"That group was just so American," an African complains to his Christian friend about a group of American churchgoers sent overseas for ministry. "They didn't ask me a single question all night long. They were loud and brash. And they have prepared for this trip just enough to be dangerous." Short-term missions has exploded in popularity. The wisdom to go with it, unfortunately, has been in comparatively short supply. This book aims to change that.

Author David Livermore, director of the Global Learning Center at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, notes that the perspectives of non-Western Christians can differ markedly from their Western counterparts. He contrasts the light, adventuresome spirit of many Westerners with the willingness to die of young missionaries in China. "The Muslim and Buddhist nations torture us, imprison us, and starve us, but they can do no more than what we have already experienced in China," one aspiring Chinese missionary says. "We are not only ready to die for the gospel, we are expecting it."

Although this book's many warnings could unintentionally paralyze some effective church teams, a missions pastor I know says Serving with Eyes Wide Open will help short-termers humbly and effectively join the global church in gospel witness.

Related Elsewhere:

Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence is available at ChristianBook.com and other retailers.

Dave Livermore is a co-founder of Intersect, an organization that trains emerging ministry leaders.

Our Missions & Ministry full coverage area includes an article on resurging student interest in missions, a conversation between Kurt Ver Beek and Robert Priest on the efficacy of short-term missions, and many other articles.

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