9 Must-Read Books For Every Outreach Or Missions Ministry

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Every Outreach or Missions Pastor knows that from generational to socio-economic differences, almost every interaction we make is a cross-cultural connection and has underlying implications or inherent tensions and differences. When serving others, how one action is received should be tremendously important to the one serving. Whether you are working in a foreign cultural setting, you lead teams for short-term mission trips, or you are engaging in local outreach, effective church leaders should learn both the practical and theoretical components to their ministry.

Here are nine stellar books that will change the paradigms to how your church does outreach and global missions: 

1. Mission of God by Christopher Wright

Wright delves deep into the underlying scope of local and international missions ministry and explores the question that every Outreach Minister and Missionary needs to ask, "What is the mission of God?"

2. Cross-Cultural Connections by Duane Elmer

This is a missionary’s handbook on the types of interactions and scenarios one might encounter when traveling cross-culturally, and it includes how to navigate through different cultures.

3. Ministering Cross-Culturally by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter

Readers will better understand the cross-cultural component to ministry and become better equipped for authentic relationships.

4. Cross-Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer

Lest the missionary would depict an air of ethno-centricism or communicate superiority, Elmer writes principles to help us serve as Jesus would in a culturally different paradigm.

5. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission by David J. Bosch

Bosch’s chronology focuses around the theological evolution of cross-cultural ministry, why the changes in missions philosophy occurred, and how to navigate missiology in one’s current cultural climate.

6. Anthropological Insights for Missionaries by Paul Hiebert

Through a missiologically-centered lens, Hiebert approaches anthropological concepts in a detailed, highly thought out manner.

7. Can Man Live Without God? by Ravi Zacharias

How you answer the questions of God’s existence affects your relationships with others and your perspective of your purpose and mission in life. This is a great read from Ravi Zacharias.

8. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions by Ruth A. Tucker

A wonderfully summarized chronology of Christian mission efforts until the recent era, this book shows all of the missionaries throughout history as real people, writing about both their strengths and weaknesses alike.

9. The World’s Religions by Huston Smith

This manual is written in encyclopedic fashion to explain the intricacies of each world religion, offering excellent insight into the inner understandings of the people believing each one.

How a church perceives Outreach Ministry will measure the degree of their evangelistic impact. The key is to gain a comprehensive understanding of local and global outreach through these key resources and to figure out how to do missions with the vision and DNA of your own church. Some churches are relational-oriented, and others are process-oriented. Relational churches may find a direct hands-on approach to outreach more beneficial, whereas churches that are strong in systems may use a more systematic approach.

Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself, it is important that every church has a well-articulated, implementable, and sustainable strategy for Outreach Ministry for maximum impact in both local and global capacities.

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