Friday, August 31, 2007

Four Levels of Response

I am amazed at the principles used in business that are applicable to missionaries on deputation. Notice the four levels of response when a company markets their product that occurs:

1. Awareness - People becoming aware of a product. Knowing that the product now exists. You do like calling pastors but how do they know you even exist. I fear sometimes we have an over rated ego of thinking we are more than we really are. Hand out prayer cards, make phone calls and help people to become aware of who you are.

2. Affinity - People begin to develop positive feelings toward you. Learn how to meet people and be at ease with them. Learn how to listen. Show concern and be real. It is ok for people to like you.

3. Understanding - Affinity leads to greater investigation. At this point, good marketing helps consumers understand how and why the service provider benefits them or is right for them. Do pastors and churches desire to know more about you and your ministry? Do they see how partnering with you will be a "benefit" to them?

4. Value Threshold - This person is offering somthing of value to me, and I want it. On the church level they say, "This missionary will help our church reach the world we want to be apart of His ministry."

Remember these are business principles but are you and I not in the greatest of all "businesses"? As you go into churches this weekend, are you prayed up, prepared up, and focused where they would say, "we need this family and want to invest in their ministry."

I love you all and am praying for you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is God Well Pleased With Us?

This was sent to me from Russell Pruitt - missionary to Montana. I thank God for the way this brother is growing during his time on deputation. I would also love to see/hear how God is speaking to you through His Word.
Thanks Bro. Russell.

I Cor. 10:5-6

The Old Testament is for our example, and that we should believe God’s word and live by God’s word, not because of others lives example, but because of what God’s word says.

I find myself not listening to what God has to say but what man has said. As I have been on deputation I find myself caught up with covetousness. What man says, “Get what you can and what ever way you can?”

God took me back to the Ten Commandment. Ex. 20: 3 & 17

I) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” v. 3
Do we have anything in our life, which has priority over GOD? How about this; are so busy in our deputation that we forget to spend time with God alone. Or our mind is so keened on trying to get to the field and to save souls we forget that we are to give God all the glory and to magnify His only Son our Saviour.
Does our day begin with GOD, continue with GOD and end with GOD? Do we desire to remove from our lives, those things which compete for supremacy with a HOLY GOD? If we don’t do these things then we do have other gods before us!

II) “Thou shalt not covet…” v. 17
I said I don’t covet my neighbour’s house, his wife, his man/maidservants, or his animals; so I am ok from this sin. But am I? What about “any thing that is thy neighbour’s!”
God brought to my attention about something in this verse. Yes I don’t do these things but I have done something and that is Coveting my neighbour’s money. Not doing it willingly but I have found myself thinking well they ought to take us on for support because they know me, because God moved in the service, or just because I feel like they should; or I would ask myself I don’t know why they didn’t take us on; how about they didn’t give us any Love Offering. What does this sound like? Don’t judge! We all have done same thing! God calls this Covetous (SIN 1 Tim. 3:3). Do we look for opportunities or desire to gain from others mis-fortunes?
Go expecting to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
Four things I now do as I go along on deputation:
I) That GOD be glorified.
II) That sinners might be saved
III) That saints might draw night to God
IV) That I leave having done the Will of God

Personal Brand

When you think of Coke, Nike, McDonalds, Bill Clinton, Dr. Lee Roberson, Michael Vick, what comes to mind? It has been defined that your personal brand is the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind when other people think of you.

A frightening thought is that the people you want to reach may never receive the Gospel at your hand. When you go into a church, very few have any type of knowledge or burden about your field. Many times they can not even find it on the map. Thay are not buying into a country or state they are buying into you. If they do not like you then you do not raise your suppport and a people group is left void of the Gospel. (I told you it was frightening!!)

Think about the following:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. What makes you different or worthy of investment?

May God help you to go into a church and show them that you are different. You are not like "all the other" missionaries. Let them see your courage, passion and commitment. You train harder, study more, pray and walk with God. You are the special forces of ministry and by the time you leave they know it. Be real. Be authentic. Do not "work up" emotion. Let it flow from the inner man. Handling yourself well before people does not mean we sacrifice being ourselves and being authentic.

So what do people think when your name is mentioned?
Is that what you want them to think?
What do you need to change?

I love you guys and am praying for you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Preparing Your Support Materials

For those missionaries with slides/videos, I thought the following pointers quite interesting.  Make sure your video presentation leaves a positive impact when finished. 

The key to preparing your actual presentation is to remember that less is more. If you want to share your information with people who couldn’t be there, try writing an article. Even detailed presentations have something missing. A few common, and good to know, guidelines to a good presentation:

  • Keep text to a minimum. No more than 5 bullet points per slide and if you can keep them to one core idea—that’s better. People will tend to read this stuff and not pay attention to what you’re saying.
  • Check the contrast and font size. Make sure that if you have text on the screen that people can read it.
  • Use pictures to get your idea across. They’re easier to remember, less distracting and make more impact. Have stories ready and use imagery to set the backdrop.
  • Avoid complicated charts and graphs, they’re hard for your audience to follow. Keep visual ideas very simple.
  • Check the resolution of your presentation. Maybe go with 800×600 to be safe. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen slides that don’t fit on the screen. You never know for sure how it’s going to work out when you get things set up if you don’t have full control over the environment.
  • Have simple to follow notes to go along with your slides and major talking points. They should serve as a reminder, not something for you to read from.
  • Prepare more than you can speak to, but also be prepared to get cut short. Time flies up there.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How To Give A Great Presentation

In the following article, what principles could you apply when presenting your ministry. The information that is sent you way, is not for reading purposes only. May God help us all to relay His truth the best way possible.

Public speaking can be very stressful. I know that whenever I get up in front of a crowd I go through a panic moment. It takes a lot of discipline, practice and preparation to put on a good presentation and even knowing what you need to know can be hard.
A year or so ago I wrote on the subject of first time speaking. Since that time I’ve been able to use many of those tips as well as some new tricks to help get myself ready for speaking engagements. I also had a chance to spend time with a speaking coach which helped more than I’d have ever guessed.
Now when I’m speaking, while not 100% comfortable, I do feel much better and I’m able to not only make it more fun for me, I think I pass along that good feeling a bit more to my audience. I’ve got several good tips, tricks and resources that will hopefully help some of you. These things should help whether you’re speaking at a large conference, giving a small internal presentation to you coworkers or classmates or giving a sales pitch. They’re pretty universal.
Mental and Physical Preparation Before Your Presentation
I’ve found that the more prepared I am, the more confident I feel. This makes for a better presentation. As you get comfortable speaking you’ll naturally feel more confident and the need to prepare (and time it takes) will not be so important. For newer and first time speakers I think you should spend as much time as you can getting ready. Well, don’t make yourself crazy, just make sure you know and feel comfortable with your material and practice a few times.
If you’ve never spoken before a meeting with a speech coach can really help. They talk with you, get an idea of your style and will offer you some specific advice on how to address the crowd, what your particular problems might be and more. For example when I went I was told:
Speak slower.
Talk to individuals in the crowd.
Think before you speak. Take pauses.
These things were (and still are) very, very helpful for me to remember when I’m speaking. Going over them before I get up there reminds me and helps me be more calm and confident.
A few other ways to prepare yourself:
Drink lots of water.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Visualize a positive outcome.
Hang out with the other speakers (if there are any) and ask them questions and for advice. This always helps me as they will usually build you up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seven Steps To A Better Presentation

This article deals with secular presentations but has some points to take note of. We should be better in our presentation than any other.
I love you guys and pray God uses you greatly for His glory.

I've noticed a lot of talk about Powerpoint lately. About how it's so terrible and how it enables awful presentations. But the problem isn't Powerpoint, of course. The problem is bad content delivered poorly.
I speak for a living, and hear lots and lots of presentations at the conferences I attend. Here are some notes I wrote up for someone who is about to give his first ever public presentation.

1. Tell stories. Seriously. People could care less about the five ways some XML vocabulary will enable enterprise whatever. Rather, put a screenshot of your project up, tell people what you learned while doing it, then give them a slide that reiterates those ideas in easy to digest bullets. That'sdo not go from bullet-point slide to bullet-point slide trying to tell people what to think.
2. Show pictures. Got a good metaphor? Use it. "The Web is like a school of fish." But go to and type in "sardines" or "school of fish" or whatever. Make it a slide. Then say the Web is like that. Much more powerful and memorable.
3. Don't apologize. Ever. If something is out of order, or if something occurs to you as a mistake during the presentation, keep it to yourself. They'll never know. Besides, nobody cares about the presentation itself. This is really hard, because you know the whole backstory, and you'll be tempted to explain why something isn't quite perfect. Skip it. Also, you don't need to apologize about the color on the projector, or the fact that your mic just popped off your lapel, or that a staff person spilled a pitcher of water. Commiserating is fine, however. "If it gets another 5 degrees colder in here, I'll be able to see my breath!"
4. Start strong. I can't believe how many presenters forget this. Do not get up there and say, "Um, well, I guess we should probably get started." Instead, say, "Hi, I'm Jeff. It's really great to be here, and thank you so much for coming to my session. Today, we're going to talk about...." Make sure those are the absolute first words you say out loud. No need for a joke or an opening or any of that. Just start strong and confident.
5. End strong too. " that's why I like social software. I appreciate your attention today. Thank you." Then stand there and wait. Everyone will clap, because you just told them you were done. When they've finished, ask them if they have any questions. If nobody asks anything, break the uncomfortable silence with "Well, I guess I told you everything you need to know then. [heh heh] I'll be around after if you think of anything. Thanks again!" and start packing up your stuff.
6. Stand. Away from the podium. Out from behind the presenter table. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Take off your conference badge (the lights will catch it and be distracting). I pace a little bit around the stage, timed with my points, saying one thing from over here, and another from over there. But don't move too much.
7. Pause. When you say something important, leave a gap after it. Let it hang there for a few seconds. Try it when talking to your friends. "You know what I think? (pause...two...three...four...) I think Bush is bankrupting this country for the next twenty years. (pause...two...three...four...) Here's why..."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

News From Peru

The following is from the blog of Chris Gardner, missionary to Peru with Macedonia World Baptist Mission. Please also pray for Mike Staley,Greg Anderson, David Bolos and Joe Kotvas. These men are also missionaries with Macedonia in Peru, SA Please pray for their families.

August 16, 2007
Earthquake in Peru on the anniversary of Arequipa
Well, the 15th of August is always a day of great festivities. It is the anniversary of Arequipa. Yesterday evening, Peru had the strongest earthquake that it has had in over 40 years. My wife was at the church in the choir when everything started shaking. We have quite a few tremors in Peru so we don’t get too jumpy with everything moving but it just kept on moving and wouldn’t stop. My wife said that some of the church members were looking at there watches and claimed that the earthquake went for 38 seconds. A few miles from Ica was the epicenter of the 7.9 earthquake. The electricity and phone services in the country were all shut down for a while to later be restored. I ask you to pray for the people in Peru right now. Some news agencies say that between 115 and 330 people have died. I am sure that the number will rise for the next couple of days.


As I prepare to teach class today at the Our Generation Training Center in Alpharette, GA, I came across the following.

At the close of the old film "Camelot", we find Arthur weak and unable to resolve the conflict in himself about Guinevere and Lancelot thus ending the "impossible dream" of the Camelot utopia. As the story closes, the entire plot is captured in the last scene as Arthur and his remaining loyalist are waiting, in fog and mist, the questionable outcome torturing everybody's heart. A young boy who calls himself, "Tom of Warrick" appears in the scene, a "volunteer" for the Camelot dream. Arthur explains the dream to the boy, and then gives him an assignment. Arthur refuses the boy his request to fight as a knight of the Round Table, and tells him instead to go and tell the Camelot dream to others, and thus keep the dream alive. He tells the boy to run, to run and tell the dream. The film dies from your sight with the throaty voice of good King Arthur shouting at the departing boy, "Run, boy, run! Run, boy, run! Run, boy, RUN!

May you and I RUN with the Gospel to a lost and dying world. May we also be in the business of training others (discipleship) that they may do the same. I encourage you dear men, learn to train someone here so that when you get to the field, you can train them there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

3 Ways To Keep Your Attitude Positive!

I thought it a little ironic after writing the blog yesterday and coming across this today. Chew on it and see what you think.

3 Ways To Keep Your Attitude Positive!
Sam Glenn

It happens! Life can knock the kick right out of us. Our kick is our best attitude working for us. But sometimes adversity comes along in the form of a negative person, a change, a challenge or something unexpected, and it can shake our very foundation.
Keeping a positive kick is not hard, but it requires simple reminders. When we have a lot going on around us and within us, we tend to forget the most important things. These simple reminders will keep our kick alive:
1. Keep Your Sense of Humor. Stuff happens, but you always have two ways of looking at every story. You can respond with negativity, or with a sense of humor. Practice looking for the humor. Once you find it, your mood will change quickly, affecting your attitude in a lasting way. Before I grasped this, I was the guy who got home and complained about the traffic. Now, I see traffic as an opportunity to listen to music, decompress, think, pray, or notice the little things: just the other day I saw somebody picking his nose! As you can see, the traffic is the same as it was, but the state of my attitude can turn it into two different experiences.
2. Keep Your Right Mind. It’s easy to lose your right mind when you get stressed out and frustrated. You want to snap at people, your blood boils and you can become toxic. The key is finding what keeps you in perspective. When you lose perspective, you lose yourself. Years ago, I lost my perspective; I sold my car to pay for gas. The key to keeping your right mind is to step away from any situation that is making you hot.. Take some deep breaths. Take a shower. Go for a walk. Rest. Separating yourself from something that frustrates you is healthy because it allows you to think over your response, so you don’t overreact. When you overreact, nothing good can come from it. Overreactions equal regrets. Be like the daddy who walked out and saw his 4-year-old girl using his toothbrush on the dog. Instead of exploding at her, he simply said, "Honey, the next time you use Daddy’s toothbrush on the dog, you need to tell Daddy." The little girl responded, "Okay Daddy, but what about all those times in the past?"
3. Feed Your Attitude. Whatever you feed your attitude is what it becomes. Your attitude is something that is always at work – working for you or against you – and you determine which. It’s the first thing people experience when they meet you. It determines where you are, where you are going, and what you get in life. What you feed your mind will be processed and output through your work, relationships and life. If you don’t like your behavior (your output), then you need to begin to change your input. Begin to read good material. Listen to positive words and music. Surround yourself with people of character. This means you have to get rid of some of the "trash" – the negative stuff you are feeding your life. A lot of times we want to change others or situations, but the key is in knowing that we can’t… But that we can change ourselves and our attitude by how we deal with others and situations.
A wise person said, "What we ignore becomes weak and dies. What we give attention to gains strength and life." Give your attitude a little attention and it will keep the "Kick" solid in your personal and professional life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Positive Attitude

It is good to be back with you.  I have been away from the internet and even the one at Krystal’s was down!


A few questions to get us started:

How did you wake up this morning? 

What was you first reaction to the day?

Are you harboring disappointment from a meeting that did not go exactly the way you thought it should have gone?

Did you come up on the short end of the stick when travel expenses and love offerings were compared? 

Did another missionary report how great things are going for them and it is not going that way for you?


Phil 4:8 gives us a list of things to ponder and think on.  Keeping your eyes on God and remaining positive will be a great treasure to the man and family on deputation.


A positive attitude will:

1.       A positive attitude will help you to enjoy this time rather than endure it.  Think about the privilege we have to preach, challenge people with missions, inform them about your field and love pastors.

2.       A positive attitude will help you get support.  A pastor and church have enough problems without a missionary coming in down and discouraged.  A smile, faith and joy attract others who will want to be apart of your ministry.

3.       A positive attitude brings joy to our heavenly Father.  Our goal is not raising support but bringing glory to God.  When God is glorified, the support will come in.


Forgive me for smiling right now, but God has allowed me to be in the ministry!  I get to represent Him, help churches and work with some of the finest men I know. I love you guys and am praying for you.  Today I will call out each of your names and family to the Lord.  Why don’t you list ten things that others would say are bad and thank God for them. God is still in control!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Can You See It?

As we enter into chapter two of Nehemiah, I stand amazed once again how the king saw the sorrow of his servant and wanted to know how he could help. 

When the reality of what is happening on our field and around the world settles in, it will have an affect upon us.  Nehemiah’s burden did not let up or loosen it’s grip.  Rather it grew and so engulfed his life that he could not hide it from the king though he tried.  Are you so consumed with your field that people are impacted by your burden?  True sorrow is hard to hide.  Oh, I have been in the meetings with the “worked up” missionary and I have met “Bro. Faker”.  Oh that we would understand that people see right through this garbage.  If you allow the true sorrow and burden of your heart to come through, people will want to know, “How can I help?”  Can people see your sincere burden or do you find yourself having to “work it up”? 

Monday, August 6, 2007

Lakeland, Georgia

I am down in Lakeland, GA preaching for Lakeland Baptist Church and Chad Bailey.  Today we are having a youth meeting and tomorrow I will preach for both the morning and evening service.  Please pray that God would stir the heart of someone today concerning missions. 

May God richly bless each of your services this weekend.  Remember the love the man of God and tenderly minister to his sheep.  What an overwhelming privilege we have.  May each of us make the most of it!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

From Russell Pruitt

I received this today from Russell Pruitt, missionary to Montana. It convicted and challenged my heart and I pray it will do the same for you. Thank you Bro. Russell for allowing me to use this!

Hi Bro. Tony
I was doing my devotions this morning when you came to my mine.
Pro. Chpt. 18

I) Help me not to have a Fool's lip: v. 6-8 (stupid or silly) Jam. 1:19

II) Help me not to be a Failure: v. 9-10 (slothful) slackared, lazy
our strength is in the LORD!

III) Help me to have Freedom from pride: v. 11-16 (humility) Jam. 4:6 & 10; I Pet. 5:6
That Christ will get the Glory!!

IV) Help me to put others First: v. 17-21 Watch my tongue, it's hard to win them back. Jam. 3:5-12

V) Help me to always have Favor with The Lord: v. 22-23 Favor: delight
a. stay in peace w/our wife. v.22
b. stay in earnest prayer. v.23

VI) Help me to be Friendly: v. 24 That I may have friends and that I may win them to the LORD!!
Luke 11:5-10

God was working on my heart about all these things in our deputation. I had to ask myself, have I done these things? Yes on some and on the others, I needed to repent. Bro. I hated to say, but I feel like I am guilty of them all. Please pray that I will stay on track, and focus on the LORD.

Love in Christ,

Russell Pruitt


“Your what!?!?”, I asked my wife. Of course she told me that she was pregnant.  We had a son that was a little over two a six month old, and now, another one on the way.  As the truth, reality and responsibility settled in on me, I started laughing.  My wife of course did not see the humor in it at all and quickly asked, “what is so funny?”.   I told her the truth, “I can either laugh or cry….I am choosing to laugh.” 

Can you imagine how the news of Jerusalem and the Jews hit Nehemiah?  As the reality of the situation began to sink in, it broke him.  When he heard the news, he sat down, wept, mourned, fasted and prayed.  Has it sunk in that people are dying and going to hell all around the world…that includes your field of service.  Is it a reality in your life concerning the conditions of your field?  Is all the information abstract or has it got a face, name and family?  You know so much about your field.  You know about their religion, economy and living conditions.  You can quote their population, pledge and produce.  Yet all of it is like looking at something through a telescope or the events of a dream.  It just doesn’t seem real.  Let the information, condition and need of your land sink in.  I mean REALLY sink in.  When it is real with you, it will be real to others.  Let the truth sink in.  Let it eat your lunch and follow you around.  Pray, fast, mourn, and weep.  When it all starts sinking in and becomes real, you will begin to be able to share your burden effectively.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

An Informed Burden

Nehemiah asked a simple question in chapter one verse two,  “How is everything going back home?”.   The answer to that question changed the course of his life. Upon finding out their affliction, reproach, and condition of the city, Nehemiah sat down, wept and mourned. Notice what helped to arouse and strengthen his burden:

1.       Information – (1:2) He wanted to know the condition of both the place and people.

a.       How many people are in your country?

b.      What is their major religion?

c.       Do people faithfully practice that religion?

d.      Do they have idols, temples, incense?

e.       What are their church services like?

f.        How about their funeral services?

g.      How are they walking in spiritual darkness?

h.       Literally ask twenty questions!


In verse three, they tell of the physical (great affliction), spiritual (reproach) and material (gates burned, walls broken) condition of the land.  This may be a starting point for you to think on concerning your field.

Lamentations 3:51 tells us that our heart is affected by our eye (what we see).  Let your heart be stirred by “seeing” the information you read about your country.  Put before people information (not stale facts) that will stir their heart.  When Nehemiah was informed he was burdened.  Be an informed missionary that informs others, and they too, will begin to feel the burden.