9 Missions Books We Recommend

We have 10 of our favorite missions books to add to your reading list.

Dropping temperatures mean more nights spent inside, curled up with a warm mug and a good read, so we decided to share 10 of our top picks for books on missions. You’ll find some classics, a few academic selections and maybe your next favorite book. Check out our list and then let us know in the comments what must-read missions books we’re missing.

Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures | Sarah A. Lanier

In this quick read, Lanier provides a practical introduction to understanding cultures through the categories of  “hot-climate” (relationship-oriented) and “cold-climate” (task-oriented) cultures. We love it so much, we give it to all of our short-term missionaries to read before serving on mission trips.

Peace Child | Don Richardson

This gripping true story is the firsthand account of Don Richardson, who served among a cannibalistic people group. In this tough climate, Richardson built a bridge between the Sawi’s sacrificial culture and the sacrifice of Christ to successfully explain the gospel for the first time. Peace Child is a great read for anyone interested in serving among unreached people groups.

Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation | Jason Mandryk

Now in its seventh edition, Operation World outlines key demographic, historical and spiritual data for every country in the world. The content is highly organized, making it easy to look up specific facts quickly, and there is also a daily prayer guide to help you pray for the nations. We have several copies floating around our offices, and we recommend it for every bookshelf.

Through Gates of Splendor | Elisabeth Elliot

Written in 1957, this classic missions book is written by Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband Jim was killed by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. Elliot details his journey with the other four missionaries who lost their lives sharing the gospel.

The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty | Peter Greer and Phil Smith

This challenging book outlines the distinction between a handout and hand up in the way we approach poverty alleviation. Greer and Smith draw on real-life experience to offer practical and actionable ways that individuals can contribute to the economic development of their community and the world. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to use community development as a platform to share the gospel.

Great Commission Companies: The Emerging Role of Business in Missions | Steve Rundle  and Tom Steffen

For many countries that are socially and legally closed the gospel, workers must use creative methods to share their faith. In Great Commission Companies, the authors explain how business people are using their acumen to start companies and share the gospel all over the world.

A Spirituality of Fundraising | Henri J.M. Nouwen

In this foundational essay, Nouwen explains why fundraising for ministry is not a burden but rather a tool for discipleship. Our Chief Advancement Officer, Arnie Adkison recommends it to all new missionaries as they begin the support-raising process.

Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission | J.D. Payne

“The nations” are now converging in neighborhoods around North America because of recent trends in globalization and migration. In this practical book, J.D. Payne offers insights and examples on how Christians can make meaningful cross-cultural relationships right in their backyard.

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose in Your Life | Os Guinness 

In this thoughtful work, Guinness contemplates the deep question, “What am I here for?” Guinness exhorts readers to consider what God’s calling is for their lives, stating, “No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.” For those looking to be able to articulate God’s specific purpose for your life, this book is a key resource.

Which of your favorite missions books did we miss? Comment below with your favorite page-turners and add to our list.

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About the author

TEAM - The Evangelical Alliance Mission

TEAM partners with the Global Church in sending disciples who make disciples and establish missional reproducing churches to the glory of God.


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  • After taking “Perspectives in the World Christian Movement” class God gave me a heart for Muslims. My favorite 2 books are “In the Land of the Blue Burkas” and A Wind in the House of Islam” Your books look good. I have the Audio version of “Peace Child” and Don Richardson spoke to us in our class. Amazing Story. Brian Hogan also spoke to our class and his book ‘There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub” is also a good read. It is the story of the Spontaneous multiplication of churches in Mongolia.

  • I am interested in this books as they will better guide as I get involved in the world Mission but quite unfortunate, the books are not available to those of us in Nigeria

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