At the recent New Media Expo in Las Vegas, several podcasters got to interview one another and do some cross-promotion. Two of my favorite podcasters bumped into one another; Len Edgerly from The Kindle Chronicles met Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl.
Grammar Girl’s podcasts are all scripted which adds a little stiffness to her speech, but has the wonderful benefit of packing a ton of information into a short podcast–something I absolutely love. I have heard Mignon speak without notes before and love the honesty and wonder you can hear in her voice. A highlight for me was when she called me in Argentina and interviewed me for one of her podcasts: Behind the Grammar.
In the episode of The Kindle Chronicles in which Len interviews several people from New Media Expo, he has a short conversation with Grammar Girl. I think this conversation captures their personalities well. The conversation with Mignon starts at 27 minutes and 52 seconds into the recording. Though, if you have the time, really everything from 18:38 with Cliff Ravenscraft until the end of the episode is worth listening to.
Len and I met at South By Southwest a couple of years ago (when I also met the eBook Ninjas). I was already a fan of the podcast, but being able to sit and eat breakfast with him was a great opportunity.
The next couple of days I am involved in the Our Generation Summit put on by Vision Baptist Missions.
Creative Access Nations
Yesterday, the first day of the summit, included a “getting started” session and then we broke up into workshop groups for a couple of hours. I attended a session by a missionary in a “creative access nation” (what we sometimes call a closed country). The missionary talked about various ways missionaries get into these countries legally and how they stay. He mainly focused the effectiveness of the creative ways we get into these nations. Many of these countries can be entered by being a businessman or teacher, but many missionaries who go in these capacities don’t fulfill the real work to which they are called.
It is not wrong to enter into a country legally, but he said that only about 5% of missionaries who go in a tent-making capacity to a field are actually involved in church planting. Yet, 80% of them are supported by churches for the purpose of winning souls, making disciples, and planting churches. Many missionaries can easily get caught up in the day-to-day work that they think they have to do to justify being in the country without doing the work for which they were sent.
What is a Christian Nation?
The second session I attended was taught by my friend Jason Holt, missionary in Chile. Jason spoke about what it means when we say a country is a Christian nation and why they still need missionaries. When tabulating statistics around the world, “Christians” are considered to be anyone who has the Bible as a basis (or loose basis) of their religion. This would include Catholics, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, and Charismatics. While some of these people may be saved, as Bible believing Christians, we don’t believe the majority are. Therefore, we can’t assume that these “reached” countries are no longer in need of the Gospel.
In my mind, the purpose of the summit was focused on high school and college aged young people who want to get a greater burden for reaching the world in our generation. And, for the most part, the demographics are that specific group of people. However, there are plenty of people who are middle aged looking for the same results. I would encourage any pastor, missionary or young person who has a burden–or needs a burden–for missions plan to attend the summit in the future.
If you are reading this while the summit is still in session, you may be able to catch some of the sessions being live-streamed.