Why Missions Needs Missionaries | Influence Podcast


This past summer, thousands of Assemblies of God churchgoers went on short-term missions trips. These trips often do much good. They certainly change the people who go on them for the better. But is it a good idea to shift a church’s missions strategy to short-term missions? Similarly, churches are increasingly supporting “social justice” causes such as anti-human trafficking initiatives and water well drilling as an important part of missions. Granted, these are great causes, but are they missions? In today’s episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with with Doug Clay and Greg Mundis about what missions is and why missions … Continue reading Why Missions Needs Missionaries | Influence Podcast

The Future of the Global Church | Book Review


Patrick Johnstone is best known as editor of the first six editions of Operation World, a prayer guide for Christians interested in fulling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20). Now in its seventh edition, and edited by Jason Mandryk, Operation World presents data on the geography, peoples, economy, politics, and religion of the regions and countries of the world, which is drawn from sophisticated databases maintained by WEC International, an interdenominational missions agency. This data helps readers pray intelligently about the needs of those regions and countries throughout the year. In The Future of the Global Church, Johnstone has drawn on … Continue reading The Future of the Global Church | Book Review

The Dynamics of Christian Mission | Book Review


Paul Pierson’s The Dynamics of Christian Mission consists of lectures on Christian history from a class he taught for twenty-five years at Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies. Like other books of this sort, it narrates the history of the expansion of Christianity from the apostolic era to the present, dividing that history into six sections. “Early Expansion” (chapters 1–7) traces the story from the apostolic era through the rise of the Celtic church. “Change and Attempts at Renewal” (chapters 8–12) examine the Middle Ages. “The Reformation Era” (chapters 13–16) focuses on the missionary efforts of the Protestant Reformation … Continue reading The Dynamics of Christian Mission | Book Review

This Gospel | Book Review


The first time I heard veteran missionary Dick Brogden preach was in August 2014 at the Centennial Celebration of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri. Karl Adams once quipped that Karl Barth’s commentary on Romans dropped a “bombshell on the playground of the theologians.” After hearing Brogden’s sermon, I commented on social media that he had just dropped a bombshell on the playground of comfortable Pentecostals. That sermon — “Abide, Apostle, Abandon” — is included in This Gospel (pages 85–94). “We’ve probably all heard about what has happened in Iraq,” Brogden began. “Children butchered, women raped, men forced to … Continue reading This Gospel | Book Review

Thursday’s Influence Magazine Article


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com: Kristi Northup wonders whether the Great Commission is going out of style. (Hopefully not!) John Davidson interviews Bruce Statements about making your church safe for the Influence Podcast. Christina Quick notes the projected continuing growth of Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa. Please make sure to follow and like InfluenceInfluence magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes! Continue reading Thursday’s Influence Magazine Article

Review of ‘Introduction to World Christian History’ by Derek Cooper


Derek Cooper, Introduction to World Christian History (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016). Derek Cooper begins his Introduction to World Christian History with a thought-provoking quote: In just over 100 years, the map of world Christianity has changed almost out of recognition. In 1900, it is estimated that 70 percent of all Christians were to be found in Europe … whereas … by 2025 Africa and Latin America will be vying with one another to claim the most Christians, having about a quarter each of the world’s Christian population (p. 11, quoting Sebastian Kim and Kirsteen Kim, Christianity as a … Continue reading Review of ‘Introduction to World Christian History’ by Derek Cooper