Chris Anderson, ed. Gospel Meditations for Missions: Thirty-One Daily Readings to Help You Be Gospel-Saturated All Day, Every Day. Madison, OH: Church Works, 2011.
You can read the introduction and two meditations in this PDF sample.
I love the authors. They’re faithful servants:
- Chris Anderson is the founding pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio. He is the founder of churchworksmedia.com, where he has published hymns (including “His Robes for Mine” and “For the Sake of His Name”) and the Gospel Meditations series of devotionals.
- J. D. Crowley has lived in Asian cultures all his life. After 12 years of pastoring in Hawaii, he went to Cambodia in 1994 to do linguistic and mission work among the indigenous minorities there. He is the author of The Tampuan/Khmer/English Dictionary and Khmer commentaries on Matthew and Romans.
- David Hosaflook went to Albania in 1992 on a short-term mission trip. Almost two decades later, he’s still there, helping to evangelize people and plant churches in the wake of what was the most oppressive communist regime in eastern Europe. He loves Albanian history and will soon publish The Siege of Shkodra, a work on the Ottoman/Christian struggle in Albania.
- Tim Keesee is the director of Frontline Missions International, an organization committed to advancing the Gospel in the world’s difficult places by developing sustainable platforms for work and witness. He is the executive producer of the missions documentary series Dispatches from the Front. He has authored numerous books and articles on history, politics, and missions.
- Joe Tyrpak is the assistant pastor at Tri-County Bible Church. He is a gifted artist (responsible for this book’s design) and an insightful teacher. He has composed several metrical psalms and co-authored the Gospel Meditations series, all available from churchworksmedia.com.
Here’s an excerpt from one of David Hosaflook’s meditations (day 31):
Paul taught us that the essence of missions is going places where Christ is not already named (Romans 15:20). I don’t understand why church planters so frequently ignore that little word not. The mission is not to plant the coolest church in town, but the only church in town. Why target The Bible Belt when so many places don’t even have a Bible? Roughly 35% of the world has no access to the Gospel. I’m not talking about the people in your neighborhood who have never heard “a clear presentation of the Gospel” (but could if you would just cross the street). I’m talking about the 2,400,000,000 people who couldn’t find a Christian if they tried. How is this possible? How many of our mission workers are even targeting them? I might be satisfied with a proportionate 35%. But get this: it’s less than 5%! Tip a waitress 5% and she’ll spit in your soup the next time you order lunch. Five measly percent is a yawn in the face of the Great Commissioner, a shrug at the plight of the damned. It’s tantamount to telling the unreached to go to Hell.
Forgive my candor, but I don’t know how else to verbalize what our inaction is communicating. We’re cloistered in climate-controlled cathedrals, feasting while billions can’t even find a drop of Water. “We do not well! This day is a day of good tidings!” (2 Kings 7:9). Our main problem isn’t fear. Certainly we prefer our crosses gilded, not bloody—but there’s a bigger issue. Christ is not our life (Philippians 1:21). We’re self-absorbed. Distracted. Apathetic. Unimpressed at the stunning honor of fulfilling biblical prophecies. Passionate about anything other than harvest fields of unreached souls—unreached not because they’re unreachable, but because we’ve chosen not to reach them.
The Romans Rover is warmed up and ready to roll. Jesus is driving. The ride won’t be smooth. But there’s a seat with your name all over it. You in?
Aside: The man who wrote that is featured in episode 2 of Dispatches from the Front, and my favorite part of the entire Dispatches series is a bonus feature on that DVD where Tim Keesee interviews him.
See endorsements here by five people (with more forthcoming):