Who Can Send a Missionary? A review of The Ongoing Role of Apostles in Missions

Dent unapologetically espouses movement-driven missiology, an influential theory prioritizing rapid reproduction of believers and churches as the primary goal of missions. The book offers no argument for this commitment to movements, and I believe there are significant biblical reasons to reject this goal. However, Dent diverges from much of movement missiology in important ways. The book is well-researched and concise, and it rewards critical reading with biblical insight about the missions task. It also offers a worthwhile starting place for those seeking more nuanced dialog with movement-focused missiologists and field workers.

Why Are We Staying?

I have seen an increase in missionaries coming to the field for a fixed term. That is to say, they come to the field with a particular term length in mind. Some will come for two, four, five, or ten years. Then, they return to their home country. From my experience, this seems to be the norm now. And when we talk to Americans, they usually ask us how long we are planning on staying. I will respond with, “our plan is to die in Cameroon (hopefully later rather than sooner).”

The True Riches of The Church

On the last day I would rather stand with the orphans and the widows than with those this world honors. This simply seems to be the route more consistent with the heart of God as displayed in the ministry of Jesus. That may mean we end up less “effective” in the metrics of missiology. But does that really matter when the king returns? Rather, we would be wise to pay attention to how he characterizes the ministry of his true, known, followers: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it unto me” (Matt 20:40).