AGRM Publications

Please enjoy AGRM's many publications. If you have questions or would like to submit information to one of our publications, please email Director of Communications Brad Lewis.

View our most recent issues:

Street Smart

Street Smart: February 1, 2017

Posted: 02/01/2017
Baylor University study presented at National Press Club; registration open for AGRM’s 2017 DC Forum; grants available for women’s domestic violence shelters; nation’s first “safe-injection” sites approved in Seattle; could homelessness be classified as a medical condition?

Street Smart: January 17, 2017

Posted: 01/17/2017
Registration continues as convention program grows; Baylor-AGRM research study to be released February 1; second Ripple Effect cohort begins this week; restaurants in Spain help homeless residents dine with dignity; new study shows how insomnia affects homeless individuals

Street Smart: December 1, 2016

Posted: 12/01/2016
Early-bird convention rates end in just two weeks; new district names and boundaries set; three districts elect new officers and board representatives; organization releases new standards for medical respite care; one in seven Americans will face substance addiction

Street Smart: November 15, 2016

Posted: 11/15/2016
2017 convention early bird registration begins today; annual Snapshot Survey results available to participating missions; Ashmen named to NAE and Circle of Protection; mobile apps aid in addiction recovery; exploring why east sides of cities are poorer than west sides

Street Smart: November 1 2016

Posted: 11/01/2016
AGRM holds first district conference exclusively for Canadian missions; 2017 convention early bird registration begins November 15; AGRM elections to be held November 9; which country’s people are most empathetic; more than half of mentally ill people go without treatment

Street Smart: October 17, 2016

Posted: 10/17/2016
AGRM’s Board of Directors begins meeting today; fall means travel time for association staff; Baylor/AGRM study nearing completion; New York’s homeless children have difficulty getting to school; new findings on Christian theological views in America

Street Smart" October 3, 2016

Posted: 10/03/2016
District conferences in full swing: five held this week; AGRM work at Pine Ridge grows as first Safe House opens; important deadlines and reminders about AGRM events and activities; Internet addiction may signal other mental health problems; food insecurity in America declines, but many still hungry

Street Smart: September 15, 2016

Posted: 09/15/2016
Annual Snapshot Survey provides some of AGRM’s most-requested info; fall District Conferences begin next week; AGRM president speaks at European Association of Urban Missions; new board game raises awareness about homelessness; middle class incomes experience fastest growth rate on record

Street Smart: September 1, 2016

Posted: 09/01/2016
CEO Summit focuses on the future of rescue ministry; AGRM’s annual Snapshot Survey to be held September 29; ikmprovements made to individual and mission profiles; Seattle’s mayor names cabinet-level director of homelessness; study finds most adults with depression go untreated

Street Smart: August 15, 2016

Posted: 08/15/2016
We can still get you into AGRM's CEO Summit; fall District Conferences offer strong regional connections; attend a pre-release screening of I’m Not Ashamed; Olympic athletes' leftovers become meals for homeless people; volunteering later in life may benefit mental health

Rescue Magazine

Rescue Magazine: January/February 2015

Posted: 01/01/2015
Cover Story: A Climate of Security and Peace (by Dick Druary)

Rescue Magazine: January/February 2014

Posted: 01/01/2014
Cover Story: Homeless Youth: An Overlooked Population (by Alice Colegrove)

Rescue Magazine- 2011 May/June

Posted: 01/31/2011
Rescue Magazine- 2011 May/June

Executive Session: On Behalf of the Conquered

Posted: 08/01/2014
I just drove away from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an all-day meeting of 15 influential leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation. While sitting beside and across from Native Americans including Wilbur Between Lodges, Paul Iron Cloud, Rebecca Chief Eagle, Doyle Pipe On Head, and Duane Shot With Arrow, the ideas flowed and the excitement rose.

Executive Session: The Mission District: Map View

Posted: 03/01/2014
I recently sketched out a conjectural map. It’s how I envision every city’s Mission District. By "Mission District," I mean that conceptual community throughout the city—in reality, it doesn’t have to be contiguous—where intensive programs and services outlined in Matthew 25:34–36 are offered, or from where they emanate.

Executive Session: Coming to Terms with Housing First

Posted: 02/01/2014
Very few issues have dogged traditional rescue missions in recent years more than Housing First. Looking only at the schematics, one might assume a sole reason why: Housing First steps around the conventional continuum of care, taking homeless individuals straight from the street and putting them into government-run or government-subsidized apartments.

Executive Session: The Next Big Thing (Part 2)

Posted: 08/15/2013
Earlier this month, in Part 1, I pointed out that homelessness has worked its way into the everyday vocabulary of rescue mission leaders. It’s front and center on the stage we’re viewing. But as history has shown us, at some point, we are going to rotate past homelessness to the next big thing. So what might we be moving toward?

Executive Session: The Next Big Thing (Part 1)

Posted: 08/01/2013
The primary assignment of an association is to be prophetic. Unquestionably, producing relevant resources and advocating on members’ behalf are essential tasks. And setting a spiritual tone for everyone connected is a fundamental charge. But prophecy is job one.

Executive Session: Coming to a Church Near You

Posted: 04/01/2013
It’s a typical suburban church building in a typical suburban neighborhood. It sits on a sometimes-busy street lined with ranch-style houses. But what’s going on these days at Redemption Church in Olathe, Kansas, is far from typical.

Executive Session: Dust in the Wind

Posted: 01/01/2013
My brother traveled to Schopfloch, Germany, to explore the hamlet of our ancestors. His tour of the medieval town brought him to the Lutheran church cemetery. When he couldn’t find any headstones for Eshelman—our family name before colonial relatives Americanized it—he asked the vicar where they might be. Gesturing like a song leader with fidgety fingers, he said, “Sie sind pulver in der brise.” Translation: They are powder in the breeze.

Executive Session: A Christmas Gift for Your Board

Posted: 12/01/2012
For this last Executive Session of the year, I decided to give you a present you can re-gift and stick under your board chair’s Christmas tree. It’s something I hope is not needed anytime soon (especially for your sake). And unfortunately, it’s something he or she might not want to accept from you at the time it is needed. My present is six “don’ts” wrapped in advice gleaned from 30 years of experience in association management.

Executive Session: Righteous or Obnoxious?

Posted: 11/01/2012
The midday sun was intense and the midtown sidewalks were crowded. Smartly dressed office workers wove their way through the onslaught of oncoming humanity in search of a quick sandwich and a brief respite from daily duties. Atop a milk crate near a crosswalk, head and shoulders above all the passersby, stood a wild-haired man in a dark wool blazer, dress shirt, and clashing tie. Sweat poured down his face as he waved a closed Bible.

Executive Session: A Sprinkling of Notes

Posted: 08/01/2012
Earlier this month, Willow Creek Association held its annual Global Leadership Summit. An estimated 160,000 church and ministry leaders attended via satellite linkup in various cities. Several antidotes and one-liners from keynote speakers hit their mark with me.

Executive Session: A Burning Passion to Serve

Posted: 07/01/2012
This issue of "Executive Session" is coming to you from a Starbucks located on Alpine Shadows View in Colorado Springs. The landscape outside the window is as black as the Grande Americano I’m sipping. Just a few blocks away, the recent Waldo Canyon fire did some of its heaviest neighborhood damage.

Executive Session: Meanwhile, in Another Part of the World

Posted: 03/01/2012
The month of March has been a blur of distant airline terminals, littered city streets, and a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home. That’s never fun, but it comes with the job. But the lessons I learn on the road are particularly powerful. For this issue of Executive Session, I thought I would take a different course and share two special experiences from my March travels abroad—and the thoughts God impressed upon me.

Executive Session: They Found Dave Dead

Posted: 11/01/2011
Every night on my homeward commute, I notice more and more houses adorned with colorful blinking bulbs. With Thanksgiving now a memory but Christmas looming large, there seems to be a scramble in the neighborhoods to illuminate lawns and brighten spirits. Despite the lights and the abundance of public festivities, psychologists tell us that the end-of-year holidays yield the most depressing days of the year for far too many people.

Executive Session: Praising from the Proper Position

Posted: 09/01/2011
Nebuchadnezzar II excelled at grandiose expressions of anger, beauty, and pride. He was the unassailable king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire who destroyed Israel’s first majestic temple, built the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and set up a nine-story image of gold on the Plain of Dura, commanding everyone to worship it.

Have You Met Your New Director?

Posted: 07/29/2011
No one can deny that we live in changing (and contentious) times. In this issue of Executive Session, I discuss the need for leaders to change with the times, or face the possibility of being replaced. Incidentally, this topic is something that will be on the table during the AGRM CEO Summit, held next month in Colorado Springs. Also in this issue of the newsletter is a list of the CEOs who have already signed up for this important event

Executive Session: Looking Global

Posted: 06/30/2011
North America is not the rest of the world, and when we compare our missions to those in other countries, it is obvious that there are many differences. But this doesn't mean we can't learn from other nations---especially from places that have already experienced cultural shifts that are most certainly coming our way...

Executive Session - One’s the Limit

Posted: 02/28/2011
With millions of people across North America falling victim to abuse, getting caught in the grip of addiction, and finding themselves on the streets, the problems of those in need can be overwhelming. Fortunately, God—knowing our energy and our empathy have limits—called us to a specific community to reach out to certain individuals.

Executive Session: Words That Wound

Posted: 01/31/2011
The Scriptures speak of the untamable tongue, which some use to praise God and others to spread corruption. This is a truth we experience every day in a continent saturated by strong and loudly voiced opinions.

Executive Session - A Gift of Words

Posted: 12/08/2010
Meaningful giving at Christmastime sometimes gets lost in frantic shopping trips, stressful schedules, and commercial holiday hype.With so great a need and so many people demanding of your time and energy, it may be extra challenging to experience this aspect of holiday joy.

Up to Date

Memorial Service for William (Bill) Thompson

Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission in Dallas, AGRM Board Member, Certification Consultant

A memorial service to celebrate the life of William (Bill) Thompson will be held Friday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m. CST at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, 4124 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, Texas 75219. In lieu of any memorial gifts and/or flowers, donations may be made to Union Gospel Mission, 3211 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75247, or

Bill, executive director of Union Gospel Mission (Dallas, Texas), served on AGRM’s board of directors, and for many years served as a Certification Consultant for AGRM. 

The following obituary is taken from the Dignity Memorial website:

Bill, the oldest of five children born to William and Ernestine Thompson, grew up in a small town in the Mississippi Delta. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at the age of 12 in a summer revival held at his church. When he was 13, the church pianist moved away and he began playing the piano for Sunday school and church. He continued to play piano at his home church until he graduated from high school at age 17. He attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. His first professional job after college was as a chemist for Bristol-Meyers in Syracuse, New York. After about 12 years with Bristol-Meyers, he resigned his position to answer God's call to full-time ministry. He began a diligent search of the Scriptures, engaging in self-study and sharing his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He volunteered in jail and prison ministry, nursing homes, and taught a Bible study at a small soup kitchen that served the homeless. On Saturday evenings, he taught a Bible study with homeless men in the basement of his home.

Sensing the need to broaden his base of biblical knowledge, he enrolled in Dallas Bible College in 1982. It was then that he started volunteering at the Union Gospel Mission (UGM). After volunteering there for over two years, he was hired to work at the mission part-time. He became the assistant director in 1986 and in 1988, he became the interim director at the request of UGM's board. After much prayer and with an appeal from the board, he accepted the position of executive director. That same year, Bill, a founding member of Calvary Bible Church, was asked to lead this all-volunteer congregation, which consisted mostly of homeless men and their families. One of the highlights of his career was the creation of "Games Day for the Homeless,” a time for homeless men, women, and children to enjoy a day of fellowship, competition, food, and fun in local parks. Bill continued in both positions, director of UGM and pastor of Calvary Bible Church, until he was called home to be with the Lord.

Bill led a full, rich life. He made the most of the years God gave him. In high school and in college, he played basketball, football, and ran track. Later, he became a good bowler and he loved golf. He became an accomplished saxophonist and played for his church's orchestra in Syracuse. He played the flute and his piano skills were not all that bad. He belonged to many professional organizations and served on numerous boards. 

Bill loved God. His greatest desire in life was to be a good and faithful servant to our Lord. Prayer, study, and witnessing were priorities in his life. 

He loved his family. He was a good son, a wonderful brother, and a devoted husband and father.

He loved people. He welcomed every opportunity to do what could to help those in need to succeed in life. 

He loved his friends. He cherished them all. He maintained friendships from childhood and easily made friends with people from all walks of walks of life.

And he was loved. O, how he was loved.

Bill was preceded in death by his father, William Thompson; his grandmother, Annie Blunt Clark; and his uncle, Oliver West. He is survived by his mother, Ernestine Thompson; his wife, Erma; his daughter, Erika; his sisters, Faye Thompson; Janice (MacArthur) DeShazer; and Joyce Thompson; and his brother, Terry (Priscilla) Thompson.

In lieu of any memorial gifts and/or flowers, donations may be made to Union Gospel Mission, 3211 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75247

Memorial Service for William (Bill) Thompson

Posted: 02/22/2017
A memorial service to celebrate the life of William (Bill) Thompson will be held Friday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m. CST at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, 4124 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, Texas 75219. Bill, executive director of Union Gospel Mission (Dallas, Texas), served on AGRM’s board of directors, and for many years served as a Certification Consultant for AGRM.

Learning the Values of Millennial Donors

Posted: 02/21/2017
Reaching out to Millennials—the largest generation in history—is worth your effort, but first you must appreciate their values.

More Fatalities Reported During Widespread Influenza Season

Posted: 02/13/2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting a significant increase in U.S. influenza activity.

Study Examining Faith-Based Response to Homelessness Presented at National Press Club

Posted: 02/01/2017
An 11-city study showing the reach of faith-based organizations (as opposed to government or government-funded organizations) was presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on February 1. Approximately 130 guests—including nonprofit leaders, government officials, and members of the media—attended.

Point-in-Time Count Sheds Light on Canada’s Homeless Population

Posted: 01/26/2017
For the first time, new numbers are showing the depth of the homelessness problem in 28 small and medium-sized Canadian communities, and clarifying the picture in four larger cities.