Jesus Says Go

Robin Wells

If planning a trip to Tallin, Pompeii, or the Louvre make sure you take a Dorling Kindersley guide with full-colour, three-dimensional representations of the sights. Most of us leave the Lonely Planet Guide at home and only pick it up when we return home. That's a shame, because the cultural, historical and political information adds enormously to the holiday experience.

This book, written for potential evangelical mission personnel, is something of a Lonely Planet Guide - indispensable but likely to make more sense after you return from mission service. That's a shame, because... well, read on.

Robin Wells experience with the IFES student movement and, more recently, selection and training of mission personnel for SIM, provides him with a fund of case study material to illustrate the various sections of the book. The first nine chapters address the issues that potential mission personnel are likely to face, including the cross-cultural experience, the nature of ministry overseas, money and standards of living, risks and danger, and the impact on careers. This section ends with a biblical reflection on counting the costs and the stock-taking involved in making the decision about offering for mission service. There are nuggets to be discovered in these chapters. The potential recruit will benefit from reading it before any formal contact with a mission agency or society.

Here I sensed something of an omission in the book. The book doesn't really deal with the issues likely to be faced when deciding which sending mission agencies to approach nor the merits, or otherwise, of theological and cross-cultural training and preparation. This is strange when one considers that so many mission 'casualties' cite issues relating to the sending and supporting agency.

Neither was I convinced that the 'interlude' of seven three-minute readings relating to the themes of the book stood together as a collection nor that they added very much to the practical content of the nine preceding chapters.

Including a list of evangelical theological institutes and a second with contact information for the evangelical mission movements in several regions of the world was a welcome inclusion - although Latin America has been overlooked.

This book will serve as a useful tool in the hands of the staff of evangelical Colleges and Mission agencies with responsibility for the selection of candidates. As such, one hopes it will be recommended as useful preparation for mission candidates before they make formal applications to either agency or college.

Based on a review originally published in the BIAMS bulletin. Used with permission.

Reviewed by Rev. Dr. Darrell Jackson

Darrell Jackson is a Lecturer in Missiology at Morling College, Australia. He has served as adjunct and visiting faculty in the UK, USA, and Europe, and writes and regularly for publications around the world.