When it comes to missions, most of us know that everyone can pray and give so that some may go. However, few of us consider that everyone can pray, everyone can give and everyone can go. Not many Christians have noticed the mission field has come to us, meaning that today we can walk across the street to encounter people that come from around the world.
In their new book, I Am Going, Danny Akin and Bruce Ashford invite us to join a revolution in global missions.
The Bible tells us that God created and mankind rebelled. However, God has undertaken a mission to redeem and restore all creation. As part of this mission, God calls people to Himself and sends them out on mission with Him. God calls this missionary people His church.
Akin and Ashford describe the church as God’s best missionary vehicle. This missionary vehicle runs on “two biblical rails.” On one rail, the Great Commandment cultivates disciples who love God and each other. On the other rail, the Great Commission sends them out to make disciples who will obey the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission.
The authors help us see our neighbors, the nations and our coworkers in light of the mission of God. Each chapter explores practical ways we can cultivate these fields of people with the gospel.
The final chapter reads more like a pause than a conclusion. Akin and Ashford pack this small volume with scores of vivid examples from believers who say “I am going,” confronting us in the last few pages with the question “Will you go?” This question subtly reminds us that any book dealing with God’s mission portrays only a few selected pages in a much larger story. The authors’ invite us to write the closing chapters as we engage in God’s mission.
I Am Going introduces us to a revolution that is taking place in missions. In fact, it reflects some of the best in missionary thinking today. Yet, Akin and Ashford write clearly so as to make missiology accessible to believers of all ages. This book brings clarity to the mission of God, allowing us to “evaluate our decision of where we go, how we go, with whom we go, and why we go in light of God’s mission – the One who went before us.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Cris Alley is the Triangle strategy coordinator for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)