if you are tuned in to seeing and understanding missions in the Bible, the Bible itself is always your best resource.
There are three essential book resources which are foundational:
- Let the Nations Be Glad, by John Piper
- From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, by Ruth Tucker
- Operation World, edited by Jason Mandryck
While books are helpful and easily accessible resources in the English-speaking world, contemporary information through real-life relationships with missionaries makes your anecdotal illustrations three-dimensional and real to your audience. Your own visit to your missionaries, asking a lot of questions, not seeking to be cast in the limelight, will go far in increasing your understanding and generating rapport with the stories you will tell. Nothing communicates better than your own experience described in vivid detail.
Take a look at the books and resources, including book reviews, available on Propempo.com (this website). These suggest a wide range of the best available resources in both classics and contemporary works.
There are many websites in cyberspace which purport to give the latest and best missions information. Much of it is colored by its source, meaning you have to be careful about the doctrine and/or tradition of the site. A mission leader friend from a Southeast Asian country once remarked that, if we believed all the statistics regarding conversions from this particular country from all the nominations and missions active there, then every citizen of that country that has ever lived has been saved twice! We just know that that is not true! So, “let the buyer beware.” Generally speaking, statistical data regarding unreached people groups and ethnographic demography are as reliable as any data can be. However, recent statistics of high rates of conversion among unreached people groups or historically resistant groups must be received “with a grain of salt.” Time and persecution will test and prove those claims.
Journals and periodicals from trusted sources are helpful resources for information on missions. It’s easy to become inundated with TMI (too much information), if you’re not careful. The leadership of your missions team should become one of your best resources for sifting and gleaming just the right material for you at just the right time. Let them pour over the deluge of information and pass along only the best stuff that you need to know.
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