The Middle Path Initiative, Project Opportunities 2019–2021

Staff Support

Impact: Enables the Bernhards to implement the ministry projects above.

Description: Covers basic living expenses to oversee the ministry.

Timeline: ongoing

Cost: $2,000/month, $24,000/year

Rethinking Forum for the Buddhist World

Impact: Participants are empowered to engage with Buddhists in ways that bring them
to Jesus and empowers them to share him with friends and family. They network with
each other and collaborate on projects, such as a Bible story book that uses language
and concepts already known to Buddhists to communicate the good news, and a prayer

Description: Annual round-table of cutting-edge, international practitioners to discuss,
network, and learn about bringing the good news and living with Jesus in Buddhist
traditions. Meetings take place in Thailand. We have been meeting for five years.

Timeline: October/November every year

Cost: $6,500/year (includes: flights, travel, food and lodging)

Book: The Middle Path: Following Jesus in the Context of Buddhist Traditions

Impact: Shifts the current paradigm in reaching Buddhists in Christian colleges, and
among practitioners and scholars. Provides a common understanding on which to base
further discussion.

Description: Unpacks and addresses the major obstacles to reaching Buddhists. Some
of the research (project below) will be used in the book including communication, cultural
and philosophical understanding of Buddhism, dynamics of how Buddhists follow Jesus,
differences in western and eastern religion, issues that come out of the history of
mission work among Buddhists, and how practitioners can adapt their efforts. The
publisher is Urban Loft.

Timeline: Manuscript submission March 2021, publication in 2022.

Cost: $500 (includes: source literature and the website landing page)

Training Course Development

Impact: Practitioners will come away with positive and encouraging interactions with
Buddhists that give them momentum for long-term ministry.

Description: To prepare and launch a training course that provides a foundational
understanding of Buddhist traditions, how they relate to the good news of Jesus, and
how to communicate effectively with Buddhists so that they can walk with Jesus in their
culture. This course includes online video training, group discussions, and personal
coaching sessions. It helps practitioners avoid common mistakes, identify keys, and
shows them that Buddhists are not resistant to the gospel, which allows them to see
Buddhists and their tasks in a positive light.

Timeline: First test course June 2019, launching online course in early 2020.

Cost: $7,000/ year (includes: online platform, infrastructure and promotion)

Research of Followers of Jesus in Buddhist Society

Impact: Real first-hand information about what it looks like on the ground for a follower
of Jesus in Buddhist context. This research will show us a lot about how God works and
will teach us what is effective in reaching Buddhists, allowing us to adjust our strategies
accordingly. In addition, it provides legitimacy to a wider academic Christian audience
and a foundation for further study.

Description: Interviews have been done in three countries, using the qualitative
approach. The recordings contain amazing stories of how God is transforming people’s
lives in ways that have previously been ignored or discounted. This project opens up
new possibilities to reach more Buddhists than ever before.

Timeline: Completion in June 2020.

Cost: $8,000 (includes the translation and transcription of recordings and the
interpretation of data)

Teaching and Conferences

Impact: Enables the Bernhard’s in-person access to audiences and networks who can
benefit from adopting cutting-edge approaches to Buddhists from within their culture.

Description: Teaching and conferences give us an incredible opportunity to share our
findings and programs. They allow us to promote a new approach to reaching Buddhists
through teaching, workshops, presenting papers, and networking. Conferences include:
SEANET, ASFM, ENBC, ISFM/EMS, Hindu Rethinking Forum, BAM, YWAM).

Timeline: annually

Cost: $15,000 (includes travel and attendance for one person per training)

Coaching Missionaries in the Buddhist World

Impact: Those who receive coaching are more likely to reach their ministry goals, stay
longer on the field, and break through the fears and barriers keeping them from doing
and being all that God has for them in the Buddhist world.

Description: To provide professional coaching for cross-cultural workers who are
seeking to bring the good news effectively from within the culture.

Timeline: 3 hours per week (ongoing)

Cost: $1,000/year (includes: Certifications (ICF), memberships, directories and