Doug Lucas edits the Brigade Today website and e-mail list. The goal is Brigade is to identify and promote resources and people that can help Christians fulfill the Great Commission. If you are involved in telling people about Jesus internationally, you will benefit every time the Brigade e-mail hits your inbox.
Subscribe to Brigade today: https://brigada.org/
Read more about Doug Lucas and his mission work: https://teamexpansion.org/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Doug Lucas co-edits the Brigada Today website and email list. The goal of Brigada is to identify and promote resources and people that can help Christians fulfill the great commission. If you are involved in telling people about Jesus internationally, you will benefit every time the Brigada email hits your inbox.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:36):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now, here’s your host missionary evangelist, Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:01):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today, I have a very special guest with me, Doug Lucas, thank you so much for joining me on the Evangelism Podcast.
Doug Lucas (01:14):
It’s an honor to be here, Daniel. Thanks
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:16):
Brother Doug. For many years I’ve been receiving emails in my inbox.
Doug Lucas (01:23):
I’m so sorry from, please forgive me,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:26):
Brigada… these emails are full of very important resources for missionaries, for people involved in missions, for people who have a passion for the Great Commission. Tell me a little bit about Brigada and, and what the focus of these emails are.
Doug Lucas (01:49):
Sure. I was serving as a worker in the, what we would now call the former Soviet Union, uh, back in 1991. And I would see these, uh, refugees that would come in from Central Asia building homes and the place to which they were returning. And when they did, so they would work as a team, as a unit, and they would even pass the buckets of concrete or whatever to more the foundations in a kind of a brigade form and in the language that they were using. The word was, uh, briga and it stuck with me that they were, they were doing a kind of a bucket brigade. It all worked together toward this common cause. And when I came back, uh, shortly afterward, I was asked to lead the run up to a big missions convention that was trying to create a lot of, uh, momentum toward finishing the task of world evangelization. And it, uh, it led me to, to kind of think about doing that together across churches, across streams, across orgs. And so I propose, well, why don’t we start, uh, this conversation between each other, uh, maybe just a weekly, uh, some kind of weekly thing that could bring us together. And we got really good, uh, reinforcement from a ton of other people in several circles and started up in 1995, uh, with that idea. And it’s been weekly ever since Daniel, and that’s where we got the name Brigada.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:12):
So if someone is a missionary or passionate about world evangelism, who wants to be involved in the Great Commission, why should they go and sign up to receive emails from you? What, what are some of the benefits that they would receive?
Doug Lucas (03:40):
Brigada. It’s a, an eclectic, uh, collection of resources for people that are both goers and also sins for people who are active in cross-cultural work overseas, as well as those who are advocating and praying for the great commission to be accomplished in sending countries. And so I think that they could, they could end up liking it because out of every week’s, uh, version, hopefully they’ll take away at least one new resource or conference or some kind of, uh, uh, you know, app or idea or trend, maybe some new piece of information that they can get. And it’s, it’s a free resource at the end of each year. We ask folks, uh, if they wanna participate by, by pitching in on the expenses, and we raise just exactly the expenses we need, and we don’t take any extra money. Uh, if people gave money, I, I suppose we need to return it or put it toward the next year, but that’s never happened beyond the minimal expenses that are need just to run it. And it’s always, uh, it’s always been a lot of fun. It’s been going weekly since, uh, January 95. People have told me before that it might be the longest weekly easing on the internet of any kind. I don’t know if that’s true, but some people told me that.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:59):
Well, I’m really impressed with all the work that you put into this and how much you’ve helped so many different people that are involved in the Great Commission. I really like what you, you say that it, these are hacks for the Great Commission. And so let’s talk about like some of the different hacks that you’ve put out in the last year or so. What are some of the different features and articles that would really help missionaries? Uh, more recently,
Doug Lucas (05:28):
Some of the, some of the ways that Brigada is sort of different than maybe another typical eine is that one of the things we do is we throw out a sample of something that we found that works, and then we say, have you found something better in this particular genre? So we might throw out an example of, say, a website that short-term teams can use as a way to build their momentum before they go and, uh, you know, have you found something better? Well, the next Brigada user might comment, yeah, but this one lets them raise funds. And the funding goes through the, through the, through the website, and they only charge 2% for the funding. And then the next guy gets on and says, this one lets them raise funds and it’s one and a half percent plus, they also do newsletters. The people are sitting.
And so what you get is this kind of aggregated set of knowledge about particular genre. And we’ve done things about, for example, travel agents and travel services. We’ve done, uh, trip cancellation insurance policies, which ones are the best we’ve done, uh, what are the best ways to start new churches and multiply groups and multiply disciples, and where’s the best place to learn about that? And what’s the best book about it that you could read? Um, what’s a, an agency that helps you raise support and trains you how to raise support as a missionary? Well, what’s an agency that trains the people that train people to raise support? You know, all the, all the apps and the services for not only the kind of retail goers, but also kind of the wholesale ciders that operate at the, at the cinder level. We have a lot of folks who are very popular in the Misso Nexus world and the, the world of finishing the task and the world of, of, uh, Bible translation and a lot of folks that are kind of out of the old days of what we used to call the Association of Church Missions Committees.
We have a lot of local churches involved and a lot of international people. At one time, I think a guy did a survey about 10 or 15 years ago and found that half of regatta’s readership are international workers in places like Europe and Africa and Asia, Australia, New Zealand, all around the world, since it’s a lot of fun and it’s kind of a global stream that says, let’s get this done.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:59):
Well, if you’re listening and you have a heart for missions, I’d encourage you to go to brita.org and sign up today. And you can also look at past archives of recommendations for various services that are really beneficial that, that missionaries need to know about. It is very important to, to know best practices and which websites and which apps are the best ones to work with. And there’s no time for one person to keep up with everything. But through Brita, you can have recommendations from a wide variety of people who are out there in the field working. And so that’s, that’s it: www.Brigada.org. Now, Mr. Doug, you are very involved yourself in the great commission and leading people to Jesus, uh, through, uh, your, your ministry team expansion, uh, which can be be found TeamExpansion.org. Could you tell us some about the, the overall vision and, and, and mission of, of what you’re doing? Buratta is just one part of that, but, but talk to me about, uh, what you’ve been doing, uh, around the world for so long.
Doug Lucas (09:10):
Thanks. Thanks, Daniel. Brigada is kind of like crowdsourcing missions information and trends and resources, but that, that, that’s not how I’m paid. You know, my day job is actually to work at team expansion where I serve as a president. We have about 400 full-timers in 50 countries. And what we all do is try to make and multiply disciples and churches among unreached people. So when I try to write Brigada , um, I’m writing as a practitioner myself rather than as some marketing person that’s trying to start some website that I can someday develop into a full-time gig. I have no, you know, designs at all to try to do websites full-time. It’s kind of moonlighting on the side to try to share kind of one beggar telling another beggar where to Find Bread. Team Expansion is a mission organization in its own right. That started in 1978 in a little prayer meeting in a, in a dorm room.
And we all signed our names by different countries on the map. And, and, uh, the rest is history. I started out at the lawyer’s office from day one as the, as the president has somehow gotten stuck with the job ever since. And I’m always willing to hand it off to anybody else that wants it, but nobody else has wanted it yet. And we keep growing and we keep, uh, learning. Most of our workers are involved in simple practices that reproduce. We don’t have large, for the most part, large institutions and, and big properties. Were just simple reproducing disciple making movement strategies in, uh, unreached areas. So mostly among Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist, atheists, animus, those are the places where we work. We’re based with the Louisville, Kentucky have a little 61 acre campus here where we, uh, spend time praying and, and do retreats and training people to be able to go in the missions is what we do.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:04):
You have a tremendous focus on reaching on reach people groups and reaching every tribe, nation people with the gospel. What are some of the, the things that you’re finding are most effective at reaching into sometimes very difficult areas to, to talk to people about Jesus?
Doug Lucas (11:26):
You know, Daniel, the thing that’s helped us the most is just simply embracing the tools, the practices, the strategies of disciple making movement, uh, strategy. So dmm, and you could sum those up into, uh, maybe, uh, a handful of practices, a lot of prayer for, for the lost, uh, focusing on helping people obey rather than simply trying to transfer academic content. Um, trying to share a lot about my story or God’s story. In other words, abundant evangelism just everywhere. And just, just always involved in sharing that story, uh, training other people to do the same. That’s a big emphasis in disciple making movement strategy. And then, uh, gathering people into groups, small groups that would utilize discovery, Bible study type, uh, approaches, uh, three-thirds groups, some people call. And so focusing on simple reproducible groups as a means of being the motor for church growth.
And then, uh, I guess multiplying those groups and focusing on multiplication instead of just me always thinking that I have to be the one that adds, making sure that I’m trying to train this new believer so that she or he can multiply as well, and trying to do that out to many generations. And then, uh, focusing on growth among all those people so it’s not, uh, a mile wide and an inch deep, but instead everybody’s growing deep roots and reading a lot of scripture on applying it. So that’s kind of what we’re focused on. That would be the simple practices we would recommend. And
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:06):
Now on your website, it talks about statistics on unreached people groups and, uh, is, as I said, 7.84 billion people in the world today. I think now, maybe a few days ago I heard we’ve gone over 8 billion people, right? It says that there’s 17,409 known people groups, and 7,402 of those groups are considered on reach. K kind of explain the criteria for why one group would be considered reach and another group might be unreached.
Doug Lucas (13:38):
Yeah, it’s a great question. We, uh, have largely followed the kind of the industry norm of saying that an unreached people group would be a significantly large grouping of individuals who perceive themselves to have an affinity. They are perhaps linked by a, an ethnic or a language, uh, likeness with each other. And it’s like the largest number of individuals through which the gospel could flow before it encounters a barrier of understanding or acceptance. So what that means is you could use basically one simple strategy, and it could flow as fast and as hard and as long as it could go. But when it hits that wall of the next language group, then it might take a different, uh, startup in that next language group. Well, that would be defined as an unrich people group. And if you use that definition, that’s where we get those, uh, numbers that you mentioned, probably 7,000 or so, it’s hard to be exact, but around 7,000 groups that still don’t have a viable chance to know about Jesus.
And the typical statistics that you’ll hear used are somewhere between 2% or 5% or less of that group would, would claim to be, uh, an evangelical Christian of any kind. So they’re, they’re basically, by self definition, are they claiming to be a follower of Christ and active in doing that? Well, if that statistic is 2% or less, and if the place where they live doesn’t have some kind of a nominal Christian, uh, followership anyway, like a, a giant, you know, kind of cloud of Catholicism or some kind of, uh, adherence of Christianity, then that people group probably has essentially zero chance to hear about Jesus, you might as well say. And those are the groups, uh, through whom we focus now in this day and age, talking about literally right now in these years, we’re kind of adding in the idea of focusing on unreached places as well. So it’s gonna be unreached people and places as we go forward. That’s kind of the direction in the future. And the places would be simply, you know, districts or states or villages that don’t have a church. So people couldn’t hear about Jesus there either.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:04):
And why do you feel that it’s important for the church to pray for unreached people groups and then to, to start to engage them? A lot of people when they first start getting interested in missions, they might go on a short term trip to, to Mexico. And of course there’s, there’s lots of, of churches in Mexico, but why, why should the church care about these outreach people groups, and why should we put resources towards that area of outreach?
Doug Lucas (16:29):
It, it is, uh, a great, great question, Daniel. I’m glad you asked first because of course, we want the church to grow into all those peoples and places because it’s the vision that, uh, John records in Revelation seven. You know, it’s the promise of the end of the ages. In fact, was it Matthew 24 14 or so, we’re told that the gospel will, you know, be spoken and preached to every person, and then the end will come, um, the every nation, and then the end will come. Well, the, the expectation is that God is sort of leaning against the guardrail of heaven waiting for something to happen, and he’s waiting for apparently every single nation to have had a chance to hear. And then revelation seven, the vision will happen. All people’s, all nations, all tribes will be gathered and there’ll be representatives from every nation and tribe standing before his throne in a white robe.
There’s no way we can have that vision accomplished until we go to all those places. Then a secondary vision is we know that when the gospel does travel there, people can have peace and they can be happier. And in general, life picks up, you know, they have a hope, and that’s important. But then a third reason we do it is because Jesus said to, I mean, it’s just a simple command. In Matthew 28, for example, uh, 1920, Daniel Jesus said, make disciples of all nations. And you know, that word for nation is not the word that we would have expected it to be in English. If we were to use the word nation today, we think of a political nation, but the root word back then, it was a word that’s more likely would’ve been translated ethnic group. In fact, they didn’t even have political nations like we have today back in Jesus’ time. So these would be tribes or casts or kindreds. And if Jesus said, make disciples of every ethic group, you know, teach them to obey what I’ve told them to do at every ethic group, I just figure we ought to be about it. We ought to be doing it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:43):
Amen. Well, if you want to learn more about reaching on reach people groups, I encourage you to go to team expansion.org, find out more about Doug Lucas and about reaching unreached people groups. And if you wanna support reaching Unre people groups, I encourage you to go and support their ministry. Mr. Doug, thank you so much for being on the Evangelism Podcast. I appreciate it.
Doug Lucas (19:07):
It’s an honored, Daniel, thank you for doing it and wish you best in, uh, all of the stuff that you produce. Thank you for the work that you do.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:34):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus, and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from Hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the Evangelism podcast on Apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with King Ministries. Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today, I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much, and God bless you.
Evangelism Podcast Host (22:55):
For more information about how to share your faith, or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches, visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.