God calls his people to mission. But the demands of crosscultural ministry can be overwhelming and draining, leading to discouragement and burnout. All of our strategies and methodologies for reaching others are useless if we are incapable of living the holy, faithful lives God intends for us. Yet God does not leave us on our own. The Holy Spirit equips us to succeed and thrive spiritually in preparation of becoming God's message bearers in the world.
Spiritual formation and discipleship are at the core of effective and fruitful mission. Mission professional Ryan Shaw unpacks ten fundamental spiritual keys we need to practice to have a successful outer global witness. He shows how we can partner with God to experience Jesus' transforming power and presence, with practical insights for praying, growing and persevering as God's servants in the world.
God is calling a new generation to serve long-term to fulfill the Great Commission. The Holy Spirit is at work within us to equip and enable mission workers in and out of the field. Discover how you can become who God wants you to be as his ambassador to the world.
Ryan Shaw is international lead facilitator and president of Student Volunteer Movement 2. He is the author of (William Carey Library, 2006) and holds an M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Seminary. He and his wife, Kelly, currently serve as missionaries in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Tom Lin is the president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He previously served as vice president and director of missions and the director of the Urbana Student Mission Conference. He also spent several years in Mongolia pioneering campus student ministry with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. He is the author of and . Lin has pioneered new Asian American Christian Fellowships at Harvard and Boston University, and served as an IVCF staff trainer, fund development specialist, and missions department consultant. He has leadership experience with a number of Christian ministries, serving the Lausanne Movement as the international deputy director for North America, and serving as a board member for Missio Nexus and The Crowell Trust. He has also served as vice chairperson for the board of Wycliffe Bible Translators. A second-generation Taiwanese American, Lin has developed networks in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Brunei. He has also served as a human resources director of a Fortune 500 company and was leadership pastor at Wellspring Covenant Community Church. He and his wife Nancy live in Madison, Wisconsin, with their two daughters.
Spiritual Equipping for Mission is a refreshing book about fulfilling the Great Commission. Ryan provides ten fundamental spiritual keys that will equip you to yield fruit-bearing results and ensure this mandate is achieved. Yet, by cultivating these keys or inner-life qualities, a whole new understanding will take hold that it is not ultimately about accomplishing an assignment but pleasing the heart of God.
-Dr. Che Ahn,
senior pastor, HRock Church, Pasadena, California; president, Harvest International Ministry; international chancellor, Wagner Leadership Institute
Finally! For years the mission engine of our world has lacked a book like this. Spiritual formation and discipleship are at the core of effective and fruitful mission. Jesus said, 'Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.' Yet the mission world seems to have somewhat lost this compass for several decades, focusing more on popular business tools and resources in leading mission. Ryan's book couldn't come at a more timely moment for the mission world. I pray that this book gets into the hands of as many mission workers as possible. It's that important, and it's that good!
-Joseph W. Handley Jr.,
president, Asian Access
God is doing something unprecedented in human history, something never before witnessed by the church. Men, women and children are turning to faith in Jesus Christ in unprecedented numbers in places you might not expect. I personally believe he is preparing the way for the return of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us to be awake, watching and warring for this future event; I believe the future is here now. Ryan does us a favor by pointing out that God is orchestrating events, and part of what he's doing is calling people from every ethnic group, fulfilling his purpose of creating true worshipers for himself. Ryan reminds us that we are more than witnesses of these things--we are also 'message bearers.' Message bearers are people wholeheartedly committed to serving Jesus and inviting others to come with them on the journey. Ryan unpacks the importance of being a serious message bearer and the means we can use of setting our hearts toward consistent growth so that we become more effective.
president/CEO, Wycliffe Bible Translators, USA
The future of the mission movement is compromised by a rhetoric of readiness without the reality of rootedness. Books combining missions and the cultivation of the inner life are few. Ryan Shaw has thus done the church an outstanding service. He masterfully draws our attention to the place where the Great Commission is won or lost! Even a casual glance at the content yields evidence that Ryan has covered the most crucial bases. I read with profit the vital and practical truths that he has personally gleaned over the years. I joyously commend this remarkable book to you!
leadership mentor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church, Singapore; founder, Global Alliance of Intentional Disciplemaking Churches
Our world is changing faster than we can imagine. The face of missions is no exception as we see the rise of the church in the Global South and the changing role of the West. One thing that has not changed are the basics of what it takes to stay healthy in the mission effort. I say basics yet so few live them out, hence the continuing issue with attrition. I welcome any book that seeks to equip workers and enable them to stay strong in their walk with God--regardless of their circumstances on the field--and effective in their work and in their team. The missions effort needs this type of input and help.
president, Operation Mobilization, USA
Relevant, megamotivational, practical and a vital message for the church in our day. I urge people not only to read it but to also get involved in distributing copies.
founder and former international director of Operation Mobilization
While I know Ryan to be a sacrificial servant, willing to give his life for seeing unengaged people groups come to know Christ, he rightfully challenges us to not fall into the temptation of emphasizing the mission at the expense of our own souls. Ryan also brings this pastoral vision down to a practical level, giving us very helpful 'spiritual keys' that will help us cultivate a deeper inner spiritual life. If we heed these words and apply these keys, I believe we will not only be more spiritually equipped, but also will spiritually thrive in engaging the Great Commission. May it be so!
-From the foreword by Tom Lin,
vice president for missions, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA; director, Urbana Student Missions Conference
I am thrilled with the insights and practical truth Ryan Shaw has brought together here. According to Hudson Taylor, the real secret for modern-day message bearers is a life and vibrant inner core of ever-developing faith and intimacy with God. The keys identified here are right on to unlock the potential Jesus promised!
lead pastor, North Park Church, London, Ontario, Canada
Ryan Shaw presents in this book the key elements necessary for the message bearer to make a positive impact in his or her ministry context. These important principles are biblically grounded with examples from God's servants in the Bible and from the history of missions, interwoven with personal experiences and practical applications. This excellent book is indispensable to all who are called to serve the Lord in advancing his kingdom, but also to those who train and send missionary workers. It helps us to understand the crucial importance of a healthy spiritual formation in the effort to fulfill the demands of the Great Commission.
executive director, World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission
In this book Ryan Shaw has presented ten issues that are key for anyone wanting to be serious about crosscultural message bearing. While much crosscultural training is focused on strategy and methodology, Ryan deals with core issues of who the message bearer is to be, and how they can remain alive in their inner being. If these matters are not kept in focus, the message bearer will not thrive and even the best strategy and methods will not be fruitful.
-Betty Sue Brewster,
senior associate professor of language and culture learning, Fuller Theological Seminary
Message bearers eager to thrive in life and ministry will discover biblical truth and practical wisdom in every chapter of Ryan Shaw's Spiritual Equipping for Mission. Anchored in God's Word, rich in personal testimony and birthed in real-life experience, Ryan's inspiring focus on inner transformation is both a refreshing voice in the metrics-saturated missiological conversation and a true expression of his own life and ministry.
international director, Pioneers
Most of us focus on strategy, methods and materials, but Ryan helps us look beyond just purpose and plans, and evaluate the person. He exhorts me to ask myself, 'Am I really becoming the man I need to be to accomplish God's mission in and through my life?' Spiritual Equipping for Mission is a challenge for any world changer who wants to know and live and share the heart of God with those who desperately need to experience the love of the Savior.
executive director, Center for Mission Mobilization
"Ryan Shaw's book Spiritual Equipping for Mission is a great resource for those preparing for missionary service. . . . I would highly recommend this to anyone contemplating or preparing for missionary service and also for people who are actively supporting missionaries."
" Spiritual Equipping for Mission is a unique contribution to the field of missionary training and leadership. The book will be a blessing to people beginning their journey into message bearing, seasoned ministry workers, and for Christians seeking to build a missional lifestyle."
"My own spirituality was refreshed by reading this book. Many spiritual discipline books leave you feeling like you want to join a monastery and retreat from the world to deepen your spiritual walk. Shaw demonstrates how the deepening of our spirituality can also solidify our sense of mission to the world."
"Shaw's book is simply a reminder. All 10 qualities are things that should be well known but tend to be forgotten in the stress of career ministry. Even if you have a vibrant, dynamic walk with Jesus Christ, you still need the message of this book."
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