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Planting Churches in the Most Difficult Places: An interview with Dick Brogden LIVE|DEAD is an interesting name for a ministry, please explain the meaning of the name.

Dick Brogden: Live Dead was birthed out of a desire to see teams planting churches among every unreached people group (UPG) in East Africa. At the time, my wife and I were leading a multi-cultural church planting team in Northern Sudan and our Area Leader (Greg Beggs) asked that we develop that model so that we could reach all UPGs in East Africa.

As we looked across the area, we realized that the unreached were located in places like Somalia, Djibouti, Northern Sudan, the Comoros Islands, and Eritrea – in other words, places that were difficult to access, difficult to evangelize, and difficult to plant churches. The UPG contexts of East Africa were hostile in climate – both physically and spiritually. We further realized that we needed many missionaries for many peoples.

How do you mobilize missionaries to go to the hardest places? The truth and the power of the Spirit.

I happened to be in the United States and was being interviewed by a woman named Charity Reeb, for part of her master’s research. I found out she was gifted in marketing and I shared these twin challenges. How do we mobilize many missionaries to difficult places and peoples? They would be going to places where they would struggle to enter and struggle to stay, and where their disciples would certainly suffer. I asked Charity to help us present this idea for mobilization purposes.

And in the night, the Lord woke Charity up with that expression: Live Dead

To Live Dead is nothing new. Galatians 2:20 talks about being crucified with Christ. This idea is in John 12:24, being the seed that dies to bear much grain. Paul speaks of dying daily. Every Christian everywhere is meant to take up their cross and follow Jesus. If the crucified life is expected of every Christian, then the missionary called to take the gospel to unreached peoples is not exempt. We felt that by challenging God’s people to live dead we could be honest about the challenge and the difficulty of reaching the unreached, while at the same time be unapologetically Biblical. What is the primary mission of Live Dead?

Dick Brogden: We have one single-eyed focus: Planting Churches among Unreached Peoples through Teams. We call these our non negotiable aspects (CP – UPG – Team). They are undergirded by 12 values that we collect in three core values: ABIDE (intimacy with Jesus), APOSTLE (take the Gospel where it has not gone), ABANDON (pay whatever price is necessary). You started in East Africa, where in the world are you operating today?

Dick Brogden: Live Dead has eight areas we are currently active in: Sub-Saharan Africa, The Arab World, Israel and Palestine, Central Eurasia, Russia, Iran, India, and China.


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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2019

About the Author: Dick Brogden, PhD, and his wife, Jennifer, have served among Muslims for the last two and a half decades; Mauritania (1992), Kenya (1993-1995), Sudan (1996-2011), Egypt and the Arab World (2012 – present). They helped found the Live Dead movement and now oversee Church Planting for Live Dead in the Arab World and help serve the Live Dead movement globally. Dick is the author of Loving Muslims, Live Dead Joy: 365 Days of Living and Dying with Jesus, This Gospel: A Collection of Missions Sermons, Abiding in Jesus, Abiding Mission: Missionary Spirituality and Disciple-Making Among the Muslim Peoples of Egypt and Northern Sudan, Saharan Siftings: Lessons From the Desert and the editor of The Live Dead Journal: 30 Days of Prayer for Unreached Peoples, 30 Days of Challenge, and Live Dead: The Journey.

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