Dominating the daily news cycle today are the grim realities of grinding poverty, sex trafficking, gender discrimination, child soldiering, HIV/AIDS, failed states, corruption, and environmental breakdown. In the midst of such pain and brokenness, the followers of Christ cannot stand idly by, for God calls them into the mission of reconciling all things, first by easing suffering and then by building flourishing communities through the process of transformational human development. This practical handbook explains what development is, what development workers actually do, and how young people can prepare for mission careers in this field, both in North America and abroad. In addition to setting the big picture for how Christians approach the big questions of international development, the book draws on stories, advice, and wisdom collected from personal interviews with about fifty development professionals.
Roland Hoksbergen (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is professor of economics and international development at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also serves as director of the International Development Studies program. His current research interests include the role of civil society in Third World development and strengthening partnership networks among non-government organizations. Hoksbergen has also worked for the Christian Reformed Church World Relief Committee.
"At last, I have a book I can enthusiastically recommend to Christians looking for direction on how to get involved in the world of international development. Hoksbergen's book is thoughtful, engaging, hopeful, and practical.
author, Serving with Eyes Wide Open and Cultural Intelligence
A wonderful combination of excellent scholarship, gripping stories, and practical wisdom. A wise, indispensable guide for those contemplating working in development.
author, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger; president, Evangelicals for Social Action
What does a career in international development look like, and how does one prepare for such a career? If those are questions you've ever asked, I strongly recommend that you read this book. Not only is it generously seasoned with stories of practitioners--their personal backgrounds and the experiences God used to prepare them for development work--but it also clearly and fairly considers the 'why' questions from a variety of Christian perspectives.
professor of economics, Biola University; editor, Economic Justice in a Flat World: Christian Perspectives on Globalization
Hoksbergen's perspective on development work and the involvement of the Christian community has always been thought provoking. In Serving God Globally he weaves time-tested principles of community transformation into a practical guide for use by the church, especially young adults. What I appreciate most is how Hoksbergen's faith in a sovereign God shines through as the firm foundation for ministry. He makes it clear that ministry among the poor is as much for the transformation of those seeking to help as it is for those seen as recipients. It is, after all, only when poverty is understood relationally that we can work together to change the systems and affect true transformation. A must-read book for every church and individual involved in community ministry at home or abroad.
director, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
This book is a source of wisdom, counsel, inspiration, and insight for those who feel called to the field of international development. Based on interviews with a host of Christian development practitioners working with a variety of organizations, Serving God Globally addresses key questions and issues faced by aspiring and current Christian development workers. Hoksbergen's book provides an invaluable service to the Christian development community and beyond, and should be required reading for all those engaged in prayerful discernment about their involvement in issues of poverty and justice at the international level.
director, International Development Programs, Eastern University