8 Reading Recommendations for a Ministry-Focused Life

Leaders in missions, missiology, evangelism, and global ministry reveal the titles that shaped their vision and equipped them to better proclaim the gospel.

Out of the Salt Shaker & Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life by Rebecca Manley Pippert (InterVarsity Press)

Sarah Breuel
Sarah Breuel

I first came across Out of the Salt Shaker & Into the World as a student in Brazil. It had a huge impact on me because it addressed my biggest obstacle when sharing Jesus with my friends: fear of rejection. Pippert encourages us to be authentic with our friends and dependent on Jesus. Little did I know how this was going to be crucial to the calling God had for my life. As I now travel across Europe training students in evangelism, fear of rejection is still the number one obstacle for students, just as it had been for me. This book is a must-read for any Christian who desires to be salt and light in their context. It teaches us how to partner with God in what he is doing in the lives around us, equips readers with communication skills to have natural conversations, and calls us to depend on the Holy Spirit in his work of salvation.

—Sarah Breuel serves as director of Revive Europe, evangelism training coordinator for IFES Europe, and as a member of the Lausanne Movement’s board of directors.

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noël Piper (Crossway)

Michelle Atwell
Michelle Atwell

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God offers the church two needed narratives. The first is a theology of suffering and risk. Christians are a called and sent people. This book helps us understand that suffering is part of our story. The second narrative is the gifting and calling of women in God’s mission. The women featured in this book were powerfully used by God to spread his gospel and build his church. They taught, they shepherded, they led, they served, and they blazed new and difficult trails.

This book challenged me to consider what sacrifice, risk, and suffering look like when making a bold stand for Jesus. Each of these women made huge sacrifices in being obedient to God’s call. They persevered despite unimaginable suffering and trauma. They did not lose their faith; rather, they clung all the more tightly to their Lord. This book teaches us what it means to be wholly dependent on God and to remain faithful to him, no matter the circumstances.

—Michelle Atwell is the U.S. director of SEND International.

The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros (Oxford University Press)

Elizabeth Uriyo
Elizabeth Uriyo

When I started reading The Locust Effect, I was immediately heartbroken. It begins with the story of “Yuri,” an 8-year-old Peruvian girl who was raped and murdered. Yuri’s family had no financial means to bring her killer, the son of a wealthy family, to justice. The police were bought off. There was never even a trial. Like Yuri, millions of the world’s poor are the silent victims of rape, murder, forced labor, and broken justice systems. This book challenged me to see the ugly underside of poverty, especially as my colleagues and I at Compassion International pursue our mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

The church and many other organizations are behind life-changing efforts to alleviate poverty by addressing physical, social, educational, and spiritual needs. Countless lives are being saved and improved through these efforts, but much of this work is undermined when the global poor are subjected to such violence. For me, it’s all about urgency. This book is a wake-up call for the church to rise up and take a more prominent role in protecting the vulnerable poor.

—Elizabeth Uriyo serves as the senior vice president of Compassion International’s Global Leadership Office.

Refugee Diaspora: Missions amid the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of our Times by Sam George and Miriam Adeney (William Carey Publishing)

Jamie N. Sanchez
Jamie N. Sanchez

This book features real-life accounts of refugees who encountered Jesus through the intentional hospitality and care of the global church. It challenged me to consider how a well-developed theology of hospitality can transform lives.

Refugee Diaspora looks at the current refugee crisis through the lens of opportunity; namely, opportunities to be involved in caring for displaced persons in one’s community. It introduces us to real people, not just “refugees (which has become a broad category devoid of any personal characteristics). The stories transport the reader to different regions of the world where harrowing journeys are met with miraculous moments that transform lives.

“Learning the art of biblical hospitality is a lifelong discipleship matter,” write the authors. “It requires a longing to reflect God’s heart for the marginalized in our world.” This book helps readers understand how God is moving in the midst of the current refugee crisis and how we can be involved in that movement.

—Jamie N. Sanchez is assistant professor and director of the PhD program in Intercultural Studies at Biola University.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today