For the Church on Mission. The Western Church world is abuzz with talk of being missional. Church leaders, conference speakers, and authors are weighing the merits of the attractional church movement of the past few decades, and where they find it lacking, prescribing changes in the way we need to approach our cultures with the Gospel. There has been a consensus shift among many churches, networks, and denominations to become more focused on mission. The result is a renewed interest in reaching the lost in our cities and around the world. The Church, in many places in the Western world, is in fact returning to a biblical missional focus. Yet there is something still to be addressed in the process: the how. For centuries, God has called missionaries to cross cultures with the Gospel, and along the way, they have developed the necessary skill-sets for a cultural translation of the Good News. These skills need to be shared with the rest of the Church in order to help them as well be effective missionaries. Tradecraft for the Church on Missiondoes exactly that. This book, in essence, pulls back the curtain on tools once accessible only to full-time Christian workers moving overseas, and offers them to anyone anywhere who desires to live missionally.
This short (11-chapters) yet immensely practical book is what I consider to be a must-buy for every mission practitioner and mission passionate individual. While aimed at people who will be doing work overseas, it has great usefulness for those working cross-culturally in their own home settings.
The book focuses on 9 core skills for the missionary task: (1) follow the Spirit, (2) mapping, (3) exegeting culture, (4) building relationships, (5) person of peace, (6) engaging tribes, (7) contextualization, (8) alternative paths (platforms etc.), (9) protecting indigeneity. The approaches in each are excellent; the section on mapping alone is worth the price of the book. --Justin Long
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