BOOK REVIEW – Missions: How the local church goes global

A useful resource

This short book from Andy Johnson is a wonderful resource for churches thinking about their role in God’s mission. It is both deeply biblical and highly practical, making it ideal for church leaders, or for anyone interested in how they can send, support and envision those in their churches more effectively.

‘If we are to understand how to pursue the mission faithfully, the local church must be central to identifying, training, sending, and supporting. The mission has been given to Christ’s church for Christ’s glory.’

Building on sure foundations

Johnson begins by laying out the biblical basis for mission, giving us key principles that undergird the rest of the book, including the conviction that mission flows out of a deeply-rooted excitement and joy about the gospel. He then builds on this foundation, moving on to practical advice on how to send and support missionaries. Johnson is keen that churches are generous and intentional in their giving and their time, being wise with how they support and who they partner with. He urges churches to re-evaluate their practices and consider how they might be more effective in mission, laying out his case with care and pastoral sensitivity.

Short but impactful

The book moves rapidly between chapters, quickly introducing a topic before giving a few points to think about: the chapter on ‘Reforming Short-Term Missions’, for instance, is only 12 pages long. You should look elsewhere if you would like an in-depth discussion of missiology but, as a conversation starter, each chapter is very helpful. Likewise, the concise nature of the book is not a reflection on its usefulness or its ability to convict. Some of the topics may be challenging and some points might be contentious, but Johnson urges us to consider them carefully: ‘There might be useful stuff here, even if we don’t agree with everything’. Personally, a significant amount of what was written resonated with my experience of churches, both good and bad.

The greatest endorsement I can give of this book is that it was given to me by a minister of one of our supporting churches. He had found it a great encouragement and heartily recommended it to me. If you believe that your church could benefit from considering the way they approach mission, then I would heartily recommend it also.

‘Your members may confuse good works with gospel missions, prize short-term trips mainly for their own personal enrichment, or always look for the next shortcut to make missions easy and fast. Maybe you are in a congregation where members are confused about what the mission of the church really is, how to do it, and whom mission is for.’

Interested in getting a copy?

While stocks last we are selling this book for £5 + postage and packing per copy. Contact Marie, Prayer and Support Development Co-ordinator, on or 01509 239 525 if you would like further information on this or other books we have which could equip you or your church in ministry.


Full title: 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches, Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global
Author: Andy Johnson
Publishers: Crossway, 2017, (US); 10Publishing, 2018, (UK), ISBN 978-1-912373-20-8
Chapters: A Biblical Foundation for Missions, First Things First, Sending and Supporting Well, Getting the House in Order, Healthy Missions Partnerships, Reforming Short-Term Missions, Engaging the Nations by Other Means, Conclusion: Stepping toward the Nations.

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