Category : Mike Schrage

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Our Hour of Prayer

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I wish you could have experienced our recent International Hour of Prayer. With the help of technology, we brought together our regional directors from around the globe. Technology allowed us to have 16 global locations together at once including a small bedroom in Eurasia, a refreshing condo in Florida, and a moving train in India! What a thrill to see their faces, both familiar and new. It reminds me that we’re always growing and changing.

I wish you could have heard some of the prayers spoken in Hindi, Thai, Burmese, and other languages. It was touching to hear their prayers for personal and ministry challenges and their pleas to God for one another.

When we were done praying, no one seemed ready to disconnect due to the bonds that have been established over the years. Director of Operations Tom Nutt called it “a taste of heaven!”

Max Lucado writes, “When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works.”

I saw God working through these men and women and confident their prayers will join yours as we pray for the nations to follow Him.

July IHOP_2016

Four Technologies

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I received an email from my insurance provider highlighting the four top technologies expected to impact the health world – telehealth, mobile apps, wearables, and data sharing.

This caused me to consider what the four top technologies to impact global missions today would be. Number one, in my estimation, would be Internet access, which is the foundation of many other technologies. Around 40% of the world’s population has an Internet
connection today. In 1995, it was less than 1%. http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/                                                               

The second technology with a great impact is the cell phone. Even in the most remote areas, Christian workers can communicate with one another and with the outside world. They can store teaching materials in print, as well as audio files like worship music, and videos like teaching series or dramas. It is estimated that 4.77 billion cell phones will be in use globally at the beginning of 2017. https://deviceatlas.com/blog/16-mobile-market-statistics-you-should-know-2016

The third technology, Facebook, has a seamless flow of personal and missional information in text and visual formats. I have friends in the Muslim world who are using Facebook as the ideal “front door” in their early steps of evangelism to help identify those who are open to spiritual dialog about God, Christ, and the Church.

Finally, I would suggest various social media apps are important for global missions. In India and other countries, the social media app of choice is “WhatsApp” with its capacity to work effectively  over Wi-Fi and move data in short bursts to individuals or groups and at no cost. Over 70 million people in India use WhatsApp.  http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/whatsapp-in-over-109-countries-with-70-million-users-in-india-study-841858

It can be discouraging to see all the trouble in the world today, but even so the Lord is opening doors to spread the Gospel in new ways.

Charms and Incense

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

GNPI produces culturally relevant materials that connect with people who have different worldviews. You may wonder how different can these really be? When I was in Nairobi recently, I overheard a Kenyan businessman assuring his young colleague that they were guaranteed to close the deal since he had just purchased a “high-powered charm” from the local witchdoctor.

On another trip I went to eat breakfast at the Best Western Hotel in Chandigarh, India, only to hear incantations from the front desk employee who joined a priest in a side room for morning prayers and incense.

In addition to these, I’ve been face-to -face with animism and Hinduism. There are many different ways to view the world, but there’s only one Way. The mandate from Christ was to seek the Kingdom of God, not other religions or kingdoms. GNPI is pointing others to Christ and helping them make sense of His Way, so we can enjoy eternity with our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Blessed to be a Blessing

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

In 2002 a scholar from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences shared with a group of Westerners the research he thought accounted for the preeminence of the Western world. After dismissing views that our success was tied to our military, politics, or economic systems, here was his conclusion:

“…the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”

In light of our nation’s recent birthday, it is helpful to remember that our national independence has brought untold blessings for us and others throughout the world. Those things can easily be seen, but our dependence is on God.

GNPI serves a hurting world from our knowledge of this dependency. We are blessed to be a blessing to many. GNPI equips the body of Christ with culturally relevant media and technology to accelerate global evangelism and fulfill The Great Commission.

 

Encouraging Endorsements

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

We’ve been sharing some favorite photos and video clips from our archives during our 40th anniversary year. Our founder, Ziden Nutt, recalls in the following video some valuable feedback from others about the ministry. The assessment from those who were served helped to assure effective strategies were followed to meet each particular challenge.

Next month we will focus on some of the strategic planning involved in building the ministry of GNPI.

Invitation to ICOM 2016

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to the International Conference on Missions (ICOM), and I am excited to serve as this year’s president. It’s always a chance for Christian workers to network and to be encouraged. Make plans now to join us at ICOM, November 17-20, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Here is some information from the ICOM staff:

The theme of this year’s conference: MOBILIZE: Disciples Making Disciples. The goal of the conference is to “Mobilize” the church, motivating everyone to be “disciples who make disciples.” Technology is an important tool to make that happen more easily and efficiently. We don’t just want to study technology; we want to utilize the benefits of what it can do to accelerate disciple making.  Here are a couple of technology highlights for this year’s ICOM.

We will have 10 workshops about technology focused on how it can be used to further the kingdom, the strategies available, and how to use it in your home, globally, or in remote places.  

Global Media Outreach (GMO) will be with us – we are very excited!  GMO is going to help us realize in real time how the rest of the Church is surviving and what they are saying or thinking. It’s similar to what we did with the Global Prayercast session in 2014, showing where folks are praying all over the world, but this will be even more detailed! This will be a main session element you do not want to miss!

We are thrilled to have Doug Henderson and Frank Preston joining us this year as well! Doug Henderson is from Lexington, an alumni of Kentucky Christian University, and a graduate from the Pittsburgh School of Art. Doug has been working at the Creation Museum, located in northern Kentucky, for many years. He is one of the people working on the animal specimens in the new Ark Museum opening this summer near Cincinnati. We’ll get to experience a different type of technology, but I can’t wait to see Doug’s handiwork. Frank Preston (pseudonym) is one of our main speakers.  Frank was hired by the US government to study how people are radicalized to take action in extreme ways, and much of it is done through media and technology. I hope we can all learn from his study during the main session and in his workshops.

ICOM will be incorporating technology throughout the conference! With the help of some very sharp people who assist ICOM every year, we are going to have a great stage with a few more surprises than usual. One of those people is Gary Jordan, our technology director. The ICOM app is available for download now and will be updated with 2016 specific information as it comes in over the summer!  It is compatible with iPhone and Android (Google Play Store) devices for both smartphone and tablets! This will be our third year to use our own program app. In this app, you will be able to have the elements of the program book on your device, so you can find an exhibitor booth, view all of our workshops and pick your favorites, view the speakers pictures and biographies, the full weekend schedule, get directions from a list of local restaurants in downtown Lexington, and so much more! All of it is literally at your fingertips.

Check out a brand new video with Mike Schrage on the ICOM Blog!

Contact us if you have any questions!

Click here to register. 

Using Media Wisely

Executive Director, Mike Schrage

Media doesn’t have power by itself. It has to be created and then used by people. How it’s used is determined by us. Consider recent comments from different parts of the world that have crossed my desk.

“If ISIS can use media to motivate people to blow themselves up, surely we can use media to tell them about Jesus.”

“Christian media tools can go to places we cannot go and work among the hearts of people .”

“I just wanted to let you know that 10,120 plans were completed on YouVersion in five different languages.”

If the Internet, Facebook, and smartphones are being used to establish powerful global companies, create massive wealth, and even promote destruction, shouldn’t we be using them to redeem the time? Christ wants us to use media and technology for His purposes and His glory. Church, let’s use these awesome tools to share the Gospel so that more people will seek and find Christ!

Only God

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

I visited missionaries in Sudan and national workers in Uganda recently.

GNPI is privileged to help both communities of workers through resources like Solar Kits for evangelism or a marriage series designed especially to educate and edify newly married couples in Uganda.

While on the trip I met missionaries coming to Africa to work and other missionaries leaving to return to their homes. In the process 1 Corinthians 3:7 became more clear in my mind: “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

You and I serve the needs of missionaries and national church leaders alike by using technology. They partner with us to toil and plant. Yet at the end of the day, it is God, and only God, who gives the spiritual increase as we serve Him together.

That is Good News!

 

Early Efforts Pave the Way

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

During our 40th anniversary year, we’ve been sharing some favorite photos and video clips from our archives. Our founder Ziden Nutt recalls in the following video several important conversations which led him to realize the power of visuals for communicating the Gospel.

Ziden and his wife Helen went to Zimbabwe in 1961 to minister to the Shona Makorekore people.

Next month we will see some of the encouraging endorsements the ministry of GNPI received as it emerged.

Joy in the Circle of Life

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Joy is personally experiencing Christ’s timely, marvelous, and bountiful grace! Where did that happen for you? I experienced that joy in November 1976 at a swimming pool turned baptistery in Carbondale, Illinois. I had no idea how that moment would lead to today as I help deliver joy to others through media and technology.

It’s amazing what the quest for seeing this joy in the life of others will cause one to do. Whether it’s staying up until 2:00 am to finish an edit in Africa, or working until 2:00 am in a Missouri harvest field to donate grain proceeds for the very editing equipment and software, our team of staff and supporters go to great lengths to supply joy.

It all results in unsurpassed joy when we see the plan come together at the intersection of life’s crossroads. We hear how a worship song, drama, teaching video, radio talk show, or plan on a digital app deliver truth and hope and is used by the Holy Spirit at just the right moment to deliver eternal joy.

Do you see the unending cycle? We’re given joyous spiritual life for the purpose of giving it to others. Such beauty is found in the circle of life!

 

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