too careful in protecting the security of mission workers and national believers. Different unreached people groups It also can be beneficial to work with advocates of nearby unreached people groups. Your advocacy team may be able to join forces with another church in your community that has an entirely different evangelical tradition. The two groups may team up on mission trips or hold combined monthly prayer sessions for missions. They may even be able to help one another make field connections.

• Ask missionaries on the field if they know anyone back home who could be an advocate. When people come for vision trips or to work with others on the field, missionaries can help advocates connect. Missionaries should always be on the lookout for others to connect with their own advocates.

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Missiological issues Advocates should be aware of several missiological issues before they begin working with their unreached people group. Having a grasp of these issues will help them better understand work on the mission field as well as help them carry out the strategy to reach the people group with the gospel. A. Strategy Strategy is extremely important in reaching a people group. The methods and ideas governing the work at home can be vastly different from those on the field. Advocates must be Strategy careful not to export their methods of evangelism, music and other practices to another culture without careful examination to see if they fit. Advocates’ work needs to be relevant to the people they are trying to reach; otherwise, it becomes a foreign religion. Those not yet evangelized won’t feel comfortable in a new church setting when it is totally foreign to their cultural experience. It takes a lot of time to determine the correct strategy and methods most effective for a specific people group. Remember that missionaries are the strategy developers; they live and work among the people and they know the culture. While stateside advocates can have input into strategy, missionaries are the leaders in strategy development.

upon field personnel when it comes to financial and other related types of support. Many times, advocates wish to help take care of new believers, especially when a shortterm mission team goes to help overseas. The desire to lavish money and material possessions on the people can be overwhelming. The desire to help isn’t bad but comes from a loving heart. Advocates desire to be a blessing to those less fortunate. However, great care must be taken when considering ways to help without creating financial dependency. Example: After a recent trip to Africa, a church’s advocacy team received a number of letters from new converts requesting money for all kinds of things. The team was very careful to work through the missionaries in determining the essential needs and projects that they needed to support. Financial support of new believers In many places, when a person commits to follow Christ, he or she will lose everything. Their religion is interwoven with their culture so that to change religions means to forsake all they know. This can mean financial ruin. The challenge for missionaries and advocates is how to help them make a living in their current culture without having it tied so strongly to foreign work. This is a sensitive issue and must be handled carefully. C. Determining the nature of a church Often, a new church among an unreached people group will look very different from the church of the mission workers. Helping a new church discover a style of worship that fits their culture is key to reaching the entire people group. It’s important that the church reflect the people, their customs and their style of music and prayer. Otherwise, it may not be an effective tool.

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D. Exit strategy Workers should ensure an exit strategy exists once the church-planting movement begins. An exit strategy is a plan to allow local indigenous believers to lead their new church. If a missionary stays too long in helping the emerging church, it can have a negative effect. E. Church-planting movements A church-planting movement should be the desired result of every advocacy group. The ultimate goal of the missionary efforts is that a rapid and multiplicative increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment takes place. These new churches should be given the same Great Commission challenge that brought others to them with the gospel. Indigenous churches must understand their role in reaching out to other unreached people groups. All the prayers, labors and resources should be applied to this end.

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How to communicate the message of advocacy An essential component in the development and growth of your advocacy group is how you communicate your message to others. This is important within your own church, as well as for those who may join you from outside. Communicating effectively and with passion will help draw others into your advocacy circle. Your intermediary work as an advocate should include several specific plans. Let’s identify some items that every advocacy group should have. First is that of building a relationship with the missionaries doing work among your adopted people group. Having a strong and loving relationship is foundational to a cooperative effort to reach your people. It is absolutely necessary that you interact directly with them in order to develop and understand a comprehensive strategy. A second feature your group should address is member care. Caring for your missionaries personally is critical to their well being and success. No matter where they serve, they encounter struggles that bring emotional stresses, personal burdens, concerns about family and children, and myriads of other pressures. Often they are under severe spiritual attack and need the love and encouragement of their partners in ministry.

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A third important matter is leading your church and others to understand how different spiritual gifts can be used in advocacy ministry. Having identified their gift(s), they can be employed in teaching others how to build a love for your people group. They can be shown how to apply the gift to certain tasks needed in your advocacy work. A. Some specific tasks of an advocate There are a variety of things advocates can do to help reach their people groups: 1. Distribute prayer updates through e-mails or hard copies. Many field personnel distribute prayer updates that share what God is doing among an unreached people group. 2. Lead vision trips to see the work among your unreached people group. Leading others to see what God is doing among an unreached people is a vital link in developing advocacy for the group. People desire to participate in missions work firsthand. Many times the place people visit on their first mission trip is where their heart remains. It’s important to get them there to see the work. 3. Develop effective advocacy materials. In today’s world, video is crucial—people are less apt to sit down and read material. Video can capture the images in a dynamic way. Some other advocacy materials: • Interactive CD-ROMs are great (but can be expensive to produce). • PowerPoint presentations are easy to develop, copy and produce. • Brochures are still popular and can be used as a quick reference for information.

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4. Build a home advocacy team. For example, instead of a few advocates from one area or church, organize a far-reaching network of advocacy teams. 5. Develop prayer teams. These teams can meet regularly to pray for the work among the unreached people group. 6. Help raise funds for work on the mission field. Advocates can take up the banner of raising funds for various projects on the field. It becomes difficult for overseas missionaries to raise money. Advocates Donate to can help bridge the gap MISSIONS! between the field and home churches in fund-raising. There are many more things that advocates can do to help. These are just a few suggestions to get you started. B. Projects to cast vision Video: The best forum to tell others about your unreached people group is video; it brings your adopted people group to life for viewers. The more videotape you have of your unreached people group’s culture, lifestyle, testimony, etc., the more people will understand about them. In this visual age, the quickest way to inform—and with the greatest impact—is through short video presentations. You can use videos for events such as mission moments for church services, mission updates, virtual prayerwalks, preparation for future short-term mission trips, and smallgroup presentations for children, youth and Sunday School classes. Videos can convey your passion for your A d v e n t u r e s

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unreached people group. These are just a few examples— be creative! The cost of video can be expensive, but with today’s technology you can easily develop a short promotional video on your home computer. Also, colleges offering computer degrees usually require their students to do projects; you may be able to enlist them to take on your video as homework! This will save in the cost of development. PowerPoints: PowerPoints are another great tool to use as you develop presentations about your people group. As you create your PowerPoint, think about what you want people to see and choose from the pictures you have taken or glean from other resources. You can do PowerPoint presentations on topics such as prayer, culture, religion and history of your adopted group. These presentations are best used in small group settings with a narrator or in a display setting, set on “automatic loop.”

wait to receive their monthly e-mail update to find out what is happening with their adopted people. This also informs you of the new prayer requests as well as answered prayers. It’s your job as an advocate to get these updates to other advocates, as well as passing them on to prayer warriors. Group presentations and conferences: Advocates need to talk about their adopted You’re invited! MISSIONS people group whenever the opportunity ! arises, such as providing displays and ted invi S e r ’ speakers for other people group conferYou ISSION CE M REN ences. One of the best ways to pass on NFE CO the vision within your network is to host an advocacy conference, inviting all those who have shown interest in your people group. During this conference, a missionary from the field can share his or her vision, explain advocacy and share how others can take part. Strategic activities for volunteers on the field may include Bible distribution, prayerwalking, relationship building and visiting (and encouraging) personnel. At home, advocates can stress the importance of intercessory prayer and generous financial support.

Fliers/brochures: Fliers are useful to distribute information in church bulletins and mission displays. You can use brochures to promote prayer for your people group, shortterm mission trips and conferences, and to provide helpful information to educate people who are interested in people group adoption. E-mail updates: As you read in Kay’s story (Module 3), missionary updates play an important role in casting vision. Before instant updates existed, people relied on newspapers and magazines to get their news. Today, many people 4 8

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Starting your journey “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (Ps. 67:1, 2, NIV). “Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Ps. 96:2, 3, NIV). God has a heart for the nations. Shouldn’t our goal be His goal—to see that the nations are blessed? He desires for the nations to know Jesus Christ—for an indigenous church-planting movement to exist among every unreached people group of the world. Plans, programs and technology are not your foremost consideration, but only a means to an end. As a worker among or an advocate for unreached peoples, your competency and character are key in reaching the destination. You must do all you can to find adequate support, training and guidance. Your goal is to see a church-planting movement among your unreached people group and to help others do the same. Abraham was called to be a blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:1-4). God calls us today, and our dependency must rest in God alone. An advocate’s power does not lie in any organization’s resources or books, but in the One who created all things. If 5 0

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worship and allegiance are not focused singularly on God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who made all peoples, then we disqualify ourselves from the race. Adoption: a commitment to advocate You can advocate for unreached peoples or for missionaries on the mission field without adopting an unreached people group; but, adoption is a commitment to advocate for an unreached people group. When a child is adopted, it is not a part-time commitment; neither is people group adoption. It should be a commitment to do whatever is necessary until your people group has a reproducing church-planting movement—a commitment with strings attached. Let’s revisit how to get started: A. Make a commitment Commit to do whatever it takes to reach the unreached until there is an indigenous church-planting movement among your people group. What does this mean? Can we do whatever we want for a church to be planted? No. It means that we do whatever God has asked us to do, whatever He has gifted us to do. He has called us to be a part of a team and we must work together with like-minded believers. We work toward this goal: “And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation’” (Rev. 5:9, NIV). We must commit to be on the edge of missions where people have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. • Pray and find out which people God wants you to adopt. • Make a personal commitment to an unreached people group.

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• Get the church involved to pray and commit (see Module 2). B. Pray You can start to advocate today—even if the only thing you know about your people is their name or location. Praying for the nations, which includes the unreached people of the world, is all about taking responsibility and making a commitment to follow God’s plan. The result is that all the nations will be represented at the throne of God (Rev. 5:9). Ask God today to give you wisdom and a heart for the unreached. Commit to fast and pray for your unreached people group. Include others in praying for the nations and your people group. How? • Through your research, inform others about the special needs of your unreached people group. • Remind small-group meetings to pray for your people group. This can include weekly prayer meetings, women’s and men’s groups, Sunday School and Bible study groups, a prayer point in a weekly announcement sheet, children’s mission sessions, youth meetings and children’s church. • Provide church-wide reminders such as church news bulletins with weekly/monthly bulletin inserts and oneto three-minute mission moments before church services. • Organize church-wide activities such as a week of fasting and prayer, prayerwalks and virtual prayer walks. • Get groups outside the local church to pray. For example, pastors’ gatherings, associations, church conferences and conferences of mission organizations. You could set up displays to promote your people group at events and start a new weekly prayer meeting with a people group focus.

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C. Communicate effectively and securely Communication and good security are vital in advocacy. Advocates must make every effort to use the latest technology to communicate effectively and securely with each other and those on the mission field. A word from the mission field: “Stay in close contact. E-mail is a great tool if used properly. There needs to be a consistent ‘prayer newsletter’ that goes out to advocates; but, even more important, are the personal e-mails written to some of the grass-root supporters and potential workers. The ‘mission’ needs Hi! to stay as personal as possible. A Hello! wonderful investment of money for us goes toward a monthly phone call to or from the advocacy group. E-mail is great, but nothing takes the place of hearing and sharing the emotion of things over the phone. “Finally, building ‘team’ and ‘brotherhood’ between field and advocacy folks requires getting together for prayer, teaching, worship and fun. A once-a-year advocacy meeting or spiritual retreat is a great way to keep the personal connection. … We have been incredibly ministered to by short-term teams made up of advocacy folks and ‘newcomers’ who then catch the vision! An advocacy meeting like this provides an opportune time to work on the following year’s strategy plan, calendar trips and more.” D. Develop a team/partnership As God has led you to advocate for the unreached, He has called others, too. Look around and find those people willing to be a part of an advocate team for a specific unreached people group (see Module 4). • Identify advocacy team positions such as prayer A d v e n t u r e s

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coordinator, media person, mission update coordinator, etc. Place people in areas where they can excel and use their gifts. • Find others who have adopted your unreached people group and connect with them. • Get in contact with workers on the mission field to inform them of your commitment to their people group. Learn the spiritual and physical needs of those working with your unreached people group, and do what you can to help. For example, you can organize a prayer time, collect items needed on the mission field, etc. • Remember, the important thing is reaching the unreached people group; don’t let personalities get in the way. E. Cast the vision Casting a vision is all about passing on your passion for the unreached. Once you have adopted an unreached people group, take a vision trip to your people to walk among them and pray. You need to experience firsthand the spiritual and physical conditions of your people group. Remember, God has guided you this far, and He will continue to lead you. Pass on the passion (see Module 6):

The blessing An advocacy group shares: “We have been involved with an advocacy team for three years. It has been hard work at times, but the blessings have outweighed everything else. We have been praying for others to get involved, and they are. We have been praying for God to raise national believers from our unreached people group, and He has. One man openly confronts the religious leaders of his town to follow the truth. He travels all around his state to conduct Bible studies with those interested in knowing more about Jesus. “We have seen God do miracles within our unreached people group and our advocacy team. We can share only because of a gracious and loving God who allows us to get on board with His plans.”

• Create PowerPoint demonstrations, fliers, brochures, prayer calendars, prayer cards m the and one-minute video mission News fro field! moments. mission r u for you • Send out prayer updates and Thank yo . missionary news updates. d support prayers an • Prepare a presentation for small swering God is an and large groups. Always be ready yers. many pra to talk about your unreached r us! to pray fo Continue people group.

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Resources and References

Prayer Journeys: A Leader’s How-To Manual (available at http://resources.imb.org)

Books Impact Eternity, by Gina Fadely, Mark Fadely and Janet Solomon, ©2002, Table 71 Partnership, available by e-mailing cyndi.wagner@ccci.org or calling her at (703) 848-0622.

Prayer-Walking: Praying On Site with Insight by Steve Hawthorne and Graham Kedrick, ©1993, Creation House (available at http://resources.imb.org)

You Can Change the World by Jill Johnstone, ©1993, OM Publishing

Warfare Prayer: How to Seek God’s Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom, by Peter C. Wagner, ©1997, Regal Books

Operation World by Patrick Johnstone, ©1991, Paternoster Press (available at http://resources.imb.org) A Call to Prayer for the Children, Teens, and Young Adults of the 10/40 Window by Beverley Pegues and Nancy Huff, ©2002, YWAM Publishing WindoWatchmen II: Millions Prayed… God Responded … Witness The Impact! by Beverley Pegues, ©1997, Christian Information Network Operation World: A Day-by-Day Guide to Praying for the World by Patrick Johnson, ©1993, Zondervan Publishing House Strongholds of the 10/40 Window: Intercessor’s Guide to the World’s Least Evangelized Nations edited by George Otis, Jr. and Mark Brockman, ©1995, YWAM Publishing Praying Through the Window III: The Unreached Peoples, edited by Patrick Johnstone, John Hanna and Marti Smith, ©1996, Crown Ministries Intl.

The Voice of God: How God Speaks Personally and Corporately to His Children Today by Cindy Jacobs, ©1995, Regal Books The Coming Revival, America’s Call to Fast, Pray and “Seek God’s Face” by Bill Bright, ©1995, NewLife Publications Love on Its Knees: Make a Difference by Praying for Others by Dick Eastman, ©1994, Chosen Books Serving as Senders: How to Care for Your Missionaries While They Are Preparing to Go, While They Are on the Field, When They Return Home by Neal Priolo, ©1991, Emmaus Road, International Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. ©2001, Free Press. Access the StrengthsFinder profile with the ID code from your book at http://www.strengthsfinder.com (see Module 4)

Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayer Walker by Randy Sprinkle, ©2001, New Hope Publishers (available at http://resources.imb.org)

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On the Web International Mission Board, SBC, On Mission Network at http://imb.org and click on “Church Involvement” Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse at www.brigada.com

M o d u l e 1 Discussion Questions Know 1. What is the foundation for the concept of advocacy in missions?

Caleb Project at www.calebproject.org Bethany World Prayer Center at www.bethany.com

2. What is an “unreached people group”?

Window International Network at www.Christian-info.com The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church at www.persecutedchurch.org

3. What is “advocacy”?

World Pulse at www.gospelcom.net/bgc/emis/pulsepg.htm 4. Who can be advocates of an unreached people group? The Christian and Missionary Alliance at www.cmalliance.org Jericho Walls Prayer Network at http://www.Nupsa.org.za Youth With a Mission: Prayer for the Nations at www.ywam.org/documents/PFCL/nations.html People group information at www.peoplegroups.org

5. Can a person/group advocate or adopt a people group or mission-field personnel without contact to that group or missionary? Why or why not?

Missionary teams at www.peopleteams.org

6. What are four key characteristics of an effective advocate? 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.)

AD2000 and Beyond Movement at www.ad2000.org

7. Name some suggested tasks of an advocate.

The Network for Strategic Missions at http://www.strategicnetwork.org/

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8. What are some effective advocacy materials to develop? What considerations should be given to different types of materials?

Be Consider and discuss: Do you feel inspired to become an advocate for an unreached people group? Have you had a specific experience, as example of the businesswoman in Module 1, where you feel God has led you to advocate for an unreached people group? Do you desire to learn more about advocacy?

Do Action: Ask God to reveal to you His plans for you or your church as advocates of an unreached people group and mission-field personnel. Commit to continue learning about becoming an advocate for an unreached people group. Record your intent in writing.

3. In examining how Jesus prayed, which of those ways seems to be the most challenging to do concerning prayer for unreached people groups? What suggestions can you share to promote advocacy praying?

4. In what ways can you legitimately “spy out� the land of an unreached people group?

Be Are you committed to become a prayer warrior for your unreached people group? Is anything holding you back from total commitment?

Do 1. Look again at Scripture verses of how Jesus prayed (Matt. 14:23; Luke 22:32; Mark 11:24; Mark 14:32). Are these ways you also pray? If not, how will you change?

M o d u l e 2 Discussion Questions Know 1. What is the first and most important building block of advocacy? Why is it so important?

2. If you did not pray the suggested prayer on page 17, stop and pray now. 3. Seek prayer resources for an unreached people group for whom you feel inspired to be an advocate.

2. Based on the stories of advocacy in Module 2, in what ways did prayers matter?

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M o d u l e 3 Discussion Questions Know 1. Who should begin communication with the mission field of an unreached people group—stateside advocates or mission field personnel? Why do you think this is important?

2. What three levels of relationships exist within an advocacy group? How should secure information be treated among these different relationships?

Be Are you personally committed to communication and security? Are you willing to develop a style of communication that follows the “need-to-know” rule?

Do Read Romans 16. Note the many people with whom Paul communicates. Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 Read Matthew 10:16 Read Proverbs 3:21-23

3. What is the “need-to-know” rule concerning communication with mission personnel?

4. What is an important analogy to remember concerning emails? E-mails are like ___________ and can be read by _______________.

Research the communications security protocol for the unreached people group for whom you will advocate.

Write your communications commitment as part of an advocacy team for your unreached people group.

5. What is important to remember about international telephone calls? M o d u l e 4 Discussion Questions 6. Who should determine the security level for communications to and from the mission field?

7. What did a pastor in a foreign country mean when he said, “Please pray, but only show the picture deep, not wide”?

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Know 1. What is an advocacy network?

2. What are the benefits of an advocacy network?

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3. List and briefly describe three qualities of a good advocacy network leader: 1.) 2.) 3.)

M o d u l e 5 Discussion Questions Know 1. How does strategy relate to the missiological issues of reaching an adopted people group?

4. What is an advocacy team?

5. List four benefits of developing an advocacy team: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 6. What are three ways to find other advocates of your unreached people group? 1.) 2.) 3.) Be Are you committed to partner with existing alliances and others who seek to share the gospel with your unreached people group?

Do • Think about preparations for your advocacy network. How will you begin? Whom will you contact?

2. Who should lead in strategy development for an unreached people group?

3. How does dependency relate to the missiological issues of reaching an adopted people group?

4. What precautions must advocates take regarding financial support of new believers who face financial ruin to follow Jesus Christ?

5. What care should be taken in developing the nature of a new church among the unreached people group?

• Write a plan to connect with other advocates. • Plan who from your advocacy team can commit to attend a missions conference. Contact your missions agency for the names of any other advocates among your unreached people group. Search the Internet for other advocates. 6 4

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6. Why do you think an exit strategy is important once a church-planting movement begins among a people group?

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Be Are you committed to a healthy, culturally sensitive mission methodology? Do you understand the missiological issues discussed in this Module?

Be Are you committed to being a communicator of your vision for your unreached people group? What skills do you possess that can be used for vision casting? What communication skills are you interested in learning?

Do • Apply sound mission principles to your vision for reaching your unreached people group.

Do • Plan how you can communicate your vision for your unreached people group.

• Develop good relationships with people of different cultures and ethnicity.

• Prepare a presentation about your adopted group.

M o d u l e 6 Discussion Questions

Know 1. What should be the foundation for any plan to adopt an unreached people group?

Know 1. What is a vision trip?

2. Why is a vision trip important? Give biblical and practical reasons.

3. What are advantages of filming and sharing videos of your adopted unreached people group?

4. List other media outlets that are effective for casting the vision of your unreached people group. What are the uses and benefits of each?

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2. What are five steps to begin adopting an unreached people group? 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 3. Read Revelation 5:9. How does this Scripture define the purpose of advocating for an unreached people group?

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4. How can you include other believers in praying for your unreached people group and all nations?

NOTES

5. What is the blessing of advocating for an unreached people group?

Be You can be an inspiration to others to develop an advocacy team. You can help involve others in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with your adopted unreached people group. Do Identify the gifts of your advocacy team to determine where they can excel on the team. Help each team member to function in reaching the unreached people group.

Get started!

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Holding the Ropes