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Developing a Strategy for Missions

A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Introduction

series: Encountering Mission

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In this addition to the highly acclaimed Encountering Mission series, two leading missionary scholars offer an up-to-date discussion of missionary strategy that is designed for a global audience. The authors focus on the biblical, missiological, historical, cultural, and practical issues that inform and guide the development of an effective missions strategy. The book includes all the features that have made other series volumes useful classroom tools, such as figures, sidebars, and case studies. Students of global or domestic mission work and mission practitioners will value this new resource.

1. Strategy Defined
2. The Crafting of Mission Strategy
3. Contemporary Objections to Missionary Strategy
4. Strategic Planning in Biblical Perspective
5. Missiological Principles for Strategy Development
6. The Apostle Paul's Missionary Strategy
7. Missions Strategy in the Early Church
8. Roman Catholic Strategy
9. Pioneer Protestant Strategies
10. Faith Missions Strategy
11. Mission Strategies on the American Frontier
12. The Indigenous Mission Strategy
13. The Church Growth Movement
14. Frontier Strategies
15. Contextualization Strategies
16. Understanding Cultural Research
17. Developing a People-Group Profile 
18. Developing a Communication Strategy
19. Discerning Receptivity
20. Discerning Need
21. Visioning for the Future
22. Forming a Team
23. Assessing the Resources
24. Setting Goals
25. Choosing Appropriate Methods
26. Execution
27. Evaluation


"Strategies and tactics are closely related, but they are by no means the same. Strategy takes priority; strategy determines tactics. As the title indicates, this is a book on mission strategy--and a very good one. Moreover, it is not simply a book on this or that phase of mission; it lays out a strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission mission. I commend it to the reading, study, and practice of missionaries and mission students, pastors and staff members, and all Christians who take the Great Commission seriously."

David J. Hesselgrave, emeritus professor of mission, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; cofounder, Evangelical Missiological Society

"Some people are theoreticians, while others are practitioners. Some think, others do. In this remarkable piece, we see a unique blend of both. The authors are thinking-doers, much like our missiological predecessor the apostle Paul, and their work here is strategically important. Anyone of any generation interested in seeing local churches and mission movements advance for Christ's sake should read this book and apply its insights."

Keith Eitel, dean, Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"John Mark Terry and J. D. Payne demonstrate how to develop strategies to reach people groups for Christ by first providing a historic panorama of the last two thousand years of missions strategy before moving to practical guidelines for strategizing in contemporary contexts. This stimulating project provides a comprehensive work of case studies and procedures for serving God in both the majority world and the West."

Robert L. Gallagher, Wheaton College Graduate School

The Authors

  1. John Mark Terry

    John Mark Terry

    John Mark Terry (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is department chair and professor of missions at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. He has taught at Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist...

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  2. J. D. Payne

    J. D. Payne

    J. D. Payne (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of Christian ministry at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He has published thirteen books in the area of mission and evangelism and pastored churches for nineteen years. Payne...

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"An essential introduction to strategy development that will enhance missionary success and encouragement. One of the key strengths of the book is the carefully thought-out presentation of the material. . . . The value of the authors' 'thinking-doing' approach is immediately obvious. Reflecting their instructional backgrounds, Terry and Payne lay out the material as teachers might in a classroom, moving from solid theory to practical, action-oriented application. . . . Terry and Payne have provided an excellent and thoroughly readable resource for mission students, academics, and field practitioners. As such, it has enormous value as both a text book and field manual."

Gerald Roe,

Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"Developing a Strategy for Missions happily fills a gap in resources for thinking about mission planning and is accessible to missionaries, pastors, and students. . . . [It] admirably covers the broad scope of missionary strategy from definitions to biblical and historical examples to contemporary models and needs to implementation and practical concerns. . . . Nearly every chapter contains a sidebar outlining an important topic with questions for personal reflection or group discussion in the classroom and beyond. Not as prevalent but equally valuable are the case studies spread throughout. Overall, this volume is a must-read not only for missionaries and mission strategists but also for church pastors and seminarians."

Steven S. H. Chang,

International Bulletin of Missionary Research

"Developing a Strategy for Missions is at once broad, practical, and accessible to most missionaries. It is a strong contribution to the well-regarded Encountering Mission series. . . . While this book will undoubtedly be added to the reading list of many mission classes, its true value will be recognized by church-planting practitioners, particularly those working in areas where there are few local Christians with whom to partner. Whether adopted as a classroom text or a field guide, readers will benefit from the frequent sidebars that introduce a variety of topics and conclude with questions for reflection and discussion. . . . The book is a good introduction to developing mission strategy and should be consulted by strategists, church planters, and many other missionaries."

Walter L. McConnell III,


"A worthy addition to the excellent Encountering Mission series. . . . [This book] provides a comprehensive look at mission strategies. It adds a needed critique of strategies that have been trendy in recent years. . . . Scattered throughout the book are interesting sidebars and case studies that would be useful for interactive discussions in the classroom. . . . The book has a solid biblical foundation. Terry and Payne's comprehensive book will be very useful in classrooms where strategies for missions are studied."

Mike Morris,

Southwestern Journal of Theology

"The book sets the standard for future discussions on developing mission strategy. It not only harvests the insights of past writings on the subject, it also distills many field strategies and practical advice into a compact and readable form. Missionaries, strategy coordinators, and church leaders will find many wise and tested insights from this book, and reminders to prayerfully discern and apply them strategically."

John Cheong,

Trinity Journal

"Terry and Payne have filled an important need in missionary training with this work. The book would be useful for individual missionaries or missions agency leadership as a discussion guide for strategy development. Teachers would find it helpful as a text for an upper-level missions class on either the graduate or undergraduate level. . . . Terry and Payne accomplished a significant feat in bringing in one book much important material on strategy and strategic planning. . . . Throughout the book, the authors provide side notes and case studies from history and contemporary missions practitioners. The material is comprehensive and broadly applicable, making Developing a Strategy for Missions a valuable addition to the literature."

Jeff K. Walters,

Journal of Mid-American Baptist Theological Seminary