I'd have to say that one of the biggest influences on my heart for the nations and the fullfilment of the great commission has been books. As I first read biographies of missionaries and now more and more often, educational and inspirational non-fiction around missions, books have shaped the way I think about the world, the values I hold and the place in my heart that missions holds.
And so I'd love to encourage you to consider reading these books to fuel your missions fire. These are not necessarily in any order and aren't in any way thought to be the best seven books. And it certainly isn't an exhaustive list.
As always, if you have a book that has been instrumental in growing your heart for the nations and the completion of the great commission, mention it in the comments.
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Author: Russell T. Hitt
Nate Saint was one of the five missionaries killed in Ecuador by the Waodani Indians in 1956. Their story caught the attention of the church and God used their martyrdom to ignite a new passion for frontier missions - it certainly did for me. While Through Gates of Splendor is the most famous of the books on this incident, Jungle Pilot is an inspiring look into the life of Nate Saint and the motivations and love that drove him.
Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret
Author: Dr. Howard Taylor
A missionary biography classic, this book about Hudson Taylor's life looks into a time when missionaries were first pressing into the inlands of places like China, Africa and India. Filled with stories of risk taking obedience to Jesus and great faith, this missionary biography is one everyone should read.
Eternity in Their Hearts
Author: Don Richardson
Don Richardson was a missionary in Indonesia in the 1960s and while there discovered a principle: God has been preparing the peoples of the world to know him. Through the lense of twenty five uniques stories from all across the globe, Eternity in Their Hearts proves the truth in the words of Ecclesiastes: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Let the Nations Be Glad
Author: John Piper
With deep Biblical insight and reflection, Piper forcefully makes the case that, "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate." This is a great resource for everyone interested in learning more about why we do missions and why it should be in the mind of every follower of Jesus.
In the Gap
Author: David Bryant
In the Gap lays a foundation of understanding for what it means to be a world christian, those who are (in Corrie Ten Boom's phrase) tramps for the Lord who have left their hidding places to roam the Gap with the Savior. They are heaven's expatriots, camping where the Kingdom is best served.
Out of the Comfort Zone
Author: George Verwer
George Verwer is the founder of Operation Mobilization where he now serves as the "Special Projects Dude". This small book has been used to mobilize many to the mission fields of the world. You can even get this book and others free when you email George.
Western Christians in Global Misssion
Author: Paul Borthwick
As the state of Christianity increasingly shifts to the global south, our missionary strategies and thinking will need to adapt to new realitites. Borthwick presents a thoughtful book to help the church navigate these new realities with honest self reflection and missional determination.
This list of seven books is in no way exhaustive and so I want to encourage you to share the book that has helped you catch the missions vision in the comments below.
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