Spiritual Equipping for Mission: Thriving as God's Message Bearers
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Spiritual Equipping for Mission: Thriving as God's Message Bearers

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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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830836721
ISBN-13: 9780830836727

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Author Bio

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.

Endorsements

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.
-Bob Creson,
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!
-Edmund Chan,
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.
-Andrew Scott,
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.
-George Verwer,
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!
-Donnie Scearce,
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.
-Bertil Ekstrom,
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.
-Eric Peters,
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.
-Steve Shadrach,
executive director, Center for Mission Mobilization

Editorial Reviews

"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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  1. JKim
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Must for today's missions engagement
    March 31, 2015
    JKim
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In his book Spiritual Equipping for Missions, Ryan Shaw does a masterful job of bringing to focus a subject that is often overlooked by todays missionaries. In an era where equipping for missions is at a minimum, Shaws book is much needed and timely. And for this reason alone, I would recommend this book for anyone wishing to embark on a career in missions.

    In many ways, what Shaws book covers are not new insights, as often is in many books like these. However, Shaw does a good job in pulling out 10 key concepts. Especially needed for this time is his chapter on Persevering with Steadfastness and Stability (chapter 10). In an instant gratification world that we live in, the idea of longevity being a key to fruitfulness is a foundational reminder.

    Chapter after chapter, Shaw balances Scripture and life experiences well to help the reader understand what it would take to thrive as Gods message bearers.

    Recommendation: Must read for anyone interested in being a part of Gods mission.
  2. Ray
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This is God Sent
    October 10, 2014
    Ray
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I began reading Ryan Shaw's Spiritual Equipping for Missions on a long trip from Chicago to Accra. Once I began reading, I couldn't stop. By the time we touched down in Accra, I had finished the book and I was refreshed, equipped and challenged. This is the kind of book that you have to keep on your desk or a conspicuous part of your bookshelf so you can continue to refer to it from time to time. It will truly equip as well as remind both new and veteran Message Bearers and Cross-Cultural Workers about the essentials. This book will help you to keep the main thing the main thing. I love the way it is very practical and the way the Author has given many practical examples that people can relate to. There have been many disturbing trends among Christian Leaders where the Spiritual Disciplines have been over-looked and neglected causing a lot of negative effects. It is a book someone definitely had to write and I m so glad the Lord worked through Ryan to write it. It is a must read for all in the Missionary Movement as well as all aspiring to.
  3. pane
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    For every Christ-followers!
    October 8, 2014
    pane
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    An eye opener and a heart stirrer for everyone who has committed their lives to the Lord. This book is not only for those striving to bring forth the gospel to the unreached but also to all who follows Jesus. This is not a formula but a very essential reminder of living righteous with God.

    While message bearers prepare themselves in serving a nation long term, they undergo various trainings that is more on the methodology, Spiritual Equipping for Mission can also be added to it. Every disciple must continuously seek the Holy Spirit for regular and consistent filling. Ryan summarized a spirit-filled life in 10 essential keys.

    In this book, Ryan fearlessly shared his ups and downs in the ministryon how he sometimes relied in his own ability and strength rather than Gods. This attitude is not uncommon to Christians especially when we want to get things done as fast as possible. That results to not being sensitive to what God is saying.

    God matures us by walking with us through hindrances and its a lifelong process. Ryan Shaw

    Ryan also laid down what to expect in the fieldthat it is not easy to work for the Kingdom of God. That abiding in God is only what we can afford. As we desire to keep on serving Him, pruning will always be present, challenges will get harder. These are expected because this is the cost of following Jesus. That is why we need to be fully saturated in His presence and be clothed in His word.

    Having read this book, I strongly felt the conviction. It reminded me how I am lacking in some areas of my walk with God. This book changed me. It is not only a story of life experiences in the field but also a message from God.

    As you read this book, I pray that God will open your heart and be sensitive in hearing from the Holy Spirit and may it bring a renewal of the spirit in your life.
  4. Bian
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Timely message for disciples of Christ
    October 8, 2014
    Bian
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is not just another book that talks about equipping in terms of skills needed or methodology of missions. It goes back to the core of the Christianity by hightlighting ten essential spiritual keys to build the spiritual life of a message bearer, or more commonly known as the missionary. But this term is not used by the author to avoid its colonial linkage.

    This is a praiseworthy book because it fills the gap that is left by loads of literature focusing on the 'doing' rather than the 'being'. It is also not a simple 'read the Bible and pray everyday' kind of book. It is packed with lots of biblical examples and real life experiences from the author and other message bearers. The author also gives very practical and executable suggestions to build the inner life.

    There are many insights in the book that God is revealing in our times. It is recommended that we take time to reflect and mull over them. It has many interesting topics which are usually not covered in other mission books, such as being saturated with the powerful presence of God and understanding the times and seasons of God.

    A lot of things in this book has spoken to me, many of which dealt with my own inner life as I serve God. In my opinion, this book is not just suitable for message bearers or mission mobilizers, it is a book recommended for all disciples who are keen to rediscover an authentic Christian life.
  5. Russ
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Practical and Passionate
    October 5, 2014
    Russ
    Two words best describe Spiritual Equipping for Mission: Practical and Passionate.

    Ryan Shaw is first of all a man who is passionate for God and his global purposes. Ive been blessed to serve alongside Ryan. He is a man of the Word; a man of vision, passion, and courage; a man who is teachable; a man whom the Lord can use. These are rare qualities in our age. Shaws passion for Christ and His Kingdom will motivate any follower of Jesus Christ to go deeper in his or her walk with God.

    Shaw has also written a practical book, which highlights ten essential characteristics of those who effectively share Gods message. Much training of cross cultural workers focuses on cultural adaption, language acquisition, communication skills or strategy. While these are important, the inner spiritual dynamics that produce eternal fruit are essential and too often neglected. Shaw shows the importance of each characteristic, and, more importantly, shows how each is nurtured. Shaw shares his own journey of how God has taught him to be a fruitful message bearer. The examples drawn from missionary biographies serve to underscore the significance of the ten essential characteristics.

    Spiritual Equipping for Mission will first of all benefit anyone who wants to make his or her life count for eternity. Of course those preparing for cross cultural service will find this volume especially helpful. And those who equip cross cultural workers will find this a useful resource. But to be of value, Spiritual Equipping for Mission must not only be ready, but put into practice.

    R Mitchell Assistant Director of Research OC International
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