Reading List for a Church Missions Leader

So, you are the newly appointed Missions Pastor, Global Missions Team Leader, or other influencer in the local church. What do you read? Here is a list to get you started. These titles all link to so you can read the reviews and order if you like.

(this list was updated on 4/21/2023)

Ecclesiology and Missions

The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit by Van Gelder, Craig
The Church The Body Of Christ In The World Of Today by Hayes, Edward L., Swindoll, Chuck & Zuck, Roy
Loving the Church, Blessing the Nations: Pursuing the Role of the Local Church in Global Mission by Miley, George
When Everything is Missions by Matthew Ellison, and Spitters, Denny

Cross Cultural Issues

American Cultural Baggage: How to Recognise and Deal With It by Nussebaum, Stan
Cross-Cultural Partnerships: Navigating the Complexities of Money and Mission by Lederleitner, Mary T.
Crossing Cultures in Scripture: Biblical Principles for Mission Practice by Newell, Marvin J
Leading Cross-Culturally: Covenant Relationships for Effective Christian Leadership by Lingenfelter, Sherwood G.
Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials by Georges, Jayson
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by Richards, E. Randolph

General Reading

Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle by Olson, Bruce
Called to Die: The Story of American Linguist Chet Bitterman, Slain by Terrorists by Estes, Steve
Daughters of Hope: Stories of Witness & Courage in the Face of Persecution by Strom, Kay Marshall
End of the Spear by Saint, Steve
Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World by Richardson, Don
Is the Commission Still Great, by Steve Richardson
Lords of the Earth by Richardson, Don
Peace Child: An Unforgettable Story of Primitive Jungle Treachery in the 20th Century by Richardson, Don
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement by Winter, Ralph
Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elliot, Elisabeth
Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World: Discipleship for the Post-College Years by Borthwick, Paul
The Church Is Bigger Than You Think by Johnstone, Patrick

Holistic Ministry

Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross by Dobson, Ryan
The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World by Stearns, Richard
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Corbett, Steve

Immigrants / Refugees

The World at Your Door: Reaching International Students in Your Home, Church, and School by Phillips, Tom


Don’t Waste Your Life by Piper, John
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by Platt, David

Islam / Contemporary Missions

A Wind in the House of Islam by Garrison, David
Camel Training Manual by Greeson, Kevin
Through Her Eyes: Life and Ministry of Women in the Muslim World by Smith, Marti

Local Church

Receiving Sent Ones During Reentry: The Challenges of Returning “Home” and How Churches Can Help (Sending Church Elements Book 15) by Bradley, Zach
The Art of Coming Home by Storti, Craig
The Mission Leadership Team by Mays, David
The Reentry Team: Caring for your returning missionaries by Pirolo, Neal
Mind The Gaps: Engaging The Church In Missionary Care by Wilson, David J.
Serving As Senders – Today by Pirolo, Neal


African Friends and Money Matters: Observations from Africa, Second Edition by Maranz, David E
Building Strategic Relationships: A Practical Guide to Partnering with Non-Western Missions by Rickett, Daniel
Making Your Partnership Work by Rickett, Daniel


Operation World: When We Pray God Works: 21st Century Edition by Johnstone, Patrick
Touch the World Through Prayer by Duewel, Wesley L.


Before You Pack Your Bag, Prepare Your Heart by Judge, Cindy
Don’t Go Overseas Until You’ve Read This Book by Gallagher, Neil
Global Mission Handbook: A Guide for Crosscultural Service by Hoke, Steve
On Being a Missionary: Revised Edition by Hale, Thomas


Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions by Moreau, A. Scott
Global Missiology for the 21st Century: The Iguassu Dialogue by Taylor, William D.
Operation China: Introducing All the People of China by Hattaway, Paul
World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World 2 Volume Set by Barrett, David B.
World Christian Trends, Ad 30-Ad 2200: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus by Barrett, David B.

Short Term

Effective Engagement in Short-Term Missions: Doing It Right! by Priest, Robert J.
The Essential Guide to the Short Term Mission Trip by Forward, David


Business as Mission by Baer, Michael R.
Church Planting Movements: How God is Redeeming a Lost World by Garrison, David
Making Disciples of Oral Learners by Jr., Avery T. Willis
Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus by Trousdale, Jerry
Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? by Allen, Roland
Missions: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Strategies by Rheenen, Gailyn Van
Planting Churches In Muslim Cities: A Team Approach by Livingstone, Greg
Tentmaking: Business As Missions by Lai, Patrick
Tradecraft: For the Church on Mission by McCrary, Larry E

Theology of Mission

A Reader’s Guide to Transforming Mission by Nussbaum, Stan
Commissioned by Newell, Marvin
God’s Heart for the Nations by Lewis, Jeff
Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions by Piper, John
Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations by Jr., Walter C. Kaiser
Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission by Bosch, David Jacobus

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