Book Review: The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches

The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches by John NeviusThis is a short little book (104 pages) that was originally written in 1885 by John L. Nevius. Nevius was a seasoned, effective and groundbreaking missionary to China. This book was originally written as a pamphlet to instruct new missionaries in China. It was so insightful that some mission sending organizations, at the time, made this work a required reading before entering the field and even required the passing of a comprehensive test on the reading. Today, over 115 years after it was first publish, some mission sending agencies still have this book on reading list for new missionaries.

Nevius’ work changed the way many looked at foreign missions work. His respect for the indigenous people and their culture was not a frequently shared view. While his perspective was not prominent at the time it was not original to him. Nevius modeled his belief on missions after the Apostle Paul.

His message of treating indigenous people with respect and love was so effective that he experienced such a rapid rate of growth in church planting and converts that he could scarcely keep up. He trained new believers and raised up church leaders at a rate that does not exist today. He also trained new missionaries with a depth that few have duplicated. He was not afraid to plan big, and was regularly rewarded.

This brief paperback is a wonderful read for missionaries and those who support missionaries. It provides us with a century old example of what has passed the test of time and continues to glorify God today.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.

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