On this page you will find a wide variety of Christian resources recommended by our Outreach staff and partners. Please let us know if you have any questions and suggested additions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Global Missions and Engaging the World
- Local Missions and Community Development
- Theology of Outreach and Justice
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Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Christine Pohl
This book brings together in one place passages from the Scriptures pertaining to hunger, justice, and the poor, along with the concerns of prominent Christian leaders, to challenge us to
become proactive in the battle against hunger and poverty.
Prayers for a Privileged People, Walter Brueggemann, Publication Date: August 1, 2008
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
With more than 225,000 copies sold, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation and ministry to those in need. Emphasizing the poverty of both heart and society, this book exposes the need that every person has and how it can be filled. The reader is brought to understand that poverty is much more than simply a lack of financial or material resources and that it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve the problem of poverty.
The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good, Peter Greer
CEO of Large Nonprofit Warns that Charity and Christian Service Can Have a Dark Side
Most Christians today are interested in more than just preaching the gospel with words; they also want to serve others. But what happens when Christian service and social justice lead to burnout, pride, or worse? Peter Greer gives a firsthand account of how this can happen, leaning on his experiences as CEO of HOPE International, a large Christian nonprofit that serves those in need by helping them help themselves. Greer uses stories from his own life and others in ministry to help readers protect themselves from disillusionment and other dangers. He uses the Pharisees as a symbol of how something that starts off with the noblest of intentions can go off the tracks, and how to get it back on again. This book serves as a compassionate warning to everyone who works in ministry or charitable nonprofits, from CEOs to weekend volunteers.
The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good will include end-of-chapter questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
Do you want to make a true difference in the world? Dr. Ron Sider does. He has, since before he first published Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger in 1978. Despite a dramatic reduction in world hunger since then, 34,000 children still die daily of starvation and preventable disease, and 1.3 billion people, worldwide, remain in abject poverty. So, the professor of theology went back to re-examine the issues by twenty-first century standards. Finding that Conservatives blame morally reprehensible individual choices, and Liberals blame constrictive social and economic policy, Dr. Sider finds himself agreeing with both sides. In this new look at an age-old problem, he offers not only a detailed explanation of the causes, but also a comprehensive series of practical solutions, in the hopes that Christians like him will choose to make a difference.
Toward Respectful Understanding & Witness Among Muslims, Essays in Honor of J. Dudley Woodberry
Fifteen preeminent Christian scholars of Islam present their latest research and reflections. The book is organized around three themes: encouraging friendly conversation, Christian scholarship, and Christian witness.
Published in honor of J. Dudley Woodberry, it is more than a collection of essays by friends and colleagues. It offers a seldom-available synopsis of the theories of contemporary leading Christian academicians whose work is currently influencing a wide range of Christian institutions, agencies, churches, and individuals. The authors provide cutting-edge and greatly needed resources for developing a better understanding of Muslims.
In an age of increasing challenges facing Muslim-Christian relations, this volume offers Christians a unique opportunity to rethink their assumptions. It also presents practical steps which can inform their daily encounters with Muslims. This book is essential reading for people with research interests in Islam, for Bible school and seminary students, for church leaders, and for all those who want to be informed of the latest empirical research and theoretical perspectives affecting Muslim-Christian relations.
Missiological Education for the Twenty-first Century: The Book, the Circle, and the Sandals: Essays in Honor of Paul E. Pierson (American Society of Missiology)
Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation by Jason Mandryk
Operation World, the definitive global prayer handbook, has been used by more than a million Christians to pray for the nations. Now in its 7th edition, it has been completely updated and revised by Jason Mandryk with a team of missionaries and researchers, and it covers the entire populated world. Included in this updated and revised 7th edition:
- All the countries of the world featured
- Maps of each country
- Geographic information
- People groups within each country
- Economic information
- Political information
- Religious make-up of each country
- Daily Prayer Calendar
- Answers to prayer
- Challenges for prayer
Whether you are an intercessor praying behind the scenes for world change, a missionary abroad or simply curious about the world, Operation World will give you the information necessary to play a vital role in fulfilling the Great Commission.
The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit Winner (Missions/Global Affairs)
The world has changed.
A century ago, Christianity was still primarily centered in North America and Europe. By the dawn of the twenty-first century, Christianity had become a truly global faith, with Christians in Asia, Africa and Latin America outpacing those in the rest of the world. There are now more Christians in China than in all of Europe, more Pentecostals in Brazil than in the United States, and more Anglicans in Kenya than in Great Britain, Canada and the United States combined. Countries that were once destinations for western missionaries are now sending their own missionaries to North America.
Given these changes, some think the day of the Western missionary is over. Some are wary that American mission efforts may perpetuate an imperialistic colonialism. Some say that global outreach is best left to indigenous leaders. Others simply feel that resources should be focused on the home front. Is there an ongoing role for the North American church in global mission?
Missions specialist Paul Borthwick brings an urgent report on how the Western church can best continue in global mission. He provides a current analysis of the state of the world and how Majority World leaders perceive North American Christians’ place. Borthwick offers concrete advice for how Western Christians can be involved without being paternalistic or creating dependency. Using their human and material resources with wise and strategic stewardship, North Americans can join forces with the Majority World in new, interdependent ways to answer God’s call to global involvement.
In this critical age, the global body of Christ needs one another more than ever. Discover how the Western church can contribute to a new era of mission marked by mutuality, reciprocity and humility.
Western Christians Global Mission American
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.
With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.
They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.
Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.
Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.
This new edition of a bestselling textbook (over 185,000 copies sold) draws on key biblical texts to demonstrate that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and that proper worship fuels missionary outreach. John Piper offers a biblical defense of God’s supremacy in all things, providing readers with a sound theological foundation for missions. He examines whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and issues a passionate plea for God-centeredness in the missionary enterprise, seeking to define the scope of the task and the means for reaching “all nations.” The third edition has been revised and expanded throughout and includes new material on the prosperity gospel. The book is essential reading for those involved in or preparing for missions work. It also offers enlightenment for college and seminary students, pastors, youth workers, campus ministers, and all who want to connect their labors to God’s global purposes.
Disposable People, Kevin Bales
Slavery is illegal throughout the world, yet more than twenty-seven million people are still trapped in one of history’s oldest social institutions. Kevin Bales’s disturbing story of slavery today reaches from brick kilns in Pakistan and brothels in Thailand to the offices of multinational corporations. His investigation of conditions in Mauritania, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan, and India reveals the tragic emergence of a “new slavery,” one intricately linked to the global economy. The new slaves are not a long-term investment as was true with older forms of slavery, explains Bales. Instead, they are cheap, require little care, and are disposable.
Three interrelated factors have helped create the new slavery. The enormous population explosion over the past three decades has flooded the world’s labor markets with millions of impoverished, desperate people. The revolution of economic globalization and modernized agriculture has dispossessed poor farmers, making them and their families ready targets for enslavement. And rapid economic change in developing countries has bred corruption and violence, destroying social rules that might once have protected the most vulnerable individuals.
Bales’s vivid case studies present actual slaves, slaveholders, and public officials in well-drawn historical, geographical, and cultural contexts. He observes the complex economic relationships of modern slavery and is aware that liberation is a bitter victory for a child prostitute or a bondaged miner if the result is starvation.
Bales offers suggestions for combating the new slavery and provides examples of very positive results from organizations such as Anti-Slavery International, the Pastoral Land Commission in Brazil, and the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan. He also calls for researchers to follow the flow of raw materials and products from slave to marketplace in order to effectively target campaigns of “naming and shaming” corporations linked to slavery. Disposable People is the first book to point the way to abolishing slavery in today’s global economy. All of the author’s royalties from this book go to fund anti-slavery projects around the world.
First in a group of three volumes resulting from a global consultation and research effort. multi-country research initiative to understand poverty from the eyes of the poor, the ‘Voices of the Poor’ project was undertaken to inform the World Bank’s activities and the ‘World Development Report 2000/2001’. ‘Voices of the Poor’ marks the first time such an exercise has been undertaken in so many developing countries and transition economies around the world. — Volume 1, ‘Can Anyone Hear Us?’ gathers the voices of over 40,000 poor women and men in 50 countries from the World Bank’s participatory poverty assessments (Deepa Narayan, Raj Patel, Kai Schafft, Anne Rademacher, and Sarah Koch-Schulte, authors). — Volume 2, ‘Crying Out for Change’ pulls together new field work conducted in 1999 in 23 countries (Deepa Narayan, Robert Chambers, Meera Shah, and Patti Petesch, authors). — Volume 3, ‘From Many Lands’ offers regional patterns and country case-studies (Deepa Narayan and Patti Petesch, editors). ‘Voices of the Poor’ provides a unique and detailed picture of the life of the poor and explains the constraints poor people face to escape from poverty in a way that more traditional survey techniques do not capture well. Each of the three volumes demonstrates the importance of voice and power in poor people’s definition of poverty. ‘Voices of the Poor’ concludes that we need to expand our conventional views of poverty which focus on income expenditure, education, and health to include measures of voice and empowerment. A copublication of the World Bank and Oxford University Press.
Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission (Resources for Reconciliation) Paperback by Christopher L. Heuertz (Author), Christine D. Pohl (Author)
In our anonymous and dehumanized world, the simple practice of friendship is radically countercultural. But sometimes Christians inadvertently marginalize and objectify the very ones they most want to serve. Chris Heuertz, international director of Word Made Flesh, and theologian and ethicist Christine Pohl show how friendship is a Christian vocation that can bring reconciliation and healing to our broken world. They contend that unlikely friendships are at the center of an alternative paradigm for mission, where people are not objectified as potential converts but encountered in a relationship of mutuality and reciprocity. When we befriend those on the margins of society by practicing hospitality and welcome, we create communities where righteousness and justice can be lived out. Heuertz and Pohl’s reflections offer fresh insight into Christian mission and what it means to be the church in the world today.
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Paperback by Shane Claiborne (Author), Jim Wallis (Foreword)
Living as an Ordinary Radical Many of us find ourselves caught somewhere between unbelieving activists and inactive believers. We can write a check to feed starving children or hold signs in the streets and feel like we’ve made a difference without ever encountering the faces of the suffering masses. In this book, Shane Claiborne describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, inviting us into a movement of the Spirit that begins inside each of us and extends into a broken world. Shane’s faith led him to dress the wounds of lepers with Mother Teresa, visit families in Iraq amidst bombings, and dump $10,000 in coins and bills on Wall Street to redistribute wealth. Shane lives out this revolution each day in his local neighborhood, an impoverished community in North Philadelphia, by living among the homeless, helping local kids with homework, and “practicing resurrection” in the forgotten places of our world. Shane’s message will comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable . . . but will also invite us into an irresistible revolution. His is a vision for ordinary radicals ready to change the world with little acts of love.
Walking with the Poor, Bryant Myers
In this revised and updated edition of a modern classic, Bryant Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practice of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and a theological framework for transformational development, Myers demonstrates what is possible when we cease to treat the spiritual and physical domains of life as separate and unrelated.
The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor, Mark Labberton
2011 Christianity Today Book Award winner! Jesus didn’t see a sick woman, he saw a daughter of God. He didn’t see an outcast from society, he saw a child of Israel. He didn’t see a sinner, he saw a person in the image of the Creator. Are we able to see others with the eyes of Jesus? Seeing rightly is the beginning of renewal, forgiveness, healing and grace. Seeing rightly, says Mark Labberton, is the beginning of how our hearts are changed. Through careful self-examination in the Spirit, we begin to bear the fruit of love toward others that can make a difference. Here is a chance to reflect on why our ordinary hearts can be complacent about the evils in the world and how we can begin to see the world like Jesus. With each chapter broken into brief segments punctuated by questions, this book is ideal for both personal reflection and group discussion. See what happens when you take a chance on the dangerous act of loving your neighbor. Your vision might just be changed forever.
God So Loves the City, Charles Van Engen and Judith Tiersma Watson
Charles Van Engen tells us the essence of this book: it is “to explore ways to integrate theology, urban studies, and contextualization in a theologically informed, holistic, and transformational theology of mission.” This book is a collection composed of the writings of a group of doctoral students in the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary. In composing this book, the authors reflected upon their personal experiences. By doing this they were able to create a theology of mission for the city. Another thing that we should note is that out of the attempt to create an urban theology of mission, the authors espoused a particular methodology for doing theology of mission in the city.
Tattoos on the Heart, Father Greg Boyle
A breathtaking series of parables distilled from the past two decades of Gregory Boyle’s life working with gang members in Los Angeles. Not all books ordered online are autographed by Father Greg Boyle.
Let Justice Roll Down, John Perkins
His brother died in his arms, shot by a deputy marshall. He was beaten and tortured by the sheriff and state police. But through it all he returned good for evil, love for hate, progress for prejudice and brought hope to black and white alike. The story of John Perkins is no ordinary story. Rather, it is a gripping portrayal of what happens when faith thrusts a person into the midst of a struggle against racism, oppression and injustice. It is about the costs of discipleship—the jailings, the floggings, the despair, the sacrifice. And it is about the transforming work of faith that allowed John to respond to such overwhelming indignities with miraculous compassion, vision and hope.
Beyond Charity, John Perkins
A powerful call to action to bring reconciliation and restoration to broken communities.
#3 on Amazon.com’s 10 Best Books of 2011
The New Yorker Favorite Books from 2011
Hudson Booksellers Best Books of 2011
Barnes & Noble Best Nonfiction Books of 2011
St. Louis Post Dispatch Favorite Books of 2011
A Shelf Awareness Reviewer’s Top Pick of 2011
One of the most important and highly-praised books of 2011, Karl Marlantes’s What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become just as much of a classic as his epic novel Matterhorn.
In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at the experience and ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our young soldiers for war. War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion, and literature—which also helped bring them home. In a compelling narrative, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors—mainly men but increasingly women—are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of their journey.
The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma. Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to FBR to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency medical care, shelter, food, clothing and human rights documentation. The teams also operate a communication and information network inside Burma that provides real time information from areas under attack. – See more at: http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2010/10/28/free-burma-rangers/#sthash.FipObzAU.dpuf
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally.
By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery.
Let’s be the generation to stand up for the 27 million men, women and children trapped in slavery around the world today. In brothels. In factories. In mines. On street corners. In homes. In the shadows, hidden. Yet out in broad daylight, in plain sight here in America. Stand with us. Raise your voice. Use your influence. Join the fight for FREEDOM.