BOOKS AND MAGAZINES:
On Being a Missionary by Thomas Hale
Hale, a medical missionary in Nepal for 25 years, has written "for everyone who has an interest in missions, from the praying and giving supporter back home to the missionary on the field or about to be," discussing virtually every aspect of missionary life including the call to missionary work, how to prepare for living and working on the mission field, the adjustment to life on the mission field, understanding cultural differences and indigenisation of the gospel, how to deal with culture shock and stress, the missionary's role in the local church and their lifestyle, interpersonal conflict and working on a missions team, the importance of prayer and the Holy Spirit in missionary work as well as maintaining one's focus on the goal of reconciling people to God, and finally the practical issues related to singleness and marriage on the mission field, children, and home visits.
The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God's Plan for the World by M. David Sills
Sills has produced a wonderful book on the missionary call, what the Bible says about it, thoughts of missions leaders, how to discern one's call, and what to do about it.
Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World by Paul Borthwick
Borthwick's book asks questions about who Jesus is, what heaven and hell are, the significance of Christianity, and God's purpose for our lives, causing the reader to re-evaluate their life in light of the answers to these questions. A brilliant book for instilling a heart for missions in the reader.
I Think God Wants Me to Be a Missionary: Issues to Deal With Long Before You Say Goodbye by Neal Pirolo
Pirolo's book contains the stories of four young adults who believe that God has called them to be missionaries, their struggles, and the advice they receive from their pastors. This is a great introduction to issues that should be considered and dealt with before leaving for the mission field. (Available from www.eri.org.)
Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter and Marvin K. Mayers
Lingenfelter and Mayers use the incarnation of Christ as a model for cross-cultural ministry, explaining the need for those in missionary service to be socialized into a new cultural context, becoming what they call 150-percent persons. They examine six pairs of contrasting traits, time versus event orientation, task versus person orientation, dichotomistic versus holistic thinking, status versus achievement focus, crisis versus non-crisis orientation, and concealment of vulnerability versus willingness to expose vulnerability, looking at the Biblical perspective of each and the implications for cross-cultural ministry. This book is absolutely essential for anyone who is serious about entering into ministry in a cross-cultural setting.
Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are DVD series by David Livermore available from TheGreatCourses.com
In this DVD series, Livermore describes ten cultural differences and how they affect culture and behavior in the ten largest cultural clusters in the world. While the series is not geared specifically for missions, its content is relevant and helpful in improving one's cultural intelligence.
Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper (Many of Piper's books, including this one, are available to download for free here.)
Piper examines missions from the perspective that it is the result of our worship, "the inner stirring of the heart to treasure God above all treasures of the world;" that it is powered by prayer, which preserves His supremacy and brings Him glory; that it is moved forward by the joyful acceptance of suffering, showing the supremacy of God over all else; and that it is necessary in order to reach every people group with the testimony of Christ, that God may be glorified among all nations. Tom Stellar closes the book with an afterword concluding, "There are only two ways for us to respond to the truth we have been considering about the supremacy of God in missions. We must either go out for the sake of his name, or we must send and support such people who do, and do so in a manner worthy of God."
Global Mission Handbook: A Guide for Cross-Cultural Service by Steve Hoke and Bill Taylor
A revised edition of Send Me! Your Journey to the Nations, Hoke and Taylor's Global Mission Handbook is an excellent, practical book guiding individuals as they prepare for long-term missionary service. Containing a combination of short articles, worksheets, and narratives of missionaries, the handbook includes chapters on understanding one's personal spiritual formation, the call to missions, ministry identity, cultural sensitivity, training and education, support raising, choosing a sending agency and ministry role, lifelong learning, and finishing well.
Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help and How to Reverse It by Robert D. Lupton
Drawing on his experience in urban ministry in Atlanta, Lupton explains how charitable giving can and often does cause more harm than good to the communities that individuals are wanting to help because, "Giving to those in need what they could be gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people." Instead, he espouses community development which focuses on working with those in need, identifying and building on local assets, identifying what the local community sees as the most important needs, investing with the poor, developing local leadership, and working at a pace that the community is comfortable with in order to bring about lasting change.
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
Corbett and Fikkert explain that an incomplete definition of poverty in terms solely of material poverty in combination with the God-complexes of the materially non-poor and the feelings of inferiority of the materially poor lead to harm being done to both the materially poor and non-poor. They articulate strategies to develop policies and programs that will help a community by addressing both broken systems and broken individuals using a highly relational approach.
Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer
Elmer raises the point that servanthood is culturally defined and looks at how missionaries can portray the servant spirit in a way that will be seen and valued by local people. In the first half of the book, he explains the steps in becoming a servant: openness, acceptance, trust, learning, understanding, and serving. Elmer goes on to look at the need for humility, the proper exercise of power in service to others and the importance of walking in faithful obedience even when we are unaware of God's purposes, concluding with an examination of Joseph as an example of humble servanthood.
Changing World, Unchanging Mission: Responding to Global Challenges by M. David Sills
In this book, Sills addresses the question of how do missionaries move with the times and remain faithful to God's Word by examining several challenges facing Christian missions: changes in travel and communication, short-term missions teams, reaching oral learners, helping without hurting, churches which serve as sending agencies, global political instability, and the shift toward the Global South.
Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-Cultural Worker by Elizabeth and Jonathan Trotter
A compilation of their articles at the A Life Overseas website, this book is broken into sections on preparing well, moving well, grieving well, taking care of your heart well, taking care of your marriage well, taking care of your children well, working well, anticipating well, recalculating well, communicating well, and returning well.
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, edited by Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne
How to Be a World-Class Christian: Becoming Part of God's Global Kingdom by Paul Borthwick
Prepare for Battle: Basic Training in Spiritual Warfare by Neal and Yvonne Pirolo
Life and Work on the Mission Field by J. Herbert Kane
Encountering Missionary Life and Work: Preparing for Intercultural Ministry by Tom Steffen and Lois McKinney Douglas
The Changing Face of World Missions: Engaging Contemporary Issues and Trends by Michael Pocock, Gailyn Van Rheenen, and Douglas McConnell
Living Overseas: A Book of Preparations by Ted Ward
Home Away From Home: Turning Your International Relocation Into a Lifetime Enhancement by Beverly D. Roman
Serving as Senders Today by Neal Pirolo
Pirolo describes the need for a strong support team for missionaries, not just in terms of finances and prayer support, but in moral support, logistical support, communication support, and re-entry support. Written primarily to those who will form the support team, instructing them how to most effectively support their missionaries, the book is also excellent for missionaries who are developing their support team, helping them to anticipate their needs and plan accordingly by building a team that will support them in all these areas. (Available from www.eri.org.)
Friend Raising: Building a Missionary Support Team that Lasts by Betty Barnett
Barnett explains how to build a support team by developing relationships which are based on generosity, communication, and mutual prayer. Her book combines principles of support raising with personal testimonies and practical tips and includes a list of related resources and various forms for self-evaluation, budgeting, and record-keeping.
The God Ask by Steve Shadrach
Shadrach, the Executive Director of the Center for Mission Mobilization, which sponsors Support Raising Solutions Bootcamps, guides prospective missionaries through the process of support raising, first examining the biblical foundation for raising support to work in ministry, then discussing all the steps to work through to raise full support. His strategy is based on being confident of one's calling and having a right perspective, keeping focus on the vision for the ministry, then dealing with the nitty-gritty of setting aside several months of full-time work namestorming, developing a presentation, and arranging for face-to-face appointments with those you are asking onto your support team. He closes the book with a short description of the ongoing responsibility to maintain relationships with one's supporters. Included in the appendix are Bible study suggestions and support-raising worksheets and templates.
People Raising: A Practical Guide to Raising Funds by William P. Dillon
Dillon, the founder of Inner City Impact and People Raising, a ministry that provides fundraising training for missionaries, begins by helping his readers to develop a healthy attitude toward fundraising. The bulk of the book explains the twelve steps of fundraising which include identifying prospective donors, keeping records, making appointments, conducting visits, and mainting contact. He concludes the book by giving a donor's perspective, discussing the role of a coach in fundraising, and stressing the importance of prayer in the process.
Getting Sent: A Relational Approach to Support Raising by Pete Sommer
Never Do Fundraising Again: A Paradigm Shift from Donors to Lifelong Partners by Ken Williams, Ph.D. and Gaylyn R. Williams
Funding Your Ministry: An In-depth Biblical Guide for Successfully Raising Personal Support by Scott Morton
RISK IN MISSIONS:
Facing Danger: A Guide Through Risk by Anna E. Hampton
Hampton seeks to develop a biblical understanding of risk in order to increase the resiliency of cross-cultural workers from a risk-averse culture and reduce attrition rates. Stressing the need to look to God in times of risk and highlighting the Holy Spirit as our advocate to come alongside us and help us through risk, Hampton also looks at emotions in risk situations and gives practical information on stewardship in risk situations and preparation for risk situations. Additionally, she discusses the importance of shepherding people in the way that Christ modelled. Hampton's website Better Than Gold contains further resources including a list of risk myths, book lists and articles for additional reading, risk videos, resources for developing a theology of risk, information on the Risk Assessment and Management Training that Hampton and her husband offer, and more.
Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church by Paul Borthwick
Borthwick addresses the role of the church of the West, particularly the North American church, in light of the nine challenges that he identifies in the modern world. Initially examining the state of the church both in the West and in the Majority World, he goes on to discuss how the Western church can be involved in global mission by building relationships and partnering with the church in the Majority World.
Operation World by Jason Mandryk
The Future of the Global Church by Patrick Johnstone
Mission Handbook: U.S. and Canadian Protestant Ministries Overseas edited by Linda J. Weber
Established in 1964, Evangelical Missions Quarterly publishes four issues each year on a wide variety of topics relevant to missions. No longer offering a print version of the magazine, a subscription to the online periodical includes access to previous issues.
Jeff Jackson of Shepherd's Staff has generously shared a recommended reading list for missions.
From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya by Ruth Tucker
A Concise History of the Christian World Mission by J. Herbert Kane
A Biblical Theology of Missions by George W. Peters
A Mind for Missions by Paul Borthwick
Six Dangerous Questions by Paul Borthwick
Ministering Cross-Culturally by Lingenfelter
Operation World 2001 by Patrick Johnstone
The Great Omission by Robertson McQuilkin
The Great Omission by Steve Saint
On Being a Missionary by Thomas Hale
Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper
Friend Raising by Betty Barnett
Re-Entry by Peter Jordan
Serving as Senders Today by Neal Pirolo
Getting Sent by Pete Sommer
We Cannot But Tell by Ross Tooley
Witnessing to This Generation by Roger Oakland
Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Greg Lewis
Faithful Witness (William Carey) by Timothy George
Through Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot
Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger
Bruchko by Bruce Olson
Gladys Aylward by Jane and Geoff Benge
The River God Forgot by Jim and Janice Walton
Where There Is No Doctor by David Werner
Where There Is No Dentist by Murray Dickson
Great Commission Handbook (Magazine) by Bill Berry
Fishers of Men (Re-Entry Guide) by Lisa Espineli Chinn
Personal Growth Books:
Your God Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan
Journey of Desire by John Eldredge
31 Days With the Master Fisherman by Larry Moyer
A Future and a Hope by Jon Courson
Resource Books and Publications:
Calvary Chapel Magazine -
Mission Frontier -
Evangelical Mission Quarterly -
World Pulse -
Language Acquisition Made Practical by Thomas Brewster
There are a tremendous number of books available in the area of missions preparation. We hope to update this list regularly.