In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells his disciples to be his witnesses in “Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” But that doesn’t mean to go just “everywhere.” Jesus’ command paints a portrait of what mission looks like in our lives.
And sometimes, that means starting with you and your church.
In what ways do you need to grow in your understanding of mission? In what ways might you need to reimagine or rethink what mission looks like in your life, your church, and your neighborhood?
Resonate Global Mission’s regional mission leaders in Canada and the United States share a few of their favorite books that will help equip you and your church to spread the gospel right at home.
Church Scattered: Christianity for the 21st Century
By Dan Greer
In Canada and the United States, the church is in decline. In Church Scattered, Dan Greer argues that it will only get worse—unless we start transforming how we think about church. While the message of the Christian faith is sacred, Greer writes, our methods are not. Church Scattered offers biblical truths and solutions to the challenges the church is facing. He says it’s time for the church to focus less on Sunday gatherings and more on living out the Christian faith everyday. “This book helps live out the gospel at home, work, and in the neighborhood,” said Peter Kelder, Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Central United States Region.
Another book on church. In an era where it feels like people, especially young adults, are opting out of church life, Tim Soerens says this is not a setback. Rather, it’s an extraordinary opportunity—and in his book Everywhere You Look: Discovering Church Right Where You Are, he lays out practical steps churches can take to live into this new expression of church. “This book asks a critically important question, which is not, ‘What is the church?’ but rather ‘What is the church for?’” said Amy Schenkel, Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Great Lakes Region.
Neighbouring For Life
By Rick Abma
After 20 years of working in the institutional church, Rick Abma stepped out of the four walls of a church building to serve as a missionary in Alberta. In Neighbouring For Life, he shares stories about the transition from the institutional church and into various neighborhoods where Rick is sharing the good news of the gospel to people right where they live. “A little book with encouraging down-to-earth stories of joining God on mission by a down-to-earth missional dude!” said Rich Braaksma, Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Western Canada Region
The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything
By Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
“The book The Trellis and the Vine helps local churches rethink how to do ministry … Marshall and Payne bring simple yet all-time profound wisdom needed in local organizations,” said Marco Avila, Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Eastern USA Region. The book explores ministry from two components: vine work (equipping and discipling people) and trellis work (maintaining the programs and organizations that support the vine work). While both are important, have churches been too focused on programs and structures to the detriment of people?
Busy all the time? Desiring connection with community but not sure where to start or what to do? Is that you? Kristin Schell changed this in her life by placing a picnic table in her front yard, painting it turquoise, and asking friends and neighbors to join her at the table. Life changed for her and her community, and in The Turquoise Table, she shares heartwarming stories about that change and offers ideas for starting your own “Turquoise Table.” “It inspired me enough to paint my picnic table blue and become an intentional front lawn neighbor,” said Beth Fellinger, Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Eastern Canada Region.
Urban Apologetics: Restoring Black Dignity with the Gospel
By Eric Mason
“This book ... is critical to mission work in the urban and inner city where Black people have historically accepted Christianity, but the younger generation is abandoning the church as they have decided that Christianity is a white male religion that oppresses Black people and other people of color,” said Clarence Presley, Resonate’s Regional Mission Leader for the Western USA Region. Urban Apologetics features contributions from Mason and other leaders that bring the church up to speed on legitimate issues Black people have with Western Christianity. “They do a great job exercising a biblical apologetic to help us navigate the challenges of a wounded generation turned off by the eurocentrism of the Western Institutional Church,” said Presley.