December 2020 | Volume 15 | Issue 12
Best Missions Books of 2020
Readers recommend this year’s “must reads”
We want to thank everyone who took time to submit their favorites for this year’s book list. A number of people reported that COVID limited their reading time this year, so we hope that many of you can find time over the holidays to delve into some of the great resources your colleagues have recommended below.
Ephesiology: A Study of the Ephesian Movement by Michael Cooper. No one would dispute the fact that what God did in the book of Acts and especially through Paul’s ministry in Ephesus was a supernatural movement of God. This book looks more deeply at that movement and articulates principles for how He might do something similar in our day. Dave (last name withheld)
Symphony of Mission: Playing Your Part in God’s Work in the World by Michael W. Goheen and Jim Mullins. There are many different avenues a church can focus on in missions, and these authors help the church know where to spend their time and energy. Jeremy Griffin, Covenant Church, Winterville, NC
Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty Isn’t the American Dream by Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic. The theological and practical insights here contrast the biblical narratives of transformation with those constructed over time by North American culture. This book will open your eyes to see just how much of our missional identity and the role we live out in the world are based in a culturally crafted narrative. Austin Delgado, Riverstone Church, Yardley, PA
40 Questions about the Great Commission by Daniel Akin, Benjamin Merkle, and George Robinson. This book does a deep dive into a more robust understanding of the Great Commission passages. Because it looks at those texts from every angle, it’s an indispensable resource for the local church missions leader! Dave
Facing West: American Evangelicals in an Age of World Christianity by David R. Swartz. This book focuses on the growth of the non-Western evangelical movement since the 1950s and offers critical insights on contextualization, mission agencies, and church planting from the perspective of the Global South, steering us toward understanding and respect for the work of the church worldwide. Sharon Hoover, author and speaker
When Money Goes on Mission: Fundraising and Giving in the 21st Century by Rob Martin. A related podcast is available from the First Fruit website. A most helpful resource. Marv Newell, Missio Nexus and EMQ Editor
Multisite Missions Leadership: The Challenges and Opportunities of Leading Missions at a Multisite Church by Nathan G. Sloan. Sloan leans into his experience as a missions pastor at a multisite church to highlight areas that such churches should consider in the pursuit of global missions. This ebook lays a foundation, shows models, and provides a great resource list. Michael VanHuis, Missio Nexus
CROSS-CULTURAL WORKER RECRUITMENT AND PREPARATION
It’s Your Call: To a Missional or Missionary Life by David P. Jacob. In this short ebook, Jacob shares stories that give a glimpse of what it looks like to seek God and thus live a missional life. This is a great resource for youth groups, small groups, and church members wondering about their role in missions. Sadi Deplazes, Trinity Bible College
Connected: Starting Your Overseas Life Spiritually Fed by Amy Young. This short read is a good resource for new workers that mission leaders may want to gift to their sent ones. Larry McCrary, The Upstream Collective
Transitions Across Cultures: A Guide to Culture Shock for Travelers and Those Who Love Them (revised edition) by Stephen W. Jones. Jones’ ebook is a readable toolbox of concepts useful in realizing helpful outcomes for those going on a cross-cultural trip. Mark Byrom, Appleton (WI) Alliance
Misreading Scripture through Individualist Eyes: Patronage, Honor, and Shame in the Biblical World by E. Randolph Richards and Richard James. What are the things in the Bible that we misinterpret because we read the Bible with an individualist worldview? The things that go unspoken in Scripture can cause us to miss what was being said there. Anyone who wants to work cross-culturally needs to read this book! Dave
ReMission: Rethinking How Church Leaders Create Movement by Gary Comer. This book encourages recalibration in the church in order to reignite mission as the church’s heartbeat. “Health flows out of mission rather than mission being the by-product of health,” says Comer. His goal is to enable church leaders to hone their methodology in order to achieve Christ’s ultimate aims for His body. Regina Wang, SIM
Sacred Siblings: Valuing One Another for the Great Commission by Sue Eenigenburg and Suzy Grumelot. To navigate team relationships well requires intentional effort and constant attention. These authors have done us the favor of digging through most every type of relationship one can experience in missions, guiding the reader to an awareness of what is often missed. M. Newell
Raising Up a Generation of Healthy Third Culture Kids: A Practical Guide to Preventive Care by Lauren Wells. Wells explores the realities third-culture kids face in today’s world and shares insights and helpful practices for TCKs and their families. This is a great resource for families crossing cultures and for mobilizers who want to better understand and support them. M. Byrom
• Sent to Flourish: A Guide to Planting and Multiplying Churches edited by Len Tang and Charles E. Cotherman is a comprehensive guide and great team-building resource.
• A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity by Vince Bantu describes the spread of Christianity in the 3rd and 4th century in non-Western locales.
• Thank God It’s Monday: Ministry in the Workplace (recently revised) by Mark Greene is helpful for anyone integrating work and ministry, here or abroad, and for those who send them.
• God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath by N.T. Wright offers responses to the pandemic rooted in history, Scripture, and Christ that are helpful for all church leaders.
Catalyst Services believes in supporting Christian booksellers who service our community in so many ways. Therefore, where WorldChristian.com, William Carey Publishing, or ChristianBook.com carries one of these titles, we have linked to their site. Please buy responsibly!
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