04/04/2007

A Task Unfinished (by Michael Griffiths)

'A Task Unfinished' is subtitled: 'How to recruit, support and pray for missionaries and Christian workers in a constantly changing world' - and that's a pretty good brief summary of what this book is about.

Dr Michael Griffiths spent some years on the mission field himself, so he speaks from experience as well as from a Biblical perspective. He encourages his readers, first of all, to identify with Jesus' command to go out into the world and make disciples. Missionaries, he insists, are not special in any way - they're just the ones who happen to be in other countries doing God's work. But we all have a role to play in our own workplaces and homes, as well as a role in supporting those who are further afield.

The book is well-structured, giving easy access to anyone wanting to use it as a quick reference guide. I read it over about ten days, a chapter or two at a time, and while much of it was familiar to me I still felt it useful to read. The author explains how to prepare for service overseas, different styles of funding, what it means to be a 'tent-maker', the importance of keeping in touch, and so much more. He explains, too, the oddity of the overseas worker having two different worlds - almost as if going through a wardrobe to Narnia - something which I have certainly experienced.

A bit dry in places, but still recommended to anyone wanting to know anything about what Christian mission work is, and how churches can become enthusiastic in supporting those working abroad.

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