First sentence: I once rented a vacation apartment on the sixth floor of a building with no elevator. The owner had been very clear in every email, stating, “This apartment is on the sixth floor and there is no elevator.” Still, the significance of her disclosure didn’t really hit me until I was panting on the fifth-floor landing, hauling suitcase number two of three up the winding stairs. Yet, as I stood there trying to remember the symptoms of a heart attack, I couldn’t feel angry toward the owner. She had been up-front about it, all along. I should have paid more attention.
Premise/plot: The foundational premises of this book on missions are: the mission of missions is primarily spiritual; the mission belongs to God, for His Glory, on His terms; global missions is primarily through the local church; and the Bible has a lot to say about how to approach missions.
My thoughts: This book has many strengths. I'll start with naming two: it is concise; it is biblical. There are just seven chapters--nine if you count the introduction and conclusion as chapters. Each chapter is doctrinal and has practical applications. The audience for this one is primarily pastors, elders, leaders of the local church. Each chapter has tips on how to do missions better.
- Introduction: Missions at a Crossroad
- A Biblical Foundation for Missions
- First Things First
- Sending and Supporting Well
- Getting the House in Order
- Healthy Missions Partnerships
- Reforming Short-Term Missions
- Engaging the Nations by Other Means
- Conclusion: Stepping Toward the Nations
I thought the book was insightful. Here is my favorite quote:
The heart for God-glorifying missions starts with joy in the gospel. Our churches must first cherish the God who sent his own Son to save sinners like us. The right fuel matters. Do not try to get your church excited about missions until they love and value (really, deeply value) what Christ has done for them in the gospel. Churches won’t extend themselves to commend the gospel until they deeply cherish the gospel. The glory of the gospel—not the neediness of mankind—is the selfsustaining fuel for global missions.© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible