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.


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Street Smart

Street Smart: August 15, 2014

Posted: 08/15/2014
Register now! AGRM’s CEO Summit is just a few weeks away; AGRM Data Task Force meets in Philadelphia District Conferences offer great regional connections; coffee shop intentionally hires the homeless; record-high income gap threatens housing recovery

Street Smart: August 1, 2014

Posted: 08/01/2014
AGRM president speaks at NAEH conference; order latest issue of Rescue for your board; former San Antonio mayor sworn in to lead HUD; professor buys signs from homeless for art project; could corporate charity come to an end?

Street Smart: July 15, 2014

Posted: 07/15/2014
AGRM team visits Denver Rescue Mission; CEO Summit details coming Thursday; Ashmen to address NAEH; education dictates composition of America’s cities; number of homeless students increases dramatically

Street Smart: July 1, 2014

Posted: 07/01/2014
U.S. Supreme Court upholds business owners’ religious freedom; Ashmen represents AGRM in Malaysia; fine could change how fundraisers operate; coming soon: An amazon-like shopping experience for social services; homeless most at risk of poor oral health

Street Smart: June 16, 2014

Posted: 06/16/2014
AGRM convention wraps up in St. Louis; Ashmen invited to speak at NAEH Conference; AGRM’s District Connect Groups go live; increase in minors left at border called ‘crisis’; child poverty in U.S. higher than most developed nations

Street Smart: June 2, 2014

Posted: 06/02/2014
Updates from AGRM’s 2014 Annual Convention; Strategic Initiatives Architect to focus on partnerships; door-to-door mail delivery could end for 15 million people; older Americans threatened by hunger; Millennials want products with a mission

Street Smart: May 15, 2014

Posted: 05/15/2014
Almost everyone is headed to St. Louis; task force gathers to form position on Housing First; camera on homeless man documents life on the streets; study looks at charitable-giving and volunteering rates; budget cuts result in less care for mentally ill Americans

Street Smart: May 1, 2014

Posted: 05/01/2014
Register by May 9 to avoid convention price increase; “Show Me” Sessions to help put ideas into practice; Mission executive directors: Save the dates for CEO Summit; powdered alcohol could hit stores this fall; economic recovery creates more low-wage jobs

Street Smart: April 15, 2014

Posted: 04/15/2014
Prayer will be key focus at AGRM’s annual convention; convention exhibit hall sells out; international city-mission leaders gather in Philadelphia next week; once-homeless pianist performs at Carnegie Hall; homeless people are 10 times more likely to be problem gamblers

Street Smart: April 1, 2014

Posted: 04/01/2014
Show me—what’s new at this year’s convention; additional funds available for convention scholarships; homeless man runs international business from his car; ‘God consciousness’ keeps people off drugs and alcohol; millions of American kids rely on food stamp benefits

Rescue Magazine

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Housing First Data

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date:

Rescue - Mar/Apr 2011 (Volume 25, Number 2)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/9/2013
A Healthy Approach: How People?s City Mission?s free health clinic is closing the gap for those who can?t afford health care by Sue Rosenfeld + Caught the Vision?(pg.4) Steps of Promise: People City?s clinic helps one woman find help, hope, and healing by Sue Rosenfeld (pg.10) Breaking Chains of Destruction: A complete approach to addiction recovery combines clinical methods with the gospel message by Terri Leveton (pg.20) Urging a Shift of Power: Recovery programs must focus solely on spiritual...

Rescue - Jan/Feb 2011 (Volume 25, Number 1)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/9/2013
Features- Fighting for Hope: How Boise Rescue Mission is helping veterans discover true freedom. by Sue Rosenfeld + Caring for Warriors (pg.4) Winning the Battle: Boise?s veterans program helps one man find hope and healing by Sue Rosenfeld (pg.10) Maturity Versus Youth: 20 Tried and True: Seeing the value of tradition and experience in mission ministry. by Herb Opalek (pg. 20) Power and Passion: Understanding the importance of enthusiasm and energy in mission work. by Sabrina Burkiewicz (pg.2...

Rescue - Nov/Dec 2010 (Volume 24, Number 6)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/3/2011
Features: A New Chapter Addicted for 40 years, a man is now penning lines of liberty. By Sue Rosenfeld (pg.4) Hope for the Holidays- Warm and creative ways to celebrate the season. By Natalee Roth (pg.14) A Soul Fill-Up Caring for yourself so you can care for others. By Kevin Houk (pg.20) Cultivating Commitment- Smart strategies to find effective volunteers. By Jon McKee and Tom McKee (pg.32) The Heart of the Donor- Why donors choose to give to specific organizations. By Lyric Murphy (pg.39) A G...

Rescue - Sept/Oct 2010 (Volume 24, Number 5)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/3/2011
Features: A Journey to Unity How two former addicts grew toward freedom and lasting love. By Natalee Roth (pg.4) High-Speed Contributor Connections- Use these eight strategies to reach donors via the Internet. By Dave Raley (pg.12) Building Board Bonds- Principles to help CEOs strengthen a relationship with the mission board. By John R. Frank (pg. 18) Human Resources 101- Important ways to care for ministry staff members. By Angie Braio West (pg.22) Helping the Potentially Homeless- Effective pr...

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Executive Session Blog

                                                                                      
   

 
   
 
August 2014
 
     
 

On Behalf of the Conquered
By John Ashmen

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.

Selena Hayle, AGRM’s director of member engagement, and I were there at the invitation of the Tribal Housing Council and native social workers to discuss various ways AGRM might be able to bring help and hope to 40,000 people who are living in what is generally agreed to be the worst poverty in the Western Hemisphere, outside of Haiti. (If you are not familiar with the conditions at Pine Ridge, note the statistics at the bottom of this article.)

Throughout the day, I jotted down some of their quotes. They were heartbreaking and caused me to ponder deeply.

  • “The Sioux were really sent to this place to die. Pine Ridge was supposed to be a death camp, but we have survived…if that is what you want to call it.”
  • “It’s not just the historic treaties from Washington that have been broken. It still goes on. Help that we were promised to get as recently as last year still has never arrived.”
  • “Church youth groups who come here pity our people…for a week. Then they return to their normal suburban lives and forget about us.”
  • “You have to understand that we are a conquered people. That is why so many of our men hide in a bottle.”

I wondered what I could say that would show that I understood their situation and could empathize with their pain. But as my friend Leon Blunt Horn explained to me on a prior visit, feeling empathy for the Lakota is a nearly impossible undertaking for an ordinary white man. The Bible alone can best speak into the life of the conquered.

I recently read an insightful article that explains why this is generally the case. I strongly encourage you to not skip this link below, but click it and read why Brian Zahnd says he, as an ordinary white man, has “a problem with the Bible.” I believe Brian’s discernment will help you put your arms around the perspective of the enslaved and persecuted, past and present.

Please go now to “My Problem With The Bible,” by Brian Zahnd.

May the blood rush to your head.

 ________________________________________________________

It’s difficult to be in Pine Ridge (S.D.) and White Clay (Neb.) and not get torn up emotionally by the devastation and poverty. Here are some of the statistics:

  • Reservation size: 2 million-plus acres (11,000-plus square miles)
  • Population: Approximately 40,000
  • Number of houses (including trailers): Approximately 4,500
  • Median annual income: $3,200 
  • Unemployment rate: 85% (summer) to 95% (winter)
  • People below federal poverty level: 97%
  • School dropout rate: 71%
  • Teen suicide rate: 150 times the national average
  • Homes without electricity: 39%
  • Homes infested with black mold: 66%
  • Families affected by alcoholism: 80%
  • Rate of diabetes: 37%
  • Cervical cancer rate: 500% higher than the national average
  • Life expectancy: Age 48 for men and 52 for women
  • Infant mortality rate: 300% higher than national average

 
 
   
     

There’s Still Time to Register for the CEO Summit
You don’t want to miss the CEO Summit, September 9–11 at Mount Hermon Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Executive directors from across North America will gather to reflect on the current condition of rescue mission ministry and to ponder emerging trends and changes in our culture. They’ll also discuss how savvy followers of Jesus can get serious about the issues affecting our ministries.

During the three-day event, participants will dig down into the theological and legal aspects of some major cultural shifts and how they will affect what missions do every day.

AGRM will also release information at this event about two new initiatives, including one that involves citywide prayer initiatives in multiple locations.

Can you really afford to miss this opportunity to meet, fellowship, and brainstorm with your peers and the astute consultants that will be on hand?

Go to the CEO Summit event page for all the details and to register. Time is short, so register today!

Prayer Is Key: Introducing Robert Loggins
You’re hearing a lot these days from AGRM about HUD-driven approaches to housing, gender-neutral accommodations, data collection, best practices, and other matters related to government relations, public image, and operational expertise. It would be easy for someone to surmise that the association’s spiritual agenda has taken a back seat to various aspects of professional practice.

Nothing would be further from the truth.

AGRM’s mission statement includes the phrase: to accelerate quality and effectiveness in member missions. As we strive to live out our purpose, many of the areas where we offer services will focus on professional practice. But make no mistake, the core of AGRM is—and will continue to be—the gospel of Jesus Christ that has the power to change and redirect lives that have gone terribly off course.

Still, the more we work on professional practice, the more we need to be devoted to prayer—for thanksgiving, discernment, protection, resources, and more. To remind us and assist us in this area, we have recently asked Rev. Robert Loggins, Sr., to join the AGRM team as minister-at-large. Many AGRM members met and engaged with Robert at our convention in St. Louis. He spoke briefly in the first general session and was visible at various times throughout the event.

Originally from Winona, Mississippi, Robert received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s of divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is presently enrolled in the doctor of ministry program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Robert served as a pastor in several states and most recently was the African-American Strategist for The St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, working in church planting and racial reconciliation. He has also served as professor of New Testament Greek, Baptist History, and Philosophy at Union Theological Seminary.
He presently serves as founder and president/CEO of RF Loggins Ministries and as executive director of Mission Metro St. Louis. Previously, Robert was the prayer and spiritual awakening specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board. Additionally, he served as the national prayer coordinator for the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As minister-at-large for AGRM, Robert will focus on five areas:

  • Being a pastor-at-a-distance for members who need divine guidance and would like to process heart matters with someone who is both spiritually savvy and “safe.”
  • Overseeing a healthy prayer network throughout AGRM, keeping us focused on the purpose and power of prayer, and keeping us informed and encouraged by regularly communicating what God is doing in our association. 
  • Representing AGRM at various denominational and quasi-denominational meetings, ensuring that the cause of the poor and powerless is a priority “agenda item” in the work of the church in North America.
  • Preparing the cities where our annual conventions will be held by connecting with pastors and Christian organizations’ lay leaders, and forming prayer teams to support our events in critical behind-the-scenes efforts.
  • Contributing to AGRM publications by writing white papers, articles, and columns on subjects that pertain to matters of the heart. 

You’ll see Robert at various AGRM events. In the meantime, you can connect with him at rloggins@agrm.org, or call him at (573) 301-7439.

 
 
 
 
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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.

Soap Box Blog

 

Prayer for Greater St. Louis Area

Tension in Ferguson serves as reminder to pray 

If you flew into St. Louis for AGRM’s 2014 Annual Convention, you were practically next door to the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson when you landed. And AGRM’s member mission in St. Louis—Sunshine Ministries—is under 10 minutes away from this area.

Most have heard of the current turmoil taking place in Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot on August 9.  Brown, who was black and was reportedly unarmed, and was shot several times by a white police officer.

According to a Reuter’s report, Missouri National Guard troops have now been deployed to Ferguson to try to restore calm to an area that has become a nightly scene of rioting and protests over the fatal shooting. Each night since the teen was killed, protesters have been walking the streets in and around the neighborhood where he was shot. The demonstrators have been holding signs, chanting slogans, and calling for the arrest of 28-year-old Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown.

Schools in the area were ordered closed Monday because of the chaos in and around the town of roughly 21,000 mostly black residents.

Sunshine Ministries Executive Director Carol Clarkson says, “Prayers are greatly appreciated.  Our prayer is that God will use us to promote racial reconciliation in this city.” She notes that some of the women who participate in the mission’s programs “are scared to even step out of their homes right now.” 

“This situation is a reminder that many of our missions are built on or near ‘powder kegs’ that can be ignited with just a spark,” adds AGRM President John Ashmen. “To echo Carol, please pray for calm and understanding in Ferguson—and pray and work for the same in your own neighborhoods. Perhaps mission leaders can bring staff together sometime this week and pray for Michael Brown's family, Officer Darren Wilson and his family, and for Christ-followers in Greater St. Louis to speak wisdom and peace into the situation.”

 

Photo: Light Brigading via photopin cc


Prayer for the St. Louis Area

Posted: 08/18/2014
If you flew into St. Louis for AGRM’s 2014 Annual Convention, you were practically next door to the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson when you landed. And AGRM’s member mission in St. Louis—Sunshine Ministries—is under 10 minutes away from this area. Most have heard of the current turmoil taking place in Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot on August 9. Brown, who was black and was reportedly unarmed, and was shot several times by a white police officer.

Homeless Rates by State

Posted: 08/13/2014
On any given day last year, more than 600,000 Americans were homeless. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides state-level estimations of homelessness every year and also collects data on many metropolitan areas. In the U.S., about 195 of every 100,000 people were homeless in 2013.

America’s Homeless Capital

Posted: 03/06/2014
For years, officials have dubbed the city of Los Angeles the “homeless capital” of America. They used the total number of homeless for the entire County of Los Angeles, which includes 87 other cities plus the city of LA, as their scorecard. People in other cities, however, have disagreed.

Daily Facebook Use Exceeds Bible Reading

Posted: 02/17/2014
More Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible and it has more monthly users worldwide than most continents have people.

AGRM Rallies U.S. Senators to Support Charitable Deduction

Posted: 01/23/2014
17 Democrats and 16 Republicans sign letter on January 23 asking the Senate's Finance Committee to preserve the “full value and scope” of the charitable deduction during comprehensive tax reform