Best Missions Books of 2019

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December 2019 | Volume 14 | Issue 12 |

Best Missions Books of 2019

Readers recommend this year’s “must reads.”

We want to thank everyone who submitted their favorites for this year’s book list. Selecting a short list of the best missions titles is difficult, and readers’ votes were scattered among many books deserving mention. We have narrowed the field to titles published in the last two years and included your peers’ reasons for recommending each one.


The Church on Mission: Integrating Missions into the Local Church by Craig Ott / 2019. Ott provides a refreshing and concise biblical theology on the identity and role of the Church with respect to God’s mission in the world. It is a helpful resource for churches wanting to set priorities in order to maximize their efforts to fulfill both the Great Commission and Great Commandment of Jesus. Austin Delgado, Riverstone Church

On Mission Together: Integrating Mission into the Local Church by Rich Noble / 2019. This concise guidebook is designed to assist churches that want to make global missions extend beyond an annual offering or a Minute for Missions. Some of the “every church should” statements will not apply to every context, but the book is a good addition to the slim library on this topic. Marti Smith, Missions Catalyst

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need by David Platt / 2019. Platt argues that personal holiness is far more important to the success of missions than anyone gives credit. He uncovers the personal challenges an individual missionary might encounter and is not afraid to help the reader face issues such as human trafficking or severe poverty. This book not only declares that something needs to change but that you can be a part of that change. James Wallace Jr., OMF

Christian Mission: A Concise Global History by Edward L. Smither / 2019. There are a lot of great mission history books out there, but this new resource is one of my favorites. It is concise, compelling, and covers missions history from a number of angles. This is a “needed read” for anyone seeking to learn more about missions past in order to engage in missions today. Nathan Garth, Sojourn Church


Praying for Your Missionary: How Prayers from Home Can Reach the Nations by Eddie Byun / 2018. Comprehensive in scope, Byun’s highly practical book leaves no stone unturned when it comes to praying for all aspects of a missionary’s life and work. As a former long-term missionary, I could not help but think, “Right on!” as I read chapter after chapter. Marvin Newell, Missio Nexus

Evangelism as Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in Our Own Land by Elliot Clark / 2019. Written by a former missionary to Central Asia, this fantastic book gives a clear picture and perspective on our role as gospel proclaimers in North America. Michael VanHuis, Missio Nexus

Scattered and Gathered: Equipping Disciples for the Front Line by Neil Hudson / 2019. This British book addresses what it looks like for the church to equip God’s people while they are “gathered” to be whole-life disciples “scattered” in their everyday contexts. Practical and accessible. John Spadafora, Crossworld

The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success at Work and in Relationships in a Short-Cut World by John Townsend / 2018. I am drawn to books that will strengthen my understanding about our ever-changing generational landscape of missionaries. Townsend provides practical tools for overcoming entitlement attitudes. Mark Dalton, Shadow Mountain Community Church


Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-Cultural Christian Worker by Elizabeth and Jonathan Trotter / 2019. Here’s a great resource to put in the hands of our missionaries or those in the pipeline. This is a handy compilation in book form of content previously published on the web. Marti Smith, Missions Catalyst

Discerning Your Calling: Discover Your Place as a Global Worker by John Ward / 2018. Part of a series on navigating the journey to global missions, this book as a stand-alone is a quick read that reminds us that a calling to missions doesn’t necessarily end in going to the field. This book, ideal for mobilizers to pass along, deals with definitions, addresses misconceptions, and highlights opportunities that come with discerning a call. Kirsten McClain, OMF


  • The Coach Model for Christian Leaders: Powerful Leadership Skills for Solving Problems, Reaching Goals, and Developing Others by Keith E. Webb / 2019
  • Survival Guide for the Soul: How to Flourish Spiritually in a World that Pressures Us to Achieve by Ken Shigematsu / 2018


Global Humility: Attitudes for Missions by Andy McCullough / 2018. I wish I had written this book; I love the title and topic. Sent ones need to have certain missional attitudes, and humility is probably one of the most important postures. A “must read” for sent ones. Larry McCrary, Upstream Collective

Leadership and the Way of the Cross: Forging Ministry from the Crucible of Crisis by Sherwood Lingenfelter / 2018. Lingenfelter shares some of his most challenging lessons in leadership including leading a short-term missions team of BIOLA students to Chad. His stories and those of other leaders set a backdrop of the power of the cross and leading in a way that others will follow. John Ward, Encompass World Partners


Working Abroad with Purpose: The Way of a Tentmaker by Gene Deckert / 2019. Written by a long-time practitioner using his professional skills for global Kingdom impact, this book offers great counsel for helping mobilize non-traditional missionaries. Dave (last name withheld)


  • Seek First: How the Kingdom of God Changes Everything by Jeremy Treat / 2019
  • Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion by Rebecca McLaughlin / 2019
  • The Burden of Baggage: First-Generation Issues in Coming to Christ by Roy Oksnevad / 2018
  • Margins of Islam: Ministry in Diverse Muslim Contexts edited by Gene Daniels / 2018
  • Following Jesus in Turbulent Times: Disciple-Making in the Arab World by Hikmat Kashoul / 2018

Many great titles were featured in past Best Missions Books issues of Postings, so make sure to revisit the lists from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Catalyst Services believes in supporting Christian book sellers who service our community in many ways rather than the behemoth, secular, online companies. Therefore, where carries one of these titles, we have linked to their site. Titles they don’t carry are linked to Please buy responsibly!