Introducing World Missions tries to do much in one book. The task of introducing the biblical, historical, and practical aspects of missions is a massive enterprise. The best audience for this book is someone who is a believer who hasn’t yet carefully studied cross cultural ministry or the idea of “missions” and would like an overview.
Let’s get started with the authors’ definition of missions.
Missions is a specialized term. By it, I mean the sending forth of authorized persons beyond the borders of the New Testament church and her immediate gospel influence to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in gospel-destitute areas, to win converts from other faiths or non-faiths to Jesus Christ, and to establish functioning, multiplying local congregations who will bear the fruit of Christianity in that community and to that country.
The first section of the book, “Encountering Mission in the Scriptures,” is a tour of the scriptural content that demonstrates the unstoppable march of God’s love for all peoples from creation until the end of the New Testament. God’s message of hope and provision of salvation in Christ for all peoples is the summary of the Old and New Testaments.
In the second section, “Encountering Missions in History,” the authors describe the spread of the gospel throughout history and across the world until today. From the almost imperceptible beginnings of the Christian movement in Jerusalem, the authors trace its expansion to become a global faith.
In the third section, “Encountering Missions as a Candidate,” the authors give practical suggestions to help interested believers discern whether or not to become a missionary, prepare to go, and choose an organization to be sent through. The authors consider short and long-term missions opportunities as well evaluate full and part-time ministry options.
The final section, “Encountering Missions as a Sent One or a Sender,” the authors give advice on how to become effective in a new culture and begin to have impact. This section was surprisingly brief. Little was written to introduce the various approaches and strategies for reaching a people group for Christ.
This introduction to missions is true to its title. It covers the biblical, historical, and practical aspects of God’s dealing with man across time, and God’s use of men to spread His message of love and truth.