Articles and Books that Provide Guidance for Mission Decisions


Articles – Discernment and Motivation

Eight Ways to Know God’s Will, and Three Things to Do about It, by Paul Borthwick (adapted from How to Be a World Class Christian; Urbana). While there is no formula for knowing God’s will, here are some of the things he uses to show you the big picture.

The Missionary Call: How to Be Sure You Don’t Have One, by Joseph Conley (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). Do you have a call? Do you need one? Four spiritual checkpoints to help pursue God regardless.

Goer or Sender? Find Your Role in God’s Plan (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). Just as surely as God calls some to go, he calls others to stay. And what he desires most of all is your obedience.

Knowing God’s Will, by Robert B. Munger (Into Thy Word). The call of Jesus is first and always to himself, to walk with him and be at his side. His first call is not to a particular mission or movement. Rather, he says, “Follow me.”

An Exploration of the Missionary Call, by Robertson McQuilkin (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers. Adapted from a chapter in The Great Omission). God is calling, but many of us are distracted and unable to hear.

Hatch or Go Bad: On Being a World Christian, by David Bryant (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers. Originally published in World Christian Magazine). A call to say yes to God and his purposes.

Motivations for Missions, by Nate Wilson (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). Six ways of looking at the big picture of God’s global purposes.

An Unbalancing Act: World Evangelization, by Justin Raby (Urbana). More Christians must make it their ambition to preach the gospel in places where Christ has not been named.

Are Those Who Haven’t Heard Really Lost? by Robertson McQuilkin (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers. Adapted from a chapter in The Great Omission). How many are lost? Is it fair? Is it loving? What happens if nobody goes to them?


Articles – Obstacles and Challenge Points

Distraction: The Great Disqualifier, by Greg Fritz (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). Why is it that so many good intentions are never realized? Don’t be distracted; plan.

Distractions: Persevere through the Obstacles, by George Parson, John Hannah, and Kathi DeCanio (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). Don’t be sidelined as you seek to live for God’s global purpose.

Dysfunctional Families: Going into Missions from a Wounded Background, by Timothy Boyd and Brent Lindquist (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). A disproportionate number of those going into missions come from wounded backgrounds and want to help others. Understand how to recognize and seek healing for those wounds.

When God Says “Go!” and Parents Say, “No!” by Joan C. and Eddie Gibbs (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). The testimony of a Korean-American girl whose parents opposed her involvement in missions.

What to Do When Parents Say No (The Traveling Team). More than a dozen helpful suggestions for understanding and responding to parental objections.

When Family Objects, by Rebecca Hickman (The Traveling Team). Finding ways to honor your parents while following what you believe to be God’s will. Includes lessons from the life of John Mott.

The Church Factor: How Crucial Is It? by Karen Meehan (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). Understand why you need to be involved in the local church.

The Local Church: Failure, Foe, or Friend in the Great Commission? by Paul Borthwick (Mission Issue Articles, Pioneers). There are plenty of problems in the local church, but it doesn’t give any of us the freedom to avoid the local church to do our own thing.  


Books – Discovering How God Is Leading You

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?, by Rick Warren (Zondervan). A guide to understanding that you were made by God and for his purposes.

Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Revised and Expanded, by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King (B and H Publishing). A modern classic on how God is working in the world today and how we can join him in his work (not the other way around).

Live Life on Purpose, by Claude Hickman (Book Villages). Finding your life purpose only makes sense in the context of God’s plan to reach the world. Discover the part you were meant to play in God’s epic plan.

How to Be a World-Class Christian: Becoming Part of God’s Global Kingdom, by Paul Borthwick (Authentic). World-class Christians pray world-focused prayers; live lifestyles of stewardship, sacrifice, and solidarity with the poor; and are committed to both local witness and world evangelization.

I Want to Make a Difference Now: Your Bridge to Global Impact, by Don Parrott (Next Step Resources). Addresses obstacles that keep adults from Christian mission work, and features more than 50 inspiring and amazing stories of those who have left North America for mission service in other countries.


Books – Becoming a Missionary

Mission Smart: 15 Critical Questions to Ask before Launching Overseas, by David L. Frazier (Equipping Servants International). This book is designed to help mission workers and those who would send them recognize gaps and issues that need to be dealt with in appointment, preparation, placement, and care.

Global Mission Handbook: A Guide for Crosscultural Service, by Steve Hoke and Bill Taylor (IVP Books). A practical guide to preparing for a life of cross-cultural ministry, with resources on spiritual preparation, cross-cultural skills, and hands-on ministry training, and selecting a mission agency.

On Being a Missionary, by Thomas Hale (William Carey Library). Drawing on his years of experience as a veteran missionary to Nepal, as well as the input of many others, Dr. Hale deals with the problems, struggles, and failures missionaries often face.

Encountering Missionary Life and Work: Preparing for Intercultural Ministry, by Tom Steffen and Lois McKinney Douglas (Baker Academic). Manual practical guidance regarding getting ready for the mission field and the realities of life on the field.

I Think God Wants Me to Be a Missionary: Issues to Deal with Long Before You Say Goodbye, by Neal Pirolo (Emmaus Road International). Helps missionary candidates look closely at scores of issues that should be clarified long before they say goodbye.

Scaling the Wall: Overcoming Obstacles to Missions Involvement, by Kathy Hicks (Authentic). Personal stories from missionaries in many organizations about how God overcame their fears and obstacles and met their needs in ways they never could have expected.


For additional mission resources including blogs, podcasts, events, courses and videos that relate to this topic see our complete mission resources page.