Prayer Point for North Korea – April 12, 2012

Seoul USA’s board, staff, and a few champions will be joining our Korean staff in Seoul this week to see first-hand the work being done to equip North Koreans for ministry and spread the Gospel to the hermit kingdom.

Please pray for fruitful ministry and a lasting impact on those who will be joining us.


Seoul USA Field Ops Update

A Response to “Cost Effectiveness in Christian Ministry”

“When we give the wealth of heaven and the strength of our Savior for the weak, faint-hearted, lost, hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, those in bondage, imprisoned and destitute.  When we have poured out our very life and what we possess, both physical and spiritual, to others in the name of the one that did that very thing; Jesus Christ.  Then we have been cost-effective.  This heart and mind-set would make a similar cry  as Peter says to the lame beggar, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.’ (Acts 3:6)”

This was one response to the question about how we should measure cost-effectiveness as a Christian ministry. If this were the measurement of success instead of the crazy dollars-per- ordinary-person-per-undefined-impact, then what would your specific program for a “poverty program” look like?

PS – I want specifics 🙂

Responses to Field Ops articles may be sent to our field manager

Rejoice to be Abased for Christ’s Sake

In the Work of Mercy of visitation we’re sent as God’s ambassadors. That means we need to learn how to incarnate His presence wherever the widow, the orphan, the sick, and the imprisoned dwell. Central to that Work of Mercy, says Amy L. Sherman, is imparting life:

It [visitation] mustn’t be limited to providing them merely with commodities. We are to share our own lives, and invite them to taste of Christ’s life. We are to pray for fullness in the places where they are empty. Where they experience deadness, our ministry aims to quicken. Where they experience barrenness, our ministry helps them connect to Jesus and experience fruitfulness. He is the life-giver to all who are destitute, empty, dead, and barren.

John Wesley says that others may know how to do certain tasks of care giving better than we do, but he says that “delicacy or honour” (our fear of becoming sick ourselves, our perceived self-worth which would prevent us from washing out others’ underwear or help them go to the bathroom, those kinds of things ) ought never to stop us from mirroring Christ’s care and love into the life of the one who is suffering.

Wesley says:

You will then easily discern, whether there is any good office which you can do for them with your own hands. Indeed, most of the things which are needful to be done, those about them can do better than you.

But in some you may have more skill, or more experience, than them; and if you have, let not delicacy or honour stand in your way. Remember his word, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me;” and think nothing too mean to do for Him. Rejoice to be abased for his sake!

“Rejoice to be abased for his sake”-that’s a powerful (and challenging) thought.

In what present circumstance can you rejoice to be abased for his sake?

Check out this month to learn more about the Work of Mercy of Visiting and Remembering

Where We’re Speaking

VOM Regional Conference


VOM Regional Conference


*This event is open to the public. Additional information, when available, can be obtained by clicking the underlined text.   

North Korea Resources – March 28, 2012

Click the links below to learn more about life in North Korea.

Prayer Point for North Korea – March 27, 2012

After estimating that approximately 2,000,000 North Koreans are tuning into illegal short-wave broadcasting each evening, the Lord blessed us with the funds to increase our radio program by an additional half hour this year!

Please pray that the Holy Spirit would move on the hearts of North Koreans as they hear the Gospel broadcast over the radio.

Seoul USA Field Ops Update

Cost Effectiveness in Christian Ministry

When attempting some sort of ministry, whether that be field operations, administration, training, teaching, preaching, equipping, etc., and the discussion turns to “cost-effectiveness,” we have to ask what we mean by “cost-effectiveness.”

You might say that this is obvious; everyone knows what “cost-effectiveness” means. So let’s test if it is obvious or not.

Think for a minute how you would define this term if you were on a game show and were about to win $1000 for giving the correct definition of “cost effectiveness in Christian ministry” in 12 words or less.

I’ll give you a minute…………

OK, how was your answer?  Was it easy to come up with a clear definition? If you have the chance, I’d like to hear about what you gave for a definition and how it compares to the definition given in the Christianity Today article “Cost-Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor.

The results that are given in this article are based on 16 individuals responding to a poll to rate the “most common poverty interventions to which ordinary people donate their money, in terms of impact and cost-effectiveness per donated dollar.”

What’s your initial reaction to that question? I don’t know where to even start with that, so let’s see if we can think about some of the problems in the question as a means of identifying any conclusions to what “Cost-Effective Compassion” might be.

Think through some of the vagaries of this with me:

1. Most Common Poverty Interventions:  

  • How is “most common” defined? By money? Number of people who do it? Number of people who donate to it? Greatest cost?
  • Who decides what is common? What is common in New York might not be what is common in Seoul, Korea. With only 16 individuals, how did they determine what interventions were common?
  • What exactly is a “poverty intervention?” Is there an income level? Is it normalized for the region of the world or country? What is the definition of poverty used here and what is the specific meaning of an intervention that I could put on this poll if I were answering?

2. Ordinary People: Who are ordinary people? Is this an income level? Does it mean some foundations that give to poverty intervention programs were excluded? An ordinary person in Germany or an ordinary person in Los Angeles? I’d really like to know how this term, ordinary person, was used to include or exclude potential answers to this poll.

3. Impact: Without a definition, what did these 16 individuals decide impact meant? Was there a collective agreement on a definition or was it left up to each individual to determine impact? How many interventions were left out because it didn’t meet some undetermined definition of impact?

4. Cost-effectiveness per donated dollar: How was this determined? Is there a table somewhere that lists all of the poverty intervention programs or ministries along with their cost-effectiveness per donated dollar? Does this include grant dollars or just individual donor dollars? How about organizations that have service-related income within their programs, are those left out because it isn’t “donated” dollar?

Really, those last two are the most important – what is impact and how does an organization determine its “cost-effectiveness” per donated dollar.

Keeping in mind that this is for Christian ministries, what would you say those terms should mean?