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A new training manual combining prayer and field research
for a breakthrough in your ministry situation


Cover of Breakthrough Book

Steps to Research and Resolve
the Mysteries in your Ministry

by Stan Nussbaum

200 pages, 8.5 x 11 inches
Published by GMI Research Services (July 2007)
Price: $21.95


Everyone learns from his or her experiences in ministry. The aim of this manual is to help people learn more from their experiences than they would have otherwise. If they can solve some of their mysteries and grow into their ministry roles through the Breakthrough process, their frustrations will go down and their effectiveness will go up. Jesus will be lifted higher than before.

That was the way field research helped me during my work as a Bible teacher with African indigenous churches in Lesotho twenty-five years ago. I am grateful to Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission for sponsoring it and the University of South Africa, especially Professor Inus Daneel, for guiding me through it. Ever since that experience, I have been experimenting with various ways of passing on the same skills through workshops, an email course, and now via this book.

The book resembles an introductory field research manual but it does more than merely show people how they can apply secular research methods to Christian ministry problems. It attempts to describe research methods that are aimed at a Christian goal (knowing the will of God), based on a Christian approach (interlaced with prayer) and done in a Christian style (humble, servant-hearted). By applying these methods, we learn to represent Jesus better and to put ourselves into a position where God may grant us a breakthrough in our ministry.

Our breakthroughs are small pieces of the big breakthrough, the one Jesus announced, the breakthrough of the kingdom or reign of God on earth. Jesus brought the good news that the old era was over and “breakthrough time” was beginning (see Mk. 1:15). The time has come. In life and especially in ministry, it is our amazing privilege to be part of God’s breaking in on the world. We get to explain to the world what is happening and show them how it works. As we do so, our Lord also breaks through in our own hearts and heads, changing us from inexperienced to experienced, from naïve to insightful, from baffled to confident, from stunted to fruitful. He graciously moves us from arrogant blindness to humble understanding. My prayer is that he will use this manual to help that process along in your life and your ministry team.

In the field of mission training, this book aims to strengthen two weak areas. First, it provides an additional option to strengthen in-service training programs, which are increasingly recognized as valuable supplements to pre-field study and on-field orientation. Second, it tries to overcome the artificial post-Enlightenment dichotomy between pursuing “truth” through scientific methods and pursuing “the will of God” through religious methods. The aim here is to combine scientific and religious approaches in order to get at the “truth” that people in ministry most want to know—God’s guidance in and for their situation.

My thanks go especially to the colleagues and students who have helped bring this course gradually along to its present state. Field tests were done at the Selly Oak Colleges and All Nations Christian College in England, Carlisle College in Kenya, Methodist University of Katanga in Congo (Dem. Rep.), Uganda Christian College, Seminari Teologi Malaysia, and the Korea Research Institute for Mission. Other agencies which have been notably involved are Development Associates International, the Church Mission Society (CMS), and Operation Mobilisation. Individual students from a variety of other agencies have also helped me immensely as they worked through earlier versions of the e-mail course. Valerie Lim and Roberta King made a number of useful suggestions on the final manuscript. All these I thank, as well as the future readers who will help me remedy the defects I have unwittingly managed to leave in this edition.

Whether or not this manual represents a breakthrough in mission training is for others to judge. But I can pray to that end, and I can ask you to join me in praying that, at least for you personally, it will prove to be so. May your use of this manual turn out to be one of the most profitable training experiences of your life.

Stan Nussbaum
April 2007

Additional Information / Orders

A free evaluation copy is available for agencies interested in using the manual as part of their training curriculum. Questions? Write to author Stan Nussbaum at [email protected]


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Click here to read a description of the book.

Click here to download the introductory chapter from the book (PDF).

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