Podcast Episode #17

Our Discussion

What goes into spreading God’s word? And what are the motivations behind it? Today, we are joined by Elliot Clark, author of Evangelism as Exiles and Mission Affirmed! Elliot has served in Central Asia with his wife as a cross-cultural church planter, and currently works with Training Leaders International. We’ll be having an enriched discussion about his newest book, Mission Affirmed: Recovering the Missionary Motivation of Paul by exploring the deeper meanings and interpretations behind Paul’s motivations in his pursuit for God’s honor and approval.

After that, we shift the lens to modern day missionary work. We’ll talk about the importance of interdependent churches over self-propagating ones, the dichotomy of quality and quantity in planting disciples, the over-minimization of missionary presence, the implicit inevitability of cultural colonization, and more! Tune in for an episode that’ll get you motivated and inspired to start planting seeds today!

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Understanding the motives and ambitions of Paul’s missions.
  • The practical implications of missionary motivations.
  • Self-supporting, self-sustaining churches versus interdependent churches.
  • The minimization of missionaries in a post-colonial world and the inevitability of Western influence to foreign cultures.

About Elliot Clark

Elliot Clark (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) served in Central Asia as a cross-cultural church planter along with his wife and children. He works with Training Leaders International, equipping indigenous church leaders overseas and diaspora pastors within the U.S. He is the author of Evangelism as Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in Our Own Land and Mission Affirmed: Recovering the Missionary Motivation of Paul.


  • 0:00:00 Meet Elliot, author of Evangelism as Exiles and Mission Affirmed, currently working with Training Leaders International!
  • 0:02:50 Where does your depth and understanding come from?
  • 0:04:50 What motivated you to write your newest book, Mission Affirmed: Recovering the Missionary Motivation of Paul?
  • 0:06:35 What made you focus on the motivational aspect?
  • 0:08:25 What is your overall thesis?
  • 0:10:20 Should we get rewards? How do we receive different rewards?
  • 0:12:05 What texts should we look at for the degrees of rewards?
  • 0:16:50 Why do you say God’s approval is Paul’s missionary motivation?
  • 0:19:45 The reason Paul left the cities.
  • 0:22:25 What was the deeper meaning behind his motivation?
  • 0:25:00 What are the practical implications of having God’s honor as a missionary motive?
  • 0:29:20 Quantity versus quality in missionary work.
  • 0:33:10 How should missionaries approach their work?
  • 0:36:30 Do you think Paul would endorse self-sustaining, self-supporting, and self-propagating churches?
  • 0:38:25 What is the importance of interdependent churches?
  • 0:41:25 The over-minimization of missionaries in a post-colonial world.
  • 0:45:25 How has the danger of cultural colonization changed, not disappeared?
  • 0:49:25 Why is Paul concerned with both the Corinthians’ approval and God’s approval?
  • 0:55:35 What has been the feedback of your new book so far?
  • 0:56:00 Do you have any future projects in mind?
  • 0:56:40 What do missions have to learn from theology?
  • 0:58:10 What does theology have to learn from missions?

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