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The Changing Face of World Missions

Engaging Contemporary Issues and Trends

series: Encountering Mission

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Christianity Today 2006 Book Award Winner; Outreach magazine Year's Best Award Winner, 2005 

"This work provides a good way to engage vital trends in missions today. . . . Missions-minded pastors, teachers, seminarians, and missiologists will certainly be informed by this significant work."--Keith E. Eitel, Evangelical Missions Quarterly

The latter part of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first have seen dramatic changes, both in global society and within the church. These changes have ramifications for the task of missions in the new millennium. The Changing Face of World Missions, the second volume in the Encountering Mission series, identifies and interacts with twelve significant trends that today's student of missions needs to understand. These trends include globalization, changing demographics, the shift from modernity to postmodernity, the shift from Christendom to global Christianity, changing motivations for missions, the impact of new technologies, and the issue of contextualization. The text is enhanced by numerous sidebars and case studies to foster individual and group reflection and discussion.


"In a rapidly changing world, we can no longer carry out missions as usual. We need a renewed vision and new ways to reach a world in such desperate need. In this excellent book, Michael Pocock, Gailyn Van Rheenen, and Douglas McConnell relay the unchanging biblical foundations and renew our vision for missions. They also deal with urgent new challenges that confront us. In doing so, they help us both to analyze our world and our mission and to think deeply for ourselves, even as they call us to become involved in God's work in this world. This book can help all of us in the church grasp the nature and the importance of the mission God has given us in our day."--Paul G. Hiebert, distinguished professor of mission and anthropology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This is a fascinating book that challenges Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, to rethink what they mean by mission and how they put their commitment to spreading the gospel into practice. This is absorbing reading by thoughtful authors who make a real contribution to contemporary thinking about Christian mission."--Irving Hexham, professor of nature of religion, University of Calgary

The Authors

  1. Michael Pocock

    Michael Pocock

    Michael Pocock (D.Miss., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is chair and senior professor of world missions and intercultural studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Gailyn Van Rheenen (D.Miss., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) retired from Abilene Christian...

    Continue reading about Michael Pocock

  2. Gailyn Van Rheenen

    Gailyn Van Rheenen

    Gailyn Van Rheenen (D.Miss., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) retired from Abilene Christian University in 2003 to launch Mission Alive, an organization devoted to the training of Christian leaders.

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  3. Douglas McConnell
    Don Milici

    Douglas McConnell

    Douglas McConnell (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of leadership and intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He previously served as dean of the School of Intercultural Studies and as provost at Fuller....

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Christianity Today 2006 Book Award Winner
Outreach magazine Year's Best Award Winner, 2005

"[An] informative must-read for missionaries and missions pastors."--Outreach

"An excellent resource on the changing realities of our world and the mission movement. A must-read for any pastor, mission leader or group wanting to evaluate the effectiveness of their current mission activities." --Outreach magazine, 2005 Best Outreach Resource Winner

"[The authors] divide their work into three major parts: 'The Global Context,' 'The Missional Context,' and 'The Strategic Context.' Each part includes four chapters, so this work is both definitive and exhaustive. 'The Global Context' is especially compelling, because rarely in a missiological text do we find such subjects as economic globalization, migration of peoples, HIV/AIDS, and children at risk. . . . Parts 2 and 3 handle down-to-earth matters creatively and practically. . . . Overall, this work is valuable literature because of the depth and scope of the material. It is also greatly enhanced by interesting sidebars, discussion questions, and a 22-page reference list."--Jim Reapsome, Christianity Today

"Every Christian is commanded to go and teach the Gospel. This book shows how following that command has changed in recent years. I urge you to read it carefully. Perhaps you will find a way you can participate in missions."--Diana Pederson, BellaOnline

"[The authors] are well qualified both academically and experientially to engage their assigned topics. . . . The authors are to be thanked for their insightful work that will help evangelical missionaries, future missionaries, and local church supporters understand crucial transformations in world missions."--David K. Strong, Missiology

"The dozen mission trends highlighted in this volume are covered in separate chapters. . . . Though six different authors contribute these chapters, the quality and style is even. Each of these trends is creatively approached through identification (description and illustration), evaluation (importance), reflection (Biblical and theological), and engagement (recommendations and best practices). Both student and professor will benefit from the addition of offset sidebars, case studies, and quotes. . . . [Pocock's] chapter on the history of mission and the geographical shift in Christianity is a tour de force and worth the price of the volume."--Doug Priest, Stone-Campbell Journal

"This work provides a good way to engage vital trends in missions today. . . . Missions-minded pastors, teachers, seminarians and missiologists will certainly be informed by this significant work."--Keith E. Eitel, Evangelical Missions Quarterly

"This book is a crucial resource for evangelicals who are intentionally involved in the worldwide missions enterprise. Local church leaders (particularly pastors and missions committee members), staff and board members of missions organizations, missions teachers, missionaries (active and potential), 'upper-level undergraduate and graduate students preparing for a career in intercultural service,' and financial-prayer supporters all will find much helpful information here. . . . All of the authors are well equipped with extensive ministry experience and academic work. . . . The book is well organized. . . . There are extensive sidebars, highlighted quotes, case studies, and a few tables and other graphics sprinkled throughout the text. An extensive reference bibliography, well selected subject index, and thorough Scripture index also add a great deal. . . . All of the chapters demonstrate a contemporary awareness of issues. . . . Concise historical backgrounds introduce most discussions, enabling the reader to appreciate more deeply why and how today's contexts present the challenges we face in contemporary missions. More than a sit-down read, this book is best used (as intended) as a course textbook and as a resource for missions-involved evangelicals. . . . The Changing Face of World Missions comes about as close to being an exclusive go-to text as one volume can. Get it for your missions library as soon as possible."--J. Nelson Jennings, Presbyterion

"Helpful sidebars, highlighted quotations, reflection questions, and case studies in each chapter, along with good subject and Scripture indexes, enhance the book's usefulness both for the classroom and for individual learners. . . . [The authors] give us enough material for the book's intended audience and open the door to understanding key mission concepts, yet without trying to answer every question. . . . Personal accounts and reflections are sprinkled throughout the book, making it more readable and, vital for the audience in mind, grounded with integrity in the reality of intercultural missions experience. This book offers us a helpful, contemporary introduction to the context and trends of missions. . . . It will be appreciated in seminary classrooms for years to come."--David H. Greenlee, Mission Studies