It is the season where readers are putting books on their new year's reading lists. So here are a few that I read in 2023 that are worthy of your consideration.
This was the most personally impactful book of the year as it helped me through my own season of vocational transition. Shonna's workbook is the perfect resource for missionaries in reentry, especially those who have experienced trauma in the process.
As a writer and beneficiary of liturgy, a book highlighting its intersection with mission immediately caught my attention. And yet Bevins speaks of more than just missiological liturgy—he brilliantly fuses the inward and outward life of the church. Inspiring!
I will be keeping this book close at hand for any preaching/teaching in the book of Acts, not necessarily as an exegetical commentary, but for framing the overarching purpose of Acts. It was already incredibly enriching and accessible for everyday reading.
I don't know how many times I've recommended this book to missionaries as the best resource on raising support. But I revisited it thoroughly this past year when I began raising support myself. It is highly practical, and perhaps more importantly, quite motivating.
I read this book with a fine-tooth comb probably ten times this past year in preparation for publishing it through Upstream Books. I think I have parts of it memorized. But still, I love it and recommend it heartily to the mothers of missionaries. Also, my favorite cover of the year!
Oden's work certainly pulled at my heart strings for Africa, while also humbled my European bias toward church history and doctrine. I finished it so grateful for the past, present, and future of African Christianity—and eager to learn more.
This is not a missiological read, but it certainly did more for my value of women in God's mission than any missiological work—especially as a father of four girls! It is breathtaking to consider how God has worked through his daughters in his redemptive mission.
Again, this is not a missiological work, but in my opinion it speaks powerfully into the shame-based narratives that are often at play within missional activity. I have now read and listened to everything from Dr. Thompson and find his perspective deeply relevant to the overlap of spiritual formation and global missions.