When we stop learning we become stagnant.

There are so many wonderful things to learn about ministering cross-culturally. Whether you’re a newbie to missions partnerships or helped write the manuals now used to impart 20+ years of working experience and knowledge, there is always more to add to our personal tool bag in cross-cultural ministry. Even though our Vineyard values always remain central, as society stretches and changes, best practices change too.

The Vineyard Missions USA Learning Community Team has reviewed hundreds of books and recommends the resources that have been most impactful to their cross-cultural engagement. Our goal of working cross-culturally is always to join the Father in what He is already doing in a particular place and bring God greater glory.  We recommend these resources for inspiration, for practical how-to guides, or for personal discipleship.

They are not in any particular must-read order. Pick up a resource the Holy Spirit highlights for where you are on your journey to the next level of effectiveness and joy in missions.

We would love to hear from you and perhaps share how these books or others have helped you on your journey of understanding. 

Missions Unmasked
by Adam Mosley

What if our missionary myths are false? Tales of breathtaking adventures, harrowing expeditions, and close encounters of the bug kind - these are the stories we expect to hear from missionaries. Like a Hollywood blockbuster, we want action, tension, and in the end, a happily-ever-after, complete with smiling children and the sense that we’ve contributed to the betterment of humanity. But what if missionary life is not like that?

In Missions Unmasked, Vineyard’s own Adam Mosley peels back the facade shrouding the realities of that world, as he offers an inside look into the life of a missionary and an exploration of the challenges and issues facing global missionaries and those who care for them. Adam is the pastor of Trinity Vineyard Church Nakuru, a multi-cultural, theologically-diverse, international church in Nakuru, Kenya - a church made up of people from over a dozen different nations and five continents.

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Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model of Personal Relationships (2003)
by Sherwood Lingenfelter and Marvin Mayer

For beginners to ministering across cultures, this book is a must read according to the Vineyard Missions Learning Community. How can a person minister effectively in another culture before identifying his/her own “cultural prison”? Jesus needed to learn…

Included in this future-classic book is a quiz to help readers identify their personal bent in 12 major areas of cultural values. Lingenfelter and Mayer reveal ways to change thinking that can be harmful as Westerners cross cultures if differences are assigned “moral value.”

From the amazon description by the author or publisher: “Jesus needed to learn and understand the culture in which he lived before he could undertake his public ministry. The authors examine how this can help us better understand what it means to establish relationships of grace with those from different cultural and social backgrounds. With more than 70,000 copies of the first edition in print, this incarnational model of ministry has proven successful for many people...Drawing from the authors' rich experience on the mission field, this book will benefit anyone who wants to be salt and light in a multicultural and multiethnic world.”

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Supporting your VM efforts: If you follow the link provided in the synopsis, VM will receive an “advertising fee” of 3-5% from Amazon (on your whole basket)!  That money will be funneled back into missions, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.