Integrated Mission: the Whole Gospel

The “Whole” Gospel: Readings related to the importance of an integrated (wholistic) approach to the Whole Church taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.

  1. Walking with The Poor by Bryant Myers. This is the most in depth work for those who truly want to go deep into understanding the roots of poverty and how we can be most effective in walking alongside those God is already working through, be it locally, nationally or internationally. Dr Myers most recent updates add even further understandings and adds much that addresses what others have had to say about helping “develop” underdeveloped communities.
  2. When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Fikkert. Perhaps the most influential book of the past decade with respect to helping the Church understand what our shortcomings have been in the past and what it is we can do to be effectively involved in helping underdeveloped communities prosper. “Churches in North America will find this a helpful way to educate congregations and then motivate them to action, both globally and in their neighborhoods.”
    -Bryant Myers, PhD, professor of International Development, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
  3. Toxic Charity: How the Church Hurts Those They Help and How to Reverse It by Robert Lupton. I (Mike) really like this book since it seems to complement When Helping Hurts but with a more domestic flavor to it. “When Bob Lupton speaks of the inner city, the rest of us ought to sit up and take notice… [His work is] deeply distrurbing—in the best sense of the word.” Philip Yancey, author of What Good Is God?
  4. The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of us? By Richard Stearns. For many who have for some time been involved in thinking about how the Church can do a better job of pursuing its true calling this work will not have much new to say. But for those just starting to feel the itch that something in the Church isn’t quite right it is quite helpful. “Rich Stearns calls us to exhilarating obedience to God’s life-altering, world-changing command to reflect his love to our neighbors at home and globally. The Hole in Our Gospel is imbued with the hope of what is possible when God’s people are transformed to live radically in light of his great love.” Gary Haugen, President & CEO, International Justice Mission
  5. Preach and Heal, A biblical model for missions by Charles Fielding. A great resource. Chuck  uses humor and real life stories to effectively merge thinking that has for too long contaminated our “missions” efforts. That being the separation of proclamation evangelism and social good works. “Church planting, evangelism, and humanitarian ministry are not competitive, but complementary. You can be sure that we’ll be recommending Preach and Heal to every church sending out PEACE teams.” Rick Warren, pastor Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life.
  6. The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church. Fritz Kling. I found this book fascinating. I (Mike Soderling) was interviewed by one of their researchers when I was in Guatemala and to then read the results of their two year study on global trends in missions is very interesting. I include it on this list because I think it’s important for those wishing to carry out their calling to wholistic ministry. “The twenty-first century world is changing at a dizzying pace…. This book is a must- read for Christians who want to stay relevant and effective.” Richard Stearns, president of World Vision US and author of The Hole in Our Gospel.
  7. What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission by DeYoung and Gilbert. “In what appears to be a growing tension over what the mission of the church encompasses, DeYoung and Gilbert bring a remarkably balanced book that can correct, restore, and help regardless of which way you lean or land on all things ‘missional.’ I found the chapters on social justice and our motivation in good works to be especially helpful. Whether you are actively engaging the people around you with the gospel and serving the least of these or you are hesitant of anything ‘missional,’ this book will help you rest in God’s plan to reconcile all things to himself in Christ.” Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network